VIEWS: 27 PAGES: 35 POSTED ON: 7/10/2011
Tuesdays With Morrie by Mitch Albom Tuesdays With Morrie is about a student who gets one last weekly class from his favorite professor. On these Tuesdays, Mitch Albom not only learns about Morrie‟s past, but also faces his own, learning form the wisdom that Morrie provides from his own experiences. As the weeks progress, Mitch, am once robotic human being, begins to feel an attachment to Morrie that he wasn‟t expecting. Although he knew about of Morrie‟s fatal illness from the start of their “class,” he was not prepared for the loss that was to come. The weeks passed, and so does the experience of these two characters to the reader. Tuesdays With Morrie is a simple story that grabs the readers heart. Tuesdays With Morrie is for someone looking for an easy, but powerful read. Although the vocabulary and writing style are not difficult to comprehend, some of the life lessons which can be learned from the book are hard to implement into ones own life. Recommended by Emily James Band of Brothers by Stephen E. Ambrose This book was written from the interviews conducted with the veterans who fought in the war. It is an intimate story about war, violence, and friendship. If you ever listened to grandpa tell war stories, this book is written in a similar manner. This piece follows the journey of the 101 st from boot camp to D-day. It is a well written and well researched book and provides insight into the history of WWII. In this book one can see how war changes the lives and character of the young men who fight in it in a factual story. Although the format of this book may seem boring, it is by no means so. One can follow the action packed and often terrifying events of the war and the impacts on a person‟s life. The author connects the reader closely with the characters in this book and it makes for a more personal reading. I would recommend this book to history buffs or people who like hearing Grandpa‟s war stories and the bravery and horrors of war. Recommended by Darren Brons Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Two girls are faced with struggles during the early 19th century. They are faced with obstacles that interact with their happiness. This book has two girls face life in the genteel rural society of the day, and tells of the misunderstandings and later the enlightenment between the two things. This would be a good book for people who are interested in racism and the interchanging ability of life. As well as someone who likes a good book about overcoming obstacles. Recommended by Samantha Akers Beckham; Both Feet on the Ground by David Beckham David Beckham‟s autobiography Beckham; Both Feet on the Ground has been a major inspiration for me in my quest to become a better soccer player as well as a better person. In this book, Beckham recounts all the major events in his life leading up to his signing with Real Madrid in 2003. He expresses one of the relieving characteristics one can find in a celebrity these days, modesty. Beckham shares his success story, the hard times in the 1998 World Cup with his red card, to his most memorable moments such as his wedding day with Victoria Beckham (aka. Posh Spice). Any sports fan, soccer player or not, will love this book and will be encouraged to play on and improve themselves not only on the field, but off as well. Recommended by Marc Herschberger Ender‟s Game by Orson Scott Card A futuristic science fiction book about military bred kids, developed to be extremely smart, as well as amazing soldiers. He grows up in a military school, where he excels above the rest. With the world rapidly changing, a leader is needed, and Ender rises to the occasion. This book would appeal to those interested in Sci-Fi. Recommended by a friend of Philip Zimmerman-Chavez Let my People go Surfing: the education of a reluctant businessman by Yvon Chouinard Let my People go Surfing is an inspiring book to anyone who has ever pondered the thought of owning there own business. This book writes about the Start of the outdoor clothing brand, Patagonia. This book follows the life of the company and summarizes what it took to create a world renowned company. Let my People go Surfing is a book that looks at a different approach to business. An approach known as the Patagonia way, which is not only about making a profit but crating a company that cares about the environment as well as the employees. Recommended to young entrepreneurs, outdoor enthusiasts, or anyone who is interested on a different style of the business world. Recommended by Nathaniel Harris and his aunt The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly In the book of lost things a little boy named David stumbles into an unfamiliar world. He‟s forced to befriend many interesting characters to weave through this giant fairytale world and avoid the dangers of the wolves and the man with the crooked nose. This book would appeal to those readers who hated fairy tale books and those who loved them. The story is written in a fairytale fashion with many mini fairytales incorporated in but the endings of the fairytales are twisted into more real endings that might offend the people who liked the old fairytales. “If I asked the other troll to point to the right bridge, which bridge would it choose?” Recommended by Darian Garcia Blinking With Fists by Billy Corgan Written by the lead singer of The Smashing Pumpkins, Blinking With Fists is a brilliant collection of 57 poems; some sad, some hopeful, and some which make you think. A quick read, Blinking With Fists is a book for those who enjoy poetry, and appreciate the lyrical genius of Corgan. Recommended by Lisa Simpson Next by Michael Crichton In an age were almost anything is possible, from freezing our eggs to choosing the eye color of unborn children, it is chilling to think what‟s next. The novel begins with a subplot of a 4-year-old whose genes were genetically altered into a chimpanzee‟s embryo in a research on autism. With the patient facing symptoms of excessive body hair and a knack for climbing, the experiment gets horribly out of hand. Crichton not only questions the notion of morality in these experiments, but clearly acknowledges their existence. This novel is able to hold the attention of any reader down to the very last page. This novel would appeal to anyone interested in genetics and it‟s affects on our society today. Recommended by Amy Huynh‟s sister Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher An adopted Asian-African-American, TJ is far from unathletic. Coaches of all the teams in his high school try to recruit him relentlessly, but on principle he declines. However, when his favorite teacher tries to put together a swim team, he compiles a group of outcasts in an attempt to earn them all letter jackets of their own. Crutcher does an excellent job of taking this plot which could easily become cliché and turning it into something entertaining and thought provoking. This would appeal to any teen, but swimmers especially by helping them fully understand the pain that they go through to get what they achieve Recommended by Taylor Cutshall The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas The main character of this book of pure revenge is middle class Edward Dantes, captain of a ship, in France, placed in 1815. Dantes is arrested on the day of his wedding and unjustly put in jail at the Chateau d‟If by his three friends who are secretly envious of his lucky and seemingly perfect life. At this horrible, estranged jail located on an island, every prisoner is sentenced to solitary confinement for life. After years of suffering, the prisoner, a preacher, in the cell next to Dantes surprises the protagonist by appearing in his room. The preacher‟s intention was to dig a tunnel and escape from the prison, but instead ended up in Dantes‟s cell. The two agree that in exchange for Dantes‟ help in digging, the preacher will teach him how to read, write, philosophy and mathematics. Through years of tedious and patient work they manage to make great advances, however one day the priest dies and Dantes‟ hopes of ever escaping seem to be crushed. However, the adventures of Edmond Dantes only begin with the death of the priest, as he manages to get out of the prison with a real treasure map. Dantes vows to go back to his hometown and take revenge on those who hurt him and take