07 September 2011

"Hey Martha!" Challenge

In journalism, they're called "Hey Martha!" stories, 
news so amazing that you just want to shout: 
"Hey Martha, did you hear this story?!" 

Tabloids could never survive without
"Hey Martha!" stories!
How about a "Hey Martha!" book? You know the kind... you're barely 10 pages in and you cannot wait to tell someone about this book. Perhaps it's surprisingly wonderful, perhaps it's the latest bestseller, or perhaps it's so bad you need to tell someone.  Or maybe it's just so good that you'd consider shouting in the library: "Hey Martha, did you hear about this book?"

Your challenge this week: tell us about a "Hey Martha!" Book. A book you just couldn't wait to dish on, a book with facts so juicy you had put it down just to tell someone, a book worth telling everyone about...


  1. "Hey Martha.... I want my $27.50(plus tax) back for Brisingr by Christopher Paolini!!!!"

    The first two books held my attention... it's been a year since I read the first half of this book, I picked it back up yesterday. Now I am remembering why I put it down. It's boring. The same formula over and over (the main character runs a lot), it seems the main story isn't strong enough and there are so many characters that could be developed, we'll see...

  2. This is a funny challenge for me, as The Dad knows very well, sometimes I interrupt his reading by sharing passages from books I am reading. I think he likes it, but I can imagine it may be annoying, especially late at night... I need to ask him about it!!

    My "Hey Martha" happened just this weekend. The Sisters and I were reading through a new find --a bargain book from a wonderful local bookstore: Built to Last by David Macaulay (author of The Way Things Work)

    And I learned what a Garderobe is ... a castle toilet! "The seat was a stone slab with a round hole cut into it and allowed wastes to go directly into the moat. Garderobes within the castle were built over vertical shafts leading to cesspits which had to be cleaned out periodically. The ebb and flow of rivers were the only flushing mechanism for moats, the lack of which would cause their waters to become a thick, soup-like consistency. A brave soldier indeed was he who had the courage to swim a moat and traverse the wall by climbing up the shaft of a garderobe!"

    Now we know yet another way that castles were protected... YUCK!!!

  3. I know this happens to me a LOT! But I am having trouble remembering the books, as I get older my memory is a little fuzzy.

    I do this most with books that have facts --I'll look at my husband (or whomever else is in the room) and ask, "can you believe this???" The last time I did that was when I was reading a history of Chicago and would you believe for the life of me I cannot remember the name of the book! IT was really good, if I can think of it I will post again! I admit I love my iPhone to look up facts as I read!!!

  4. I agree with margo that this does happen a lot to me as well, but in the last year the books that stick out to me are (and I know I have mentioned at least 1 of these in comments so far):

    "Poison Study" by Maria v. Snyder
    "Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins

    Both had me reading right into the early mornings!

  5. Dad-I completely agree with your post, Paolini's first two books were somewhat engaging, but this third installment...snore.

    The best three novels I couldn't do without (this year) are:

    "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry (characters that stayed with me long after the end of the book. I still wonder about their fates)

    "My Name is Asher Lev" by Chaim Potok (anything to do with painters is a winner in my circle, but this book really went deep into the Ladover Hasid Jewish community and I couldn't love it enough.

    "The Poisonwood Bible" by Barbara Kingsolver--I know, it's been done, but I read this late in the game and dang, what a fine book. The land itself was a sinister and seductive character. How odd that the most firey character (the father) didn't get to tell his side of the story from his viewpoint.

  6. Barbara11:19 AM

    These are adult and older YA:
    The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of A
    merica's Great Migration
    , Isabel Wilkerson; The Grace of Silence, Michele Norris; The Grammar Devotional: Daily Tips for Successful Writing from Grammar Girl TM Mignon Fogarty; Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries Peter Sims; Presence:Human Purpose and the Field of the Future, Peter Senge;Taking the Leap: Freeing Ourselves from Old Habits and Fears, Pema Chodron.