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Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:28 PM

 

What top 5 books would you list when directing a teenager?

If you wanted to persuade a teenager in the United States to develop critical thinking skills, empathy, and awareness of the world around them, what would be your top 5 books you recommend? Critical limit on this...you have to have read them yourself.

I know some will put books out there that aren't as obvious to me or others. If you want to state why you think it is a top 5...feel free, but if not that is great too. Just looking for perspectives.

Mine would be:

1)Night by Elie Weisel

The extreme violence and destruction of human souls is occurring daily even now. Currently in Syria but recently in Iraq, Bosnia, Congo, and more. It is important for people to see the depths humans are capable of from the individual perspective of one boy who was forever changed.

2)1984 by George Orwell

This book characterizes a dystopian future that we are actually very close to achieving, but again Love is a central theme--both real love and the way love is manipulated.

3)To Kill a Mockingbird by

Such a terrific portrayal of racism, fear of "other", and of course bravery in the face of hate, honorable treatment of others, and love.

4)Les Miserables by Victor Hugo

This is a timeless book capturing personal triumph over injustice--love despite despair, the rich with boot heels on the necks of the poor, a desire of some people to change the world through violence, and a thousand other great moral lessons. Much longer than the others but so satisfying in it's scope.

5)Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka

A perfect way for young people to realize most of established society will lock us into an insect-like existence as we slave for the machine. There are countless works informed by this wonderful story. Again, hopefully it helps young people realize they can become their own person--not trapped in meaningless drudgery.

Many, many honorable mentions: Fahrenheit 451, A Brave New World, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Catcher in the Rye, Of Mice and Men, Slaughterhouse 5, Fictions by Luis Borges, 100 Years of Solitude, Count of Monte Cristo, Our Town, Human Comedy, Things Fall Apart, The Stranger, and many others.

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Reply What top 5 books would you list when directing a teenager? (Original post)
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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:31 PM

1. Bernal Diaz del Castillo's True History

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #1)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:26 PM

88. seriously?

Why?

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Response to BainsBane (Reply #88)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:33 PM

95. A dose of reality!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:32 PM

2. Interesting.

I would say something like Nickled & Dimed, and anything produced by Morgan Spurlock. Get to the real issues of today, experienced by ordinary citizens.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:35 PM

3. 1984, Slaughterhose Five, On The Road, Sand County Almanac, The Jungle

In my opinion...

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Response to Earth_First (Reply #3)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:05 PM

23. I read The Jungle in 9th grade.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:35 PM

4. Damn! I immediately thought of To Kill a Mockingbid, 1984, and Slaughterhouse Five!

Now I'm kind of going back and forth, but I'll keep trying to whittle it down to two more.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:35 PM

5. choose a Heinlein to add to the list

"The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" is one of my favorites

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #5)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:55 PM

73. either that or

Stranger in a Strange Land

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Response to RedRocco (Reply #73)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:20 AM

152. A rewrite of the New Testament

but not without value.

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #5)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:41 PM

162. Good grief

Ok, but when you hand it to the kid, how do you keep yourself from saying "this is a bullshit Libertarian wet dream fairytale?"

I mean, the kid will probably realize it anyway inside of the first 10 pages, but the urge to give that disclaimer must be nigh overwhelming.

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Response to Orrex (Reply #162)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:47 PM

165. ROFL ok, you have a point

i think what struck me as a teen with that book was how the feminine characters in the book were portrayed. i probably need to re-read it again (it's been more than a couple decades) with a more overarching politically critical eye.

but in the late 60s when i read it (early 70s?) it had a great impact on how i perceived what a woman could do in society

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #165)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:02 PM

167. I've gone back and forth on Heinlein's characterizations

Sometimes they strike me as quite strong and self-assured, but other times they seem like fantasy women dreamed up by an aging Golden Age s/f writer.

Still, the stories have some great and classic s/f ideas, so that counts for something!

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Response to Orrex (Reply #167)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:14 PM

168. yes

depended on the page how the characters came off.

still, great reads IMHO back in the day.....

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Response to NMDemDist2 (Reply #172)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:29 PM

174. Nice--a very cool overview

I like the contrast drawn between his earlier and later works.

A friend suggested to me that Heinlein was given more editorial freedom later in life, and perhaps this combines with what the author here has observed.

Anyway, thanks for the link!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:36 PM

6. They usually are not as experience as a season Actor so you need to find out who...

...his last director was...

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #6)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:55 AM

119. yours rates as the most bizarre reply to this OP

 

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #119)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:13 AM

121. I'm doped up on cold syrups and stuff plus no sleep (coughing and hacking)

I feel pretty bizarre.
No disrespect intended...just a weak attempt at humor.

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Response to BlueJazz (Reply #121)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:15 AM

122. no worries. I figured there was some reference I wasn't getting :)

 

but it was pretty funny. hope you feel better. I have 1000 books to read now aside from the ones I'll recommend to my daughter.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:38 PM

7. I'd start with The Adventures of Huclebery Finn by Mark Twain

http://www.gutenberg.org/files/76/76-h/76-h.htm

then
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

then
The Grapes of Wrath and David Copperfield

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:38 PM

8. All Quiet on the Western Front

I read it in 8th grade, and it really made an impression on me.

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Response to CanonRay (Reply #8)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:46 PM

28. Another one on those lines...

"Johnny Got His Gun" by Dalton Trumbo. I had to read it in high school. Very depressing, but does get its readers to think.

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #28)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:38 PM

45. I have that sitting here in my "stack"

lent to me by my neighbor... he said it was really depressing and I think I might not read it after all and Sand County Almanac has its merits but it's kind of hard to get through.

But I would like to suggest that anyone recommending George Orwell's 1984 also include his Animal Farm as a complement to the point he was making. Also, Lord of the Flies, Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, Shock Doctrine or No Logo by Naomi Klein, and last but not least would be Searching for Yellowstone by Paul Schullery. All made an impression on me regarding the American human-cultural condition over time. Only Naomi Klein's books weren't required reading in various stages of my schooling.

Oops, Klein and Schullery aren't fiction but worth it anyway.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #45)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:48 PM

47. I meant to suggest "Lord of the Flies", too.

Last edited Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:07 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to GoCubsGo (Reply #47)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:57 PM

49. It's a challenge to narrow it down to five

and there are some really good suggestions on this thread that I might have offered if I had thought of them before the others. But I like to read so I thought it would be fun to see what others were suggesting as well as offer my own... kind of like a word game sort of thing. Funny though, I wasn't much of a reader until I got to college, which is really good since I had to read about half of a large library!

Oh, and Michener's Chesapeake is pretty good, or maybe his Hawai'i...?

