Welcome to my recommended Booklist! Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body. ~ Joseph Addison ~ The following books are divided into two categories: Young Adult Literature and The Classics/Literary Fiction. The majority of them can be found in our library, I may also have them or check the local public libraries (Gates or Chili). These are great books for both your independent reading this year as well as summer reading! Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life. ~ Mortimer J. Adler ~
Young Adult Lit
by Cormier, Robert Year Published: AverageFiction -- This story traces the events of a hijacking of a busload of children from the perpspective of a hostage, a terrorist, and an army general and his son. FABULOUS!!!Note: This book is available in our Library. by Sparks, Beatrice Year Published: AverageAlienation/Search for Identity -- Who in his right mind wants to talk to a shrink? I don't want to talk about anything. I don't want to feel anything, taste anything ... or anything. The lyrics "just dying to die" run around in my brain day and night... Fifteen-year-old Sam is in pain. He comes to the therapist's office unwillingly, angry, depressed, and filled with guilt over his own self-destructive behavior. He is being drawn deeper and deeper into a black hole of despair from which he sees no way out.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Anderson, Laurie Halse Year Published: AverageAlienation-- Eighteen-year-old Kate, who sometimes chafes at being a preacher's daughter, finds herself losing control in her senior year as she faces difficult neighbors, the possibility that she may not be accepted by the college of her choice, and an unexpected death.Note: This book is available in our Library. by McBride, James Year Published:Nonfiction -- An African-American man's tribute to his white mother, who refused to admit her true identity.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Sparks, Beatrice Year Published: AverageNonfiction -- A 15 year old drug user chronicles her daily struggle to escape the pull of the drug world. Fabulous Book! Written in the form of a diary.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Alvarez, Julia Year Published:Fiction -- As a family moves from the Dominican Republic to the U.S. in the 1960's their four daughters experience conflict between their traditional culture and American ways.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Chris Crutcher Year Published: AverageWhile training for a triathlon, seventeen-year-old Bo attends an anger management group at school which leads him to examine his relationship with his father. "Crutcher again demonstrates his genius for tackling big issues and thought-provoking philosophies in an accessible and entertaining way."—The Horn Book, Starred Review "Crutcher has consistently penned exceptional reads for young adults, and Ironman is one of his strongest works yet."—School Library JournalNote: This book is available in our Library. by Sparks, Beatrice Year Published: AverageAlienation/Search for Identity-- Jay's journal reveals his growing involvement with witchcraft before his suicide at age 16. Jay's Journal is a personal journal of a teen struggling to understand life. Jay is facing the many problems of being a teenager and doesn't seem to make the right decisions. Between different girlfriends, losing his job because he stole from them and dealing with a drug problem, Jay ends up in a correctional facility. While there he meets up with a guy named Pete who introduces him to what he calls ' God's Magic.' After he begins messing with this magic things get better but then, after deciding to quit, things go down hill. These magic tendencies and his addiction to drugs eventually lead to Jay's downfall.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Myers, Walter Dean Year Published: AverageFiction -- While on trial as an accomplice to a murder, 16 year old Steve Harmon records his experiences in prison and in the courtroom in the form of a film script as he tries to come to terms with the course his life has taken.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Miklowitz, Gloria Year Published: AverageAlienation -- Fifteen-year-old Alexandra finds that her boyfriend Cliff demands all her time, isolates her by his jealousy, and finally becomes physically abusive. This is a touching story of a stormy, spring-to-summer romance that culminates in disaster. Its true substance, however, is the relationship between a boy with a twisted need to dominate and a girl who is dangerously vulnerable to his charms.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Chris Crutcher Year Published: AverageAlienation/Search for Identity-- Louie, a high school senior in a small Idaho town, learns about sportsmanship, love, and death as he matures into manhood. Running Loose is a story about that time in a boy's life when he is suddenly expected to act like a man-to be accountable for the things he does and to react reasonably to the craziness around him. Sometimes Louie does; sometimes he doesn't.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Anderson, Laurie Halse Year Published: Average
Fiction -- A traumatic event near the end of summer has a devastating effect on Melinda's Freshman year in high school. A must read!
