I've been reading all kinds of different things since I bought my Nook a few weeks ago. One reason I decided to buy an E-Reader in general, and the Nook in particular, was so that I could check out digital library books. My library has an E-Book collection that is a little bit different than their paper book collection, and the E-Books are definitely organized in a different way. For these reasons, in addition to the fact that you can check books out late at night, I've found myself reading some things I don't usually read. Case in point: Last week I finished 2 John Grisham books!
1. Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer:
I first became familiar with John Grisham's work when I was probably in middle school. For most of my childhood, my family took driving trips each summer to visit relatives in Kansas or Missouri (or both!) and usually checked out a book on tape - later CD - from the library to listen to during those long trips. I still remember like it was yesterday listening to the Runaway Jury, which was a story about the death of a smoker from lung cancer and the resulting lawsuit. It was a heavy subject for a person my age!
It seems that now John Grisham is reaching out to his younger demographic. This book is the first in a series of young adult novels about Theodore Boone, an 8th grader with two lawyers for parents who spends his days hanging around the court house and his parents' law firm, helping his classmates with their problems and learning whatever he can.
I didn't totally understand this book would be written for young adults before checking it out. I'm glad I didn't! I enjoyed this book a great deal! It was interesting to see a real, defined story told with a moderate amount of character development in only about 150 pages. I always enjoy reading young adult books because they make me feel smart, since they move a little more quickly than the stuff I'm used to reading.
My very favorite aspect of this book was the author's not-so-subtle attempt to educate the reader about the workings of the American justice system. I thought it was pretty obvious that the goal was to teach the reader, though all of these interesting little factoids (right to remain silent! jury of your peers!) were woven very neatly into the story. While I know that To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic that informs some of our cultural views about racial issues and the administration of justice, I almost with this book could be required reading first!
2. The Associate
I recently went on vacation with my family again. While we didn't go on a mega-road trip across the Midwest, I still checked out a book on CD for us to listen to. The total round trip between my parents' house and Duluth is maybe 6 hours, which is definitely not enough to listen to an entire audiobook! The book I picked was The Associate and we were barely halfway through when we got back to the Twin Cities. So, I quickly got on the list and got it checked out from the library!
This book was totally captivating and I would highly recommend it. After being blackmailed with evidence of a past wrong, Kyle McAvoy is convinced to join a mega law firm and serve as a spy against one of the firm's own clients. I don't remember Grisham's work being so focused on spying and spy technique, but those themes are on constant repeat throughout this book. Most significantly, our hero, Kyle McAvoy who is a law school grad in his mid-twenties spends a lot of time trying to figure out what his surveillance is doing, how they are managing to watch him, and how to avoid detection. It definitely makes you wonder how what sorts of things you might do if you believed you were being watched. As with all of Grisham's work, the real interesting part is the plot so I'll spare you any more details lest I ruin the fun. I'll close by saying this book drew me in almost right away and was a quick read, though it did take more time than Theodore Boone. I'd highly recommend it!
P.S. I know the pictures in this post are totally weird. I figured it would be boring to always look at pictures of a dark grey cover against a light grey screen, which is the best I can do on the e-reader. I decided to do some experimenting with the special effects available in Picasa. Today's feature is Neon!