Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Winter Reading

Over my winter break I was able to do some pleasure reading...a rare delicacy these days it seems! Each book was recommended to me by a different reader, so I will now recommend them to you.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, by Mark Haddon
When the topic of literature concerning children with special needs arose, Hauna told me about this little gem. Told from the perspective of a fifteen-year-old autistic boy, this novel is about Christopher's attempts to solve a mystery that concerns his neighbor's dog, his separated parents, and his very literal-minded self. Insights the reader gleans from Christopher's autism and his mathematical point-of-view are endearing and revealing. If you're looking for something original and eye-opening, you ought to try this British bestseller.

Frankenstein, by Mary Shelly
Frankenstein was recommended during a booktalk on Gothic literature last semester in my Reader's Advisory class. I had heard from several people that it was a captivating and beautiful book, so I thought I would give it a whirl. Even if you think you know what this book is about, I would highly recommend reading it for yourself. Mary Shelly wrote it when she was only 19, but the language, passion, and pure human emotion are gripping! Find out who the real monster is in this classic "horror" novel.

The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
This is a book I've always been meaning to read but never got around to actually reading it. What was I thinking!? Similar to the Dog in the Night-time above, it covers a few days narrated by a teenager. This teenager, however, is much different. Filled with wry observations and an honest, yet pessimistic outlook, this coming-of-age novel follows the lonely life of a wealthy but awkward seventeen-year-old just kicked out of prep school as he encounters "phonies," teachers, girls, and other city dwellers. The Catcher in the Rye strikes me as a book one would read over and over throughout the years and never tire of it.

Next up...Beowulf!

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