K.C. and Michelle Woolf

Family blog

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Review of Twilight (Let Me Tell You What's Wrong With You if You Liked This Book).

Since I started reading Twilight by Stephanie Meyer about 3 weeks ago it has been a source of contention in my home. My wife Michelle warned me repeatedly that I wouldn’t like this book. But I figured “how can a few million teenage girls be wrong?” But when I started commenting on the book and watched Michelle get madder and madder, I realized that she had not been trying to protect me from the drivel but trying to keep me from ruining it for her. So, Michelle my dear, you probably shouldn’t read the rest of this.

At the end of Twilight they have a preview of its sequel New Moon. I think that instead they should have a note that says, “Here is the number for the battered woman’s shelter. If you enjoyed this book and you don’t need this number right now, you will.” The wimpy, whiney main character and narrator, Bella, exhibits all the characteristics of an abuse victim in this story. Why does she have to risk her life to hang out with Edward? Why can’t she just find another boyfriend who isn’t a vampire.

The stupidest thing Bella says in this book is, “About three things I was absolutely positive. First, Edward was a vampire. Second, there was a part of him–and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be–that thirsted for my blood. And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.” After I read this I pulled my 5 year old daughter Whitney aside and told her, “sweety, there is no one in the world who deserves you ‘unconditional and irrevocable love’, not even me. Particularly if that person ‘thirsts your blood’ in any way. Just don’t date guys that might hurt you.” Of course, she just stared at me blankly and then went back to playing with her Barbies.

Then there’s Edward. Michelle told me more than once how Edward is every girl’s dream of a perfect boyfriend. “He’s handsome, protective, intelligent, sophisticated and he is obsessed with Bella.” I asked her, “So, would I have had better luck with chicks growing up if I had followed them around like a stalker and snuck into their rooms at night to watch them sleep?” “No,” she said defensively, “but you’re not a sexy vampire.” Note for my boy Dane, to be read 15 years from now: If you act like the guy girls say they want they are likely to get a restraining order against you. Also, girls don’t think it’s cute or appealing when you stand outside of their house at night with a boom-box playing Peter Gabriel songs like John Cusack in Say Anything. Boy, do you learn that the hard way.

In conclusion, me no like this book. I’ll probably read the sequels just to piss off Michelle. Maybe they get better. But I'm keeping this book in our safe, away from my daughter, until she's at least 21 and has hopefully learned that this is not how true love really happens.


Books I Can Remember that I’ve Read (In no particular order)

I'm only counting text books if I read the entire thing.
I'm counting books that I read more than half of but stopped because I couldn't stomach it (Lolita) or hated (Moby Dick). I'm not counting books that are mostly pictures (The Cat in the Hat) although they are still some of my favorite books. I'm counting books twice if I read them in English and in Spanish. Also, I have not counted all the Bathroom Readers I've read, mostly because I'm ashamed of how much time I spend on the pot. I've read almost all of them however.