back his fiancée. I recommend this book to people who like action/adventure with a lot of twists and turns. If you have read Butterfly by Henri Charrière, you will like this book. "And now, farewell to kindness, humanity and gratitude. I have substituted myself for Providence in rewarding the good; may the God of vengeance now yield me His place to punish the wicked." Recommended by Dora Panyi Next Man Up by John Feinstein Next Man Up chronicles the season of an NFL team from beginning to end. Author John Feinstein, a sports columnist for the Washington Post, is granted an all access pass to every facet of the Baltimore Ravens organization, from the front office, to the locker room speeches, to personal interviews with many members of the team. Feinstein develops a reoccurring theme throughout the documentary; every player‟s career is constantly hanging in the balance. One‟s job is always in danger of being seized by the person behind him, hence the title Next Man Up. In addition to following the workings of an NFL season, Feinstein often branches out to discuss the personal lives and experiences of various members of the team. This book might appeal to a sports fan or those who enjoy seeing what goes on behind the scenes of a business operation. Recommended by Karsten Deuschle The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald The mysterious main character Jay Gatsby is a young idealist who is in love with his acquaintance Nick‟s cousin, Daisy. Gatsby has marvelous parties to impress his long-time love but the parties and booze do not satisfy him or his craving. After planned reunion with Daisy, he begins an affair with the married girl. Daisy‟s husband Tom is having an affair with a woman named Myrtle but through a series of events finds out that Gatsby is in love with his wife. Outraged, he confronts the two about it and Daisy decides her place is with Tom. The following fatal events end the book in an ominous and depressing way that give rise to a lot of unanswered questions. I recommend this book to those who like the works of Ernest Hemmingway, tragedies and those who enjoy reading about the disillusioned 1920‟s, especially the Lost Generation. The story illustrates the disenchanted atmosphere and loss of meaning in the lives of the Lost Generation. "There must have been moments even that afternoon when Daisy tumbled short of his dreams — not through her own fault but because of the colossal vitality of his illusion. It had gone beyond her, beyond everything. He had thrown himself into it with a creative passion…" Recommended by Dora Panyi Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Foer, the author of the novel Everything is Illuminated, outdid himself with this 2005 novel. It follows the story of Oskar, a young boy who lost his father in the terrorist attacks of September 11th. He finds a key when he accidentally knocks over a vase and searches New York City trying to find what it has to do with his father. This novel goes beyond the everyday narrative into something much deeper due to Foer‟s use of spaces, pictures, font changes, and even blank pages. I would recommend this book to anyone curious about the very real ways 9/11 affected very real people. Recommended by Taylor Cutshall A Million Little Pieces by James Frey A Million Little Pieces is about James Frey‟s recovery from extensive substance abuse. Frey‟s writing style reflects the less then put together thoughts Frey has along his trying road to becoming substance free. Through his friendships and even love affairs, the reader is able to compassionately feel for someone who society shuns. When the reader finally believes that everything is well in Frey‟s life, a twist is added, keeping the pages turning to the very end. A Million Little Pieces is a perfect book for an open minded reader. Not only does it provide a different perspective regarding drug addicts and alcoholics, but the controversy surrounding the truthfulness of the novel, forces the reader to make a conclusion on wheatear it is the writing of the writer or the how factual the story is that matters. Recommended by Emily James The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman The book talks about how technology and globalization has transformed economics and world politics. Friedman suggests this has made the world “flat” because the main industrial countries like the US and Britain are now on a level playing field with China and India. Advances in technology and communication have allowed business to trade, move product, and knowledge more freely. The book also talks about how globalization has had a dramatic effect global politics. This book would appeal to anybody interested in business, economics, and world politics Recommended by Doug Kurtz‟s father Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman Neverwhere is simply a difficult book to describe. When Richard Mayhew rescues a girl he finds lying on the sidewalk, he finds himself pulled into the dangerous and unbelievable world of England‟s underground. Fans of modern fantasy will find this book enthralling and an intense and entertaining page turner. The twists and turns last until the final pages and will always keep the reader guessing. Recommended by Taylor Cutshall Freshman by Michael Gerber If you will soon be entering college or if you have ever been in college or you simply wish to read about a boy‟s bizarre antics in his first year at the incredibly prestigious Stutts University. Hart Fox is that boy. He had worked since kindergarten to achieve entrance into this school that only accepted one student a year just to have it stolen away from him by Trip Darling and his incredibly rich and influential father. When the father offers to get Hart into the school if he promises to do all of his son‟s school work, Hart is suddenly thrust into a world of protests, fraternities, and the odd vampire. Gerber‟s footnotes gave random and probably useless bits of information and over all Freshman had me laughing at least once a page. Recommended by Taylor Cutshall The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon This award winning novel takes place in Swindon, Wiltshire, U.K., telling the story of a fifteen year old autistic boy. A brutally honest boy, Christopher Boone attends a school for special needs, has photographic memory and a knack for math. However, he fears new things and doesn‟t always understand facial expressions other than “happy” or “sad” and often reacts violently to new situations. When he finds the body of a neighbor‟s dog, however, he goes on a quest to solve the mystery, experiencing new things even though they had been around him the whole time. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is a slightly depressing but heart-warming novel that I would recommend to anyone interested in a fairly quick read that teaches you about a common condition but also makes you think about the world around you and everything you normally take for granted. Recommended by Sarah Cross A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking Originally published in 1988, this is a book by who some consider the most brilliant mind of our time, Stephen Hawking‟s A Brief History of Time examines theoretical predictions surrounding the space-time continuum and the objects within it. This is a must-read for those who are looking to expand their mind, and especially for those who enjoy science. “Humanity‟s deepest desire for knowledge is justification enough for our continuing quest” Recommended by Lisa Simpson Catch 22 by Joseph Heller In Catch 22, a bombadier with the 256th bomber wing named Yossarian is stationed on Pianosa which is a small island in the Mediterranean. Yossarian quickly becomes tired of the war and decides that he will stop flying missions He begins to use any excuse he can think of to get out of flying missions, everything from a jaundice liver to being crazy. This novel would appeal to more abstract readers who want to read about the effects of war on people, not necessarily war itself. Recommended by a friend of Shad Allen The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway This is simply a tale of an old man‟s struggle with the sea as he attempts to wrestle the great marlin. While being dragged far out to sea by the fish, the old man carries out a two day battle against the enormous catch. The courage and persistence of the