Monday, June 3, 2013

What Are You Reading?

When was the last time you asked someone, "What are you reading?" Will Schwalbe, author of The End of Your Life Book Club thinks it's time we start asking this question again. It was a question that inspired an exchange that evolved into his best selling work when he asked it of his mother while accompanying her to her chemotherapy treatment. From that question, and the discussion that spurred, he and his mother began a two person book club that read over one hundred books together before she passed away.

At the BEA Bloggers Conference, Will Schwalbe described his book tour for The End of Your Life Book Club as a crusade.  He said that we ask each other a ton of questions like "How did you sleep?" "Did you just cut in front of me on line?" and "Are you going to eat that?", but he wants us to start asking one other question a lot more often: WHAT ARE YOU READING? He wants everybody to ask everyone all the time. He told us  the following anecdote from his book tour to demonstrate the power of the question:
One of the best messages I received from my book was from a woman I met who was a grandmother... who lived in Florida... and her grandson did not. And she described to me the following exchange:
She said that when she called her grandson she would say, "What are you doing?" and he would say, "Nothing." She'd ask, "What are you watching?" he'd say, "Television." If she asked, "What did you eat?" he'd say, "Dinner." And when she asked, "Where are going?" he said, "Out."
So she decided one day to ask him, "What are you reading?" There was a pause, and he said, "The Hunger Games." So what she did was that she went to her local bookseller and she bought The Hunger Games and the next time they spoke on the phone, they talked about The Hunger Games. And they were no longer a grandmother and a grandson, they were two readers embarked on a journey... She said that one simple question, "What are you reading?" transformed her relationship with her grandson. (Will Schwalbe, BEA Bloggers Conference May 29, 2013)
I must admit, when Will told this story last Wednesday, I actually teared up. I believe in the unifying nature of reading. I believe that is what made the Twilight series so incredibly powerful - not just the story, but also the ability to be "on the same page" (so to speak) with so many other people. While the same might be said for shared conversations about television shows, or blockbuster movies, there is something much deeper and more intimate about the conversations we can have surrounding books.

With that said, I'd like to join Will's crusade. I am asking you today: WHAT ARE YOU READING? And, in an attempt to get this conversation started, I will answer it as well.

What I Am Reading
While I am currently buried in books (thank you BEA!) and I have started a number of them, there is one that I am focused on finishing first. It's Rush by Eve Silver which will be released on June 11th. Rush is a YA novel with wide appeal for both boys and girls.

The protagonist, Miki is an Asian American teen dealing with the death of her mother before she is thrust into a scifi parallel-type universe of her own. She is tasked, along with a team of other teens "pulled" out of their real lives, with battling a creepy alien race known as the Drau. As Miki gets thrust in between her ordinary real life world and her action-packed mysterious alter-life, I am fully engaged. In her real life she and her father battle with the realities set in by grief and she and her friends talk about boys, crushes and the hot new guy in school. When she gets "pulled" out of her real life there is no time to worry about any of that! She is fighting for very survival, while trying to figure a way out.

This book has been so much fun so far. It is a real page turner and I can't seem to stop talking about it. I'm still just as confused as Miki about what is happening to her right now, but that is so much of the fun. Pair that with the tension of what seems like a YA requirement: a love triangle, and  I am set. I look forward to hearing what other people think about this book when it comes out next week, but in the meantime I am just enjoying the ride myself!

What are YOU reading?


  1. I am reading "Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn. Unfortunately life got in the way, and now I'm not sure if I'll be able to finish it before I have to return it to the library. It's a rush to find out if I get to learn what happens before the deadline!

  2. Lisa Buie-CollardJune 5, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    The only thing I don't mind about paying late fees at the library is knowing it is going to a good cause! Sometimes I keep books longer just to pay a "donation"...

  3. Ahh! I wanted to read "Gone Girl' with a local book club, but I couldn't get it in time from my library. I have heard so much about that book. It is still on my TBR list.

  4. In terms of late fees, I am a HUGE supporter of my library! I thank you for pointing out that it can be looked at as a "donation." I always feel kind of guilty when I get a mailing asking for my support and I don't have the funds to give! I forget that I am supporting the library all year round!

  5. Tammy, do you have a blog? There is no link in your disqus profile.

  6. Lisa Buie-CollardJune 6, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Yeah! Helps, right!? I know!

  7. I am currently reading book 2 of the "Monster High: Ghoulfriends Forever" series by Gitty Daneshvari. It's called "Ghoulfriends Just Want to Have Fun". I actually prefer the original MH series by Lisi Harrison over these, and am only reading these because I am a big fan of the animated series.