Note: This book is available in our Library.
by Spinelli, Jerry Year Published: AverageDaring to Be Different/Alienation In a moving and highly engaging tale about the vagaries of adolescent peer pressure, Newbery Medal winner Jerry Spinelli tells the story of Stargirl, a high school student who is startlingly different from everyone else. The need to conform -- and unabashed curiosity about those who don't -- are at the heart of this touching tale, which aptly demonstrates the peaks and pitfalls of popularity.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Cormier, Robert Year Published: AverageAlienation/Search for Identity -- A high school freshman discovers the devastating consequences of refusing to join in the school's annual fund raising drive and arousing the wrath of the school bullies. A must read!Note: This book is available in our Library. by Brown, Dan Year Published: AverageRobert Langdon is a Harvard professor of symbology who can't stay out of trouble. Last seen in Angels and Demons (2000), this mild-mannered academic finds himself entangled in a deadly conspiracy that stretches back centuries. Visiting Paris on business, he is awakened at 2:00 a.m. by a call from the police: An elderly curator has been murdered inside the Louvre, and a baffling cipher has been found near the body. Aided by the victim's cryptologist granddaughter, Langdon begins a danger-filled quest for the culprit; but the deeper he searches, the more he becomes convinced that long-festering conspiracies hold the answer to the art lover's death. USA Today A murder mystery set against a religious conspiracy theory involving Leonardo Da Vinci's paintings, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, their child and the Holy Grail, The Da Vinci Code mixes page-turning suspense with art history, architecture and religious history. — Ayesha CourtNote: This book is available in our Library. by Allende, Isabel Year Published:Fiction -- The epic story of three generations of a South American Family.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Cisneros, Sandra Year Published: AverageSandra Cisneros is one of the most brilliant of today's young writers. Her work is sensitive, alert, nuanceful…rich with music and picture. — Gwendolyn Brooks Esperanza Cordero, a girl coming of age in the Hispanic quarter of Chicago, uses poems and stories to express thoughts and emotions about her oppressive environment. Bebe Moore Campbell - The New York Times Cisneros draws on her rich [Latino] heritage…and seduces with precise, spare prose, creat[ing] unforgettable characters we want to lift off the page. She is not only a gifted writer, but an absolutely essential one. One of my ultimate favorite books!!!Note: This book is available in our Library. by Albom, Mitch Year Published: AverageNonfiction -- Sportswriter Mitch Albom chronicles his last days with his dying mentor and former professor Morrie Schwartz and learns much about life.Note: This book is available in our Library.
by Orwell, George Year Published: AverageFuturistic novel -- George Orwell's prophetic, nightmarish vision of "Negative Utopia" is timelier than ever-and its warnings more powerful. SYNOPSIS Winston Smith is a low-ranking member of the ruling Party in London, in the nation of Oceania. Everywhere Winston goes, even his own home, the Party watches him through telescreens; everywhere he looks he sees the face of the Party's seemingly omniscient leader, a figure known only as Big Brother. The Party controls everything in Oceania, even the people's history and language. Currently, the Party is forcing the implementation of an invented language called Newspeak, which attempts to prevent political rebellion by eliminating all words related to it. Even thinking rebellious thoughts is illegal. Such thoughtcrime is, in fact, the worst of all crimes. As the novel opens, Winston feels frustrated by the oppression and rigidNote: This book is available in our Library. by Burgess, Anthony Year Published: ChallengingFuturistic novel -- "Anthony Burgess reads chapters of his novel A Clockwork Orange with hair-raising drive and energy. Although it is a fantasy set in an Orwellian future, this is anything but a bedtime story." -The New York Times Told by the central character, Alex, this brilliant, hilarious, and disturbing novel creates an alarming futuristic vision of violence, high technology, and authoritarianism. Anthony Burgess' 1963 classic stands alongside Orwell's 1984 and Huxley's Brave New World as a classic of twentieth century post-industrial alienation, often shocking us into a thoughtful exploration of the meaning of free will and the conflict between good and evil. In this recording, the author's voice lends an intoxicating lyrical dimension to the language he has so masterfully crafted. "I do not know of any other writer who has done as much with language as Mr. Burgess has done [in A Clockwork Orange]." -William S. Burroughs Recognized as one of the literary geniuses of our time, Anthony Burgess produced thirty-two novels, a volume of verse, sixteen works of nonfiction, and two plays. Originally a composer, his creative output also included countless musical compositions, including symphonies, operas, and jazz. The author's musicality is evident in the lyrical and dramatic reading he gives in this recording. Anthony Burgess died in 1993.