old man are tested through this great journey. Though short and simple, this novel describes not only the inner strength and endurance of the old man, but the concept of humans overall as being brave and courageous. This novel would appeal to anyone interested fiction novels and learning about the inner strengths of humans. Recommended by Amy Huynh‟s sister A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini A Thousand Splendid Suns concentrates on Mariam and Laila two girls in Afghanistan. The story begins with Mariam and her desires to be a great daughter. Her dreams are crush when her fathers‟ wives sell her to a man. Mariam is stuck in a world of dishonor and disappointments. Laila‟s love story will turn into tragedy. With the unwanted unity of these two women the story shifts into a tale of friendship and love. It is up to them now to create another life for them during the war. Throughout these book you‟ll find a piece of reality and culture in the hearts of two women. Recommended to young adults and mature teens. It has violence and sexual encounters that may not be appropriate for some teens. It is a strong story that can hurt someone‟s view and morals. Recommended by Astrid Diego The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner is by far one of the most recognized pieces of writing of our time. Throughout the story, a perfect blend of culture, friendship and sacrifice comes together to create a novel like none other. Amir, the narrator and protagonist of the story recounts various aspects of his childhood in Afghanistan where he creates horrible memories that forever haunt him, even after leaving his home country to live in America. But this is only a small portion of a well rounded plot. Although at times in the beginning the reading may come slow, at least for me it did, the plot quickly thickens and any intelligent reader interested in political novels or intellectual thrillers will certainly enjoy this book. Recommended by Marc Herschberger The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini The Kite Runner follows the affluent life of Amir and his best friend Hassan, his servant‟s son. After finally winning his father‟s approval in a kite flying competition, Amir witnesses Hassan being beaten in an ally and as his guilt begins to overwhelm him for not helping him, he ultimately accuses Hassan of theft to escape him. However, once in America with his father he cannot ignore his haunting pass and begins on a journey to recover his lost friendship. People who would enjoy this book are interested in different cultures and stories about friendship. Recommended by Maddie Moyer The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini This story is about a man from Afghanistan who is forced to remember his past after receiving terrible new about a friend back home. While his childhood was not bad, he felt that he always had to live up to his family‟s servants, who was turned out to be the best friend as well. Throughout the book he remembers heart-felt experiences, as well as one last journey that will change his future forever. This book would appeal to people interested in people overcoming family hardships. Recommended by Philip Zimmerman-Chavez Redwall by Brian Jacques In Redwall, a young mouse named Matthias tries to fight Cluny the Scourge, an evil rat who has been terrorizing his village set inside of an abbey. In order to complete this quest Matthias searches around the Abbey to find the weapons and equipment of a legendary warrior who once lived in Redwall. Clues are scattered throughout the abbey and lead Matthias on an unforgettable adventure. This novel would appeal to readers who are willing to read a great fantasy story. Recommended by Shad Allen The Rising by Brian Keene This is a horror style book written by Brian Keene. The book is a mature book, not for the weak of stomach either. It's about the dead rising to life again, and a man named Jim is struggling to get to a town hundreds of miles away to get to his son against legions of intelligent living dead. He is grouped with an interesting assortment of survivors throughout the novel : an elderly priest, and an ex-prostitute, and a scientist. The book details the action packed, adventure filled journey of to rescue Jim's son. Definitely a book I would recommend, but only for a mature reader. Recommended by Clinton Lovisone On the Road by Jack Kerouac On the Road is fictional novel, and is often referred to as the “Bible” of the beatnik generation, or counterculture of the 1950‟s. This novel discusses the experiences of a young man who makes a cross country journey from New York City to San Francisco. The main character finds it difficult to locate his niche in society, which he believes can be found by travelling west. The rigors of city life confuse and frustrate him, as does his never ending search for his place in the world. This book might appeal to individuals that are interested in American history, the social, economic and political changes that occurred in 1950‟s America, and people who enjoy classical fictitious novels. Recommended by Karsten Deuschle Misery by Stephen King This book is about a famous author who is rescued during a car crash by a woman and is eventually held captive by her. The woman turns out to be an obsessed fan and will stop at nothing to keep the author at her house and keep him writing stories. This book would appeal to readers who enjoy a suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat story that will keep them guessing until the end. Recommended by a friend of Jin Lee Pet Sematary by Stephen King Louis Creed, a big city doctor moves into a rural neighborhood with his family. There he meets Jud, a man that he compares to his father. The family soon learns about the pet cemetery which causes bigger and bigger problems. It‟s hard to recommend this book because it‟s so slow at the beginning but if I were to recommend it to anyone it would be to people who like good endings. Recommended by Darian Garcia Pet Sematary by Stephen King Pet Sematary is a chilling novel about the Creed family, who move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine. They have an idyllic lifestyle: a physician father, a beautiful wife, a charming little daughter, and an adorable infant, not to mention the friendly family cat. However, behind their house in the nearby woods lies a blood-chilling secret that is more terrifying than death itself, which renders the quote: “Sometimes dead is better….” I recommend this book because it keeps your attention from cover to cover, and is great for readers who love to be scared! It‟s thrilling, scary, and exciting, yet it‟s still a great story that‟s wonderfully written. Recommended by Kelley Wrede The Shining by Stephen King The Shining is a classic horror story that I‟m sure almost everyone has heard about, but you haven‟t really enjoyed the chilling tale until you have read the novel. The Torrance family; Jack, Wendy, and their young son, Danny, move to their home-away-from-home, The Overlook Hotel, where Jack has gotten a job as the caretaker. It seems like a blessing at first, but eventually the Torrance family finds that the hotel is a place where past horrors come to life. Those gifted with the shining, however, do battle with the darkest evils, but perhaps offer the only hope of escape, as well. This book is ideal for readers who love to be scared, and this book will not disappoint, as it keeps you on the edge of your seat from “redrum, redrum!” to the midnight masquerades. Recommended by Kelley Wrede Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer This depicts the journey of Christopher McCandless along with a few side stories to help emphasize the book. Journalist and outdoor enthusiast, Krakauer, does an excellent job telling the biography of McCandless. Christopher was born to a wealthy family in Massachusetts. His father was a high ranking NASA scientist ant they enjoyed life from an affluent perspective. At a young age Christopher became disenchanted with society, and his heart began leading him toward the wild. He was greatly influenced by the writings of Thoreau and Walden, and they were the inspiration for his independence from society. After he finished college, he packed his belongings in his old beater car and drove across the country without his parent‟s knowledge. When his car broke down he took