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #49)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:01 AM

124. Don't forget his Alaska. :)

Also good, although I've been reading it for about three years. It's always that way with Michener's books.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #124)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:23 AM

153. Indeed, it depends on

how much time you have to sit and read... but I haven't read Alaska so now I have get that and read it.

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Response to 2naSalit (Reply #153)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:36 PM

161. It's very good and quite accurate

on Alaska's very interesting history. I think he starts with dinosaurs or woolly mammoths (it's been so long ago since I started the book, I can't remember) and moves forward into the '80s, I believe. The last part I remember reading was about the Nome gold rush.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:39 PM

9. The Plague (Camus), the Golden Notebook (Doris Lessing), Les Miserables (Hugo), To Kill a

Mockingbird (Harper Lee), and, The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck).

Difficult choice, too many to list, but those are the 5 books that impressed me the most.

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Response to Mass (Reply #9)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:41 PM

11. Thank you. I am directing my daughter and catching up on some "great" ones I never read

 

so I love seeing everyone's perspectives to build up my reserve of books to read.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:40 PM

10. I would add

Watership Down, by Richard Adams

Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri

and

Beloved, Toni Morrison

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:43 PM

12. don't forget The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

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Response to NRaleighLiberal (Reply #12)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:53 AM

118. that's such a great novel

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Response to fishwax (Reply #118)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:55 AM

120. Can't leave out John Irving - Owen Meany or Cider House Rules

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:46 PM

13. One day in the life of Ivan Denisovich by Solzehenitsyn

An Interrupted Life by Etty Hillesum.

Those made an impact on me when I was younger.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:50 PM

14. Tuesdays With Morrie should be added to the list.

 

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:52 PM

15. Here's mine...

These are coming from a 26 year old. I'm only a "few" years out of my teenage time.

1) The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien


2) Night by Elie Weisel


3) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee


4) Make Room! Make Room! by Harry Harrison

Some may only know this as the film, Soylent Green.

5) Oh, the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss


Yes, I am serious. Give this to a teenager as a graduation gift and watch how their understanding of the book has changed from when they were a child. I received this as a gift from on of my teachers on the day I graduated and I still have it. I also bought it for my sister-in-law for her graduation.

Honorable mentions: Clockwork Orange, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Fahrenheit 451, The Kite Runner, The Importance of Being Earnest, Jane Eyre, Crime and Punishment...

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Response to LP2K12 (Reply #15)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:10 PM

52. I would add Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

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Response to peacebird (Reply #52)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:50 AM

131. Ah, finally, some NON-fiction !

If you really want to influence someone's life, maybe you need more than imaginative fiction, however good. Unfortunately, most of the replies in this thread are votes for works of great emotive power, admittedly often to good purpose, but many are just good reads, and not necessarily much more. A really life-altering read needs to do more than just open the emotional faucets, it needs to instill new IDEAS (which can be done in fiction, too) and new ways of thinking. I'd give any well-written high school or college math or science textbook more points on that scale than any of the fiction I've read. (I suppose I should add biography and history too, but most of that I've read has been outside of school.)

It's disappointing to see how few suggestions are even historical or biographical. My own favorite book for most of my life was the encyclopedia. There's not a single work of fiction I've ever read that really influenced me because -- it's FICTION. It's stories that people MADE UP. The character are NOT REAL PEOPLE. The author can make them say or do ANYTHING, whether it makes sense or not, whether it could ever happen in reality or not. I do read fiction for escapism, but even the most imaginative fiction pales next to good narrative non-fiction -- stuff that actually happened, or happens, in the real world.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:53 PM

16. I am reminded of this quote:

"There are two novels that can change a bookish fourteen-year oldís life: The Lord of the Rings and Atlas Shrugged. One is a childish fantasy that often engenders a lifelong obsession with its unbelievable heroes, leading to an emotionally stunted, socially crippled adulthood, unable to deal with the real world. The other, of course, involves orcs."


I also find it interesting that anytime books are banned for any reason, Fahrenheit 451 is always on the list.

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Response to NashvilleLefty (Reply #16)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:01 AM

139. I LOVE that quote! LOTR is wonderful

I just read The Hobbit to my 8 y.o. grandson and naturally picked up LOTR again for the first time in years. For me, not for him just yet.

Yes, I do think "a bookish 14 year old" might find LOTR (the books, not the movies) life-changing in a very positive way. I read it to my son when he was about 10, and both he and his older sister ended up loving it. She listened to the tapes of the book until they wore out. Neither one of them tried pointy ears, either.

My belief is that LOTR contains a treasure-trove of wonderful and beautiful language -- English, not Elvish -- and demonstrations of great courage, kindness, compassion, ethical behavior, and sacrifice, all wrapped up in a great adventure without a single speck of preaching.

Atlas Shrugged -- not so much!

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Response to Hekate (Reply #139)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:25 PM

181. One of the things I loved best about LOTR

was how "green" it was...I read them at the tender age of 10 (always a bookworm) and have been an environmentalist ever since.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:53 PM

17. A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

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Response to azlatina (Reply #17)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:55 PM

19. I should read that one. But every time I see that book title, I think of Good Will Hunting

 

"Jesus, you people are reading the wrong fucking books".

lol.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #19)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:50 PM

194. Available as a 25 hour audio book from Audible.com

Read by his son. When they run a two free selection special you can pick it up for nothing.

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Response to azlatina (Reply #17)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:18 PM

191. amazing book

simply amazing

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:54 PM

18. Why just fiction?

What about "The Emperors New Mind" by Penrose or "Goedel, Escher, Bach" by Hofstadter? "How to Lie with Statistics" (Darrel Huff) is essential reading for everybody.

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Response to intaglio (Reply #18)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:56 PM

21. well, I definitely agree nonfiction is good too, but I decided to keep it to nonfiction

 

through all my years of reading memoirs, political analysis, etc. I've never been as moved by those books as compelling as they may be as I have been moved by the greatest writing of fiction.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:55 PM

20. Lord of the Rings

Because anyone, no matter how small, can make a difference.

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Response to AnnieBW (Reply #20)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:05 PM

50. i think at least one should be this type of book

something fantasy or sci fi or similar.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 04:58 PM

22. All are fine works however most kids today have no sense of history

 

You would be better off having them watch the movie versions of the books; they would pay attention and comprehend what the themes of the books are.
What was the last time you even saw a teen reading an actual book?

But if they read then......

Being and Nothingness by Sartre, Candide by Voltaire, and Gulliver's Travels by Swift would be a fine add's IMHO

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:12 PM

24. My 5 and my honorable mentions

Catch 22 - Joesph Heller
Slaughterhouse 5 - Kurt Vonnegut
Lord Jim - Joseph Conrad
The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Adventures of Huckleberry Finn - Mark Twain

Honorable Mention

Walk on the Wild Side by Nelson Algren
The Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll
The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac
Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut
The Nigger of the 'Narcissus' by Joseph Conrad
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
No Picnic on Mount Kenya by Felice Benuzzi (Non fiction)
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Henderson the Rain King by Saul Bellow
Skippy Dies by Paul Murray
Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:33 PM

25. Many good books have already been listed. I would add ...

... Great Expectations, and A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens), and also Gulliver's Travels (Swift).