***** - I really liked
**** - I liked
*** - OK
** - I didn’t like
* - It sucked.

1. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald****
2. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man - James Joyce**
3. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen****
4. Walden - Henry David Thoreau**
5. Claudius the God - Robert Graves*****
6. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez***
7. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess****
8. As I Lay Dying -William Faulkner***
9. Animal Farm - George Orwell****
10. The Book of Mormon - Written by the Hand of Mormon. Translated by Joseph Smith Jr.*****
11. The Holy Bible - King James Version*****
12. The Doctrine and Covenants - Joseph Smith, others****
13. The Pearl of Great Price - Moses, Abraham, Joseph Smith****
14. Travels with Charley (In Search of America) - John Steinbeck****
15. A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket***
16. A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Reptile Room - Lemony Snicket***
17. A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Wide Window - Lemony Snicket***
18. Les Liaisons Dagereuses - Pierre Choderlos de Laclos****
19. Tom Sawyer Abroad - Samuel Clemens***
20. The Monkey Wrench Gang - Edward Abbey****
21. The Hero With a Thousand Faces - Joseph Campbell***
22. The Faith of a Scientist - Henry Eyring****
23. The Power of Myth - Joseph Campbell****
24. What are People For - Wendell Berry***
25. The Miracle of Forgiveness - Spencer W. Kimball****
26. The Greatest Salesman in the World - Og Mandino***
27. 1984 - George Orwell****
28. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Samuel Clemens*****
29. On the Road - Jack Keroac****
30. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens****
31. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller****
32. Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra****
33. Uncle Tom’s Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe***
34. Deliverance - James Dickey****
35. The Best of Edward Abbey***
36. Rosaura a las Diez - Marco Denevi****
37. Ragtime - E.L. Doctorow****
38. Tom Sawyer Detective - Samuel Clemens***
39. The Iliad -Homer****
40. The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkein*****
41. Notes from the Underground - Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky***
42. The Double - Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoyevsky***
43. The Trial -Franz Kafka***
44. Moby Dick - Herman Melville**
45. Invisible Man - Ralph Ellison***
46. Principles of Surgery Companion Handbook - Schartz, Shires, Spencer*
47. Standing for Something - Gordon B. Hinckley***
48. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe - C.S. Lewis*****
49. The Sound and the Fury -William Faulkner**
50. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck****
51. Slaughter House-Five - Kurt Vonnegut****
52. Tender is the Night - F. Scott Fitzgerald****
53. Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry**
54. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer -Samuel Clemens*****
55. Darkness at Noon - Arthur Koestler*****
56. The Call of the Wild - Jack London****
57. Kim - Rudyard Kipling***
58. A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens****
59. Howards End - E.M. Forster****
60. Sons and Lovers - D.H. Lawrence***
61. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad***
62. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance -Robert M. Pirsig****
63. The Stranger - Albus Camus****
64. To the Lighthouse - Virginia Woolf***
65. The Lonely Men - Louis L’Amour***
66. Sacred Clowns - Tony Hillerman***
67. The Covenant - James A. Michener****
68. Prentice Alvin - Orson Scott Card****
69. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy -Douglas Adams****
70. The Quick and the Dead - Louis L’Amour***
71. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee*****
72. The Gift of the Jews - Thomas Cahill****
73. The Last Battle - C.S. Lewis****
74. Iberia - James A Michener**
75. Ender’s Game -Orson Scott Card*****
76. People of Darkness - Tony Hillerman****
77. The Horse and His Boy - C.S. Lewis****
78. The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis****
79. Memory of Earth - Orson Scott Card***
80. The Odyssey - Homer****
81. The Source - James A. Michener*****
82. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger****
83. The Story of England - Christopher Hibbert****
84. A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway****
85. The Changed Man - Orson Scott Card****
86. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl****
87. El Milagro del Perdon -Spencer W. Kimball****
88. Frankenstein - Mary Shelley****
89. A Marvelous Work and a Wonder - LeGrand Richards****
90. A Treasury of Classical Mythology - A.R. Hope Moncrieff****
91. The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien****
92. Pure Drivel - Steve Martin***
93. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens****
94. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens****
95. Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone - J.K. Rowling*****
96. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling*****
97. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban -J.K. Rowling*****
98. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire -J.K. Rowling*****
99. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling*****
100. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling*****
101. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling*****
102. The Screwtape Letters - C.S. Lewis*****
103. The Magician's Nephew - C.S. Lewis*****
104. Out of the Silent Planet - C.S. Lewis****
105. Prince Caspian - C.S. Lewis*****
106. The Voyage of the 'Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis*****
107. Mere Christianity - C.S. Lewis****
108. That Hideous Strength - C.S. Lewis****
109. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway***
110. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov**
111. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley****
112. I Claudius - Robert Graves*****
113. Anthem - Ann Rand***
114. Lord of the Flies - William Golding****
115. As I Lay Dying - William Faulkner***
116. The Secret Agent - Joseph Conrad***
117. Starship Troopers - Robert Heinlein****
