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?

13 comments:

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 :)
http://thefarseas.blogspot.com/2011/01/stylish-blogger-award.html

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

  • Alexandria by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Testament of Experience by Vera Brittain
  • Zoom sur Plainpalais by Corinne Jaquet
  • Sophie's Choice by William Styron
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Young Lions by Irwin Shaw
  • Burning Sky by Lori Benton
  • 12 Anne and Avonlea books by L. M. Montgomery (skimming/reread (this was free on Kindle!))
  • Parade's End by Ford Madox Ford
  • Istanbul Noir (Akashic Books anthology)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • Hermit Crab by Peter Porter (poem)
  • The Hidden Land by Private Irving (poem; http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2017/02/bits-n-pieces-writers-houseparty.html)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • Dear Mr Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
  • My Own Two Feet by Beverly Cleary
  • Managed by Kristen Callihan
  • beta read! (JB)
  • The Making of Outlander by Tara Bennett
  • The Children of Men by P. D. James
  • A Daughter's A Daughter by Mary Westmacott (Agatha Christie)
  • A Girl From Yamhill by Beverly Cleary
  • Sunlight by Margaret Rucker (poem; floating in a cocktail glass)
  • Save the Cat by Blake Snyder
  • Preface to The Hobbit, by Christopher Tolkien
  • Ilk Defa... by Beste Barki (essays)
  • Gaudy Night by Dorothy Sayers (essay)
  • The Moon and I by Betsy Byars
  • The Road to Little Dribbling by Bill Bryson
  • Rogue Warrior by Regan Walker
  • Beauty and the Beast by Villeneuve
  • Black (what was this? I don't remember!)
  • Dance of the Jakaranda by Peter Kimani
  • Thomas the Tank Engine by Rev. Awry (26 book collection)
  • beta read (Born to Run by RB)
  • The Little Turtle by Vachel Lindsay (poem; reread)
  • The Kraken by Alfred Lord Tennyson (poem)
  • Android's Dream by John Scalzi
  • The Mysterious Tadpole by Stephen Kellogg (reread)
  • Yashim Cooks Istanbul by Jason Goodwin
  • Miniatures by John Scalzi
  • Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain
  • Kitty-in-Boots by Beatrix Potter (illustrated by Quentin Blake)
  • All or Nothing by Rose Lerner (short story)
  • Merry Christmas, Emily (board book)
  • Extra Yarn by __ and Jan Klassen
  • Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Outlandish Companion II by Diana Gabaldon
  • The Outlandish Companion I, Revised by Diana Gabaldon
  • MacHinery and the Cauliflowers by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Dileas by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • The Gold Watch by Alistair MacLean (short story)
  • betty, butter, sun by Monica Byrne (short story)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them screenplay by J.K. Rowling
  • The Very Cranky Bear (Scholastic)
  • various haiku by R. Wodaski
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • see the 2016 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2016/12/annual-books-read-statistics-2016.html
  • see the 2015 list and statistics at http://thegirdleofmelian.blogspot.ch/2015/12/annual-books-read-statistics.html
  • 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