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:41 PM

26. I imagine "directing a teenager" is like "directing a cat"

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Response to Skittles (Reply #26)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:14 PM

34. Lol. Yes. But my daughter is open to my suggestions

 

And I have a baby boy who will be there eventually.

She was reading aloud some horribly written teen horse shit a couple years back, so I pulled 1984 off the shelf and said, "here. Try this."

She was riveted and so moved by it. She has craved similar fare since that time.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #34)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:49 PM

48. If she likes dystopic fiction with a message then I have a couple of suggestions.

"Courtship Rite" by Donald Kingsbury

http://www.amazon.com/Courtship-Rite-Donald-Kingsbury/dp/067145224X

"Blindsight" by Peter Watts (it's fiction but be sure to read the appendixes)

http://www.amazon.com/Blindsight-Peter-Watts/dp/0765319640/ref=pd_sim_sbs_b_8

This one can be read online, it's been released under creative commons.

http://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm

"Calculating God" by Robert J Sawyer (not a dystopia but delves into a great many philosophical issues in an entertaining way)

http://www.amazon.com/Calculating-God-Robert-J-Sawyer/dp/0765322897

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Response to Fumesucker (Reply #48)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:20 PM

83. Brave New World

I don't think anyone has mentioned it.

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Response to stopwastingmymoney (Reply #83)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:48 PM

178. Wow, this is a must read for teenagers. We had to read it in my English class.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:41 PM

27. "Lies My Teacher Told Me" by James Loewen

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:48 PM

29. Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh,

Meetings With Remarkable Men- G I Gurdjieff

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:48 PM

30. My 5 would be

1) Howard Zinn's "A People's History Of The United States"
2) Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle"
3) David Montgomery's "Beyond Equality: Labor and the Radical Republicans 1866-74"
4) Plutarch's "Lives of the Noble Romans and Greeks"
5) Joseph Schumpeter's "Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy"

If you don't know why I included them, READ THEM!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:49 PM

31. The Catcher In The Rye

Period.

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Response to WiffenPoof (Reply #31)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:30 AM

135. Yes it was the most moving book I ever read at the time and 48 years later it still works for me.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:49 PM

32. Any thing by

Ron Koertge

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 05:52 PM

33. I will try not to do repeats.

1. Lord of the Flies

Lessons in what happens when a society devolves into savagery. I think we have seen a recent real life example of this in Ohio.

2. Animal Farm.

Anything that Orwell has written is excellent. This on shows how we can easily become that which we have fought against if we aren't careful.

3. The Handmaid's Tale

Note to Republicans this is a cautionary tale not a manual for legislation.

4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

I am glad things have gotten better in the treatment of people with mental illness. But, we have so very far to go. This is still good though a study in how we treat people who are different even if we rarely institutionalize them anymore.

5. The Lottery

Although it is a short story it's a must read. A story I find similar is Hunger Games. But, the Lottery is shorter and in some ways more chilling.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:19 PM

35. Here's my additions.

I'm trying to avoid repeats.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: Because no matter what you do, sometimes the world just doesn't make sense. Just roll with it. And the answer is always 42. This book also can prove to rebellious teenagers who balk at school stuff that reading can be fun, not just a chore.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

The Harry Potter series is good too - some of the lessons to learn: Don't believe everything you're told. The authorities are not always right.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #35)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:36 PM

44. I'm really glad you posted these. More "lighthearted" & fun.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #35)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 09:28 AM

214. Ok, now we're getting somewhere! let me add "The Fan Man" by Kotzwinkle

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:25 PM

36. Jiddu Krishnamurti

The First and Last Freedom, The Plumed Serpent by D.H. Lawrence

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:26 PM

37. Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins

 

Jitterbug Perfume is Tom Robbins' fourth novel, published in 1984. The major themes of the book include the striving for immortality, the meaning behind the sense of smell, individual expression, self-reliance, sex, love, and religion. Beets and the god Pan figure prominently. The novel is a self-described epic, with four distinct storylines, one set in 8th century Bohemia and three others in modern day New Orleans, Seattle, and Paris.

It is creative and fascinating and challenges a lot of status quo stuff and is just plain fun to read too. Highly recommend to any of any age if you haven't tried a Robbins yet. Serious jocularity from a beautiful mind.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #37)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:27 PM

89. or Robbins' Another Roadside Attraction or his Skinny Legs and All

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Response to patrice (Reply #89)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:37 PM

97. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

 

Did you ever see the movie with Uma Thurman?

it was pretty true and good to the book , iirc.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #97)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:46 PM

99. Did not see the movie. Love Tom Robbins! Hard to pick my favorite. Good reading for teenagers

because he's witty and sarcastic in a positive sort of way, very topical, relevant reads all.

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Response to patrice (Reply #89)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:06 AM

125. I LOVED Another Roadside Attraction and Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Great books. And fun to read.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #125)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:41 PM

187. Another Roadside Attraction was a *BIG* deal for this Catholic-school girl in her early 20s.

I remember feeling ever so daring reading a story about hippies discovering the mummified body of Christ.

Loved it!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:29 PM

38. Atlas

..... (just kidding!)

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #38)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:22 PM

54. Lol. It is on some reader-chosen lists as a top one

 

What idiots

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #38)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:49 PM

68. Hey, it's probably better to be exposed to it early. There's nothing wrong with a 14 year old...

... liking Rand, in fact there's something kind of healthy about it. It's when it last pasts your 20th birthday that you need to be concerned.

That said, Fountainhead is probably better for a teenager.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #68)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:10 AM

217. I read Rand at twelve.

Totally bought into it and the latter Heinlein books where he went bat shit crazy with the libertarian crap.

Then I grew up. Ursula k Guinn's Left hand of Darkness, Ellison's Dangerous Visions, Piercy's Woman on the Edge of Time. People exploring humanity, not capitalism with a big C

I also clued into the fact that Heinlein's heroines were typically well endowed redheads with mad skillz who fall in love with some homely hero and really justs wants to be protected by him.

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Response to Turbineguy (Reply #38)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:47 PM

100. he, he . . . you got me!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:30 PM

39. Man, those are mostly heavy duty reading.

As a 6th grade teacher my favorite book to do with the students was Stargirl by Jerry Spinneli. Easy reading compared to all the above suggestions but so great at addressing issues of individuality & nonconformity. It's considered a young adult novel (ages 12 and up). Boys like it, too!

