My current work in progress:

Moth Cardigan, designed byAmy Christoffers, knit from Rowan SoftYak DK in the Plain colorway, using U.S. size 3 and 5 needles.

Another Manic Monday

I went back to work this morning. I would have liked another leisurely week at home, but work beckoned, so off I went. And I survived the day, though I am very tired now. I guess that should not come as a big surprise.

And I’ve got no knitting content to show you as I am using all my spare time working on something necessitated by the deceit, thoughtlessness, stupidity, and/or laziness of another person. I could add a few more descriptors there, but this is a family blog, after all. Suffice it to say, I am not amused.

Thankfully, there are also good people out there — friends who have gone far above and beyond the call of duty to help me out, so I have not lost faith in all of humanity. Just a very small section of it.

In lieu of knitting content, I’d like to point out two websites that were brought to my attention by a reader. They are freekibble.com and freekibblekat.com. These sites started by a 12-year-old girl and each features a daily trivia question for you to answer. No matter whether your answer is right or wrong, with each answer submitted, 10 pieces of kibble are donated. Since its inception in 2008, over 700,000 meals have been donated to shelter animals.

I’ve bookmarked both sites and plan to visit daily and I hope you will too!

Lucy sez:

lucy020909 240x160 Another Manic Monday

“Kibble. It’s a good thing.”

Can Someone Enlighten Me?

A couple of weeks ago I bought all 4 books in the Twilight series, out of curiosity. I started reading them last Wednesday or Thursday while I was home sick and not feeling up to anything with more substance. They are very fast reads — I blew through the first 3 books in no time and Iย  am currently halfway through the last book.

And I cannot figure out why the heck these books are bestsellers. They are not well-written. The plot is predictable and the characters are pretty simple. Further, I think the main characters are pretty unsympathetic.

Granted, I am not the target audience for these books, as they are written for a much younger crowd. While I believe this is referred to as fiction for “young adults” (one Amazon review rates them for grades 9 and up) I’m thinking this series would appeal mostly to girls age 10 -14. And I think the four books could have been improved by distilling them down to one 250-page novel.

(It does seem to me that the plot could potentially be turned into a decent movie, but of course I haven’t seen the movie.)

What do you think?

Comments

  1. thought you might like to help spread the word about the Australian Bushfire Appeal. there are knitting goodies to win in reward for donating to the cause!

    http://passionfruit.typepad.com/serendipity/2009/02/bushfire-appeal.html

  2. I’ve not read the books, but I’ve heard some of the plot points and details explained, and I gotta tell you, if I had a pre-teen or teenaged daughter I wouldn’t be crazy about her reading these books. Best I can tell, what Edward does in the name of wooing Bella seems to amount to a string of misdemeanors and minor felonies not limited to stalking. That’s not romantic, it’s creepy. (And I’m with you – poorly-written books are never to be encouraged.)

    But what do I know from romance – a good night with my husband involves a couch, a remote, a couple of kitties, and some really good homemade macaroni and cheese.

  3. Hope you continue to feel better hour by hour.

    I am waiting to read the 4th book, mainly because I am a tad compulsive about finishing series of books. They certainly aren’t books that will change your life, but not every book needs to be ‘The Great American Novel’. In fact, sometimes a simple read is a relief when your real life is perplexing.

    A friend of mine with 6 female granddaughters is delighted that the reluctant readers of that group are hooked on the books and are now looking at other authors. She, her daughters and the granddaughters have discussed the characters and events which has led to discussions on things happening in the girls’ personal lives. The fact that there is no sex, drugs or drinking going on within the stories is refreshing to her. They have all read the Harry Potter series and while this isn’t as complex, it still has been enjoyable for them.

    Timing and marketing have undoubtedly played a big part in the success of the series. Beyond that, it will be a dull world if we all like the same things in equal measure.

    Knittys last blog post..Dude! I have cakes!

  4. I HATE THOSE BOOKS! I teach HS, and virtually every girl I teach is in luuuuurve with Edward. As far as I’m concerned, Edward is a sadistic stalker, and it rankles me that this is the kind of love Stephanie Meyer is saying these girls should want. Someone who breaks into your house to watch you sleep. Who threatens you. Who watches your every move. It’s NOT “intense” it’s not “romantic”, it’s DANGEROUS. My mom was in a relationship like that, and she wound up in the hospital and having to have “his” friends patch up her back when she was bleeding too badly. I still want that guy dead, and if ANYONE hurt one of my girls like that….

    I could say more, but, as you pointed out, this is a family blog.