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Ibsen, Henrik Year Published: AverageAlienation-- One of the best-known, most frequently performed of modern plays, displaying Ibsen's genius for realistic prose drama. A classic expression of women's rights, the play builds to a climax in which the central character, Nora, rejects a smothering marriage and life in a doll's house. by Hemingway, Ernest Year Published:War novel -- The best American novel to emerge from World War I, A Farewell to Arms is the unforgettable story of an American ambulance driver on the Italian front and his passion for a beautiful English nurse. Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto -- of lines of fired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized -- is one of the greatest moments in literary history. A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, A Farewell to Arms, written when he was 30 years old, represents a new romanticism for Hemingway. by Lorraine Hansberry Year Published: AverageNote: This book is available in our Library. by Remarque, Eric Maria Year Published: AverageFiction -- An idealistic group of young German men enlist in World War I and discover the reality of war. A great war novel! Close to the heart! by Orwell, George Year Published: AverageGeorge Orwell's 1945 satire on the perils of Stalinism has proved magnificently long-lived as a parable about totalitarianism anywhere-and has given the world at least one immortal phrase: "Everyone is equal, but some are more equal than others."This new dramatization sticks very closely to the book, and the production has toured all over England, Scotland, Wales and Romania in Orwell's centenary year. "Dare I say it . . . as good as the book."-GuardianNote: This book is available in our Library. by Huxley, Aldous Year Published: AverageFuturistic novel -- Huxley´s vision of the future in his astonishing 1931 novel Brave New World -- a world of tomorrow in which capitalist civilization has been reconstituted through the most efficient scientific and psychological engineering, where the people are genetically designed to be passive, consistently useful to the ruling class. "As sparkling, as provocative, as brilliant...as the day it was published." — HarperCollinsNote: This book is available in our Library. by Heller, Joseph Year Published: ChallengingWar novel -- As revealing today as when it was first published, this brilliant novel by the author of Picture This expresses the concerns of an entire generation in its black comedy. World War II flier John Yossarian decides that his only mission each time he goes up is to return—alive! FROM THE PUBLISHER Catch-22 is like no other novel. It has its own rationale, its own extraordinary character. It moves back and forth from hilarity to horror. It is outrageously funny and strangely affecting. It is totally original. Set in the closing months of World War II in an American bomber squadron off Italy, Catch-22 is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian, who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he hasn't even met keep trying to kill him. Catch-22 is a microcosm of the twentieth-century world as it might look to someone dangerously sane. It is a novel that lives and moves and grows with astonishing power and vitality -- a masterpiece of our time.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Bradbury, Ray Year Published: ChallengingFiction -- In this futuristic novel, book reading has become a crime. Great Novel!!Note: This book is available in our Library. by Walter Dean Myers Year Published: AverageOne of my favorite War novels!! -- Seventeen-year-old Richie Perry, just out of his Harlem high school, enlists in the Army in the summer of 1967 and spends a devastating year on active duty in Vietnam. FROM THE PUBLISHER Richie Perry, Lobel, Johnson, Brunner, and Peewee are all in Vietnam. They came there for different reasons, but now they share a single dream -- getting out alive.