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Response to narnian60 (Reply #39)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:35 PM

42. My thought as well. It's hard enough to get many kids to read anymore.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:32 PM

40. King Jesus by Robert Graves

 

The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler
Debt: the first 5,000 years by David Graeber
The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
Class Warfare by Noam Chomsky

With only 5 recommendations, I picked the theme of "everything you think you know is wrong". We are absolutely inculcated with a litany of bullshit here in America. Even supposedly well-educated thinkers so often base their opinions on facts, things they were taught during that educational period, that are simply not true and therefore, come to completely erroneous conclusions. Our own President is a great example as he appears to be completely convinced that taxation of profits stifles growth. He voluntarily compares his beliefs with those espoused by ronald reagan despite three decades of proof to the contrary.

I think it is vital for young minds to examine everything. As we used to say, "question authority".

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Response to Egalitarian Thug (Reply #40)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:50 PM

101. Robert Graves? Wow. I haven't read this one. Have your read his White Goddess, a little

tooo heavy for teenagers, but interesting from the perspective of the mythopoetic roots of Western European poetry.

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Response to patrice (Reply #101)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:47 AM

116. I think it depends on the person. I read it at my mom's behest when I was 17.

 

It was the first book I remember reading that literally turned my world upside down. That whole "everything you know is wrong" thing. Of course it lead me to look even more closely at the whole myth and conclude that Jesus probably never existed at all.

No, I haven't read that. In truth, this was the only one of his books I did read as my interests don't overlap very much with his work. King Jesus was a novelization, but it raised so many questions for me that inspired my to look more deeply into the matter. After I read it, I found Bishop Spong and I was off.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:34 PM

41. Black Beauty, Siddharta (for older crowd) Illusions or Jonathan Livingston Seagull for anyone

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Response to KittyWampus (Reply #41)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:42 PM

46. Oh, yes, Black Beauty. My childhood favorite.

A must read for all animal lovers.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 06:36 PM

43. Guns, Germs, and Steel by Diamond, and make them watch the first

 

Matrix until they can recite it line by line, and start questioning the cultural wasteland we live in.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:10 PM

51. Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

The story of a young boy who is tricked into genocide by the military industrial complexes use of video games. It touches on many societal issues on many different levels and, in the end- through sibling love/rivalry, cynicism and (un)natural brilliance, the boy turns out alright.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:10 PM

53. Just one is needed...

"A Confederacy of Dunces"
John Kennedy Toole

It sums up the human experience quite well.

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Response to RagAss (Reply #53)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:04 PM

58. My all time favorite!

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Response to etherealtruth (Reply #58)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:59 PM

106. i thought of that

But coildmt remember of iy was ok for teenager

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:40 PM

55. I would add Ursula K. Le Guin to add a bit of estrogen

 

to the books I see listed here.

Catcher in the Rye - it's been a long while since I read it but when I got a hold of a copy I was anticipating this jewel that everyone was exclaiming about and it was dead pan boring to me.

Le Guin's science fiction is more than amazing. She is a very creative thinker abd goes places unimagined. Page turning can not get much better.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #55)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:32 PM

66. For children especially

The Earthsea Trilogy by Le Guin.

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Response to Whisp (Reply #55)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:08 AM

126. Lathe of Heaven

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Response to Whisp (Reply #55)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:44 PM

196. Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed for political science

The Left Hand of Darkness for a deep meditation on gender -- and politics.

Almost anything by her, really. She's still writing and has grown with the times. She's deeply intelligent.

It's nice to meet a fellow fan. I've been trying to collect all her books, but I think that may be impossible because she is so prolific!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 07:51 PM

56. my 5

Breakfast of Champions

The Old Man and the Sea

Catcher in the Rye

Spell of the Yukon by Robert Service

The executioner's song

All Quite on the Western Front.

The David Allen Story by Skinner

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:00 PM

57. Light fiction

A young person could relate ........teaches a very important lesson

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle David Wrobelewski

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:08 PM

59. The Giver by Lois Lowry is a great book

The Lord of the Flies, To Kill a Mockingbird, Flowers For Algernon. For an older teen, the Handmaid's Tale.

Edited to add A Tree Grows in Brooklyn and The Grapes of Wrath.

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Response to FedUpWithIt All (Reply #59)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:44 PM

177. My 12yo is a HUGE Lois Lowry fan. She read all her books, and read The Giver twice.

.

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Response to blm (Reply #177)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 11:49 PM

212. My three oldest and my niece all read it and really rated it high.

I read it myself at the urging of my oldest. It has quite an impact.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:09 PM

60. heres my five

 

Seven pillars of wisdom by lawrence
The histories by Herodotus
Lord of the rings tolkien
old mannand the sea hemmingway
Prester john by buchan

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #60)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:53 PM

72. I *loved* Seven Pillars as a teenager

That's a great one. And I wish I had read Herodotus earlier.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #72)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:57 PM

74. i must have read herodutus a dozen times over the years

 

It just opens up the whole of the region at the time to you. Also love the mixing of legends etc with his eye witness accounts. Lawrence is just a great tale and what one man can achieve.

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Response to loli phabay (Reply #74)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:01 PM

75. Did you ever read Lawrence's translation of The Odyssey?

He did it after the war, as T. E. Shaw. It's incredible.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #75)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:03 PM

76. no i will have to look it up. i recommend prester john by buchan as another excellent adventure sto

 

Story.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #75)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:56 AM

132. Thanks for the info. nt

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:29 PM

61. The Republic by Plato

Lots of my favorites are already listed here.

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Response to mia (Reply #61)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:50 PM

69. I think a "lighter" Plato would be good: Meno, Phaedo, or Phaedrus?

I think it's great for a teenager to come to know and love Socrates, but Republic is a hard place to start, IMO.

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Response to Recursion (Reply #69)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:15 PM

81. The Apology is really accessible

 

to young people

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Response to Recursion (Reply #69)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:35 AM

154. This was part of a 10th grade Greek & Roman Literature course for me.

The "Might makes Right" argument was what struck me the most in high school. I still have my tattered paperback from nearly 50 years ago and have referred to it many times since.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 08:39 PM

62. You must mean the top end of teenagers.

I teach middle school and some of those are out of bounds, comprehension wise, for most. I teach ages 11-15, with most in the 12-14 age range.

Some of my students have read # 1 -3, plus some of your honorable mentions.

Many modern teens don't relate to literature set in times they don't understand, and don't really want to. Of course, I get many students who would never pick a book up, at all, EVER, if I didn't force them to. Thinking about the book is the next step.

Getting them to engage means bringing them something they can understand and relate to, so some classic fiction needs a lot of front-loading about the setting.