  5. The Twilight books are truly awful. My 16 year old loved the books, so I read them to see what she was raving about.

    The writing is terrible, the characters are frankly annoying and the heroine is so dreary, I quite wanted to slap her.

    However, they did make me have a serious discussion with DD about the trash she has been reading, and she is now knee deep in Jane Austen – real romance!

  6. Regarding the Twilight series, may I recommend the post on “The Seated View” for August 25, 2008? Link to the post

    ringers last blog post..Fast Lace

  7. I read the Twilight saga out of curiosity because as a middle school teacher, most of my girls are obsessed with the books and the film. I can’t explain why I enjoyed them or why I found them so compelling. The writing isn’t very good, the characters are rather shallow, Bella is downright ANNOYING, the plot was rather predictable, but somehow, I was drawn into them and read all four books in five days. I don’t want to go back and re-read them, but I probably would read a sequel if the author ever wrote one. I can’t explain it.
    All that being said, I don’t know that I’d want a theoretical 10-14 year old daughter of mine reading some of the scenes in the later books… particularly the lower end of that range. I appreciate that there was moral value injected into the sexual plotline, but still…

    Jena (the yarn harpy)s last blog post..mittens!

  8. I read the series, and even though I’m 25, loved them all. I think it has something to do with the ideal of Edward being perfect-that there is someone who could adore you just for being plain old you. Plus I’ve always been fascinated by vampires. My brother’s girlfriend thinks (and I agree) that really the appeal is the interaction of the characters and the character build up. Plus, I was a Bella in school. Except for moving and being a “novelty” I was pretty plain, couldn’t understand how I ever got a date, and just kind of doing my own thing.

    Melissas last blog post..:::Sniff:::

  9. If you’re still sickly and have a minute read this:

    http://www.ericdsnider.com/snide/my-rejected-twilight-screenplay/

    Very amusing. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  10. I saw the movie first… the fact that it was filmed in and around my community made it all the more fun to watch. If you watch it, keep your eyes peeled for the Columbia Theatre!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    These books are easy on the brain…mostly, they’re a “carrot” to get me on the treadmill!!

    I hope you’re feeling better! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Neuroknitters last blog post..finito

  11. You must have been desperate for reading material if you went through three of them. I struggled through the first scratching my head saying, these are popular? What dreck, along with being somewhat sexist, poorly written, and amazingly tedious. Actually, I did an audio book and hearing the compliant little girl voice just capped it for me.

  12. a person..... really! says:

    Being the target audience for the Twilight books, I have to say……. I didn’t really like them either. Haven’t read past half way through the second, so I can’t really say that. My guy cousins were very into them….

  13. I read the Twilight books over the course of about 4 days, so that I would know what my 10- and 13-year-old (yes, I think you were right on in that assessment of appeal!) were so into, before they saw the movie (and me, I was taking them). I’d already gotten an opinion on whether the books were ok for them to read before I let them read them.

    I thought the writing was — young. Unsophisticated. Probably why it was marketed as young adult. With a significantly more involved and less predictable plot, more characterization, and writing that was less ‘tell’ and more ‘show and let the reader figure it out’, I think the premise could have been an adult book series, as the basic concept of ‘vegetarian vampires’, this essential and ongoing conflict and tension between intrinsic nature and living out ideals seems to have appeal. And I do think there were one or two plot twists I didn’t see coming in the 4 books!

    But I’d rather go back and re-read my Diana Gabaldon books, for example, or LOTR for the umpteenth time, or Dorothy Sayers, or any of a number of writers who know their craft.

    Cathy-Cates last blog post..Rain and Random

  14. You can do the same for humans at freerice.com.

  15. Ok, I have an English major and a professional writing history under my belt, so I tend to be a literary snob. However, I did enjoy the Twilight series – in fact, I enjoyed them more than I expected to. No, they aren’t ‘great’ fiction by any means, BUT anything that gets kids reading is a good thing in my book. Personally, I think the appeal is less about Edward and more about the relatability of Bella. I could give you a long list of teen girls in other – and much better – books who share a lot of similarities with her for very good reason.

    As to Stephen King. Pot meet Kettle. I’ve always thought his work was ‘junk food fiction’ and have never liked it. Sounded like professional jealousy to me. When exactly was the last time he was relevent?

    Kristins last blog post..A Plan Fulfilled

  16. I’ve read the series. I resisted for a while, but 2 people at work started commenting about how good they were, so I read books 1&2 and had to buy the other 2. I enjoyed book 1 the most. The other 3 were interesting in that they did not go anywhere I expected them too. I liked that they kept me wondering what was going to happen next, and, like some people have mentioned, reminded me of being in high school.

