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

  • The Noise of Time by Julian Barnes
  • ***Reading At Intervals***
  • The War of the Jewels - Book 11 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • 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!))
  • 11 Doctors 11 Stories by various authors (including Neil Gaiman)
  • The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien manuscripts edited by J. D. Rateliff
  • Creed or Chaos? by Dorothy Sayers
  • Moby Dick by Herman Melville
  • The Jerusalem Bible
  • ***Finished Books***
  • The Hierophant by Lee-Ann Dalton (short story)
  • The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street by Helene Hanff
  • 84 Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff (reread)
  • Lonely Planet guide to Switzerland
  • Hedda Gabler by Henrik Ibsen
  • beta read!
  • Ode on Venice by Lord Byron (poem)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Lucky by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Little Miss Trouble by Roger Hargreaves (reread)
  • Homage to Switzerland by Ernest Hemingway (short story; reread but I really don't remember it after 20 years)
  • The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier (reread)
  • Sing a Long Children's Songs
  • Emily's First Christmas
  • Up At the Villa by Somerset Maugham (novella)
  • Telling Stories by Tim Burgess
  • The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • The Marble Collector by Cecilia Ahern
  • Sophie's Throughway by Jules Smith
  • Baby Animals (Little Golden Books)
  • The House That Jack Built (Little Golden Books)
  • Scuffy the Tugboat (Little Golden Books)
  • The Saggy Baggy Elephant (Little Golden Books)
  • Morgoth's Ring - Book 10 in the History of Middle Earth series by Christopher Tolkien and J R R Tolkien (reread)
  • A Child's Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Who's A Pest by Crosby Bonsall
  • Mine's the Best by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • The Case of the Hungry Stranger by Crosby Bonsall (reread)
  • extracts from the diary of John Evelyn (Volume 1 of 2)
  • extracts from Lord Byron's letters about Villa Diodati
  • Pippin the Christmas Pig by Jean Little
  • Ite Missa Est by Anthony Martignetti
  • The Last Battle by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • Prince Caspian by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Red Angel by G. K. Chesterton (essay)
  • Emily's Runaway Imagination by Beverly Cleary
  • The Boy Who Set Out to Learn What Fear Was by the Brothers Grimm
  • The Horse and His Boy by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis (reread)
  • secret beta read!
  • Preludes by Wordsworth (extracts read aloud)
  • Little Miss Scatterbrain by Roger Hargreaves
  • Dance Me A Dream by Kait Nolan (ARC)
  • Once Upon A Coffee by Kait Nolan
  • England and Switzerland, 1802 by William Wordsworth (poem)
  • Once Upon A New Year's Eve by Kait Nolan
  • short story by Becky Morgan (http://forums.compuserve.com/discussions/Books_and_Writers_Community/Writers_Exercises/Becky_Morgans_December_X/ws-books/85291.1?nav=messages)
  • Blood In Blood Out by Brenda Novak (short story)
  • That Hell-Bound Train by Robert Bloch (short story)
  • Distraction by J. L. Campbell
  • Humble Bundle Peanuts collection (strips by Charles Schulz)
  • Peanuts Volumes I to VI (bought via Humble Bundle; very disappointing as it's mostly new strips -- how is that even allowed?!)
  • Sandals and Sangria by Talli Roland (short story)
  • Over the Hump by Talli Roland (short story)
  • issues of Journal of Inklings Studies and Amon Hen and Mallorn (Tolkien Society)
  • Z is for Zamboni: A Hockey Alphabet by Matt Napier
  • Babar and his Family by Laurent de Brunhoff
  • Illusions Lost by Byron A. Maddox (short story)
  • ongoing rereads of most board books listed last year!
  • Lost My Name book for Emily (https://www.lostmy.name/)
  • Now We Are Six by A. A. Milne
  • When We Were Very Young by A. A. Milne (reread)
  • Neil Gaiman comics on Sequential app
  • Moranology by Caitlin Moran
  • 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