27 Books for Fall and Counting

Summer finals are going on right now and Fall Semester starts in 20 days. Which is ridiculous. How can the Summer be over so fast?

For those of you who endeavored through and took classes during the summer, I am so impressed and I sincerely wish you straight A's on all your finals. You deserve it for taking the risk and studying through the entire year. For those of you, like me, who decided to take a break, I'm just giving you a three-week heads-up. We have to go back to class again in a few weeks. So, brace yourselves, class is coming.

This dawned on me a few days ago and being the proactive book buyer that I am, I may have already ordered my books for next semester. Since I was a brave soul and decided to be an English major, I managed to trap myself into a semester full of reading. Taking English classes leaves you with a lot of books, specifically over 27. Only a couple of my professor have put up their lists for Fall Semester and I ordered most of them but not all of them and it still leaves me with a pile of at least 27 novels to read this coming semester. Unfortunately, there are more to come and I'm still waiting on a couple of other professors to update the list. I'll post a picture in the comments when I finally have them all.

Since I've found myself in the predicament of sporting an unruly tower of books against my wall, I thought I would highlight some of the options that the BYU Store has for textbooks and such.

Textbook Sell-Back

Books are eligible for sell-back if they are in good working condition and if a professor has put that book on their list. Other than that, you can pretty much sell-back any book even if you didn't initially buy it at the BYU Store. However, there is only so much stock the BYU Store can buy back, so you will want to bring your books in as soon as possible. A more detailed list of terms and conditions is available here.

The Book Exchange

The Book Exchange is a little different but pretty self-explanatory. It is simply an alternative method for buying and selling textbooks. It's an opportunity to sell your used textbooks to other students and then buy the ones that you need directly from other students. You can access the Book Exchange here.

Order your Fall Textbooks Online

Preparing for coming back to school is daunting so we're trying to make it as easy as we can. You can order your Fall textbooks online if you go to My Booklist and then just pick them up in store. And I love the way they've set this up because they not only list the BYU Store prices but also list other online vendors' prices so you can compare and contrast.

The Lunar Chronicles - Marissa Meyer


Recently, in approximately the last ten years or so the market for Young Adult fiction has exploded. However, with this explosion comes the inevitable money seeking authors, or authors who aren't necessarily writing solely for the money but might have only made a deal because the subject of their novel fit the bill, so to speak. Hundreds and hundreds of YA novels have been and are still being released every year and sometimes it's easy to get lost and miss out on the really exceptional ones.

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer, I would argue is one of those exceptional ones. I must reveal my faults and admit that I judged this one by its cover. I saw it and was disinterested by the fact that it was a fairytale retelling done with a post-apocalyptic twist. In my mind both fairytale retellings and post-apocalyptic novels were overdone. So, I avoided it.

However, my avoidance was not to be. All of my roommates read it and I still managed to avoid even reading the blurb but eventually it got to me. One of my good friends needed me to babysit her books while she went away on a study abroad. Cinder was in the pile. So, finally I gave in and read it.

I think I may have finally learnt my lesson to never judge a book by its cover or by the literary stereotypes. Cinder is indeed a retelling of the Cinderella fairytale but it doesn't unfold in the way you would expect it to. Marissa Meyer has done an excellent job in re-writing the tale while introducing heavier conflict and higher stakes than the typical fairytale love story. The protagonist, Cinder, is a cyborg and with that comes a sort of racial prejudice against her. The novel is about Cinder's persistent struggle with this prejudice while accidentally getting caught up in the much deeper-rooted politics between the Earthens and the Lunars. Meyer is a talented writer and manages to continue the story through the next two books without losing any of the novel's initial charm.

In the last blog post I wrote, I encouraged us to read something other than YA. However, this is one of the best Young Adult novels I have read in a long time and I encourage you to give it a shot.

Reading Something Other Than YA


Young Adult fiction is overtaking the industry. If I could be so bold, I might say that YA is our literary movement. There are just so many that it takes a very dedicated bookworm to keep up with them all. I, myself, am no where near that level of commitment.

However, looking back on this blog, I realize that I talk a lot about fiction, especially Young Adult fiction. Which is great. YA is awesome. However, as Joyce Carol Oates said, "Fiction is wonderful, but it's only one room in the mansion of literature." And this understanding of literature can also be applied to YA. Sometimes I get so caught up in the easy fiction of the Young Adult genre that I forget about the significance and power of other genres.

