Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Teenreads Ultimate Reading List Choices

Even though I'm working hard at a historical romance at the moment, and much of my research and side reading is geared toward that, my go-to books are always Middle Grade and Young Adult.

I love the way they crystallise events and problems, focusing only on what's most important, and the way strong characters shine through clearly, without lots of emotional baggage cluttering their approaches to life - thinking here, for instance, of John Green's Looking for Alaska, and how straightforward the characters are, yet how much depth there is to them at the same time.

I thought of this yesterday when I received my copy of Dear Canada: Hoping for Home - featuring short stories by the likes of Kit Pearson, Jean Little and others (I know I know, I really Do Not need to be adding to my To Be Read pile!) - and realised that I'm willing to drop everything else just to read it.

Also, the folks at Teenreads have just released their Ultimate Teen Reading List of 400 books! Some of my favourites from the list are:

The Princess Bride, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, The Pigman, My Life and Hard Times (Thurber), The Hobbit, The Children of Hurin and The Lord of the Rings, Little Women, The Little Prince, Letters to a Young Poet (Rilke), It, I Am the Cheese and The Chocolate War (Cormier), The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, Harry Potter, The Great Gatsby, The Grapes of Wrath, Go Ask Alice, Gilead (Marilynne Robinson), Fahrenheit 451, The Diary of a Young Girl (Anne Frank), The Complete Maus, A Clockwork Orange, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Catcher in the Rye and Nine Stories, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Brief History of the Dead (Brockmeier), Brave New World, The Book Thief, 1984 and Angela's Ashes.

Canadians seem to be under represented, though, and some of the authors have only one or two books listed, whereas I would have included their entire canon, or swapped a certain book (for instance, I couldn't abide Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Birds Without Wings was a much better book; and I always preferred Tender is the Night to The Great Gatsby).

Also, there are too few short stories, and no poetry!

One that I haven't read yet, but would like to, is Big Fish by Daniel Wallace.

Which books would you have added or removed from the list?
Answer to the first crusader challenge: the wee lie was that I never bloviate. I don't always, but sometimes I get on my high horse about others' grammar. Good thing I don't do it to their faces - I certainly don't want to end up like Girl #2 on this birthday card:

Outside of card:
Girl #1: Where's your birthday party at?
Girl #2: You know, you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.

Inside card:
Girl #1: Where's your birthday party at, bitch?


Matthew Rush said...

Wow. Some amazing books on that list. I never would have thought of any James Joyce as YA, but I suppose Portrait could work.

Susan Fields said...

I've seen that birthday card before - too funny!

I think The Hunger Games should be on that list.

Lois D. Brown said...

I like all of the Teenreader list except for the Grapes of Wrath. That one was not my favorite.
Anyhow I noticed you are in my crusader list, so I thought I'd come see your entry. Yours was short and sweet. No wonder your write MG. :-)

Diana said...

I was surprised that Angela's Ashes was on the list since it was a memoir. One of my fav books.

new follower from the crusade.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great list! So many good books on it! To support Canadians I'd add Farley Mowat's Never Cry Wolf and The Circle Game (poetry) by Margaret Atwood and anything by Gordon Korman!

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks for coming by everyone!

Matthew, Diana, I think the list also included recommended reading for teens. I was 13 myself when I first read Joyce! Nice to meet you Diana!

Susan, The Hunger Games is on the list! I didn't mention it, though, because - gasp! - I haven't read it yet.

I cheated a bit with The Grapes of Wrath, Lois [g] I haven't read it yet, but I loved so many of his other stories, like The Pearl and of Mice and Men that I figure I'll enjoy The Grapes of Wrath when I get around to it... Thanks for coming by!

Great suggestions, Jemi! I'd have added anything by Jean Little, L M Montgomery, Marsha Skrypuch, Margaret Buffie, Marbara Haworth-Attard, Jill Murray, and, well, I'd better stop or I'll keep going!

Also just realised, Madeleine l'Engle and L M Boston were left off the list.

Alison Miller said...

I don't know if it was on the list, but you mentioned it... my favorite book is Looking for Alaska. LOVE John Green.

Just stopping by fellow crusader!

Deniz Bevan said...

