Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Viral Books: They're Catching...

Today's Broke and Bookish Blog Hop asks us for our "Top 10 Books I'm SO Glad Someone Passed On To Me" (because I never would have picked them up otherwise...):

The Arrival by Shaun Tan and The Tree of Life by Peter Sis. Thanks to our brilliant and hilarious school librarian, John M., for guiding me to these psychologically rich and artistically stellar picture books that offer adults - and the young adults he so skillfully serves - plenty of visual food for thought.

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.  This one was recommended (well, required) by the nationally lauded Lance Balla when he trained a cadre of us to teach A.P. Literature.  I had read other Morrison, but somehow missed this one, which has since become my personal favorite.

What Is The What by Dave Eggers.  Don, a fellow teacher at my school, was reading it before a meeting one day and offered a description and an endorsement when the rest of us inquired about it.  I had read earlier Eggers, but again had not yet found this novel/biography of a "Lost Boy" from Southern Sudan.  Since I read it, I've recommended it in turn to hundreds of young adults and adults alike (seriously: hundreds).  And I've not yet met a single soul who didn't find it engrossing and memorable. 

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card.  I can't even count the number of ninth grade boys who practically begged me to read this book, but I must thank them all: Again, as a Y.A. read, I found it engaging and thought-provoking with decent character development, a sympathetic protagonist, and a dash of philosophy-in-action to set it above your typical young adult sci-fi adventure.  Now I keep at least two copies in my classroom library, and one of them is almost always traveling about with a student.

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater (review on Friday!) and A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray.  I'm always on the lookout for decent YA reads because so many of them are purely plot-driven, obvious, and derivative.  Many thanks to Anne of My Head Is Full of Books - another extraordinary school librarian - and Daria on Goodreads for offering recs. that swayed me toward the former, and to Sophia, a wonderful student from last year, for urging me to read the latter.  Now I'm always on the lookout for Libba Bray (check my book reviews page for my take on two of her titles), and can't wait to read Beauty Queens.

The Risk Pool and Empire Falls by Richard Russo.  My thanks to old pal Parsons for recommending the latter to me decades ago, and to Michelle who reminded me of Empire Falls just a few years back.
That's nine.  So, offer me one of your favorites in the comments below and I will pledge to read it within this year and review it here!

MFB,
L

p.s. Thanks as ever to the folks at The Broke and the Bookish, and do stop by there to scope out many more great book ideas from bloggers the world over!

8 comments:

Red said...

You have some good recommendations on here! I had to read both Ender's Game and Song of Solomon for various classes and was happy with both selections! If you get a chance, I would definitely recommend The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Absurd literary humor.

confessionsofacommonreader said...

I haven't read What is the What yet, but its in my piles. I'll have to go find it and try it out! And I also loved The Eyre Affair series, all lots of fun, you should def read them.

Laurie said...

What Is the What is simply brilliant, c. You'll love it. Although it's a bit grittier and not intended as primarily humorous like the Fforde books are.
I did enjoy The Eyre Affair, Red, and in fact it was recommended to me by another friend (otherwise I wouldn't have read it), so perhaps it belonged on my list!
Off to see what y'all said...
L

Birdie said...

Oh wow, I've never read any of these. I'll have to check them out. Thanks!

LBC said...

My husband has recommended Song of Solomon lots of times, and I haven't read it yet. I also have What the What on my list, since I've read and loved everything else by Eggers.

Check out my list here

Laurie said...

Birdie - I wind up reading a lot more Y.A. than I would by choice, just because of my job. For you, perhaps try A Great & Terrible Beauty first, as it's set in England.
Laura - Both of those books are stellar. Can't really go wrong with either or both.

curlygeek04 said...

I haven't read many of these but I really like Richard Russo's books. Nobody's Fool is great too (and one of my favorite movies).

Laurie said...

Thanks for visiting CG. Off to see what you picked!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...