Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.
February is weird because it is the second month of the year, the first month of a new semester, and the second-to-last month of winter; the month that despite it’s only having 28 days somehow seems to drag on and on in cold ambiguity.
Luckily, we’ve selected a bunch of fantastic books to engage your consciousness so that before you know it, spring will be just over the horizon! Remember to help yourselves to any of the books on this list, which as always come from a variety of genres and reading levels.
Young Warriors by Tamora Pierce and Josepha Sherman
This book is an anthology compiled by two great authors. It is a collection of fantastical tales of young people showing strength. If you feel yourself in need of some inspiration to get you through the last part of winter, this book will give you the relief your adventurous heart is yearning for.
The Rosie Project by Graeme Simison
This is hilarious and heartfelt romantic comedy is sure to please you as we approach Valentine’s Day. Don, the main character, likes his life to be orderly and doesn’t like taking risks. He suffers from an unfortunate lack of social skills, but he finds love in Rosie, a wildly different woman who pushes him out of his comfort zone, as he helps her search for her missing father.
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This book is an inspiring story about Christopher John Francis Boone, a fifteen-year-old boy on the autistic spectrum who has a very particular view of the world around him. Then one day his neighbor’s dog Wellington is killed, and Christopher takes on the role of a detective to figure out what happened.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The start of the new semester is a great time for you to go back and read a classic – or if this is your first time reading it, enjoy this treat! Fahrenheit 451 is the dystopian tale of everyone’s worst nightmare – a world without books. Guy Montag is a fireman, and his job is to burn them. Poetic, striking and important, his story will both entertain you and make you reflect about the value of art.
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Charlie is a mentally disabled man who is being subjected to experimentation in a series of studies to increase his intelligence. The same treatments are being given to Algernon, a lab mouse. When Charlie’s intelligence begins to accelerate beyond what anyone had imagined was possible, everyone is thrilled – until Algernon begins to deteriorate unexpectedly. What will happen to Charlie?
Watchmen by Alan Moore
This brilliant graphic novel tells the story of what happens to superheroes when they begin to suffer from failures that seem to be uncomfortably akin to those of humble mortals. This book talks about humanity and questions what it truly means to be a superhero, all the while never ceasing to entertain. Continue reading
Title: Where’d You Go, Bernadette?
Author: Maria Semple
Summary: Bernadette Fox, Los Angeles native now Seattle resident, is the wife of Microsoft big-timer Elgin Branch, the mother of gifted Bee Branch, the alien to fellow Seattle moms, and a former award-winning architect. A novel stitched together by Bernadette’s very own daughter, it’s comprised of letters and emails that follow the whirlwind that notorious Fox finds herself swept up into, that even leads her to the ends of the planet.
I would rate this book 9/10 stars. This witty, uniquely crafted satire can resonate with not only Seattle natives (who will probably catch on to more of the humor of the story), but with any other reader who may come from a less-than-ordinary family. Comical yet dark, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is a laugh, a cliff-hanger, a “wait, what just happened?” moment kind of story, that’ll keep you hooked until the very end.
I started reading Where’d You Go, Bernadette because it takes place in Seattle; my hometown, my motherland. You don’t find many books set in the rainy city, especially not ones that go into such depth and detail about the nitty gritty of this town as Where’d You Go, Bernadette does. Continue reading
Title: The Fault In Our Stars
Author: John Green
This book was recommended to me by Sophie a long time ago but I dismissed it due to the fact I thought it was going to be too depressing to read. I can’t really handle depressing books but my friend has been urging me to read it and I decided to give it a shot. I finished this book in two days, that’s how amazing it was. The book was brilliant, it wasn’t a depressing book that only showed the negative effects of having cancer but it also showed the positives, that just because you have cancer it doesn’t mean that you should let it bring you down. Continue reading
When the summer sun baptizes your day with its rich rays of light, would you rather dwell in the darkness instead? While others are prancing about and enjoying the splendors of nature, do you go for the morbid realities of humanity? As families chuckle over life’s silly little happenings, are you cackling with a sadistic glee as you learn of men’s unfortunately humorous woes? Well then this is the list of materials for you. Ranging from the mildly malicious to the unbearably bleak, these will surely satisfy your cravings for black humor.
A TV show directed by and centered on comedian Louis C. K., Louie is an unapologetic blunt program that pushes the envelope far more than your average sitcom. Louie, a single comedian, must support his two daughters on his meager earnings from his stand-up shows while also struggling against an oddball variety of events that will have you giggling with amusement one moment and painfully grimacing the next. Blending segments of his own stand-up work with clips of his original stories, Louie’s painfully real comedy series has been nominated for over a dozen Emmys and many other awards across the board. Like it or not, Louie’s here to stay to keep you both laughing and wildly uncomfortable.
The Goon by Erick Powell
As an homage to the gritty noir classics of olden, Powell’s comic, The Goon, hits all the right marks. With his vibrant, yet gloomy artwork, Powell’s comics creates a rich atmosphere of crime and wickedness with every gangster facet one should expect: murder, debauchery, mystery, zombies, trans-dimensional travel, cannibalistic hobos, a telekinetically-gifted seal, killer robots, and a gang of giant fish men. Perhaps it’s a little out of the norm, but that certainly makes it all the more entertaining. Telling the story of legendary enforcer Goon and his partner, Frankie, The Goon follows their zany, mysterious, and excessively violent adventures throughout the creepy, crime-ridden city in which they dwell. The only thing you can ever come to expect is bloodshed and obscenity in all of its humorousness.
Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
Don’t be fooled, this book merely dabbles in the topics of diabetes and owls. The rest is a profoundly unsettling, yet undeniably hilarious compilation of Sedaris’s fantastically written essays. Critically-acclaimed for his other popular works including Me Talk Pretty One Day and When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Sedaris continues to lay on his superbly dismal wit he recounts tale after tale of traumatic childhood incidents. Not for the faint of heart or pure of taste, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls is another Sedaris book that’s truly in a league of its own.
Thank You for Smoking
America’s tobacco industries have an impossibly powerful presence in politics, fueled by lobbyists determined to keep the land of the free puffing away. Thank You for Smoking chronicles a portion of one of these lobbyist’s career. This lobbyist just so happens to be the slickest in the game. Aaron Eckhart plays Nick Naylor, spokesman for cigarette giant, Big Tobacco. As he schemes with fellow spokespeople, played by Maria Bello and David Koechner (an alcohol and gun lobbyist respectively), and teaches his son the rights and wrongs of manipulating the people, this story is brought to life with the morbid wit of Jason Reitman, the film’s writer and director. Although Naylor’s situation becomes increasingly harrowing, the movie maintains a macabre, upbeat pace throughout that keeps the giggles coming. Based on the novel by Christopher Buckley
–Ira, Greenwood, Teen Blogger
Title: The Casual Vacancy
Author: J.K. Rowling
Summary: When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly, the town of Pagford was surprised by the chain of events his death unleashed. Told from different character perspectives, The Casual Vacancy illustrates how connected our lives are.
This book is not for young readers, as the content contains adult themes.
I started reading it because… I loved the Harry Potter series and wondered what J.K. Rowling’s new book would be like.
I kept reading because… J.K. Rowling’s riveting description of each new character.
Main character(s): If they were in a yearbook, they would be voted Most Likely To: Appear on a reality TV show.
Six Word Recap: Man’s death leads to reaction events.
This book reminded me of nothing I have ever read, seen, or heard before. It was a new twist on everyday life.
Websites of interest: J.K. Rowling
Allison, Northeast Teen Adviser