A few other choices, in random order:

Briar Rose by Yolen

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Siddhartha by Hesse

I agree with the poster above who suggested Le Guin. Here are some authors who have more than one worthy selection:

John Green; just about anything he's written

Marcus Zusak

Sherman Alexie

Phillip Pullman

Madeline L'Engle





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Response to LWolf (Reply #62)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:55 PM

103. DUers live in Lake Wobegon, where all the children are above average



I get exactly your point and it wasn't just modern teens, there was a bunch of stuff listed I didn't want to read either and I read Dickens and Kipling for fun at that age.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:09 PM

63. The Infernals, and The Gates, by John Connolly - so so funny

While both are uproariously funny (I couldn't read them in public as I'd burst out laughing), anyone, from kids to adults can enjoy these books. They are a way to teach kids what corruption is (and the creatures from "hell" are just about as corrupt as those in our world today!), provides a taste of modern physics in a fun way, and overall teaches an analysis of "good" and "evil." Wittiest footnotes on the planet.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:09 PM

64. Seventeen by Booth Tarkington.

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Response to libinnyandia (Reply #64)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:20 PM

65. My 5

The Catcher in the Rye
Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
Breakfast of Champions
The Lord of the Rings
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:46 PM

67. Freddy's Book, HMS Surprise, Don Quixote, Wuthering Heights, Also Sprach Zarathustra

Freddy's Book by John Gardner.

It's just my favorite book so I put it on almost any list, but it's the right heft for a teenager. It's coy without being too difficult, and rewards multiple re-readings.

HMS Surprise by Pat O'Brien.

If you want to develop a reading addiction, O'Brien is a proven gateway author.

Don Quixote

But make sure it's a good translation.

Wuthering Heights

This might be a little heavy, but it's a really good book and is about people their age

Zarathustra

I mean, come on. If you're going to do teenage existential angst (and they are) go straight to the source.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:50 PM

70. Great books, but that's a list for a teen growing up in the 1970s.

Some updates, maybe?

Here's one my daughter enjoyed: It's Kind of a Funny Story by Ned Vizzini

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Response to Buzz Clik (Reply #70)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:25 PM

173. Human nature has changed since the publication dates?

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #173)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:25 PM

179. I guess no one should write books and no one should read them because ....

...human nature has not changed since the great books were written.

I didn't suggest that our kids shouldn't read classic literature. Not at all. But, it is silly to not even look at books written in the last 25 years.

Was not the OP asking for suggestions? Do you object to mine?

geez.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 10:52 PM

71. Zinn, A People's History of the US

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:07 PM

77. Grapes of Wrath

by John Steinbeck

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Response to JEB (Reply #77)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:55 PM

104. GREAT work of art! (not just politics at all)

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Response to patrice (Reply #104)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:03 AM

109. A very human tale

told in plain language that rings true.

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Response to JEB (Reply #109)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:12 AM

110. There's real mastery of the form and medium in that, not to do too much, not to do too little.

All of those thousands of little choices that an artist makes, Steinbeck makes each one of them the best possible. The forward in my last copy of that book told the story of what he went through to get it right. It was NOT easy for him. He worked at it extremely hard; he must have cared a great deal.

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Response to patrice (Reply #110)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:27 AM

111. Steinbeck

was a real craftsman with a soul. I'd think some poetry would be great for teens. Ginsburg, Lao-Tsu, Whitman, ....so many.

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Response to JEB (Reply #111)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:33 AM

113. Yes! More poetry! I think both Whitman & Ginsburg are accessible to teens and WORTH it!!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:12 PM

78. The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

I love that one....


Also for a fiction...but based on history.

I loved Herman Wouk's
War and Remembrance
Winds of War

They are the about WWII...Many Americans see WWII as starting Dec 7, 1941 Pearl Harbour Attack.

War is a cobweb and there are many countries, characters and datelines.

It shows the perpectives from American, English, German, Israeli , Russian and the other countries involved.

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Response to riverbendviewgal (Reply #78)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:29 PM

91. +++1

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:13 PM

79. Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting One's Reason and of Seeking Truth in the Sciences

 

throw some russell, hegel, and wittgenstein in there for good measure

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:15 PM

80. Anything by Harlan Ellison

Classics include: Repent Harlequin, Said The Ticktockman, Demon With A Glass Hand, Jefty Was Five, I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream, A Boy And His Dog.

Also, the period Classic, The Glass Teat.

Aw, just have him read ANYTHING by good 'ol Harlan. He's one of the most prolific and prophetic writers of our time.

He's written entirely short stories, and TV scripts. If you watched TV in the 60s, you saw some of his work.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:17 PM

82. East of Eden. And anything by Hemingway.

A Moveable Feast is my favorite book.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:21 PM

84. Huckleberry Finn. Read it myself, of course, but I've also read it to my son...

...several times. And he has read it on his own.

I recommend the expanded edition that restores some material Twain had to cut to make its size compatible with Tom Sawyer.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:23 PM

85. Huckleberry Finn, The Last of the Mohicans, Our Town, The Sound and the Fury, Great Gatsby.

I'd add Moby Dick, but reneged. Took me three tries to get through it. A classic though.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:23 PM

86. A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

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Response to patrice (Reply #86)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:43 PM

163. ^^ This one^^

 

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Response to HarveyDarkey (Reply #163)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:31 PM

175. Yep. My absolute #1!! If they don't read anything else, they should read Zinn. nt

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Response to patrice (Reply #175)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:32 PM

182. I've been planning to get around to that myself...

guess it's time.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #182)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:38 PM

186. I have it on my iPod. It was a little expensive, but I'm glad I get to listen to it, or any part of

it, whenever I want to. It's the type of work that no matter where you happen to pick it up, it's worth it!

I have paperback that's a little worn too, but I like the iPod because I can wear it when I exercise or clean house or drive or whatever.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:25 PM

87. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn


Favorite that I read again every few years

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:29 PM

90. Wow... Lots of great stuff listed...

I might throw in some Gene Wolfe... Perhaps Haldeman's Forever War.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:30 PM

92. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:31 PM

93. To Kill a Mockingbird #1 for sure....

read it a dozen or more times!

2. Old Yeller...classic

3.Beach Music by Pat Conroy

Spanning three generations and two continents, from the contemporary ruins of the American South to the ancient ruins of Rome, from the unutterable horrors of the Holocaust to the lingering trauma of Vietnam, Beach Music sings with lifeís pain and glory. It is another masterpiece in PAT CONROYíS legendary list of beloved novels.
Another book I have read multiple times...a must read.

4. Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck

5.of Thee I Sing..A Letter to My Daughters by Barack Obama

http://suite101.com/article/review-of-barack-obamas-of-thee-i-sing-a-letter-to-my-daughters-a334501#ixzz2H70uKTGG

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #93)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:22 PM

208. Pat Conroy. Love. I have a ton of modern fiction that I love along with the classics mentioned...

None of these are going to be considered great literature at this point in time, but, in my opinion are well written books with stories that this age group can relate to and are written by modern authors

Pat Conroy...The Great Santini, The Prince of Tides, Lords of Discipline, Beach Music, The Water is Wide...I just LOVE his books. I am from the South, so that may be my draw, but his books are just so relateable.