We have hundreds and hundreds of years of history each with their own take on literature. I would know, and other English majors would know, because of the abundance of literary history classes that we have to take.

As big of a reader as I pretend to be, I try really hard to read in other genres as well. In all honesty, you just can't claim the title of bookworm unless you really do worm through all the genres.

That being said, yesterday was the centennial anniversary of the publication of James Joyce's Dubliners collection. If you haven't read these yet, I highly recommend it.

If you need more persuasion, The New York Times published a short article honoring the anniversary and you can read it here.

When You're Trying to Read...

This might be something that only professional booknerds will experience on a regular basis but if you've ever been so hooked on a book that you just, literally, can't put it down then you'll probably understand as well.

<-- Voila.
The unfortunate dilemma of binge reading.

There's nothing quite like curling up in bed or in the corner of your couch with your nose in a novel. The rain drumming against your window or the softer snow muting the distracting noises. But then, you read for, what amateurs would say is, too long. And soon, your bed is no longer comfortable. Your body is numb.

And your eyes begin to hurt because of inadequate lighting and you start thinking, 'I should get out of bed and do something with my life.'

Fortunately, I count reading as being productive (even if you're using it to procrastinate homework). It's just the staying in bed all day that makes you feel so groggy. Unfortunately, Provo is notorious for its hormonal weather, especially in the Fall, Winter, and Spring seasons that all sort of blend together into one long Winter.

This is my first summer staying in Provo. So, I have high hopes. And happily, it's finally warm enough to read outside. On campus, we have some pretty amazing nooks and crannies that you can hide in and sit in the shade and read. Or if you need to get out of the BYU bubble, there are a lot of nice parks around town that provide ample room to read with the fresh, warmer, air of Summer.

Diagnosed as a Closet Fantasy Fan

If there were such a diagnosis, I could probably be identified as a closet fantasy fan. No, I don’t mean Harry Potter. There are no judgments placed upon the HP fans that make up 95% of the population. J.R.R Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings series and The Hobbit are also exempt due to a mainstream fan-ship. However, once the reader ventures into Tolkien’s expansive works, such as The Silmarillion, new labels are frequented more and more, “nerd” and “geek” being the most common. I, myself, have often avoided the self-termed “heavy” fantasy and elongated sagas. Yet, Brandon Sanderson has breached my attempts to eschew the genre. Indeed, after reading Elantris and The Mistborn Trilogy, I have been magnificently drawn into his Stormlight Archive, including The Way of Kings and newly released Words of Radiance.

Admittedly, the Stormlight Archive is, or is to be, lengthy, to say the least, but Sanderson has shown his ability to provide just enough crumbs to keep the reader searching, but also withhold enough of the story to prevent any indulging. Frustrating? Sure. Artistic? I suppose. Working? Yes.
With the emergence of Sanderson, I have come out of the metaphorical “fantasy closet.” I read really long books full of magic, mystery, adventure, and intrigue. Additionally, I plan on reading eight more 1,000 page novels in order to tie all the strings together, but that is what we Fantasy lovers do. We read and we don’t care.
Do yourself a favor and discover the brilliance in Brandon Sanderson’s storytelling by reading one of his nationally acclaimed books during your excess time this summer.

- Luke

The House of the Scorpion - Nancy Farmer

In all honesty, I picked up this one because of the abundance of shiny stickers on the front cover. I did the same thing as a little kid and thought that I just had an impeccable taste in books; it took me a little while before I realized that I was just reading all the books that had been granted awards. Still, I am a sucker for shiny stickers. This probably isn't the best way to go about picking the next book you're going to read but in all honesty, it can't hurt.

The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer, is a post-apocalyptic YA novel about a clone named Matteo Alacran. And not just any clone but the clone of El Patron, the most powerful and influential drug lord who rules the empire of Opium, a country situated between Mexico (now Aztlan) and the United States. Matteo stands out in that he is the only clone whose mind is not destroyed when he was initially harvested.

I know, it seems as if the post-apocalyptic genre is worn out and overdone but this book didn't win all these awards for no reason. So give it a shot, and read it because of the shiny stickers.

What Should I Read Next?

