Wednesday, November 9, 2011

"Things I Want My Daughters to Know"

For APLANG we are asked to read one hundred pages a week in our free-reading books. I had a very good reading experience, and wanted to share my thoughts.

Noble, Elizabeth. Things I Want My Daughters to Know. Harper Collins Books, New York, NY 2008.

 (375 pages)

           This book was more challenging than I had originally anticipated. One thing that made this book especially challenging was that the narrators and point of view changed regularly. Without a page break or chapter change, the speaker would switch. This made it very confusing because the author left it up to the reader in order to figure out who the storyteller was. This got very confusing and it always kept me on my feet. I knew I would have to make sure I was fully paying attention while reading this book, because if I wasn’t, then I knew for sure that I would be lost.

Unlike a lot of the books I have read in the past, this book did not take place in the United States. The characters were located in England. Because they were located in a different country, some of the dialect was different. I understood most of the dialogue, but some of their phrases or slang, as we would call it, was different. I found myself looking up some of these phrases which lead to further learning. I didn’t really like reading a book that was located in a different country because I didn’t have a good mental picture. Because I didn’t have this mental picture, it made it a lot harder to get into the book and make myself actually want to read it.

I enjoyed this book a lot more as I continued to read it. It was very hard to get into and the characters had to grow on me. When I started the book, I didn’t really feel like I could relate to any of the characters, but as the story went on and as we learned more about them, they were easier to like. Throughout the book you got to know the characters better (like you were one-on-one with them) and this made them more relatable. One way the book was challenging to get into was that there weren’t always distinct chapter breaks. And if there were, the chapters were twenty to thirty pages long which made the whole reading process feel like it was lasting a lifetime. But the more I got into the story, the easier and more fun it was to read.

Even though this book was very challenging, I really enjoyed it. The characters were interesting and I felt like I was living with them in their lives. I am glad I decided to challenge myself with this difficult book. It helped me know that I can chose challenging books and like them.

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