Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme brought to you by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish (the pic also belongs to them). This week’s theme is the Top Ten Books I’d Give A Theme Song To.
How fun is this week’s theme? I must admit, though, that I have never ever thought about which songs go with which books, so this was pretty tough for me. And my jet-lagged brain (it’s possible to get jet lag off a 2.5 hour flight across only one time zone, right?) couldn’t come up with more than five, so uh this is my Top Five Tuesday…
1. Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger with “I am a Rock” by Simon and Garfunkel – Hello, teen angst. I have no need for friendship/friendship causes pain/it’s laughter and it’s nothing I disdain.
2. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness with “Imagine” by John Lennon –Imagine all the people sharing all the world. I like to imagine that the New Worlders in Ness’s series could find a way to share the world. And I also also imagine the idealism that brought the New Worlders to the New World sounded a whole lot like Lennon’s idealism in “Imagine.” Again, I cannot stop talking about how awesome the Chaos Walking series was (or how awesome John Lennon is, but that is another story).
3. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green with “Have I Told You Lately” by Van Morrison – Colin is constantly wanting validation of Katherine’s love for him. So I sort of imagine that this song would remind him he is loved. Abundantly. And with much cheese factor.
4. Looking for Alaska by John Green with “Blister in the Sun” by the Violent Femmes – I have armchair diagnosed Alaska with bipolar disorder. “Blister in the Sun” is a manic song. Alaska is often manic. Therefore they go together.
5. We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson with “Hotel California” by the Eagles – Both the song and the book are creepy and unsettling. They also start with seemingly normal situations (checking into a hotel; a girl going shopping in the village) and end pretty terrifyingly (you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave; homicidal girl burns down her house to keep her sister home forever).
I “read” this one on audiobook. Prior to the last couple weeks, my only experience with audiobooks has been a few David Sedaris books my husband and I would take with us on the long drive from Arizona to Oklahoma. They really helped the time pass by more quickly and more pleasantly. It did not occur to me to listen to audiobooks during my pretty short commute until I read about some other bloggers doing it. There are some flaws, though, in my audiobook choosing… If I had checked Looking for Alaska out in book form, I’d have been done with it in 2 or 3 days, I’m sure. Instead it took me ten days to finish and that included some weekend listening in bed during which I fell asleep and missed a chapter of the book. Oops. But the voice acting on this book was pretty awesome (the characters had Alabama accents or old man voices or whatever, it was great!) and they even read the acknowledgments (I love acknowledgments).
Anyways… Looking for Alaska features Miles “Pudge” Halter, a high school junior who leaves his lonely, boring life in Florida to “seek the great perhaps” at boarding school in Alabama. At boarding school, Pudge finally makes friends and falls in love with the girl down the hall, Alaska Young. Something bad happens, leaving Pudge searching for answers to life’s most pressing questions: where do we go when we die, how do we escape human suffering, etc.
As with my other encounter with John Green, I loved his characters. Green creates teenagers you will love. They do stupid teenage stuff (drink, smoke, kiss the wrong girls), but they are smart and funny and really perceptive. In short, they are like REAL teenagers. Also, Pudge’s religious studies teacher, Dr. Hyde, might have been one of my favorites in this book. He was one of those hard ass teachers who truly loved teaching and connecting with students. My favorite sort of teacher.
The only real flaw I thought it had was that it could have ended a bit sooner and more ambiguously than it did. We really did not need all the explanation of what Pudge learned from his journey at the end. I enjoyed what he had to say, but perhaps would have liked the ends left loose. It seems it would have been more appropriate to end this left with the fact that there are no good, stable, or certain answers to life’s big questions. Overall, though, this is a great book and I would definitely recommend it.