You know that feeling when you've just read a really long series, or a really good stand alone, and you are so caught up in that world of writing that you just have no idea what to do with your life? This happens to me way too often. And either one of three things happens:

  1. I want something similar to read. Something that keeps me in the same sort of mindset.
  2. OR I get really antsy to try something new and want to read something on an entirely different plane of thought.
  3. OR I don't read; which is bad.

And as insignificant as it may be, it is always a difficult choice to make. What should I read next? And the whole time your considering options, you are totally ignoring the list of to-read books you have hidden somewhere. Those are the books that you do want to read eventually but try as you might, you're just not in the mood for any of those that you've previously picked out.

Well, I have a couple of solutions for you.

  • If you're in the mood for something similar as the book you just finished, there is this great website that is literally called whatshouldireadnext.com. All you have to do is type in the name of an author or a book and it gives you a inexhaustible list of books to read.
  • Another option, is to force yourself to sit down and read those books that you have on your shelf but just haven't read yet. I'm always initially apprehensive to do this myself, but as soon as I do, I get lost in the writing and voila, problem solved.
  • If you try all this options and still no luck, well, I have this nifty and obnoxiously long infographic for you here. And one slightly less obnoxiously long one here:

Short Stories a Plenty


It seems that we have found ourselves in a literary period focused very heavily on Young Adult fiction; not only in the publishing industry but also the film industry. This is particularly evident in Utah where the trend is thriving. It would be easy to argue that this primarily because of the manner in which the genre transcends generations, which is a valid argument. However, there are other, equally poignant, genres out there.

Looking back on this blog, I realized that I've written quite a few posts around Young Adult fiction lately and I just wanted to clarify and stake my claim that believe it or not, I don't only read YA novels.

One genre that I am particularly fond of, is that of the short stories. School, church, work, and frankly, life, often get in the way of my reading and I endeavor to make up for this by binge reading which normally kills my grades. It took me a while to discover how I could remedy this but when I did, it was through the short story. Reading a short story is non-committal. They last long enough to get my reading fix but are also short enough that they don't distract me (too much). And thus, I discovered how to balance my reading addiction and my grades by keeping a thick collection of short stories in my bag, especially during the busier parts of the semester. With this, it is easy to sit down in ten or fifteen minutes and simply read one of them.

I wanted to focus today on a collection of short stories that can be read either separately or as an entire novel. The collection, Girl in Hyacinth Blue, by Susan Vreeland, is a piece of historical fiction that starts off set in the present time telling the tale of a quiet math professor who invites one of his colleagues, an art professor, to come gaze upon a painting that he insists is a Vermeer. As each short story follows, they connect as an entirety to tell the tale of this one painting as it survived long past it's viewers and their individual wars.

By seeing how each character regards the painting, Vreeland creates a collection that comments on the power of beauty and why some of it lasts and some of it doesn't while simultaneously providing a powerful insight to the motives behind truth and lies.

This work of historical fiction is an easy and enjoyable way to get into the habit of reading short stories in one's spare time. Find it here. More short stories to come!

Celebrate Children's Book Week by Reading to Your Bunny!

It is National Children's Book Week and what a better way to celebrate than having a Pajamarama! Parents and children were invited to wear their pajamas and bed hair into the byustore for storytime with our employees. It was great! (even the cashiers got in on it).

This was our third annual Pajamarama and this year we took inspiration from Rosemary Wells' picture book, Read to Your Bunny. Wells is most well known for her incredible Max and Ruby bunny series with beautiful illustrations as she tells the adventures of these two little bunnies. Read to Your Bunny isn't directly related to this series but contains the same wonderful art and story telling unique to Rosemary Wells.

Read to your bunny is an invitation to the world of readinga poem your child will want to hear again and again. Make it a prelude to reading with your own little bunnies every dayand soon they'll be reading back to you.

As a part of National Children's Week we would like to challenge you to read to your bunny for 20 minutes a day for 20 days to receive 20% off one children's book! Make sure you get the calendar in store or right here.
*and tag us, on Instagram any time between now and the end of May, in a picture of you reading to your bunny for a chance to win a free movie rental!





Never Judge a Book by its Movie

You've heard the phrase to never judge a book by its cover but what about its movie? An incredible amount of films being released at the moment are based on novels, specifically Young Adult novels. And being students with a multitude of ways to distribute our time, it is easy to fall into the habit of simply watching the movie instead of taking the time to actually read the book.