118. A Room With a View - E.M. Forster****
119. Lord Jim - Joseph Conrad***
120. Citizen of the Galaxy - Robert Heinlein****
121. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesley****
122. Tunnel in the Sky - Robert Heinlein****
123. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum****
124. Speaker for the Dead - Orson Scott Card****
125. Xenocide - Orson Scott Card****
126. Songmaster - Orson Scott Card**
127. Saints - Orson Scott Card****
128. Red Prophet - Orson Scott Card****
129. Cruel Shoes - Steve Martin***
130. The Great Brain - John Dennis Fitzgerald****
131. Me and My Little Brain - John Dennis Fitzgerald****
132. Jesus the Christ - James Talmage*****
133. The Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas****
134. Dracula - Bram Stoker****
135. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown***
136. Angels and Demons - Dan Brown****
137. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - Gregory Maguire****
138. Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator - Roald Dahl**
139. How the Irish Saved Civilization - Thomas Cahill***
140. Fundamentals of Family Medicine - Robert B. Taylor***
141. Medical Physiology - Rodney A Rhoades and George A Tanner**
142. D'aulaires Book of Greek Myths - Ingri and Edgar Parin D'Aurlaire****
143. El Libro De Mormon - Un Relato Escrito por la Mano de Mormon. Traducido de las Planchas por Jose Smith, Hijo*****
144. Generation X - Douglas Coupland***
145. Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe****
146. Interview with the Vampire - Anne Rice****
147. The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde****
148. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen****
149. History of the English-Speaking Peoples - Winston Churchhill****
150. A Guide to Physical Examination and History Taking - Barbara Bates**
151. Complete History of the World - Richard Overy****
152. The American Religion - Harold Bloom***
153. The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck****
154. In Cold Blood - Truman Capote****
155. A Rumor of War - Philip Caputo****
156. Religion in the New World - Richard E. Wentz***
157. The Moon Is Down - John Steinbeck****
158. The Pearl - John Steinbeck****
159. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck****
160. The Spy Who Came in from the Cold - John le Carré****
161. The Education of Little Tree - Forrest Carter*****
162. The Chosen - Chaim Potok****
163. The Work and the Glory, Pilar of Fire - Gerald N. Lund*****
164. The Work and the Glory, Like a Fire if Burning - Gerald N. Lund*****
165. The Work and the Glory, Truth will Prevail - Gerald N. Lund*****
166. The Work and the Glory, Thy Gold Refine - Gerald N. Lund*****
167. The Work and the Glory, A Season of Joy - Gerald N. Lund*****
168. Stepen King On Writing, A memoir of the Craft - Stephen King***
169. Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris****
170. Book of Mormon Authorship Revisited, The Evidence for Ancient Origins - Edited by Noel B. Reynolds. **** (March '08)
171. The Millionaire Next Door - Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko****
172. Naked Ape : A Zoologist's Study of the Human Animal - Desmond Morris****
173. Johnny Tremain - Esther Forbes****
174. Mormons and Masons, Setting the Record Straight - Gilbert W. Scharffs* (March '08)
175. San Manuel Bueno, mártir - Miguel de Unamuno****
176. Critiquing the Critics of Joseph Smith - Hartt Wixom**** (March '08)
177. Mormon Country - Wallace Stegner****
178. The House of God - Samuel Shem**
179. The Way of All Flesh - Samuel Butler****(March '08)
180. The Clan of the Cave Bear - Jean M. Auel**** (April '08)
181. Religions of the World - A Latter-day Saint View - Spencer J. Palmer, Rober R. Keller, Dong Sull Choi, James A. Toronto****
182. Julius Caesar - William Shakespear****
183. Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare****
184. Hamlet - William Shakespeare****
185. Macbeth - William Shakespeare****
186. One Minute Answers to Anti-Mormon Questions - Stephen W. Gibson*** (May '08)
187. Jay's Journal - Beatrice Sparks**
188. Blueprints in Obstetrics and Gynecology - Tamara L. Callahan, Aaron B Caughey and Linda J Heffner***
189. Clinical Microbiology Made Rediculously Simple - Mark Galdwin and Bill Trattler****
190. Prescription for the Boards USMLE Step 2 - Radhika Breaden, Charyl Denenberg, Kate Feibusch, Stephen Gomperts***
191. The Instant Exam Review for the USMLE Step 3 - Joel s. Goldberg**
192. Appleton & Lang's Review of Pediatrics - Martin I. Lorin**
193. Pathology - Arthur S. Schneider and Philip A Szanto**
194. Internal Medicine - Edward D. Frohlich**
195. The Lord of the Rings - The Two Towers - J.R.R. Tolkien****
196. The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King - J.R.R. Tolkien****
198. The Mountain Meadows Massacre - Juanita Brooks****
198. A Thief of Time - Tony Hillerman****
199. Naked Pictures of Famous People - Jon Stewart**
200. La Casa de Bernarda Alba - Federico García Lorca***
201. Why Things Are and Why Things Aren't - Joel Achenbach****
202. Why Things Are - Joel Achenbach****
203. Why Do Clocks Run Clockwise? And Other Imponderables - David Feldman****
204. First Aid for the Family Medicine Boards - Tao Le, Christine Dehlendorf, Michael Mendoza, and Cynthria Ohata*** (May '08)
205. Why Don't Cat's Like to Swim - David Feldman****
206. The Naked and the Dead - Norman Mailer**** (June '08)
207. Encounters with the Archdruid - John McPhee***
208. Desert Solitaire - Edward Abby***
209. Family Medicine Board Review - Robert L. Bratton, MD*** (July '08)
210. View of the Hebrews - Ethan Smith** (August '08)
211. A Wrinkle in Time - Madeleine L'Engle****
212. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens****
213. The Book of Mormon and DNA Resarch - Edited by Daniel C. Petersen**** (Sept '08)
214. The Great Divorce - C.S. Lewis**** (Sept '08)
215. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson**** (Sept '08)
216. The Great Angel - A Study of Israel's Second God - Margaret Barker**** (Sept '08)
217. The House of the Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne**** (Sept,08)
218. The Scarlett Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne**** (Oct, '08)
219. Twilight - Stephanie Meyer** (Oct, '08)