    I have friends who hate the books and say they’re a depiction of an abusive relationship, plus are going to make young girls think that’s what romance is supposed to be like, but I disagree. I don’t think they’re going to have all that much impact on what they think a relationship should be.
    As far as Stephen King, I would be worried if we agreed on everything. lol. There’s some stuff of his I love to read, and there’s an equal amount of his work I don’t care for. Mostly, I appreciate his small town character voices.

    madonnaearths last blog post..I have 90 (90!!!) projects in my Ravelry queue

  17. Forgot to add that I really appreciated how I could read most of the books in a week or less. After rushing through the last Harry Potter book in 3 weeks (because I had to work, eat and sleep sometimes), a novel that takes 3 days to read is refreshing.

    madonnaearths last blog post..I have 90 (90!!!) projects in my Ravelry queue

  18. Weighing in on the Twilight phenom: Being an adult of ‘a certain age’ yet one who likes fantasy stories I thought I’d give these a try. I ordered them, one by one, as a recorded book from audible and they worked very well for listening while knitting. I don’t think though I’d have like to actually read them.

  19. Thanks so much for the links to the kibble sites. I’ve sent them to all my friends & relatives. It’s nice to be able to help with so little effort. I am not a fantasy fan (couldn’t even get through the first HP) so I doubt I’d much care for the books either. (Actually I don’t think I ever read Young Adult books – by the time I was that age I was reading adult books – mostly Dickens & then later the Russian novels).

  20. I am very late replying to your Twilight post, but I wanted to agree with you. I am finding that pre-teen girls love them, but, surprisingly, I see a lot of university students reading them as well. They are not very well written, and the story lines are all over the place. That being said, I will read them all, just I know what is being said.

  21. If you haven’t seen it, there is another site…
    http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com/

    you click and they give 0.6 bowls of food each time. No strings attached.

  22. I had no idea what I was getting into when I picked up the first book, actually borrowed from a friend. I enjoyed the first one, despite the obviously juvenile attempt at writing that it proves to be. It went downhill from there, as I hated each book afterward more than the last.

    I think there are much larger issues going on right now, mostly including what are we teaching children in the school system if they find those books so “AMAZING!” Have they all been reading Cliffs Notes that they haven’t been introduced to the good stuff?

    I am a fan to a degree. I love the storyline in that it could easily have been great. And I’m in love with Robert Pattinson. Not Edward, mind you… the actor… the person. ha!

    Deineras last blog post..Theme Update

  23. I read the first book and just had to stop when I got to the glittery vampire chest. It is a simple wish fulfillment for the young teen/pre-teen, and I don’t think I could read the rest of them. It was that strange line of being almost like a Mary Sue, but the main character wasn’t superlative enough for that.

    Seanna Leas last blog post..delicious!

  24. I am a little behind on my blog reading. Sorry for being so late. I visit the freekibble websites daily. There is a place to sign up for e-mail reminders. Gotta love that. And I agree the Twilight series are awful. Juvenile and simple and just plain ugh. I prefer the Sookie Stackhouse novels for brain dead reading. My kitties have been sleeping in their kitty beds a lot lately. It has been unusually cold in Southern California and they are staying warm and cozy. I am adding your Waterfall Sock to my queue. Thanks, Marla

  25. I’m struggling with the Twilight thing, too. My daughter and her friends are crazy about it, and several nurses at work are always discussing it. But I can’t even seem to listen to the audio book.
    Have you heard Sage Turtle’s take?
    http://quirkynomads.com/wp/2008/12/26/the-secrets-of-the-sparkle/

    Angies last blog post..Comfort and Joy

  26. Thank goodness I’m not the only one. I started the first book and got sucked into it for about 2/3 of the book and then got totally disgusted by how Edward was always rescuing Bella. Since I’m a mom in my mid-40’s the books are not for my age group, but some of my friends do like them. However, I think I prefer my heroines to use more brain and/or brawn, but I can see the appeal of the whole passive heroine/strong vampire thing. I just think our girls should be reading books with better role models than Bella. For angsty romance give me Jane Eyre any day.

  27. Late to the party, but as an avid reader of YA fiction (and romance novels!) I have to say that I thought Twilight was a lousy example of both genres. I just don’t find creepy stalkers all that romantic. However, if you read Twilight and Northanger Abbey both at the same time, as I did (completely by accident) you’ll get some excellent laughs, as Jane Austen makes fun of everything Bella does.

    I can see why the kids like it, though I wish they didn’t: there’s very little of that *achingly romantic* sort of stuff marketed to 14-year-olds.