Watching the movie first vs. reading the book first:
First up, we need to admit that both options each have their pros and cons. Most people would argue that it's better to read the book first and for the most part I agree with them. Reading the book gives you a much wider insight to the characterization and a deeper understanding of the message that the author is trying to convey. And while there are many books that are considered better than the movie, there are also the lucky few films that could be argued to be better than the book but I won't name names in fear of angering passionate book nerds everywhere.

The dilemma is that the market for Young Adult novels is expanding rapidly at the moment and the genre reaches a wide range of people so they just keep getting written. Thus, it's a given that at least a few of them would be made into films as well. And with that option, it's often easier to wait until the film is released instead of reading the book. Let me share a couple of personal experiences...


A Comparison: Divergent and The Fault in Our Stars
Some of you may have had a similar experience, depending on how much YA you personally read but at the time that Divergent, by Veronica Roth, was released there had been so much Young Adult post-apocalyptic content swimming through the literary world that I was feeling a little overwhelmed and avoided YA for a while. When the movie came out, my roommate (who had actually read it) wanted to go see it and at first I resisted because I feared that the movie wouldn't live up to my expectations, kind of like the film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer's The Host. A book that I liked and a film that I didn't. However, I succumbed and went to see it with her and I loved it. I'm no film critic but I liked this film so much so that I went out and bought my own copy of Divergent so I could read it.

With John Green's The Fault in Our Stars, the story is a little different. John Green's style of writing had diverged from the post-apocalyptic trend and was written to convey a setting that was a lot more realistic and probable. I was drawn to his novels a lot faster than I was drawn to others in the genre. As a causation of this, I have read all his novels. The Fault in Our Stars being the most recent one, which, I might argue to be his best piece of work. The film has yet to be released and is currently in the works but it's an excellent YA novel with a very large and loyal following; and I sincerely hope that the film industry does it justice.

Results:
Reading Divergent took a lot longer than I anticipated because I already knew the story-line since I had seen the film. I had had the same experience with City of Bones, by Cassandra Clare. Watching the film first made it more difficult to lose myself in the novel and I often found myself thinking things like, 'that's new,' and 'eh, I think I liked that part better in the film.' Whereas, reading The Fault in Our Stars was a much faster read and I felt like I got more depth out of it since I was imagining the story for the first time.

This dilemma of an expanding Young Adult genre in literature, and in film, isn't necessarily one that needs solving but only that we need to acknowledge. When the rights to a book are sold to a film company, that film company has every legal right to do whatever they want with it, even changing it drastically. That power can go in either direction and sometimes the film isn't a good example of what the book was. I recommend reading the book before you see the film (one reason why I haven't seen The Book Theif yet!) but that being said if I had of stuck by that I would have missed out on reading a couple of really good books in my time. However, I worry that too many people are just waiting for the film, and if the film doesn't represent the author's work accurately then the habit is to avoid said book. Movies don't always represent the book well. So, heed the slightly tweaked version of the old adage; never judge a book by its movie.


Summer reading challenge:
Read all the recent books that have been made into movies!

Buy Divergent here and The Fault in Our Stars here, or simply where the title of the novel is highlighted in the text!



Allanah Osborn is an avid reader with a bookshelf that costs way too much money to move from one apartment to the next. She is currently a byustore employee and writes regularly for the Y Read Blog.

Author Signing - Stephanie Nielson


May 1st @ 1.00pm

The byustore is extremely lucky to have Stephanie Nielson coming in to do a signing of her memoir, Heaven Is Here, May 1st at 1pm.

Stephanie Nielson began her career as a blogger and gained quite the following with her blog NieNie Dialogues about her life as a young wife and mother.

In 2008, Stephanie and her husband, Christian, were involved in a plane accident that left both of them with burns and Stephanie in a coma. In her memoir she recounts the trauma with excruciating detail and the physical and emotional growing that followed. It's a beautiful memoir telling of her resilience and her wonderful humor that never skipped a beat as she recovered physically and grew spiritually.

