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.