Today, we came across Darren Shan’s list of “essential reads for teens about those who exist outside the boundaries of the established norms” over at the Guardian, and while we can’t take issue with any of his choices, we did notice that each of his choices was written by, and is largely concerned with the exploits of — you guessed it! — a straight white man. Not the most outsider of demographics, if you don’t mind us saying so. As a response, we’ve put together an alternate essential reading list of outsider lit for teenage girls — or teenage boys willing to read outside the mold. Read through our picks after the jump, and add on any of your favorites that we’ve missed in the comments. … Read More
In response to Russ Marshalek’s excellent post on devastatingly sad books last week, we’ve decided to try and lift your spirits a little during this rainy week by suggesting books that are great escapes from the incessant grind of daily existence.
Last year, Wayne Gooderham wrote a thoughtful piece in the Guardian about emerging from the fog of depression by reading Saul Bellow’s 1964 epistolary tale of Moses E. Herzog — a brilliant but broken intellectual who is constantly writing letters, many which are never sent. Gooderham writes that Bellow renders “a potentially bleak topic in such a poignant and gently humorous way” in Herzog, which is the mark of a very good book. Since we’ve always been suckers for a love story, many of the selections on our list involve affairs of the heart, although we are also inspired by political nonfiction and comedy when they are done well. As always, we realize that any list made will be contentious, so please feel free to suggest alternatives in the comments section below. … Read More