I also adore Barbara Kingsolver. The Poisonwood Bible is an amazing story that will make you cry.

Rain of Gold by Victor Villasenor.

Before Women Had Wings by Connie Fowler.

My 15 year old step-daughter loves all of the books by Jodi Piccoult. I also like to read her books for an easy read, especially if I'm looking for a good cry. She also borrowed my copy of The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. That book affected her I think more than other she has read to date.

My step-son who is 12 is an AVID reader. He just finished Gods and Generals and now wants to read Roots. He is in love with Pat Conroy novels...which thrills me because PC is one of my favorite authors. He writes beautifully. He did his 6th grade summer book report on The Water is Wide. Love that kid. He also really liked Seabuscuit and Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.

And, I really think The Kite Runner is a must read.

Just finished two great books - Cutting for Stone and The Dove Keepers. Have passed those around to people at work, and everyone has really liked them both so far.

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Response to 2theleft (Reply #208)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:42 PM

209. Hi, 2theleft !

Pat Conroy is fabulous. I have read all of them. You are right The Water is Wide was a great read.Have you read South of Broad also.

Jodi Piccoult is an easy read as you say...however I do love the writing and the relationships she builds in her characters. My favorite was My Sister's Keeper. The lawyer/child relationship was great! She does know how to write.

I made note of some of the books you just mentioned. Thanks for the tip.

sheshe

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Response to sheshe2 (Reply #209)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:59 PM

210. Yes...I have read and LOVED South of Broad

I can never decide which of his is my favorite. South of Broad is the one book my soon to be husband will read every year. One of his top 5 faves of all time and he probably reads more than any person I've ever met.

I think my favorite JP book was Plain Truth. The Amish lifestyle/belief system fascinates me. But My Sister's Keeper was the first I had read and it's probably right up there with my fave.

Have you ever read Barbara Kingsolver?? If not, I HIGHLY recommend The Poisonwood Bible. HIGHLY.

I really wish I didn't have to work so I could just read ALL day.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:33 PM

94. Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane, in it's un-edited original version

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:35 PM

96. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:43 PM

98. Black Elk Speaks by John G. Neihardt & Black Boy by Richard Wright & An Instance of the

Finger Post by Iain Pears

Sorry! I know that's more than 5, but I just love books!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:53 PM

102. SORRY!! one more: Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez nt

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sat Jan 5, 2013, 11:56 PM

105. 5

Catcher in the rye
1984
Slauterhouse 5
Of mice and men
To kill mockimgbird
Lord of flies
he hunger games for fum for them

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:01 AM

107. Not in any order

 

"Enchanted Vagabonds" Dana Lamb
"The Physician"
"Microcosmic God" Theodore Sturgeon
"Mind Magic"
"Great Expectations" Dickens

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:01 AM

108. Thanks for posting this.

So many great books, some I want to re-read and others I've not found before. So many books, so little time. I was a teen a long time back, but still think about some of the books I read back then. Great stuff.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:31 AM

112. Confession (Death Penalty novel by John Grisham) & Soul on Ice by Eldridge Cleaver nt

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:44 AM

114. 5 was not possible for me ~ The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill A Mockingbird,

The Stand, The Handmaid's Tale, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, The Poisonwood Bible, Slaughterhouse 5, Moby Dick, The Lord of The Rings, Pride and Prejudice, A Prayer For Owen Meany, The Plague of Doves, Catch 22, Les Miserables, The Count of Monte Cristo, Another Roadside Attraction, Lord of the Flies, The Color Purple, The Prince of Tides, Magister Ludi, Great Expectations...

...so many profound, thought provoking great books containing ideas brilliantly conveyed by amazing stories, so little time.

I love books.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:45 AM

115. I had to add another favorite

The Mars Trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson

Thanks for this Op. I realize that I have many of these books. Wonderful

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:51 AM

117. The Scarlet Letter

Had quite an impact on me as a young adolescent, as did To Kill a Mockingbird. I couldn't get through Moby Dick.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:54 AM

123. Pretty much anything by Tennessee Williams

including the more obscure titles, like Candles to the Sun.

James Baldwin, Alice Walker, Carson McCullers, George Eliot, and Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte too.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:13 AM

127. Nonfiction?


The Demon Haunted World - Carl Sagan
COSMOS -- Carl Sagan
Lies My Teacher Told Me - James Loewen
-------


Letters From the Earth - Mark Twain

The Mysterious Stranger - Mark Twain

Leaves of Grass -- Whitman

Joseph Campbell's Video Lectures - The Hero's Journey and others

The Eye of the Beholder - Twilight Zone episode

COSMOS-The 13 part TV series on DVD

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance--Robert Pirsig

The Art of Living--Lin Yutang (1936)
This is an obscure but wonderful book.

God is NOT Great - Christopher Hitchens

The Century of the Self--BBC TV series on Edward Bernays and the development of the public relations industry and mass advertising (on YouTube)

And God Created the Integers - Stephen Hawking




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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:18 AM

128. the 4 books about LBJ by Caro. I wouldn't pick any book that promotes anarchy or coup'd'etats.

 

I do find it interesting that Grapes of Wrath is not mentioned far as I can tell.
That is my #1 book I would share.

I would promote UNIONS and books promoting UNIONS if I wanted political books.

And a good book on John Lennon
as opposed to the book the asshole that killed him in cowardly cold blood was reading.

and make them watch Lincoln and Angels in America
and a good book on Stonewall

and even better, make them go often to Washington DC to see the FDR and MLK memorials,
and go to Texas and learn about how great LBJ was.

and finally there is a great book showing how bad Thomas Jefferson really was, so that would be added to the list, the vile hypocrite that Jefferson was needs to be exposed

And Fraud by Paul Waldman on how the Bush family wins elections doing what they do,
and Russ Baker's Bush family Secrets and how they brought Nixon down.

Most all, I would make sure they are registered Democrats and only vote for Democratic candidates and in the rare instance someone who will caucus with them and never, ever vote for a 3rd party division candidate like Nader or John Anderson or Ross Perot.

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Response to graham4anything (Reply #128)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:36 AM

129. Barack Obama-Dreams From My Father. Hillary Clinton-It takes a village.Jerry Brown-Dialogues

 

America's Mayor: John V. Lindsay and the Reinvention of New York

Bob Graham-Intelligence Matters

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:49 AM

130. Anything I could get them to read at first. I wouldn't be too quick to push anything heavy

on them.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:19 AM

133. "Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor Frankl

"Stranger in a Strange Land"
"Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn
"The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle
"More Than Human" by Theodore Sturgeon

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:25 AM

134. Steinbeck: The Pearl

I remember it had quite an effect on me at 17.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:36 AM

136. Eh, I would recommend Elmery Gantry.

That is a very scathing book. Mainstreet is good too. Helps you to not suffer fools I guess, maybe?

