This is a non-baby related post, so - sorry Mom and Grandma!

I like to read...a lot...according to my Kindle, I've read around 120 books in the past year and a half. I've probably read another 20 or 30 in non-electronic format, so let's put it around 150 total.  Now, I'm not saying these have all been great literature, in fact, the majority haven't been, but I like to read what I like to read, and sometimes I'm in the mood for teenage vampire romance, and sometimes I'm delighted to curl up with a Pulitzer Prize winning non-fiction on evolution occurring in real-time.  And Pride and Predjudice is required reading at least once a year (followed immediately by a viewing of the BBC's mini-series...ahhhh...Colin Firth...).  But I digress...

Anywho, since its been a while since I've done a book review on here, the baby is napping, so here goes...

What: The Hunger Games Trilogy (The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay)
Who: Suzanne Collins
Setting: North America in the not-so-distant future. America has collapsed and has been replaced with Panem, a dictatorship consisting of 13 districts ruled by an all-powerful Capitol (which, in my head, was Denver). 
Story:After an uprising some seven decades earlier, the Capitol demands, myth of the Minotaur-style, that each district annually send one girl and one boy to compete in the televised Hunger Games, and makes the competition required viewing for all Panem's citizens.  Part "Survivor" and part Roman gladiator battle to the death, the Hunger Games are the "Circenses" to the nation of "Panem". 
Katniss Everdeen of District 12, takes the place of her little sister chosen to be a tribute in the 74th Hunger Games. 
Moral: Katniss' journey into the arena and to an eventual uprising against the Capitol examines humanity's relationship with entertainment, particularly of the "reality" style (which, you come to realize, has existed forever, or at least since the Romans were regularly feeding Christans to lions).  In particular, the triology explores the use of media in general (and entertainment in particular) in keeping a population in-check.
Rating: I loved, loved, loved this triology. In fact, I had trouble putting it down once I got my hands on it (which took longer than I wanted, as it took them FOREVER to be available in Kindle format).  Not only are they wonderfully written, Collin's examination of human culture and the role of entertainment is straightforward, but in no way "preachy".  I felt smarter for having read them.  A warning - all three books, particularly the first, include violence that is most definitely "R" rated, as most episodes describe the deaths of children in the Hunger Games arena.

*In which Minos demanded Athens regularly send seven youth and seven maidens to be devoured by the Minotaur as tribute for the death of his son.

P.S. Another post-apocalyptic Y.A. series that I thoroughly enjoyed was "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld (Uglies, Pretties, Specials, and Extras), which examines the role of beauty in society, as well as the role of popularity and "rank" in a world of social networking sites. 

P.P.S. A less than wonderful post-apocalyptic book is "The Passage" by Justin Cronin.  800+ pages without an actual protagonist is a bit hard to handle...even with vampire-zombies taking out most of the characters.