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The End of Literature Lynx

The End of Literature Lynx

Hi all.

I have officially decided to discontinue this blog.

I’ve been debating this decision for months. I realized that LiteratureLynx is not serving me in the way I had hoped, so I’m going to take my own advice, and walk away.

For anyone who has ever read my writing, thank you from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate you more than I can say.

I’m off to pursue a different path in my life, but I hope that you’ll continue to look for books that expand your world view. I know I will.

I’m not sure exactly what day this website will be taken down, but I believe it will be Sept 7.

Thank you all again, and best wishes.

Happy reading.

My Favorite Chapter Books

My Favorite Chapter Books

Today I want to talk about something near and dear to my heart: children’s literature.

I’ve been an avid reader since I was little. Picture books, chapter books, I devoured them all. During summer vacation you could find me camped out on our porch swing with a book and a bag of Goldfish and I’d stay there all day. New books were awesome, but there were a few titles that I read over and over again.

I mentioned this in a post last week, but sometimes you age out of a certain genre or series. As you get older, certain books lose their appeal. Maybe the subject matter doesn’t interest you anymore (you grow out of your horse phase, for example… not that I’m speaking from experience… 😉 ). Maybe you find that you can’t connect to the characters anymore and that’s okay!

There are some books, though, that you love forever. I still re-read these books as an adult. They’re just as engaging and enjoyable now as they were when I was young.

I’m leaving out a few of the obvious ones, like Harry Potter or Little House on the Prairie. A couple of my picks are Newbery winners, which I didn’t realize until I pulled them all off my shelves. Apparently I have the same taste as the American Library Association.

The links below will take you to Amazon.com. Disclosure: LiteratureLynx is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This adds no additional cost to you.

The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi

Like most kids, I loved action and adventure stories. The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle isn’t exactly pirate-y, but it has the same vibe. I remember that I was particularly excited about the fact that the main character is a girl. The high-seas setting, and Charlotte’s decision to choose her own path made this book a re-read. As a adult, I’m surprised by the maturity of the content (**spoiler alert** Charlotte gets put on trial for murder) but it’s still a fun read.

 

P.S. Longer Letter Later and Snail Mail No More by Danziger and Martin

My copies of these books are completely falling apart. I loved them then and I love them now. The two main characters communicate through letters (and later e-mail). These novels perfectly capture what it’s like to be a young teenager. You’re still a kid, but you’re starting to see the adult worries in your life. These books made me believe that deep, lasting friendship was possible.

 

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell

I don’t know what it is with kids and survival adventure. I think it has to do with burgeoning independence and self-reliance. Island of the Blue Dolphins is really depressing, which is made worse by the fact that it’s based on a true story. As an adult, I’m sort of horrified by this book but I still love it. Karana goes through so many unimaginable hardships, yet she fights on. I also loved My Side of the Mountain and the Julie of the Wolves series by Jean Craighead George.

 

Holes by Louis Sachar

When you’re forced to read a book for school, and you still love it, even after analyzing it to death, you know it’s a keeper. Everything about this book is awesome. It deals with body shaming, racial tension and authority in an accessible way. Yet again, I seem to have a soft spot for survival stories…

 

Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix

This twist on Cinderella might have been my first introduction to feminism. Ella is supposed to marry the prince, but what happens if she doesn’t? This is a book about deciding what matters in your own life, and bucking tradition when it doesn’t suit you. I related to Ella so much more than the traditional fairy tale princesses. This is a book I think all kids should read, both male and female.

 

What about you, readers? Do you have a book from childhood that you still love to read?

 

 

 

Discussion: When to Quit

Discussion: When to Quit

Confession: I am a serial DNF-er (did-not-finish).

I have no problem walking away from series or books that don’t hold my interest. This applies to things outside of my reading life too, like T.V. shows or hobbies. Apparently I have a short attention span, or maybe it’s high expectations. Life is too short to spend time on a book that bores you.

Sometimes I’ll walk away from a series based on age range. There are some teen series that I enjoy as an adult, but there are others that don’t translate well. I’m still a sucker for anything paranormal or supernatural but I’ve quit on numerous YA series. I walked away from Twilight, Blue Bloods, Vampire Academy, Vampire Diaries and many more before each series was complete. Sometimes I simply lose interest. I read 6 or 7 of the Sookie Stackhouse books before saying ‘meh’ and getting rid of them.

It’s less common for me to quit on a book halfway through. I used to feel really guilty about it- like I was betraying myself as a reader. However, after working in a library and becoming a book reviewer my attitude has changed. It’s difficult to calculate, but there are an estimated 130 million+ books that have ever been published. Logically, that means there are literally millions of books that I’ll love. There will also be millions of books that I simply don’t enjoy.

If I come across a book that isn’t my cup of tea, I’m not going to waste precious reading time on finishing it. I just don’t see the point. Reading is supposed to be an enjoyable activity. It becomes less enjoyable when you force yourself to keep going. Again- life is just too short, and there are too many other ways to spend your time.

My general rule is 50 pages. After that I give myself full permission to quit. Sometimes that means I quit at page 51. Other times I’ll quit closer to the end. For example, I read 306/578 pages of The Doomsday Book by Connie Willis. Multiple people recommended it to me, so I kept pushing through. After 300 pages, though, I just got bored.

Does this mean I walk away from books with great endings? Maybe. I’d prefer a book that’s good all the way through.

I find that I’m more willing to walk away from a book that was free. “The experts” call this the sunk cost fallacy. As humans, we tend to feel like something has value simply because we’ve already invested time (or money) into it. This means we frequently stick with things that aren’t serving their intended purpose. With reading, an uninteresting book defeats the point of entertainment.

As of today, I (some random stranger on the internet) give you full permission to quit without guilt. If you’ve lost interest in a book or series- get rid of it! If you’re struggling through the latest best-seller because it’s not your thing- let it go! Reading is supposed to be a leisure activity. Leisure shouldn’t be a struggle.

What about you? Do you quit when you aren’t connecting with a book? Or do you prefer to see it through to the end?