11.00am
In the Wilkinson Student Center Ballroom, Stephanie Nielson will be speaking on Social Media: "New Ways to Invite Others to 'Come and See'"

12.00pm
Immediately afterwards she will be making an appearance in the byustore to sign your books. We have the hardback and the soft cover available.

busy week at the byustore

You may have heard, or may not have depending on how much you've burrowed out of your study hole in the last couple of weeks, but the BYU Bookstore has officially become the byustore. In an effort to rebrand, reach out, and reboot. It is our goal and our hope to recreate what the byustore is and how it interacts with BYU students, alumni, and everyone else. My personal favorite new goal for the byustore is that we will be sponsoring more fun events at the store to make it an exciting place to shop and to visit. As a writer for this blog, I would be more than happy to read any of your contributions and suggestions on how to make the byustore a more exciting place to visit. I love brainstorming! However, please note that I don't have nearly as much power as I might like.


Finals Are Fast Approaching and All I Want to do is Read A Novel: Some Tips on Staying on Track


How is it that finals are sneaking up on us and the school year is almost done already? Sometimes the weeks seem to go brutally slow but then all of sudden you're handing in final papers and filling out flashcards. For some reason while I was growing up I assumed that we spent a good chunk of our lives at college but older me has now fully realised how fast it actually goes. I didn't even know it was possible to learn so much in such little time. I didn't even know it was possible to feel this wiped out and honestly I'm ready to lie in bed all day watching movies and reading novels.

Since I needed motivation myself, I thought it might be a good idea to outline some helpful study tips and procrastination avoiders. Since being here I've stumbled across some pretty great (and definitely free) tools and if I'm being completely honest, I may have googled some of these to add more content to this post.

  • Go to Quizlet.com, don't ask questions just go there. Save paper and enter your flashcards into this website and then play all the games! I speak from personal experience when I say that this increased my grade a good 20% from midterm to the other. It turns out my old way of studying wasn't as prime as I had thought it was.
  • I don't want to encourage you to use Sparknotes but if you are an English major or any major with a ton of reading, this is a great website to use as a way to review what you've already read.
  • If you still haven't figured out how to schedule very well then Schooltraq is ridiculously helpful! It is literally just an online planner that will help you remember everything you need to do and the importance in which you need to do them! Plus it includes a calendar and you can access it from your phone to.
  • If you just need a simple to-do list the Wunderlist app is great!
  • For all last minute papers: easybib.com is the place to go. If you haven't discovered this one already, you're missing out. It makes creating a bibliography simply a manner of minutes.
  • For those with Apple software, be adventurous and try the SelfControl app. It will help you block out distracting websites and applications for a set time and there is literally nothing you can do to get around it.

While I think any of the above mentioned sites and applications will help organise the chaos that comes with the end of semestre, I also want to emphasize the importance of taking time to yourself. Taking a time out is just as important for your brain as sleeping, and eating, and breathing. Remember to do something fun that's different every now and then. Even if that is using your free time reading as motivation to get a certain amount of studying done or simply calling up a friend who you know can make you laugh. Laughing is healthy. Just don't burst out laughing in the middle of a final because people might slowly inch their desks away from yours. Also keep in mind that finals are right around Easter weekend. Don't let your finals distract you from the importance of that either.

One last thing, don't forget to keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel. Believe it or not, finals only last for a week. To keep you motivated and focused on this idea maybe use your free time to plan out some of your summer. Spend some time writing out a reading list and since I mentioned reading, let me just throw in that the books you read and hated in high school, you should read those again. Believe it or not but reading the classics as a little bit older and wiser really changes your perspective. Just don't spend too much time planning things out. Don't get the wrong idea and think I'm giving you excuses to procrastinate even though I really am.




Allanah Osborn is an avid reader with a bookshelf that costs way too much money to move from one apartment to the next. She is currently a BYU Bookstore employee and writes regularly for the Y Read Blog.

READ LOCAL

I love seeing local authors do well. Even more I love connecting with books that have been written by local authors. At the BYU Bookstore when I say "local read," I am laying claim to:
  • Utah authors and illustrators
  • LDS authors and illustrators as well as
  • BYU alumni that are authors and illustrators

They are all of particular interest here.

Two locals who qualify in more than one of those areas are both Brandons – Brandon Mull and Brandon Sanderson. Both men have the loyalty of the BYU Bookstore. We recommend their books highly and with good success. The success I claim is more important than money; it is customer satisfaction. I theorize that writers who write first because they love to, and then to earn their way, tell a better story. Brandon Mull and Brandon Sanderson are authors who write because they love to. The stories they tell are loved in turn by their readers. They both have multiple new titles worth looking at.

