Recently, I had the opportunity to visit the Rare Books library on the Yale campus. I have heard a lot about this library and was so excited to finally have the time to go! This library is more of a museum than a library. There were lots of tourists taking pictures. This library even has 2 copies of the Gutenberg Bible, which are apparently very rare to come by! The coolest part of this library is that the exterior is made of a special material that does not allow UV rays to enter so the books can be kept in pristine condition!

The coolest library I have ever seen!

Gutenberg Bible

The cool exterior


One of my absolute favorite movies in the entire world is The Princess Bride. I don’t remember when I watched it for the first time, but I’ve watched it probably a dozen times since then and I still love it. Little did I know, the movie is based on a book! I’m not sure why this surprised me so much!

The Princess Bride by William Goldman is a bit different from the movie, but nonetheless a great read. For once, I actually enjoyed the movie more than the book! This is a rare occurrence. In the movie, a grandfather is reading a book (the movie) to a young boy. The book is not like this at all. In fact, it’s more like a manuscript with which the author explains to you why parts of the original book are no longer included because the original goes on and on and on about the history of the two cities that hate each other so much. Buttercup and Westley are pawns in the feud between the two sides. This is true in the movie as well, I suppose. It’s perhaps also because I’ve seen the movie so many times that throughout the book, whenever it included a part not in the movie, I had a hard time imagining the scene. What a fail I was in reading this book! If only I had read it first then seen the movie!

The Year of the Flood is the second book in Margaret Atwood’s trilogy that started with Oryx and Crake. The interesting thing about Oryx and Crake and The Year of the Flood is that the two books are actually happening simultaneously. From what I understand, the two story lines (which are already somewhat connected( become one and the same in the last book: MaddAddam.

Most of this book is told in flashback (similar to Oryx and Crake). At first, it’s difficult to know what kind of situation the two main characters: Toby and Ren, are in, but soon you realize that it is much later. The dystopian society that Atwood has created is already at a horrible state (as it was in the first book), but the reader learns about the God’s Gardeners religious group. They certainly are a strange group, but when an entire society is falling apart and practically resorting to cannibalism, can you really blame them? At least they value the Earth, education, and community. At the story goes on, you realize more and more of the connections between the God’s Gardeners and the characters in the first book. I wonder how they will come together in the last book!

[good reads] mockingjay

June 10, 2018

I have finally finished the last game of The Hunger Games series. After reading The Hunger Games and Catching Fire, I picked up Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins right away. If you haven’t seen the movies or read the books, beware that this post includes spoilers. This book starts at Katniss realizes that she is in District 13, which everyone had thought had been destroyed. In fact, the survivors of District 13 and their allies essentially moved their entire society underground. Katniss is convinced, or perhaps forced, to become a leader rebel being used by the leader of District 13 to rally the people of all the other Districts for the cause.

Peeta wasn’t one of the survivors of the Quarter Quell (book 2 games) that District 13 had rescued, however, and much of this book also deals with Peeta, his eventual rescue, and the realization of just how scary and powerful the Capitol really is. Eventually, this leads to full-fledged rebellious acts in almost all the Districts. Katniss and her crew are dropped into the Capitol itself. They find an important ally to help them. Of course you know there’s a happy ending to this trilogy – it’s a young adult novel – complete with a epilogue about who Katniss ends up with and everything!

After reading The Hunger Games, I knew I had to finish the trilogy. Next came Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Being that all of these books are easy reads, it didn’t take me long to pick up and then put back down (because I was done) with this second book. This second book continues the saga of Katniss and Peeta who have returned home to District 12 from the Hunger Games that they just won. Now, it’s time to go a Victors Tour, during which they realize that a rebellion seems to be starting, particularly in Districts that have been treated the worst. The Capitol is ever in charge though because they put such a twist on the 75th Hunger Games that both Katniss and Peeta end up back in the arena for the second time in two years! The rest of the book reads as the 75th Hunger Games plays out. The twists are crazy and the end is just too good to give away here, but there’s clearly all kinds of rebelious things brewing as this second book ends ends and the last and final book of the trilogy begins! Oh the mind games that the Capitol feeds off of!