Friday, September 29, 2017

Throw-Back Thursday: Great Reading from My Past

Sometimes, life gets busy, and you forget what day of the week it is.  That happened to me this week, and my Thursday feature here, since June, suffered the consequences.  My Throw-Back Thursday book didn't get posted.  I do have an excellent excuse for forgetting, besides the day of the week one.  I attended a One Community/One Book event for author Jamie Ford last night, and I was focused on and excited about that all day long.  Last week's Thursday book was Jamie's Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, the same book that was the "One Community Book" last night.  So, I will post my Thursday post on Friday and endeavor not to slip up again.

Since this week is Banned Books Week, when the books that have been challenged and sometimes actually pulled from the shelves of libraries are discussed, I think it only fitting that I choose a book from the American Library Association lists of Challenged/Banned Books.  I used the ALA list for Young Adult (YA) literature for making a selection.  YA books face the majority of challenges, as parents are trying to protect/control their children's reading.  I'm not going to dismiss the fact that there are some age appropriate guidelines parents and teachers might want to consider, but trying to restrict a teenager's reading to books without sex or drugs or challenges to authority (just some of the reasons given for challenges) is just a head-in-the-sand reaction from the adults in charge of these young people.  I'm a big fan of people having the freedom to read what they want, which includes the young adults reading books that broaden their horizons from their insulated world at home and address real issues for them.

Author John Green is no stranger to the YA challenge/banned list.  In looking over the lists on the ALA web site, the 2014-2015 list contains four of his books--Looking for Alaska, An Abundance of Katherines, Paper Towns, and The Fault in Our Stars.  I've read all four of these books and loved them.  John Green knows how to write a book with teenage characters, brilliantly!  The Fault in Our Stars is probably the best known and most widely read of these books, but I've always held a special place in my heart for An Abundance of Katherines.  It is a teenage boy's angst with just the right edge of humor.  There are no darkly depressing scenarios here, although the plight of the teenage boy is completely an important one to him.  So, my selection for yesterday's and today's Throw-Back Thursday is An Abundance of Katherines.  It is an endearing book that will stay with you in a positive sense.  

Book Jacket Description:

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

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