Brandon Mull's Sky Raiders launched March 11. Sixth grader, Cole goes into what he thinks is a haunted house and ends up in the "Outskirts" involved with the Sky Raiders and the problem of how to get himself and his friends home. Don't let the sixth grade age limit your interest. I was thoroughly entertained by this book. It is book 1 of the new Five Kingdoms series. Spirit Animals is a new multiple author series and book 1 is written by Brandon Mull. Wild Born debuted September 2013. Brandon has done a great job of launching the story and the line-up of authors for the rest of the series is stellar. Brandon Mull creates worlds that we jump to believe in.

Brandon Sanderson writes books for young and old with ease. His fans love the books without regard to the target age. He loves to write and he loves his readers. It is a wonderful formula for success. Words of Radiance, book 2 of his Stormlight series launched at a midnight party hosted by BYU Bookstore this month, selling well over 700 books. His recent Young Adult books, Rithmatist and Steelheart are big favorites. I have confessed to a case of fantasy fatigue before I started Rithmatist. I picked it up out of loyalty to Brandon but admittedly in the mood for realism not fantasy. Even with that negative start, he had me enthralled before page 5. A sure cure for fantasy fatigue is well-written fantasy. Steelheart delivers intense action and fast-paced super-hero plotting.

These authors aren't just running with best sellers. They lead the pack.

- Anita



Anita is the Children's Book buyer for the BYU Bookstore and has worked at the BYU Bookstore for over ten years! Anita spreads her love of reading within our Children's Books department and with many local events.

My Name is Asher Lev - Chaim Potok

I have to say that My Name is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok, is one of the best contemporary novels I have ever read. I don't know what I can say to encourage you to read this one other than the fact that I am normally really picky with my novels and very few of them make it onto my "great" list.

I was required to read this novel for my creative writing class in my first year here at BYU. I had never heard of the book before, nor the author, and my professor was an interesting character so I was a little hesitant to dive straight into reading this one at first.

However, after purchasing My Name is Asher Lev, I had left it on my desk and my roommate saw it. She quickly exclaimed that it was one of the best books she had ever read. So, a little curious, I began to read it.

My Name is Asher Lev is about a young Jewish boy who grows up to become an artist. In this beautifully written novel the author, Chaim Potok, illustrates the internal struggle Asher Lev faces in trying to balance his love for his religion and his love for art. Eventually his obsession with the creative world distances him from his home, his culture, and his family.

Since I am a huge nerd for all things literature and art, I fell in love with Potok's novel quickly. He beautifully explains the clash between cultures, and the struggle of doing what you love versus becoming who your parents expect you to be.

I rarely make this claim but Chaim Potok has woven in a love of writing and a love of stories so incredibly well that My Name is Asher Lev is definitely well worth your time.

Author Signing - Brandon Sanderson

March 3 @ 10.00pm
We have the man himself coming to the BYU Bookstore next Monday. Brandon Sanderson will be visiting the BYU Bookstore for the release of his new novel, Words of Radiance, book two in The Stormlight Archive.

Prepayment is required to reserve a signed copy of the book so please order your copy online at www.byubookstore.com and select "Service Desk Pick-Up, 3rd Floor" in order to get it at the midnight release party.

The schedule is as follows; but please feel free to go to his personal website for more details.

7:00am
Instead of waiting in the cold, this year the BYU Bookstore will be handing out numbered wristbands which will be distributed according to the order in which fans show up to wait in line outside the North West entrance to the BYU Bookstore. You must show proof of payment to receive a wristband. Then you are free to leave until the store reopens for the book release party.

10:00pm
The BYU Bookstore will reopen at 10:00pm to host the book release party. Even if you forgot to pre-order a signed book, come anyway. It's a great way to spend family home evening. Bring your friends/roommates/family/pet rock. In addition, there will be prizes to be won throughout the evening.


10:45pm
Around 10.45pm Brandon Sanderson will hold a reading and Q&A

11.45pm
At 11.45pm guests will be asked to begin lining up in numerical order, according to their pre-received wristbands, in preparation for the distribution of books at midnight. Once guests have picked up their book they are free to leave or get into a separate line to have their books personalized by Brandon Sanderson.

12.00am
People will begin to receive their signed copies of Words of Radiance.

If you received a numbered wristband and do not pick up your book by 1.00am your numbered book will be given to someone else. If you show up after this point to pick up your book you will be given a different number or a refund.