to foot and continued his wanderings throughout the West. He spent weeks at a time wandering through the woods living off of berries and edible plants. Along the way he would meet many interesting people, mostly they were the beatniks, the ones who were also disillusioned by society. But Christopher built relationships with others also, he became a son to a retiree, and a hardworking and steadfast employee at times. His wanderings took him down the Yucatan Peninsula all the way to Alaska. It was his summer alone in Alaska that convinced him he needed more than just the captivating wilderness. Other stories similar to Christopher‟s are also described, and how the wild also captivated them. Into the Wild is a story about a boy who followed his dreams into the wild. This book is not only for people who have an interest in the outdoors or who are society‟s beatniks, but it is a pleasant well written read for anyone who dreams. Recommended by Darren Brons The Heralds of Valdemar by Mercedes Lackey This is actually a trilogy; the first one is Arrows of the Queen, then Arrow‟s Flight, then Arrow‟s Fall. But they go together, so read all three. No whining! It‟s worth it, I promise. This is the story of an abused, neglected young girl named Talia whose natural talents and strengths are stifled by her family. Her deepest wish is to become a member of the Queen‟s elite guard, the Heralds. This wish is granted. The rest of the trilogy tells Talia‟s story as she makes a place for herself among the Heralds, helps to raise the queen‟s heir, and finds both true love and friendship side by side with unbearable sacrifice, for a Herald‟s life is always dangerous. Again, this book would appeal to fantasy lovers. Lackey tells amazing stories, with truly amazing characters, and unique concepts as far as types of magic. If you enjoy this, Lackey also wrote many other Valdemar books. Recommended by Sarah Coberly To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee To Kill a Mockingbird is an unforgettable novel of childhood and morals, and trials and tribulations, which are faced in a sleepy southern town. The Finch family, featuring lawyer Atticus, his son Jem, and daughter Scout, are followed as a family as they grow up and experience joy and sorrow, in the midst of an enormous trial that questions human conscience and morality in the south. This book is so amazing because it is beautifully written, with many morals and little stories within the story itself, and it keeps your attention and leaves you feeling very fulfilled and happy. This novel is ideal for readers who are fans of tradition, love, family, and amazing, classic stories. Recommended by Kelley Wrede All Souls by Michael Patrick MacDonald All Souls is an autobiographical novel that chronicles the author‟s childhood living in South Boston. It provides a variety of perspectives from the author, most of which are reflections. He often refers back to his life in the present, and how events such as the South Boston riots of the 1970‟s impacted him. The book also focuses on the author‟s current ambition to clean up the neighborhood that he managed to escape. Humorous anecdotes give the novel great character. This novel might interest a reader who enjoys reading about conflict, and about other people‟s lives. Additionally, one might like this book if one enjoys success stories and how a person has made it their duty to help those he left behind. Recommended by Karsten Deuschle The Rowan by Anne McCaffrey This is a seriously awesome writer; I‟d recommend just about everything she ever wrote. Ever. That‟s how cool her writing is. In the far distant future, humankind has developed the abilities of telepathy and telekinesis. The strength of these gifts varies from person to person, and someone‟s abilities are ranked on a number scale, with T-1, or Prime, being the highest rank. Most of the telepaths and kinetics work for a company called Federal Telepath and Teleport, or FT&T. As humans spread their colonies throughout habitable planets in the galaxy, they depend on the Talents to keep the colonies connected to Earth. On one of these colonial planets, a small girl with a formidable talent is orphaned by a landslide. The rest of the book follows this girl, the Rowan child, through a dark and lonely childhood and early adulthood, and through her courageous rescue of Earth‟s most distant colony, and into the fulfillment she so richly deserves, complete with true love. This book will appeal to science fiction and fantasy fans, anyone who‟s ever wished they could read minds, and people who like to read about long distance relationships, „cause the Rowan‟s is the ultimate in long distance. She and her lover don‟t even live on the same planet! Recommended by Sarah Coberly 1776 by David McCullough 1776 is a book that takes an interactive look back at America during the times of the Revolutionary War. It is loaded with pictures, descriptions, and accurate maps from the times. The book is an excellent read for history fanatics. However, if you are not truly interested in getting a more accurate account of what happened during our Revolution, this is not a book for you. I recommend this book with every fiber in my body, I have read it several times, and I keep on discovering new things that I did not catch the last time. Recommended by Ben Jones The Things They Carried by Tim O‟ Brien The Things They Carried is about a young boy who is drafted into the war. He faces the struggle of fighting a war in which he ultimately doesn‟t see a point of doing. Throughout the book he meets war and he soon discovers his reason for fighting in the war. He also learns life long lessons and faces struggles that make him a better person. This is a great book for people who like reading books about war, and about the true meaning of friendship. The two tie together to make a great book that makes you want to continue reading and never put the book down until done. Recommended by Samantha Akers The Things They Carried by Tim O‟Brien The Things They Carried is an epic novel that tells the story of a group of soldiers in the Vietnam War. O‟Brien argues against the traditional definitions of aspects of war, forcing the reader to question how events and emotions are defined in everyday society. Through different stories that occur before, during and after the war, The Things They Carried explains the lives of Tim O‟Brien, “Rat” Kiley, Jimmy Cross, Mitchell Sanders, Kiowa, Norman Bowker, Henry Dobbins, Curt Lemon, Ted Lavender and others, while forcing the reader to figure out who did what and who is really who. Some parts are slightly graphic, but it does nothing to ruin the story. An untraditional war novel, I would recommend The Things They Carried to anyone interested in a thought provoking novel that is open to any interpretation. Recommended by Sarah Cross The Things They Carried by Tim O‟Brien This novel depicts both the beauty and horrors of war by following the men of the Alpha Company during the Vietnam War. They battle not only the enemy, but each other, and even themselves. They not only carry their physical items, but they also carry emotional weight as well. Their loneliness, helplessness, fear and anxiety are shown through the unrelenting use of imagery and detail. Some of the stories seem so outrageous that one is unsure of what is real and what is not, which is the same confusion the characters in the novel felt. The capacities and courage of the men are ultimately tested in their determination for survival. This novel would appeal to anyone interested in the realities of war. Recommended by Amy Huynh The Things They Carried by Tim O‟Brien This is a story about a group of men enlisted in the military, fighting in Vietnam, written by Tim O‟Brien. We read it in the AP Lang and Comp class looking more rhetorically at it, but it was more enjoyed than analyzed. It is basically a compilation of stories and experiences during the men‟s time in the war, told with a personal feel. It can really change your perspective about war, and what the soldiers themselves do. I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in war stories or who likes a spin on more common ideas. Recommended by Clinton Lovisone The Things They Carried by Tim O‟Brien This is a very intense book because of its harsh content about the war. However, it has very unexpected and enlightening insight to