Hi Alison! I read that one a few months ago and loved it.

Alison Stevens said...

Interesting list!

I have an award for you at my blog.

Savannah Chase said...

Nice list of books...I will have to check some of them out...

MC Howe said...

Ha! That's a funny birthday card. Where did you see it at?

I'm finally getting around to visiting my fellow crusaders, so hello! It seems we are in the MG group together.

Trisha said...

I gave you an award :)

Deniz Bevan said...

Thanks Alison and Trisha for the awards! [blush] I'll post 'em here on Friday.

Thanks for coming by Savannah and MC! Hmm, where did I see the card? I've gotten so used to quoting it that I've forgotten if I ever saw it in real life or if it was one of these email chain things.

Books I'm Reading and Finished Books

  • Be Careful, It's My Heart by Kait Nolan
  • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien (annual reread)
  • The House at Pooh Corner by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • Moranology by Caitlin Moran
  • Sauron Defeated - Book 9 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • A Woman in Arabia: The Writings of the Queen of the Desert by Gertrude Bell
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Journal of Inklings Studies
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Mr. Garden by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Untitled by Claire G (poem)
  • Possum Magic by... (read by Claire)
  • The Listeners by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • Maisie Dobbs by Jacqueline Winspear
  • Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith
  • Dark Sonnet by Neil Gaiman
  • "Birds of Passage" by Peter McArthur (poem)
  • Marilynne Robinson and Barack Obama in the New York Review of Books (conversation)
  • "Fear"by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • A Simple Act of Kindness by Carol Drinkwater (short story)
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter van Houten (short piece) (already added this?)
  • Sparkling Cyanide (Remembered Death) by Agatha Christie (reread)
  • Les dernieres jours de nos peres by Joel Dicker
  • Spun by Catherine McKenzie
  • Jamadu: Pippa et le crocodile (a Coop storybook)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Hide and Seek Pig: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Postman Bear: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Fox's Socks: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Christmas at Cranberry Cottage by Talli Roland (short story)
  • Tolkien's Gedling by __ and Andrew Morton
  • A Winter Wedding by Brenda Novak
  • Le livre des Baltimore by Joel Dicker
  • Paddington Bear All Day by Michael Bond
  • Beowulf and Sellic Spell by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Mrs Whippy by Cecelia Ahern
  • The Story of Kullervo by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • Going Back by T. L. Watson
  • The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper (abridged, darn it)
  • Emily's House
  • The Hockey Song
  • The End of All Things by John Scalzi
  • A Christmas Story by Richard Burton
  • Histoire de Founex by Josiane Ferrari-Clément (skimmed)
  • Rabbit's Nap: A Lift-the-flap Book by Julia Donaldson
  • Each Peach Pear Plum by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg
  • La Verite sur l'affair Harry Quebert by Joel Dicker (loving this!)
  • How To Be A Man (and other illusions) by Duff McKagan
  • The War of the Ring - Book 8 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Pop-up Peekaboo: Farm (DK publishing) (board book) (duh)
  • Paddington Bear Goes to Market by Michael Bond (board book)
  • Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai
  • Bible stories and puzzles (in French) (board book)
  • The Last Chance Ball (a Word Wenches christmas anthology featuring Jo Bourne, Jo Beverley, etc.)
  • Farmer Giles of Ham by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • CassaFire by Alex Cavanaugh
  • First and Second Things by C. S. Lewis
  • Smith of Wootton Major by J. R. R. Tolkien (reread but new edition)
  • So Anyway... by John Cleese
  • The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
  • Slowly, silently now the moon by Walter de la Mare (poem)
  • I can't work like this by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • CassaStar by Alex Cavanaugh
  • Death of A Century: A Novel of the Lost Generation by Daniel Robinson
  • The Fly by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • Tyger, Tyger by William Blake (poem, reread)
  • The Christie Notebooks by John Curran
  • The Perfect Son by Barbara Claypole White
  • What to Expect in Baby's First Year
  • Baby's First Year for Dummies
  • secret beta 2!
  • The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak
  • Chu's Day at the Beach by Neil Gaiman (reread, many times)
