Monday, January 9, 2017

Holden the Hater

I've had the opportunity to read many good books over Christmas break, but I didn't. I read a couple of short stories that weren't as good as the Catcher in the Rye. I am somewhat happy to say that this is the last book I will be reading and blogging about in this class. I have become a bigger fan of reading during my time in this class (as long as it's a good book of course).
There's a lot of things in The Catcher in the Rye spark wonder in me. For example, the vocabulary that enforces the 1940's time period, the narrator, Holden Caulfield's mindset, and the weird characters. But out of these, the most interesting thing is Caulfield's mindset. The most outstanding thing about his mentality is that he hates most everything. It is very hard to find something that pleases Caulfield, besides his "kid sister", Phoebe. He says straight forward what he hates, for example he "hate(s) the movies like poison, " and says simply, "I hate fist fights." These are a couple of things that he doesn't like, among a list of people he is associated with. At first I thought I was similar to him, but I adore the movies and fist fights. I'm just kidding about the fighting, but Caulfield got more and more pessimistic as the story went on, and that's what really makes me uncomfortable. People with a lot of negativity, like Caulfield, bring other people down; although I understand his point of view very well (because he narrated every second), the whole book feels like he is just complaining about things that have happened, as well as things that are happening, to him. He says other people have inferiority complexes, when really he is the one that is dissatisfied with everything.
This made me wonder if Caulfield would like me or not, given that he only likes his dead brother and his kid sister. I'm not like the jerk roommates that he describes, or the perverts in the hotel, or the rude cab drivers; so would I be the type of guy that could actually be Caulfield's friend? I really don't know, and frankly I'm not sure I would want to be. He has a very unique insight and perspective, but he thinks he knows everything, he's a hypocrite and he hates more things than he appreciates. Overall The Catcher in the Rye was not like any novel I've read before, and I like that. Even though there wasn't a crazy ending or major climax, it still made me want to keep reading, and any book that I want to read in less than a week is a good book to me.Image result for holden caulfield

Thursday, November 10, 2016

You're a Wizard Albus

After reading Capitalism and Freedom, I finally got to reading Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I finished this book really quickly because I have been looking forward to it and have already started my AP book, 1984 by George Orwell. I am going to read a lot more at home because 1984 has a lot of words per page and about 300 pages; I hope to finish it in two weeks or less. When I finish 1984 I will be halfway to my goal. I am at a non consistent pace, but I read some books faster because I'm more interested in them and that makes up for the time I lose while reading a book that I'm not as interested in.
The style in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is unaccustomed to the Harry Potter franchise. None of the original books were written as a screenplay, but finally 18 years after the seventh book was released, a new story is given to Harry Potter fans as well as a new form of writing. I am glad JK Rowling gave her fans a different view in this continued story that has been anticipated for years. It is not just Rowling though; Jack Thorne, a playwright, and John Tiffany, a theatre director, wrote it with her-- she had help from experienced professionals in the theatre field. Reading it from a third person point of view sprouts a way more intimate feeling.
Near the end of the story, Harry talks to Dumbledore in search of wisdom. After Dumbledore admits he loved Harry (familial love), "The two men are overcome with emotion"(258). Italics are used here because it is a stage action, or in this case, a narration--not a line verbalized by an actor. One of my favorite things is how direct the narrations can get. Although they can be said more gracefully or elongated, the way Rowling phrases them adds extra impact. For instance, it could have read, "Dumbledore struck the deepest region of Harry's heart, and his heart melted with him," but that isn't abrupt enough. While watching a play, the audience has to keep up with the action as it happens in front of them, and narrations have to be simple enough to understand.
Moreover, the narration amplifies imagery. For example, Dumbledore tells Harry he didn't want to hurt him, then "He begins to cry but tries to hide it." When I read that, and other narrations, I was stunned. Picturing Dumbledore with red eyes, trying to hold back his tears makes me want to cry myself. Dumbledore is like a father that Harry never had, and although I have a father, I still have many people I look up to and love. My uncle introduced me to photography and continues to teach me things about it. Sometimes I think I should quit, but I know that he is proud of me and I can ask him anything when I need some wisdom. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Books Aren't Just Words

I have been fairly successful at keeping a constant reading schedule. I finished The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick in one week, and I wish to finish a single book every week. The Invention of Hugo Cabret has 533 pages, but 284 of those are black and white pictures. Besides the number of pictures, there is still 26,159 words. In order for me to finish books at the current rate, I probably need to read at least 3 hours out of class weekly. I do want to challenge myself more, so I am going to find books with deeper concepts and higher level vocabulary.
The Invention of Hugo Cabret was one of the easiest books I've read. A lot of the pages are only filled halfway with words and half of the whole book consists of sketches, but these sketches are a brilliant add-on to this novel. They are placed in the right moments and help you imagine scenes more vividly. Some people may not like the style or get the purpose of some of the pictures, but whichever way you feel about it, you cannot deny that it makes this book considerably unique. Arguably the most important picture is a "rocket [flown] right into the eye of the man in the moon" [176]. Image result for the invention of hugo cabret moonThis sketch comes from Hugo's Father's favorite movie. Hugo's father was a mechanical man who taught Hugo how to build and repair nearly anything at a young age. His dad died when Hugo was still young, but he left a mechanical man that could write and/or draw something by itself. Hugo repairs the man and when it is cranked up, it "created an image that Hugo recognized immediately" [251]. The reader can turn the page and visualize exactly what Hugo sees at the same moment he sees it. However, readers can be creative and may want some things left to their own imagination, and Selznick leaves little room for readers to imagine their version of the man in the moon. But based on his original target audience (young readers) it was a good decision. When you know there is going to be a picture after the last sentence on the page, it makes you curious and makes you want to turn the page quicker.
I find this book very similar to music. A lot of times when I listen to music I think about what the music video would look like, but only select songs deserve their own video. This graphic novel has select illustrations that are significant to the plot; not every single encounter between characters has a picture. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a different style and an easy read.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016


Hello, my name is Logan Wynn. I am a sophomore attending Hebron High School. I have never been a big reader because I thought it was a waste of time. It took forever for me to finish a book so I just didn't read for a while, but this year I plan to read at least 10 books. I only expect to read 4-5 this semester including Lord of the Flies and my non-fiction book, Capitalism and Freedom. I like all types of books, from informative psychological books to exciting fiction novels. I do not have a daily page goal because some days I might not read out of class and some days I might read for a whole hour before bed. I have already read The Invention of Hugo Cabret and I hope I can finish a book every one or two weeks. I think this semester will boost my overall motivation to keep on reading as I get older.