the horrific events of Vietnam. It isn‟t a very long book, unlike The Grapes of Wrath, so it would be easier and less intimidating to read over the summer. I believe anyone should read this book, because Tim O‟Brien puts preconceived ideas about the war in a new light and gives new meaning to words you think you know. Recommended by Chandler Marvin 1984 by George Orwell 1984 is a piece of fiction which defines all that is Orwellian (Thought Police, Thought Crime, etc…). It involves a future, in Orwell‟s eyes, in which the new world is divided up among a couple nations (Rulers [Ideas]), kind of like V for Vendetta. The novel takes place under the rule of Big Brother, whom no one knows anything about except his image printed on money and other daily items. There is no privacy, not in people‟s homes, or even their minds. This is a book that I would personally recommend to everyone, and would be interesting for anyone who is worried about the future and what we could become. “BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU” Recommended by Ben Jones 1984 by George Orwell The main character Winston is living in one of three countries in the world called Oceania. This totalitarian state is being led by a leader called Big Brother and a high ranking group that‟s goal is total approval of the country. They have created Newspeak, a language which portrays the government in the best way possible and also spy on every member of the society threatening to make them an unperson, someone who “never existed”. Winston decides one day that he must try o stop this. People interested in politics and people who also like Orwell‟s Animal Farm would be interested in this book Recommended by Doug Kurtz 1984 by George Orwell The main character, Winston‟s world is dominated by the totalitarian society created by his country‟s government, Big Brother. After buying an illegal journal to record his “criminal” thoughts in and meeting a rebellious coworker Winston embarks on a journey to try and change the world he lives in- a world, in which the government changes history, deletes people from existence and even has its own language in which the government always looks perfect. People who would enjoy this book are interested in politics or enjoy Orwell‟s other books. Recommended by Maddie Moyer 1984 by George Orwell Orwell‟s prophetical book of what life will be like in 1984, written in the 1940‟s, tells the story of Winston Smith‟s struggle to accept the totalitarian society of Oceania. As the leaders of the country force the public into ignorance by practicing „doublethink‟ and gullibility, Smith begins to remember things about the past, and knows that life is better than what it seems like, then. With the help of his lover Julia, Winston tries to create a decent life for himself away from the thought police and the corrupt government, led by Big Brother. However, as the story entails, the dictator is secretly after them, watching through „friends‟ in incognito and the couple is soon discovered. Through torture and fear, Winston is presented with no choice but to comply with the tyrant. The extreme palpable fear portrayed in this story makes one realize that human instinct is utterly selfish. I recommend this book to people who are interested in World War II politics and the corruption of the mind. The frightening mind games and helplessness depicts the overall feeling of the era through a futuristic story. “And perhaps you might pretend, afterwards, that it was only a trick and that you just said it to make them stop and didn‟t really mean it. But that isn‟t true. At the time when it happens you do mean it. You think there‟s no other way of saving yourself and you‟re quite ready to save yourself that way. You want it to happen to the other person. You don‟t give a damn what they suffer. All you care about is yourself.” Recommended by Dora Panyi A Fractured Mind by Robert B. Oxnam This memoir tells the story of Robert B. Oxnam, along with his eleven other personalities. Each of these characters, although calling them this seems to lessen their severity, has their own story. The book reads as f it was fiction, yet has a foundational layer of scientific knowledge and explanation. As I read A Fractured Mind I became partial to specific characters, something I fund interesting as they were all part of the same person. This memoir enlightens to the reader of the capacity of the human mind. A Fractured Mind is the perfect book for someone looking to better understand the capacity of the human mind. Recommended by Emily James Choke by Chuck Palahniuk I must forewarn you that this book is extremely graphic. Chuck Palahniuk, the author of Fight Club, opens the novel warning the reader that “What happens here is first going to piss you off. After that it just gets worse and worse.” This statement is shockingly true. The main character, Victor Mancini, is a medical school drop out, ruined by his slightly psychotic mother and doomed when it comes to relationships. He finds solace in sexual addiction support classes, but his idea of support does nothing but fuel his addiction. When he isn‟t at one of his classes, he goes around town, pretending to choke in restaurants and reaping the benefits of his saviors by writing to them later, thanking them and complaining of imaginary bills he cannot pay. The con artist uses the money he receives to help his elderly mother, but this novel isn‟t solely about that. I would recommend Choke to anyone interested in a highly unconventional novel that forces the reader to question true human nature. And although it has quite a bit of graphic content, the story is still extremely enticing and memorable. However, this novel would be best for mature young adults over seventeen and adults of all ages. Recommended by Sarah Cross Hatchet by Gary Paulsen This book is about a young man named Brian who travels to a Canadian forest and during the flight, the pilot dies due to a heart attack. Brian is forced to land the plane survive in the wilderness by himself and overcome hunger, loneliness, and dangerous animals. This book would appeal to readers who like survival or adventure stories and would like to learn more about what it takes to survive in an untamed land. Recommended by Darian Garcia A Child Called “It” by Dave Pelzer This book is an autobiography about a boy who survived severe child abuse by his mother. Through all odds, the boy endured all of his mother‟s rage and ended up being rescued by school officials. This book would appeal to readers who want to read about true, emotional stories concerning child abuse and its motives. Recommended by Jin Lee Luna by Julie Peters This book is about how difficult the life of a transvestite is, so anyone seriously uncomfortable with the topic should not read this book. However, I feel that it does a wonderful job of explaining the situation and that it isn‟t the way others presume it to be. For instance, it explains the difference between being gay and being born into the body of the wrong gender. It teaches understanding and tolerance to those who don‟t understand what it means to be a transvestite. I found this book to be very emotional, but also very well written. An interesting side note is that the author, Julie Peters, has been a sort of online counselor for teens all over the country experiencing the same issues addressed in her books. She has been able to guide troubled children through their difficult times with her writing and understanding. Recommended by Chandler Marvin Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls This is a story about a young boy looking for two companions. He eventually decides to start saving up some money in order to buy two coonhounds. He trains them to hunt coons through the help of his father and endure on many adventures. The two dogs soon become not only his friends, but his family. But when they enter one of the largest competitions along with many older, professional hunters, they face one of the most challenging hunts that they have ever faced. This book would appeal to people interested in a heart-wrenching story about friendship. Recommended by Philip Zimmerman-Chavez Pour Your Heart into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time by Howard Schultz Pour Your Heart into It is a book that the founder of Starbucks Howard Schultz wrote in the late 1990‟s that addressed the success