1.00am
Cash registers will close at 1.00am. All purchases must be made by this time.

Is there any better way to spend your Monday evening than this? It's going to be a late night but it's definitely going to be worth it. So, come, get your book, party with us for a little bit and then go home to stay up all night reading.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne

If you're anything like me and must guiltily admit that you watched the film before you read the book then you will probably be surprised at how thin this book is when you initially pick it up.

Having seen the film and heard much about the book I was eager to read it. However, I didn't realise that it was intended for younger audiences until I actually opened it and began reading. This being said, do not be deterred by the size of the book nor the reading level it was written for.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, by John Boyne, is written from the perspective of a young German boy growing up in Nazi Germany. This young boy, Bruno, is taken from his family home and moved because of his father's job. Bruno hates his new home and tries desperately to convince his father to take the family back to Berlin. After this fails he resigns to exploring the nearby woods to entertain himself. In this exploring he stumbles across a tall fence with a little boy in striped pajamas sitting on the other side. The two boys soon become great friends.

Although it is written for and intended to be read by younger audiences, I daresay that an older reader would understand the depth it's written at and consequently get much more out of the novel. It is well worth taking the time to read.

YRead? Education through Procrastination

For those of you who Pinterest you may have seen this short poem floating around;



As the winter semester continues and the cold drags on annoyingly, I am able to relate to this short poem more and more with every coming day. It would be so nice to just sit down and forget everything and simply rest and read. The bad news is that finding time can sometimes be difficult especially when you're trying to balance school, work, church, and a social life. The idea of finding more time can be daunting and sometimes you just want to lay down and numb your brain with television or ice cream.

The good news is that is is President's Day this coming Monday and for us students that means: long weekend! Which, let's be honest, long weekends are pretty great; mainly because you can sleep in on Monday morning and that is one of the best feelings, unless you have work, in which case I applaud you. However, It's even better when you realize that you can stay in bed with a book and you don't really feel the need to hurry and get dressed. Long weekends were designed for you to take your time and amble through the day. You may have homework you need to catch up on but what's the rush?

This is the truly great thing about reading. You can read to procrastinate writing that essay but you are still in a sense being productive and enlightening your mind. So, whatever it is you plan to do or plan not to do this long weekend make sure you pick up a fun book and sharpen your mind without dulling your senses. Set aside some time to just sit with yourself and read. And feel free to tell us about it.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer

There are some books that are written to be read and then there are some that are written to viewed as well. When I sat on my couch to read Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close I was reprimanded by one of my good friends (who had read the novel before) who told me I wasn't allowed to look at the pictures before I read the book. We "debated" this for a  while before I told him to leave me alone and to let me read my book.

I won't tell you who won that debate but both of us had equally applicable arguments. One of them being that the most exciting thing about this novel is how it is written. If you are not the kind of person who normally enjoys reading, try this one. Especially if you are a visual person. Foer wrote this novel not only to be read but to be looked at. Whether you look at it before or while you are reading the novel is irrelevant. The writing is interactive; so much so that it grabs your attention and involves you in the events that take place in a way that makes the book extremely moving to read.

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close is a novel about a young boy, Oskar Schell, who embarks on a journey through New York City in search of meaning behind a key that he finds in an envelope at the bottom of a vase hidden in his father's closet. For Oskar, the journey is a way for him to connect with his father who passed away in the 9/11 incident.

Foer, through this novel, provides an understanding perspective on the effects of post traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression, and leaves the reader with a little more understanding of what those can really mean.

Foer has a way of involving readers in the trauma that this particular family has been through but he also involves you in their healing process and the results of that process. Oskar, himself, is such an endearing child that it's hard to reach the end of the novel and not feel emotionally tied to him and this is where Foer succeeds. He succeeds in drawing readers into the story, connecting them with the characters and in portraying his message across. That message being, evident in the abundance of symbols and motifs that pop up, that it is important to tell those you love that you love them.

The physical journey that Oskar goes on parallels with the emotional journey that his entire family are travelling on. And as the reader discovers the truth, with Oskar, they are also drawn to this family who are growing closer to one another as they learn from their lives and the people in them.

In the simplest terms, it is a love story.

- Allanah Osborn


Allanah Osborn is an obsessive reader who works for marketing in the BYU Bookstore.
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