Books That Begin Conversations: What to Read During Reading Time

If I remember correctly and if things haven’t changed, after lunch, people in high school usually get a certain amount of time to read – say, 20 minutes? Anyway, that’s the way they did it when I did my grade 12 here. In Fiji, we usually got a half an hour to an hour just to read everyday. It was great until I became a prefect and had to make sure people weren’t doing anything other than reading. That was annoying. Anyway, one of the highlights for me other than reading was looking at what other people read during this time. I am not a very good “jump in there and start talking” kind of person. I need a topic that I know both of us have in common…for instance, the book the person I want to talk to was reading.

We could talk about that. So, what books can you read to provoke conversation? Any book really but here are some books that really do invite comments (and they include potential (and entirely fictional) conversations that may occur).

Going Bovine by Libba Bray


“Are you reading about cows?”
“There’s this guy who has the mad cow disease and he’s on some sort of a journey to do something. Oh and he’s visited by an angel with wings that change colour!”
“….ummm, okay. Fun reading. Bye.” or
“Wow! That sounds amazing! Tell me more!”
“Let me read the book first, kay?”

Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones


“Let me guess, this is all about Howl’s moving castle?”
“No. It’s about Sophie, a sentient fire demon and Howl. The castle is somewhat incidental.”
“Why don’t you take a seat and I’ll tell you all about it.”

Babe in Boyland – Jody Gehrman


“So have you seen She’s the Man?”
“The one with Amanda Bynes and Channing Tatum?”
“Yeah, this one is just like that one. Except without the soccer.”
“Oh! Can I borrow it when you’re done?”

Dairy Queen – Catherine Gilbert Murdock


“What is with you and cow books?”
“They are well written and fun to read. What’s your problem?”
“Hey, don’t get mad. I’m just asking.”
“Maybe you should read this. It’s about a girl who lives on a dairy farm and plays football.”
“Yeah, she has three brothers and a dad who are all crazy about football.”
“What about cows?”
“She lives on a dairy farm…I thought I said that already.”

Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison


“Why are you reading a book about thongs?”
“Because I’m vair vair sophisticated and cool.”
“Vous canst understand the awesomosity of my book because you are normal.”
“And that’s a bad thing?”
“Poor child.”

Ms Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona


“Omg, is that volume one of Ms. Marvel?!”
“When was it released?”
“October 30th!”
“Can I borrow it when you’re done? Pleeeease?”

* and **: Appropriate answers also include “No,” “Use the library,” and “Get your own copy.”

Happy reading!

12 responses to “Books That Begin Conversations: What to Read During Reading Time

  1. Going Bovine was such an interesting read. I read it last summer while I was doing some service at a big Boyscout Conference. I had about a 45 minute commute morning and evening, so I would just read and it was glorious. I remember how this book was so weird and quirky that it kept me awake no matter how tired I was at the end of the day.

  2. I miss free reading periods in school. It was a win for everyone in my class – the people who didn’t feel like reading would end up on the cushions with books (for cover or take home reasons) chatting while I got to walk around the library shelves looking for a new story. (Luckily it wasn’t really the duty of the Head girl to check if we were reading or not lol.)

    • Haha. It’s so cool that you had head girls as well. But yes, our library was dismal but we had this underground book thing going on. Someone would get not so appropriate books and we’d all read them.

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