  • Sacred Inwardness by Marilynne Robinson (essay)
  • New Statesman issue guest edited by Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman (I don't usually include magazines in this list but I read this one cover to cover)
  • The North Star is Nearer by Evelyn Eaton
  • Nightmares and Dreamscapes by Stephen King (loved My Pretty Pony)
  • Every Month Was May by Evelyn Eaton
  • Occasional Soulmates by Kevin Brennan
  • secret beta!
  • Smoke by Catherine McKenzie
  • In Two Aeroplanes Over the Sea by Amanda Palmer (poem)
  • Jim at the Corner by Eleanor Farjeon
  • Finding Fraser by kc dyer
  • Mother Tongue -- The Story of the English Language by Bill Bryson
  • The Hook Up by Kristen Callihan
  • The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
  • Absent in the Spring by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • Come, Tell Me How You Live by Agatha Christie
  • The Lord Fish by Walter de la Mare
  • The Going To Bed Book by S Boynton
  • The Nursery Rhyme Book by Andrew Lang
  • In Dubious Battle by John Steinbeck
  • Subterranean Scalzi Super featuring To Sue the World (an original, very short Redshirts story available nowhere else) Muse of Fire Mallet of Loving Correction Lock In, Lost Chapters (available nowhere else) How I Proposed To My Wife: An Alien Sex Story An Election Judge Sn Goes Golfing Questions for a Soldier The Sagan Diary The Tale of the Wicked The God Engines You’re Not Fooling Anyone When You Take Your Laptop to a Coffee Shop by John Scalzi
  • Emily Goes to Market by William Mayne
  • Many Moons by James Thurber, illustrated by Louis Slobodkin
  • The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (reread)
  • Colours Are Nice (Little Golden Book)
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The One in the Middle is the Green Kangaroo by Judy Blume
  • The Wars by Timothy Findley (reread)
  • The Captive Diary of Catherine Logan by Mary Pope Osborne (Dear America)
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter (reread)
  • Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson (reread)
  • The Poky Puppy (Little Golden Book) (abridged)
  • The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf (reread)
  • Heidi by Johanna Spyri
  • secret beta read 2
  • Pre-Fix: A Ciel Halligan Short Story by Linda Grimes
  • Hidden by Catherine Mackenzie
  • The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
  • Moo, Baa, La La La by Sandra Boynton
  • But Not the Hippopotamus by Sandra Boynton
  • Oh, Whistle, And I'll Come To You, My Lad by M. R. James (short story) (1904)
  • Chu's Day by Neil Gaiman (reread)
  • My Uncle Oswald by Roald Dahl
  • Usborne board books
  • Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
  • Lila by Marilynne Robinson (so lovely)
  • Flowers for Mrs Harris by Paul Gallico
  • secret beta read!
  • The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year by Sue Townsend
  • HELP! Food Allergies Coming To Dinner by Kait Nolan
  • This Heart of Mine by Brenda Novak
  • The Owl Service by Alan Garner
  • Two Caravans by Monica Lewycka
  • Aunt Sass by P. L. Travers
  • An Imperial Affliction by Peter Van Houten (actually a few pages of the story, written by John Green for the film of his novel The Fault In Our Stars)
  • January Brings the Snow by Sara Coleridge (poem)
  • Kissing song by Neil Gaiman (poem)
  • The Mother by Nettie Palmer (poem)
  • William Tell Told Again by P. G. Wodehouse
  • Her Ladyship's Companion by Joanna Bourne
  • The Long Way Home by Louise Penny
  • How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny
  • Mes P'tits Contes, legends of Swiss cantons
  • see the 2014 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2014/12/books-read-in-2014-review.html
  • see the 2013 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2014/01/toast-to-professor-books-read-in-2013.html
  • see the 2012 list and statistics here http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/12/the-hobbit-review-and-year-end-books.html
  • see the 2011 statistics on http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011-statistics-fourth.html
  • see the 2011 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ca/2012/01/books-read-in-2011.html
  • see the 2010 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2010/12/books-read-in-2010-listed-here.html
  • see the 2009 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-ii.html
  • also in 2009 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2009/12/books-read-in-2009-part-iv.html
  • see the 2008 list at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-ii.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-vi.html
  • also in 2008 at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.com/2008/12/books-read-in-2008-part-iv.html