Graduation Time

This week was the last week of classes at Purdue, and my last week of class ever!  It’s crazy to think I will never have another school year.  That means the classroom portion of this blog is over, so I may not be posting as often as before.  However, I will try to keep up on some more book reviews and recommendations.

In the spirit of graduation I decided to share a few book lists I’m going to be checking out, which you can find below:

21 Books to Read in your Twenties 

11 Books to Read After Graduation

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Carnival Night and Battle of the Bands

So, while this post doesn’t really relate to books, I got the opportunity to attend Carnival Night and Battle of the Bands last Friday, and I wanted to share some photos of this great event. PSUB puts on a ton of really fun events, such as Books and Coffee, which I covered earlier in the semester. They are going to be putting on events all summer that students staying on campus this summer should definitely take advantage of.  Check out this video below.

http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~lbeaucha/carnival_night/publish_to_web/

Summer Reading

Well, it’s officially the last week of class, and that means that most students will be filing out of campus as they get done with their finals next week.  If you have ever been a student who stayed over break, you know that you need to look a little harder to find fun things to do now that everyone’s gone.  So, I decided to do a little digging for you, and will be sharing all the best places to look for book-related events to get involved with this summer at Purdue!

Your first stop should definitely be the West Lafayette Public Library.

west lafayette library

The library is located right in Chauncey and aside from being a great place to find books they also host a lot of great events such as the Adult Summer Reading Program and free public lectures.

Another great place to find events happening this summer is the Lafayette Barnes and Noble.

barnes

Barnes and Noble hosts a ton of great author readings and book signings, as well as storytime for kids every Thursday, and a lot of other cool book-related events.

Honorary Mentions:

While Von’s Bookshop doesn’t have a ton of stuff, make sure to check their facebook to see if they have one of their occasional author events.

If you are interested in science fiction or fantasy another great place to check out is Main Street Books, formerly Robots and Rogues, in downtown Lafayette.

Miniature Reviews

Its finals time at Purdue… so that means that I have been reading even more than normal to avoid studying.  I really enjoyed so many of these books that I wanted to share some of my thoughts about them.  However, I didn’t think I’d have enough time to write full reviews for all of them, so I’ve decided to write a few mini reviews for all of you!

Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

life after life

While I loved this book, and couldn’t put it down while I was reading it, when I was finally finished I realized that the story as a whole fell a little flat.  The theory behind this book is so interesting, a girl who lives her own live in thousands of different ways, constantly living and dying.  However, when a  character’s story keeps restarting instead of evolving it is hard to get truly involved with the characters.

A Murder of Magpies by Judith Flanders

murder of magpies

While I don’t usually enjoy mysteries the setting of this novel, part of the London publishing world, drew me in right away.  My favorite part of this novel was the characters.  Sam is surrounded by a strange cast of characters, from a gothic secretary to Sam’s domineering mother. The only downside to this book was its tendency to drag on by being just a little too descriptive.

The Cove by Ron Rash

the cove

This book takes place  during World War 1 and though it is first and foremost a love story, much of the novel focuses on the grim reality of war and how it affects even those tucked into a cove in rural Appalachia.   My favorite part of the novel is how well Rash paints a picture of a small town in the midst of war hysteria and gripped with superstition.  I really enjoyed this novel, but it did seem to run a bit long for the simplicity of it’s storyline.

#Literary Swag

I recently discovered an instagram by New Yorker, fashion enthusiast and writer Yahdon Israel. He started a new trend called #LiterarySwag.  His inspiration behind the trend was the idea that

“The kids who were cool didn’t read; the kids who read weren’t cool.”

He set out to change people’s opinions about bookworms not being cool by snapping pictures of fashionable strangers in New York reading in public.  Below are some of the pictures from his instagram that I really enjoyed.

Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 1.58.42 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 1.59.54 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 2.01.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 2.02.21 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 2.02.38 PM Screen Shot 2015-04-24 at 2.03.03 PM

Now go out and create your own #LiterarySwag !

Pulitzer Prize Winners 2015

The 2015 Pulitzer Prize winners have been announced, and one of my favorite books from this year has been declared the winner! “All the Light we Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr is this year’s pulitzer prize winner in fiction.  If you haven’t read my previous review of this book, check it out here.

all the light

Below are some of my favorite previous pulitzer prize winner’s in fiction.

“A Visit From the Goon Squad,” by Jennifer Egan

goon squad

From Amazon: “Bennie is an aging former punk rocker and record executive. Sasha is the passionate, troubled young woman he employs. Here Jennifer Egan brilliantly reveals their pasts, along with the inner lives of a host of other characters whose paths intersect with theirs. With music pulsing on every page, A Visit from the Goon Squad is a startling, exhilarating novel of self-destruction and redemption.”

“Black Water,” by  Joyce Carol Oates

black water

From Amazon: “Joyce Carol Oates has taken a shocking story that has become an American myth and, from it, has created a novel of electrifying power and illumination. Kelly Kelleher is an idealistic, twenty-six-year-old “good girl” when she meets the Senator at a Fourth of July party. In a brilliantly woven narrative, we enter her past and her present, her mind and her body as she is fatally attracted to this older man, this hero, this soon-to-be-lover. Kelly becomes the very embodiment of the vulnerable, romantic dreams of bright and brave women, drawn to the power that certain men command—at a party that takes on the quality of a surreal nightmare; in a tragic car ride that we hope against hope will not end as we know it must end. One of the acknowledged masters of American fiction, Joyce Carol Oates has written a bold tour de force that parts the black water to reveal the profoundest depths of human truth.”

“The Poisonwood Bible,” by Barbara Kingsolver

poison

From Amazon: “The novel is set against one of the most dramatic political chronicles of the twentieth century: the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium, the murder of its first elected prime minister, the CIA coup to install his replacement, and the insidious progress of a world economic order that robs the fledgling African nation of its autonomy. Against this backdrop, Orleanna Price reconstructs the story of her evangelist husband’s part in the Western assault on Africa, a tale indelibly darkened by her own losses and unanswerable questions about her own culpability. Also narrating the story, by turns, are her four daughters—the self-centered, teenaged Rachel; shrewd adolescent twins Leah and Adah; and Ruth May, a prescient five-year-old. These sharply observant girls, who arrive in the Congo with racial preconceptions forged in 1950s Georgia, will be marked in surprisingly different ways by their father’s intractable mission, and by Africa itself. Ultimately each must strike her own separate path to salvation. Their passionately intertwined stories become a compelling exploration of moral risk and personal responsibility.”

Harlan Coben at Purdue

This week I had the opportunity to attend a talk between Mitch Daniels and author Harlan Coben as a part of Purdue’s Presidential Lecture series.  The event was called “The Rules of Writing and When to Break Them.”  The talk was essentially a conversation between President Daniels and Coben, followed by Coben answering questions from the audience.  In the following interview I talked to one of the people running the event, and learned a little about the event and a great Purdue organization. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=63-pD3jHXcA While I have never read any of Coben’s books, I have definitely heard of him.  He is probably my mother’s favorite author, and as soon as she heard about this event she made plans to drive up and attend it with me.  I got to have a little preview of what I assume next month’s challenge will be like, seeing as the theme is “A book your mother loves.” Because I did not know much about Coben going into it, I didn’t really have any idea what this event was going to be like.  However, I quickly began to enjoy the event immensely.  Harlan Coben was an amazing speaker, who had some great insights and advice about writing and publishing, while simultaneously being hilarious.  Check out the video below to see some of the event. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y5OVq-naZxQ