The fun part of reading though, is discovering books, not reading them because they are canon.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:47 AM

137. Like many others, Huck Finn

 

Stranger in a Strange Land

The Riverworld Series by PJ Farmer

Old Man and The Sea

Slaughterhouse Five

and maybe As I lay Dying

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:54 AM

138. Thank you to everyone who is taking the time to reply to this thread

 

I am learning a lot about a variety of books. I am doing some analysis and hope to post it, but it looks like there is definite consensus on a few "greats" that are seen as appropriate for teens.

Will keep reading as they keep coming.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:11 AM

140. What a great thread. So many books, so little time.

I recommended LOTR upthread, and all those mentioned here are good.

Enjoy....

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:42 AM

141. My list to my daughters

bible
dictionary
encyclopedia
back to basics
foxfire

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Response to MrYikes (Reply #141)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:54 AM

144. You recommend they read the dictionary?

 

I did that when I was 22, but I am weird.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #144)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:04 AM

148. I've read a few dictionaries, and several encyclopedias.

I read my first encyclopedia at age 10. Very helpful.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:51 AM

142. Orwell and Kafka? Good grief. I mean, don't get me wrong, fine works.

But you're going to depress the crap out of this kid.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:52 AM

143. The Illuminatus Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 06:37 AM

145. Islandia by Austin Tappin Wright

Autobiography of Malcom X

Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse

The Man in High Castle by Phillip K Dick

Shogun by Clavell

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Faulkner's Snopes trilogy

The Dubliners by James Joyce

Ursula K Le Guin The Left Hand of Darkness

Walter M Miller A Canticle for Leibowitz

Heart of Darkness by Conrad

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Response to wilsonbooks (Reply #145)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:46 AM

146. Ursula Le Guin keeps coming up. I'll have to check her out

 

If I've read any of her, I have forgotten It was her who wrote it. That's the great thing about these threads. Lot's of stimulation for more literary adventures.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:02 AM

147. If you wait until the teen years, you wait too long.

Instead, start before the child can even read and read to the child. Read books that make him or her laugh and cry and learn. Then, as the child learns to read for him or herself, make sure he or she has access to a wide range of materials and let the child choose for him or herself.

If you do this, by the time the child is a teenager, he or she will choose books well and read books that appeal to whatever state he or she is in at any given time.

Don't wait.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #147)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:39 PM

183. I posted upthread that I read LOTR when I was 10.

But actually I was younger than that: I remember I started reading it/them in third grade right after reading The Hobbit and I started reading that right after our school librarian read us the chapter Riddles in the Dark to get us interested in books. Probably took me a year....

But it works.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:04 AM

149. Something from Herman Hesse

Perhaps Beneath the Wheel or Siddhartha

Metamorphosis is a great suggestion!

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Response to mrs_p (Reply #149)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:04 AM

150. Oh

and some Twain - Huck Finn!!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:09 AM

151. Lord of the Rings

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 11:42 AM

155. Parting The Waters by Taylor Branch and Angela's Ashes by Frank Mc court. Also include

Savage Inequalities: Children in American Schools by Jonathan Kozol.

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Response to mfcorey1 (Reply #155)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 01:04 PM

159. The only one I read from that group is Angela's Ashes

 

Very sad and real story of many an Irish family.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:14 PM

156. Trinity by Leon Uris nt

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:26 PM

157. 100 Years of Solitude

Siddhartha, Life of Pi, Huck Finn, Trout Fishing in America. Off the top of my head.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 12:40 PM

158. 1) "Delta of Venus" by Anais Nin

2) "The Intelligent Investor: A Book of Practical Counsel" by Benjamin Graham

3) "How to Fix (Just About) Everything : More Than 550 Step-by-Step Instructions for Everything from Fixing a Faucet to Removing Mystery Stains to Curing a Hangover" by Bill Marken

4) "What to Expect When You're Expecting" by Hathaway & Eisenberg, et. al.

5) "The Bible" by many people

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Response to OmahaBlueDog (Reply #158)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:17 PM

170. You would leave the teenage boy in the bathroom with a sock

 

for many years suggesting Delta as a first read.

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Response to Whovian (Reply #170)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:40 PM

184. If he takes the advice in the 2nd and 3rd books, he'll win over a beautiful wife

..and get to the 4th book.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:06 PM

160. "A Fine Balance" by Rohinton Mistry

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:45 PM

164. The Catch Trap and The Front Runner

The Catch Trap by Marion Zimmer Bradley
The Front Runner by Patricia Nell Warren

Both fine coming of age stories, with a slightly different perspective, for broadening the mind.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 02:53 PM

166. good question! i think the 5 Chronicles of Prydain books are better than LOTR, personally

race-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Native_Son

emotion and empathy and evil- (Lloyd Alexander - Welsh mythology)
(better than Narnia or LOTR. unbelievably good, really. read them yourself!)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Chronicles_of_Prydain

humor and history-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/True_Grit_%28novel%29

words cannot describe- the only book so good i started and haven't finished - i will someday...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Confederacy_of_Dunces

beyond even words- Flannery O'Connor's short stories are without a doubt the greatest things ever put to paper.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Complete_Stories_%28O%27Connor%29

also-
Cat's Cradle for KV, but all of his books chronologically...why not?
The Little Prince
Animal Farm def. better than 1984 for starters- i'm still haunted by 1984...

here's one i'd be surprised if anyone's heard of: (i read the Unlikely Knights one like 10 times- totally great)
http://charlesgramlich.blogspot.com/2009/07/fridays-forgotten-books-five-yard.html

I first discovered Five-Yard Fuller in my local small town library. I donít know exactly what year I read it but it was published in 1964. To my amazement, and some slight irritation, I found there were actually some sequels to this book. I sure would have liked to have read those too back in the day. One was called Five-Yard Fuller and the Unlikely Knights. Another was Five-Yard Fullerís Mighty Model T, and yet another was Five-Yard Fuller and the NY Gnats, which, from what Iíve been able to glean on the net is actually about Fuller playing baseball. All were published in the sixties.

-skip-

This is definitely a young adult/kidís book. Itís probably not the cup of tea of many of you out there, but it sure did bring back some pleasant memories.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:15 PM

169. I've kept this paperback book in my library since the late 60's...

when I was a young housewife.
I had both of my sons read it in their teens and plan to have my granddaughter read it, also.