of Starbucks and what he put into making the company the world‟s coffee company. Schultz not only timelines the growth of the company but he explains the passion that he had for the company and how his love turned into success. Pour Your Heart into It not only addresses any misconceptions about Starbucks but will inspire anyone who has a dream to make something incredible of it. This book will open your eyes to a new side of business as it describes the incredible company that Starbucks is and how it has become that way through putting the money into its product and employees instead of in other parts of the company. Recommended to coffee coinsurers, entrepreneurs, or those who wish to one day own a successful company. Recommended by Nathaniel Harris The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold This book has intense content, but it very interesting to read. It is written from the perspective of a teenage girl who was raped, murdered, and never found. She is watching over her family and the hardships they have to endure after her death, including her father‟s determination to prove that their neighbor is the murderer. I would recommend this book to anyone who can read mature content and likes to follow a different sort of mystery. Recommended by Chandler Marvin The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold After being brutally murdered by her neighbor at the young age of 14, Susie Salmon watches as her family, friends and killer continue on with their own as she comes to terms with her own death. People who like seeing things in another perspective or reading about things that are not “socially acceptable” would like this book. Recommended by Maddie Moyer Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris This book is extremely entertaining and would be a fun book to read over the summer. Its author, David Sedaris, is an extremely sarcastic man who has had hilarious past experiences. This book is a collection of his memory of the past, from his childhood up to a few years before he wrote the book. This book would be enjoyable to read over the summer rather than something students would dread reading. I would recommend this book for anyone who appreciates sarcastic humor and uncomfortable or awkward situations. The absolute best chapter is about his cat, Neil, and his death. That is all I can reveal. Recommended by Chandler Marvin The Catcher and the Rye by J.D. Sellinger This book, written by J.D. Sellinger, was recommended to me by my older brother as he read it during college. It describes part of an unexpected protagonist's life, who has recently been kicked out of college, and it on the edge of insanity. It portrays sexuality, profanity and teenage angst throughout Holden Caulfield's story. This book would appeal to any teenager with a distressed and unsettled life. Recommended by Clinton Lovisone Maus by Art Spiegelman Maus is a 296-page graphic novel about Mr. Spiegelman‟s father, Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of the holocaust. It is incredible how Spiegelman manages to take an event such as the holocaust and describe it in such detail in only 296 pages, and in comic book format, nonetheless. When I first read this book, I not only read it in one sitting, but I went back and spent close to three hours just looking at the art. I also did not speak very much at all for the next few days simply because I was just so shocked by the contents in the book. What was interesting was how the Polish people were drawn as Mice, and the Germans were drawn as Cats. This classic stereotype of the cat and mouse relationship really does enhance the power of this novel. This book would appeal to readers who are interested in history just as I am, but are thirsting for a more powerful recount of the holocaust, and other events taken place under Hitler‟s Europe. Recommended by Ben Jones The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein This novel is conveyed through the perspective of promising race car driver‟s dog. Through this book you get a dog‟s eye view of human life and how they see the way we act. Enzo. The dog, is the narrator, as a dog he wishes badly that he could become a man. Throughout the book, Enzo belongs to a family that gets broken apart by their daughter‟s diagnosis of cancer. The Art of Racing is one of the most compassionate books out there as it takes an unusual viewpoint to horrible misfortunes that occur to a promising new race car driver. Recommended to anyone with a dog as it may open your eyes to realize what they see, or anyone who is looking for a new viewpoint on life. Recommended by Nathaniel Harris The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath was about a family who went through struggles and found a way to over come them. The family went through struggles during the 1930‟s. They moved across the country traveling from state to state and facing a struggle every step of the way. The family becomes close and learns that sometimes they have to take one for the team. I believe that the type of people who would like this book are people who enjoy a book that always keeps you guessing what is going to happen next. Also the type of person who is good at visualizing what they are reading. Recommended by Samantha Akers The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck John Steinbeck‟s The Grapes of Wrath has become one of my all-time favorite books ever after reading it for Ms. Kral‟s class last summer. Through vivid imagery and amazing description, Steinbeck tells the tale of a struggling Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are forced to leave their land and lives behind for a promising new beginning in California during the Great Depression. Throughout their journey, they face countless obstacles and challenges giving insight on the harshness and injustices of the times. This classic novel kept my eyes glued to the pages until its dramatic end and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction of any kind. Although this book was not exactly recommended to me, but rather required, after reading it I now believe that everyone should be required to read this masterpiece. “To the red country and part of the gray country of Oklahoma, the last rains came gently, and they did not cut the scarred earth. The plows crossed and recrossed the rivulet marks. The last rains lifted the corn quickly and scattered weed colonies and grass along the sides of the roads so that the gray country and the dark red country began to disappear under a green cover.” Recommended by Marc Herschberger The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart This story is about a friendship between Cameron and Sofia. The end of a life starts the journey of a Cameron and her search for the unknown. The story will tell the betrayal of two friends and the end of a relationship. Love that never left will spark the life of Cameron. The story will bring memories and past experiences of a girl and her desire to leave it all and continue moving. It‟ll bring Cameron to her past and to everything she once left without knowing her destiny. Cameron will discover who she is a long her journey and everything that she lacks in her life. It‟s appropriate for any teen. The reader must be able to enjoy a story of friendship and be able to handle reality and change to appeal to the story. Recommended by Astrid Diego The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien All of it, not just one of the three parts. You‟ll regret it you only read The Fellowship of the Ring, because the story doesn‟t actually end. Wizards, swords, epic battles, honor, loyalty, courage, strength, an all powerful weapon that is sent to be destroyed in order to save the world, a long lost king that returns from the shadows to claim his throne, monsters, heroes, immortal, wise beings that are on the good guys‟ side, desperation, sacrifice, and even a couple love stories. This one‟s got something for everyone. This book will appeal to anyone who likes fantasy, because it‟s the greatest fantasy book ever written. It‟ll also appeal to people who just love the English language, because Tolkien is truly a wizard with his words. “Three rings for the Elven kings under the sky, Seven for the dwarf-lords in their halls of stone, Nine for mortal men doomed to die, One for the dark Lord on his dark throne, In the land of Mordor where