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Shelley, Mary Year Published: ChallengingFiction -- A classic novel about a scientific experiment to create a man-made human. But it is so much more than this! One of my favorites!!Note: This book is available in our Library. by William Shakespeare Year Published: ChallengingNote: This book is available in our Library. by Weisel, Elie Year Published: AverageFiction -- A young Jewish boy survives a Nazi concentration camp, based upon the author's real life experiences. A must read!!!!Note: This book is available in our Library. by Steinbeck, John Year Published: AverageDreams-- The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simpleminded man, calming him and helping to reign in his immense physical strength.Note: This book is available in our Library. by William Shakespeare Year Published: ChallengingNote: This book is available in our Library. by Chopin, Kate Year Published: AverageOne of my FAVORITES!!! An American classic of sexual expression that paved the way for the modern novel, The Awakening is both a remarkable novel in its own right and a startling reminder of how far women in this century have come. The story of a married woman who pursues love outside a stuffy, middle-class marriage, the novel portrays the mind of a woman seeking fulfillment of her essential nature. FROM THE PUBLISHER Novelist and short story writer Kate Chopin (1851-1904) was the first American woman to deal with women's roles as wives and mothers. The Awakening (1899), her most famous novel, concerns a woman, dissatisfied with her indifferent husband, who gives in to her desire for other men and commits adultery. This is a searing depiction of the religious and social pressures brought to bear on women who transgress restrictive Victorian codes of behavior. SYNOPSIS by Plath, Silvia Year Published: ChallengingFiction -- A novel about a 19 year old girl's descent into mental illness. Amazing book! One of my favorites. The Bell Jar is a classic of American literature, with over two million copies sold in this country. This extraordinary work chronicles the crack-up of Esther Greenwood: brilliant, beautiful, enormously talented, successful - but slowly going under, and maybe for the last time. Step by careful step, Sylvia Plath takes us with Esther through a painful month in New York as a contest-winning junior editor on a magazine, her increasingly strained relationships with her mother and the boy she dated in college, and eventually, devastatingly, into the madness itself. The reader is drawn into her breakdown with such intensity that her insanity becomes completely real and even rational, as probable and accessible an experience as going to the movies. Such deep penetration into the dark and harrowing corners of the psyche is rare in any novel. It points to the fact that The Bell Jar is a largely autobiographical work about Plath's own summer of 1953, when she was a guest editor at Mademoiselle and went through a breakdown. It reveals so much about the sources of Sylvia Plath's own tragedy that its publication was considered a landmark in literature.Note: This book is available in our Library. by Atwood, Margaret Year Published:Fiction -- Set in a futuristic society in which women have no rights, this is a story of a "handmaid" who is forced to bear children for childless couples. A must read!! by O'Brien, Tim Year Published: AverageFiction -- A group of interrelated stories involving a platoon in Vietnam. This is a great war novel! by William Shakespeare Year Published: Challenging by Lee, Harper Year Published: AverageWinner of the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for Literature, Fiction. One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has earned many distinctions since its original publication in 1960. It won the Pulitzer Prize, has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, and been made into an enormously popular movie. Most recently, librarians across the country gave the book the highest of honors by voting it the best novel of the twentieth century. WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING It's one of the finest books ever written. The quiet heroism of Atticus Finch and the honesty of his children Jem and Scout as they face prejudice in the American South of the 1930s still ring true. If it's been a while since you read it, read it again. — Sessalee HensleyNote: This book is available in our Library. by More, Thomas Year Published: ChallengingUtopia -- Futuristic Novel Since its publication in 1516, Utopia has provoked a hailstorm of debate. The minute details More ascribed to his "perfect world" make Utopia still a work of the future. Sixteenth-century classic by brilliant humanist, churchman and scholar envisioned a patriarchal island kingdom that practiced religious tolerance, in which everybody worked, all goods were community-owned, and violence, bloodshed and vice were nonexistent. Forerunner of many later attempts at establishing "Utopias" both in theory and in practice. "Fluent and highly readable, this new version should be welcomed by all admirers of the Utopia." — From Yale UniversityNote: This book is available in our Library.