Anonymous said...

Hi, Just wanted to let you know that at least three females agree with your review of Twilight. I actually enjoyed reading the book, but I share your concerns, as do my 19 year old daughter and 15 year old niece. Just wanted to let you know you have some female support. - Diane in Spokane

this is me said...

Hi. I just love what you wrote. I felt I was reading my own words...don't know if that's an insult or a compliment. Your blog came up in a project related search and I was thoroughly entertained reading your list of books. Its inspired me to put up my own list.

Maybe we can compare notes? Keep writing. Your blog is on my "favourites" and "starred" now.

Anonymous said...

Hi,I'd just like to say i dont think its very Christ like to put someone down for what they have acheived online for everyone to see, fair doos if you dont like it but do you have to rant over the net? Shes worked really hard on this and shes done an amazing job and has been very sucessful. International best seller therefore ALOT of people love theses books. Your entitled to your opinion like everyone is but i think your ripping it apart because your wife is a fan of Edwards character as is most girls/women and to be fair a Mormon wrote it and some Characteristics he has is mormom beliefs.

KC and Michelle Woolf said...

Dear Anonymous,

I don’t think being “Christ like” requires me to ignore bad literature, pretend that I like it, or even refrain from criticizing it. Christ himself publically criticized individuals and things he didn’t like about the popular culture of His time. And just because someone is LDS does not mean she should get a free pass. I've got nothing against Sister Meyer and I'm sure she's a good person. I just think her books stink. I'm very concerned that "ALOT of people love these books", especially young girls, because they are learning that Bella and Edward's relationship is appropriate and also that true love really works that way. "Mama's, don't let your babies grow up to read Twilight."

Good luck to you Anonymous. I hope you find your Edward out there somewhere. (I like to remind my wife of all the ways I'm better than Edward, and she reluctantly agrees. But she still wants to rent the Twilight Suite at the Anniversary Inn for her birthday, and I'll probably indulge her.)