Monday, September 1, 2014

Book Review #34: Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Image Courtesy of GoodReads

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Apparently the end of the world will happen in the Midwest. More specifically the end of the world will happen in Iowa. Andrew Smith's novel, Grasshopper Jungle, is set in a fictional town in Iowa and is told from the point of view of a teenage boy, Austin, who only really thinks about two and sex. So if you are easily offended, you may want to avoid this book because there is an awful lot about sex that some people might find offensive. "You know what I mean."

I liked Grasshopper Jungle. More specifically, I liked Austin Szerba, the historian. I admired Austin's observations about history and how he is connected to it. Austin shares a lot of his family history and the history of the inhabitants of his hometown in an effort to show how everything in the universe is connected.

"...I knew my accounts were ultimately nothing more than an abbreviation. ... But no historian could ever put everything that happened in a book. The book would be as big as the universe, and it would take multiple countless lifetimes to read. History necessarily had to be an abbreviation." page 67

I wasn't so much a fan of Austin Szerba, the sexually confused teen. After a while, I became annoyed with Austin's and Robby's, his best friend, constant smoking, fowl language and bad attitudes. Perhaps that is a sign I am old. I just wanted Austin "to figure it out." However, I have never questioned my sexual orientation so I recognize that it is a little unreasonable for me to be asking a fictional teenager to just figure it out and get on with it.

Grasshopper Jungle is an apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic science fiction novel that doesn't take itself too seriously. There were many laugh out loud moments for me. While the future may look bleak and may involve Unstoppable Giant Praying Mantises that are very hungry and very horny, it reminded me that even in the bleakest and most confusing situations laughter can be the best medicine. Grasshopper Jungle receives a thumbs up.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Sunday Post #38: Week of August 24, 2014

The Sunday Post
The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

What's Waiting in the Wings
Well, change is a blown' in the wind, folks. If you've following along this week, you know this is the last week for my contribution to The Sunday Post. I felt inspired after my feature on Gin's Book Review and Day 6 of the Back to School Challenge to create a new feature.

I've been a photographer for several years and have accumulated 1000s of photos. And since I started blogging, I've gotten away from taking pictures and sharing my photography. So drawing from the last 2-3 minutes of Sunday Morning on CBS, I will be starting Scenic Sundays on September 7. I will share one picture I have taken (it might look professional, it might not) and pair it along with a quote. No muss, no fuss--just a picture and a few words to get your week started right.

You are welcome to join me on this journey. You can link up each week or you can subscribe to Second Run Reviews or you can just drop by each Sunday and see what's shakin'. Oh, and don't worry, I still plan to drop by The Sunday Post and say Hello!

What's Happening on the Center Stage

  • Monday: Book Tour + Book Review #33: The Ærenden Series by Kristen Taber
  • Tuesday: Back to School Challenge Day 09: A Note to My Teachers
  • Wednesday: Challenge Accepted: 2014 Book Challenges Update #7 + State of the Blog
  • Thursday: Chaotic Goddess Swaps: Local Flavor Swap
  • Friday: Quote of the Week by Clare Booth Luce

Don't forget about this!
  • Part of my Meet & Greet feature over at Gin's Book Notes does include a giveaway. It's small, but there is some signed swag involved. The giveaway ends on September 1st.

What's Happening on Other Stages
In an effort to share great content I find all week long and promote the blogs a visit frequently, I encourage you to follow me on Twitter and Facebook as I'm posting links there throughout the week that I find that might be of interest to my followers.
What did you read or watch this week? Anything good? Something I should add to my to-read or to-watch list?