Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Amy, Amy, Amy: It's Book Club Day!

This post is inspired by mystery thriller GONE GIRL by Gillian Flynn. They may not have the perfect marriage, but after Amy goes missing, Nick becomes the number one suspect. Can he discover what happened before it's too late? Join From Left to Write on June 12 as we discuss Gone Girl. As a member, I received a copy of the book for review purposes. I've always been obsessed with names, and reading a book with my name as the main character is quite a trip-especially when the main character is as perfect (ahem...) as this one seems to be! I've had ups and downs with my names over the years. As a little girl, I always had several Amys in my class-being blessed with a very popular 1970's name does that to you. I was either "little Amy" or "Amy B.". I wished my parents had named me something more "exotic", like Amelia. I wanted to stand out more from the crowd-Amy Brown doesn't stand out very much! In college, my room mate and good friend was named Amy, too, so I became "Brownie". I loved it! For the first time, I felt different. When people talked about Brownie, I knew they meant me! There actually was one other Brownie on my campus, but he was a boy-so that didn't count. Which was good, since there was another Amy Brown at UCSB, and one quarter, the administrative offices made a mistake and gave her all my units! That was a nightmare to remedy! Ugh! I couldn't wait to get married and change my name one day! After graduation, I moved back home (thinking only for awhile while I job hunted in San Francisco). I started substitute teaching and ending up getting my own classroom, so I became Miss Brown. I also started dating Joe, and fell in love with his family. His little niece called me "A-E", which melted my heart. Joe called me "Aim or "honey"...and I started realizing my name wasn't so bad. I liked how it sounded being said by my loved ones. I ended up marrying Joe-whose last name is Brown-so Amy Brown I became for good! The name I couldn't wait to change-now will be mine permanently. Funny how life can be! Now I am called by many names-Mommy being my fav, Honey, Aunt Amy, Mrs. Brown, Spencer's mom, Brownie (by my college friends), etc. I like my name-it suits me-nothing fancy, easy to read and spell (which, being a teacher, I have seen how hard it can be to have that "exotic" name), but I know I am much more than my name. Though, when naming my own children, I did give them names that stand out more-Spencer, Cooper, Kendall. While 2 of those have become more popular, they still have the luxury being the only of that name (most of the time). That being said, I feel partial to characters with the same name as me-I have a soft spot, though the author does such a great job describing this Amy-I wish I didn't share a name with her! What about you? Are you partial to characters with your name? Or any other name?

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Ready Readers...go!

So, I promise promise to start posting more...I am on summer vacay now...yippee! However, before back to more regular postings..how about another book one??? Readers...you'll love it! As a participant in this From Left to Write book blog tour, I received a copy of the book for review. Check out the other stops on the blog tour for a chance to win a copy of Ready Player One. I will admit, this is not the type of book I would have picked up on my own. However, one thing I am loving about my book club-From Write to Left-is that I am reading books I wouldn't have picked. As a reader, we can sometimes get stagnant, reading the same kinds over and over...I had a chick lit-a-thon a couple of years ago and was glad to break out of that (though there isn't anything wrong with those beach reads...I've got one on my bedside table right now)... Ready Player One was a fun read, one I whizzed through. If you like 80's nostaglia, video games, adventure-this is one for you! I can just see teens devouring this book, ready to line up for front row seats to the movie version. I've read a few things online about the movie already! The author, Ernest Cline, a screenwriter, does a great job of describing people and events in the the story-this will make an amazing movie. Check out more about him at his site here! It's set in the future, after the collapse of life as we currently know it. Jobs are scarce, people are starving, trailers are stacked upon trailer-called "The Stacks"-and people seem miserable. The one escape is the online diversion-perfectly called "The Oasis". This online world is where you can be anyone you want to be, learn about anything and everything, and access information the world over. Our main character, Wade, attends public high school on one of the planets in the Oasis. He is searching the Oasis for an "Easter egg" (a hidden icon)-hidden by the now deceased Oasis creator. Whoever find it will receive his fortune-billions and billions of dollars. The rest of the book follows Wade on his journey, meeting new friends (and enemies) along the way. You'll keep turning pages-chuckling along with the 80's references. The author must be a total 80's lover! I will admit, I am not a video game gal-not even Angry Birds-and some of the "video games-ness" was too much for me, but the book still kept me reading. Honestly, I know I am not the target reader audience, but I enjoyed it! My husband loves to listen to audiobooks, so I ordered the audio version for him. I know he'll dig it, too. Remember to click on the link here to see the other readers posting about this book and snag a copy for yourself! Be sure to tell me what you think if you've read it! Ready...set...go!!!!!!!