"The Pied Piper of Tucson" by Don Moser, Jerry Cohen.http://www.amazon.com/The-Pied-Piper-Of-Tucson/dp/B000GJDQ92

Not unlike the stories of the Manson family, it chronicles the slide into control of a charismatic
young adult with a group of young Tucson at~risk teens who follow his lead of law breaking and ultimately, murder.

We talked about how one person can trap another person into doing harm based on perceived realities.
It wasn't meant to scare them as much as to let them know these people exist and how red flags
waving hard around a new acquaintance should NEVER be ignored.


Tikki

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:21 PM

171. "Of Mice and Men." "The Autobiography of Malcolm X." "Black Like Me." "Cry, the Beloved

Country."

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Response to WinkyDink (Reply #171)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:50 PM

198. All of those are great, and I read them when young.

Like all the best books they leave you with a lifetime of thought.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 03:42 PM

176. "Animal Farm" "The Lords of Discipline" " Of Mice and Men" "The Chosen"

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 04:25 PM

180. "Black Boy" by Richard Wright. NT

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:07 PM

185. my summary of everyone's contributions is coming soon

 

very interesting project, to say the least. Once I post the summary, I'll let everyone have another crack at it to see if they want to add to the list or change their selections, etc.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 05:42 PM

188. The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis nt

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Response to patrice (Reply #188)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:10 PM

189. Another one of my favorite books.

I loved the movie, too.

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Response to Blue_In_AK (Reply #189)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:13 PM

190. Actully helped to save my Christianity, which has expanded since to include other perspectives now

too and I don't care what anyone says, I don't have to subscribe to their rules about how to believe.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:49 PM

192. Eward R Tufte's books on visualizing information, Donald Knuth on the Art of Computer Programming

Selections on cosmology, molecular biology, and general systems theory.

But the best choices change from year-to-year.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 07:50 PM

193. Native Son, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Looking Backward. nt

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:39 PM

195. I think


"Bury my heart at Wounded Knee" should be required reading in all United States high schools. Ishmael by Daniel Quinn is one of my favorites also maybe the most significant book I have read.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 08:46 PM

197. I'd include THE OTHER AMERICA, by Michael Harrington

and The People's History of The United States, by Howard Zinn.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:01 PM

199. My book suggestions, in no particular order, off the top of my head

Jungle by Upton Sinclair

Critical Path by Buckminster Fuller

Any books by Chalmers Johnson

Any books by David Cay Johnston, Paul Krugman or Joseph Stiglitz

A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn

The Untold History of the United States by Oliver Stone

Secrets of the Temple by William Greider

Shock Doctrine by Naomi Klein

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut

War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning by Chris Hedges

All books by James Bamford



I could go on and on and on.... Just tell them to read, read, read! Any and all of the books that have been mentioned by everyone are great ones to not miss for sure!


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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:16 PM

200. Here's some.

Dandelion Wine-Ray Bradbury

Book Of Lost Things-John Connolly

Collected short stories by Philip K. Dick

Collected short stories by H.P. Lovecraft

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 09:39 PM

201. 'Catch 22' for juniors and seniors. 'The Chocolate Wars' (by Robert Cormier) for

 

first-year and sophomores.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:10 PM

202. Gulliver's Travels (Swift), Catch-22 (Heller), Decline & Fall (Gibbon), Cat's Cradle (Vonnegut)

Contrast of darkness and comedy, depth and lightness of spirit; for kids, most of it should be quick page turning and fun with some sudden moments of awful truth. Try this list - The Best Dark Humour: http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/3753.Best_Dark_Humor?page=2

And, if they get tired of laughing while terrified, choose some titles from The Canon of Great Books. There's so much to choose from. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_books

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:10 PM

203. This list is straight from my 16 yr old. FYI

So here's a 16 yr old girl's list...please note that she's raided a fair few of my books and co-opted them for her own. I occasionally still buy tangible books but most of my library is now digital so she doesn't "see" as many books anymore that may grab her attention like they would on a bookshelf. We own most of the books on your list Pretzel Warrior so she's had a chance to read them both at home and at school. She's a voracious reader and has never been censored. She's read everything and anything including the Bible! all the way to the Kama Sutra. She's currently reading Great Expectations ("blech") for English class, just finished 1984 (again for class - her review was that it was "okay" but Handmaid's Tale was "better"). She thought "Night" was just too damn depressing and even though she loved the book, she would never read it again she says - its like "my soul was covered in black ink when I finished". She was adamant she'd never read it again.

A Child is Born by Lennart Nilsson
Harry Potter for clever wit and the perfect depiction of a completely different world
The Hunger Games for a nuanced view of a post-Armegedden world
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (she loves Lat Am lit)
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Monster by Walter Dean Myers
My Sister's Keeper for emotional wallop and ethical choices, and the power of a kid, by Jodi Picoult
The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls (she actually really like Walls and has read both her books)
anything by Neil Gaiman but especially the Graveyard Book
Freakonomics by Steven Levitt
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The God Delusion by Dawkins.
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (loves the movie too)
The Idiot's guide to Philosophy
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler


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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #203)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:16 PM

205. this is a valuable list. Thank you for taking the time to share

 

I've heard of a few of these authors due to the thread including Markus Zusak who I will be checking out now. I'll add them to the list.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Reply #205)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:39 PM

207. She's the original autodidact and will read ANYTHING that crosses her path. Good luck. nt

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #203)

Mon Jan 7, 2013, 06:17 AM

211. The Chalice and the Blade by Riane Eisler!

Excellent!

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:11 PM

204. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

It's a quick read with a beautiful theme/message that appeals to all ages.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 6, 2013, 10:30 PM

206. USA, The Big Money

Their Eyes Were Watching God, Hurston
The Terrible Twos, Ishmael Reed
Hocus Pocus, Vonnegut
Cat's Cradle, Vonnegut
One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Keesey
The Betrayal of America, Bugliosi
Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 08:09 AM

213. I'm adding Mildred Pierce n/t

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 10:28 AM

215. Enders Game, Hunger Games, Dragon Song/Singer, Hobbit

Wrinkle in Time, Pawn of Prophecy, Blue Sword, Coming of Age in Mississippi -

First I would suck them into the love of reading. I especially love science fiction and fantasy because concepts can be explored safely "not here" then examined in the Now. If one starts by identifying with characters who overcome challenges, one is inspired to do likewise.

Once they love to read, they will find more questions for every answer they seek.

My take. Great thread.

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Response to Pretzel_Warrior (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 10:50 AM

216. Melville's Billy Budd, Foretopman; G. Elliot's Silas Marner;

Steinbeck's Travels With Charley; William Kennedy's Ironweed; Shelby Foote's Civil War. Although a mere starting-list, there are numerous life-changing perspectives to be found in these works.

Also, as tough as it might be, I'd strongly encourage reading Shakespeare's works and the King James Bible (as literature) -- for these are the foundation for most of English and American literature.

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