the shadows lie. One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them, In the land of Mordor where the shadows are.” Recommended by Sarah Coberly The Color Purple by Alice Walker The book tells the story of a young African American girl in the 1900‟s. At the age of fourteen she conceives. The book relates her struggles for being an African American and her sexual orientation. At a young age she has to marry a man and works for him. She encounters a friendship that would change her life and make her a stronger woman. In her path, she finds a lot about her lost children and she discovers new ways in which God shows his love. It is a strong book for mature teens and young adults. The book contains a lot of violence and sexuality. Recommended by Astrid Diego The Invisible Man by H.G. Wells A man named Griffin discovers a way to make things invisible and uses this technique on himself to get him out of a pinch. He befriends a man named Marvel who later turns out to betray him. This is written in an older style so it‟s a little hard to read but I would recommend this book to people who love different kinds of science fiction “It‟s winner take nothing, that is the great truth of our country…” Recommended by Darian Garcia The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde When Basil paints a portrait of Dorian Gray, it becomes obvious that the young Dorian is changed upon sight of his nearly perfect image. Dorian then sells his soul in order to obtain eternal youth, but the painting seems to age, becoming hideous with time, reflecting the ugly man within Dorian, who remains young and apparently unchanging. This book is perfect for readers who enjoy uncommon storylines. “The artist is the creator of beautiful things” Recommended by Lisa Simpson To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis The main character, Ned Henry, desperately needs a vacation from his time traveling job. So he is sent back to the Victorian era, to rest. He and his friend accidentally bring back something from the past and they have to go back in time to return the object and keep history from altering itself. This book would appeal to anyone interested in science fiction, historical fiction, or finding something funny to read Recommended by Emilie Kurtz The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. Summary: The book consists of letters written by Charlie to an unidentified person during his freshman year of high school. Prone to depression, shy, introverted, on the fringes in everything, Charlie is a wallflower who, with the help of friends Samantha and Patrick, comes to terms with life and learns to interact. Although Perks covers just about every tough issue known to teen, the book has its moments of humor, and the tragic aspects are handled so well that it comes off as realistic rather than melodramatic or soap-operatic. This book would appeal to mature teens who deal with the things normal teenagers go through: relationships, depression, drugs, sexuality, trying to find one‟s place in the world, etc. The issues the book deals with are very universal and relatable. Best quotes: “We accept the love we think we deserve.” “I feel infinite.” “I am very interested and fascinated by how everyone loves each other, but no one really likes each other.” “Everyone else is either asleep or having sex. I‟ve been watching cable television and eating jello.” Aaron Suarez recommends this book (and says that this is the best book in the world). Twilight by Stephanie Meyer. Summary: When her mother gets remarried, Bella moves in with her father, Charlie, who lives in a small town on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, where it rains nearly all the time. There she meets Edward, a strange and gorgeous boy from a strange and gorgeous family, and soon she has fallen madly in love with him. She also discovers that he and his family are vampires, and this bothers her not at all. It bothers Edward, though; even though they had long ago sworn off human blood in favor of animal predators, he still worries for her safety, both with him and with his family, who control their lust for human blood only by willpower. This book would appeal to young adults who enjoy novels about romance, stories about supernatural monsters, or both. It has sentimental moments, but also many action/thriller sequences. It is very well written, an easy and interesting read. Aaron Suarez recommends this book. The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman. Summary: The action follows 11-year-old protagonist Lyra Belacqua, accompanied by her daemon, from her home at Oxford University to the frozen wastes of the North, on a quest to save kidnapped children from the evil 'Gobblers,' who are using them as part of a sinister experiment. Lyra also must rescue her father from the Panserbjorne, a race of talking, armored, mercenary polar bears holding him captive. Joining Lyra are a vagabond troop of gyptians (gypsies), witches, an outcast bear, and a Texan in a hot air balloon. This book would appeal to young adults interested in fantasy. Aaron Suarez‟s friend, Molly Maguire, recommends this book. The Time Traveler’s Wife By Audrey Niffenegger Imagine never being able to see the love of your life when you want to. Imagine your time together being something you can never control. In The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, readers can feel this hardship as the tale of this unconventional love story unfolds. Henry is a young man who has a genetic disorder causing him to randomly slip forward or backwards through time. During his time travels he meets Clare, a young girl who soon falls in love with him. The only problem, she is in normal time, while he is merely visiting her in the past. Readers can experience the struggles and obstacles Clare must overcome in hopes to see the love of her life, in real time for both of them. It is a unique story told from two perspectives, allowing readers to see the sacrifices both characters make in order to be together. A good read for those tired of the conventional love story, or anyone who believes in the perseverance of true love. Recommendation by Allison Strauss. Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim By David Sedaris Most known for his commentary on Nation Public Radio, David Sedaris has composed a book full of 22 seemingly normal, but incredibly hilarious essays. Dress You Family in Corduroy and Denim is full of personal narratives that reveal the absurdity of family life and people in general. Composed of stories ranging from his job as a housecleaner, a weird tale of the neighbors without a TV, or even the fight his father gets into with the dad of the coolest kid in school, readers will wish this 257 page book was much longer. Sedaris has the extraordinary ability to combine his wit and weirdness, along with his ability to personally criticize himself, all of which ultimately form hilarious tales of not so normal life. But not all stories leave you gasping for air from laughter. Sedaris includes some that gives readers a deeper understanding of his real emotions, not just the one‟s he presents in his comical tales. Prefect for those who love to laugh and see the irony in life and the experiences it brings. Recommendation by Allison Strauss. Breakfast of Champions By Kurt Vonnegut Breakfast of Champions is, in my opinion, one of Kurt Vonnegut‟s finest novels. It takes place in the fictional town of Midland City, where two peculiar men meet for the first time. The author writes of: Dwayne Hoover, a Pontiac dealer who becomes increasing insane as the book continues; and Kilgore Trout, a reoccurring character in Vonnegut‟s novels, who is a science-fiction author which the public, okay one individual, has just discovered. The author sets both of them to meet at an art convention in Midland City, where their craziness runs amuck. This hilarious book is full of funny passages and amusing felt tip images such as the American flag, little girl‟s underwear, and a hamburger with a cow that is made from it. Due to some inappropriate passages, this book is recommended for mature readers. Recommended by Allison Strauss. Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton I‟m sure most people have seen the movie; although very different in content the overall plot structure of the book is roughly the same. Basically a big corporation bio-engineers a bunch of dinosaurs and some scientists and such go to the island to check them out. The book has a bunch of extra parts that you don‟t get in the movie and is much more suspenseful. But anyways the dinosaurs get loose and eat a bunch of people and in the end a few people get off the island. Anybody that enjoys Science Fiction or Adventure books would like this book. It is very well thought out and, after the exposition, is almost impossible to set down. This book comes recommended by Brad Greening The Goon: Chinatown and the Mystery of Mr. Wicker by Eric Powell The Goon is a little known independent comic book character and Chinatown is his first graphic novel. This story is more or less the origin of The Goon and it takes you back to before he took over the neighborhood. It is a romance novel in places, and an action story in others, but it is dark humor everywhere. In The Goon‟s memories he is thinking of his first love and the man that owned her. The man was the leader of the Asian gang in town and had many concubines. While The Goon is recounting his past he is tied up in trying to find out Mr. Wicker really is. Mr. Wicker is an enchanted being basically covered in razor sharp hay that has a vendetta out against The Goon. The two timelines past and present parallel each other and both mysteries unfold at about the same time. I would recommend this book to any fan of comic books and anybody that enjoys a little dark humor. This book is recommended by Brad Greening Blankets by Craig Thompson Blankets is a somewhat autobiographical account of Craig Thompson‟s young life. The chronicle begins with the very young Craig and the difficult times he had at home and at school. It follows him to church camp where he meets his first love, Raina. Having found Raina, Craig is able to get through life without as much of a struggle. It is a fantastic love story told in a very nontraditional manner. The conclusion of the book is very dramatic and depressing, but incredibly moving. This book would appeal to anybody that enjoys romance novels but wouldn‟t be limited to them; I truly believe that this is a fantastic story for anybody to read even men with a little bit too much testosterone. Recommended by Brad Greening Girl by Blake Nelson I strongly recommend this book to any teenage girl, mainly because this story is the perfect definition of high school. Girl is a story about Andrea Marr, who is turning 16 and simultaneously developing a social life for the first time. It is told from her own perspective and you instantly fall in love with her initial quirkiness which quickly turns into a quaint maturity. The story follows her as she jumps from clique to clique, falls in love for the first time, and even develops an active sexual life (mature readers recommended). The book carries from her 16th birthday, to her high school graduation, and along the way you meet multiple characters just as diverse as Andrea, such as her best friend Cybil who shaves her head, and the rock band front-man that she falls in love with, Todd Sparrow. The end of the story is a slight cliff hanger, but it definitely leaves you satisfied with reading the book. Favorite Quote: "And it was so weird because no matter how much you hate popular people, the minute they like you you like them right back." Recommended by Brandi Fairfield Memoirs of a Teenage Insomniac by Gabrielle Zevin Memoirs of a Teenage Insomniac is explained pretty simply by the title, it is a story about Naomi Porter, a high school girl who just had bad luck. Naomi had picked heads, and when the penny fell tails-side up her fate was determined. She ran back up the steps of her high school to get the camera she used as a part of the newspaper staff, and as she ran back the same way she came she not only lost her balance but all of her memory from the past 6 years. She wakes up in a hospital bed and has no idea where she is, let alone who James Larkin is, a fellow member of the newspaper staff who had found her after she fell. This type of confusion continues throughout the book, she has no idea that her parents are divorced, can't recall where any of her classes are, and doesn‟t even remember the house she lives in. Gabrielle Zevin does a great job of portraying the confusion and helplessness that would naturally be felt by Naomi's character, and I recommend this book to anyone in search of some easy summer reading. Recommended by Brandi Fairfield Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress by Susan Jane Gilman Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress is the perfect summer read. The whole book is actually Susan Gilman's childhood memoirs, and although it is intentioned for older readers, I think anyone can get a good laugh out of it. The book follows the life of Gilman, as she grows up in a family of "intrinsic grooviness" in a "neighborhood whose only claim to fame at the time was that its crime and gang warfare had been sufficient enough to inspire the hit Broadway musical West Side Story". She tells multiple intricate stories from her hippie parents and their summer trips to socialist colonies, to her first real job at The Jewish Week newspaper. This book is a real page turner, and although a younger reader may not get the same humor out of it as an older reader would, everyone can relate to Gilman's childhood in one way or another. Recommended by Brandi Fairfield Title: Lovely Bones Author: Alice Sebold Summary of Plot: This is a true about a fourteen year old girl getting assaulted and raped. The story tells her families, neighbors and friends reaction to what had happened after. Trying to suspect who had done all of this to her. The first chapter is the most detailed and graphic with describing the disturbing rape. At the same time of the reading, the reader is able to figure out who has done this to her. In a way it turns into a mystery book where you could solve the crime. Audience: More towards the female gender, high school student, able to understand and be alright with reading about very graphic details. Recommended by: Brandi Madurkay Title: Lucky Author: Alice Sebold Summary of Plot: This book follows Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. It deals with the account of the rape. It goes through the aftermath. It also, is about her facing her rapist in court. Dealing with family, friends, and police is very difficult because they don‟t know how to support her or what to do for her to help forget what happened. It is vey shocking at times, but it is an insight of what a victim of this type of crime would go through. Audience: Female gender, high school student, and also someone who has read Lovely Bones Recommended by: Brandi Madurkay Title: Catcher in the Rye Author: J.D Salinger Summary of Plot: This novel is about a teenage slacker, who continues to flunk out of school. He ends up getting annoyed with school and classmates. Therefore, he takes an early trip out to New York City, and all of his money runs out. Deciding to hitch hike some, but then comes back home for one particular reason. Audience: Young adult, high school students Recommended by: Brittany Campbell The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen Macy is the main character of this novel, who suffers from a terrible past, but manages to make it through to have an unforgettable summer. She was always one of the best runners in school, but ever since her father‟s death she gave up the dream to run. Her boyfriend, Brian is leaving for the summer to Brain Camp and she is to take over his job at the library help desk. She is the girl who comes home early to study, cares about her grades, and never goes out with her friends. That all changed when she met Wish, a catering company that she eventually began to work for and made lifelong friends. Who knows, she may even fall in love with a boy named Wes, who is completely opposite of Brian. While of the summer romance is happening and making friendships, she is struggling to have a relationship with her mother. Adult or Young Adult Readers Brittany Campbell Someone Like You Sarah Dessen Halley and Scarlett have been best friends for many years, but when junior year comes they have a lot in store for them that they never expected, which put a lot of pressure on their friendship. Scarlett falls in love with a boy and has sex with him. The next day he gets in a terrible motorcycle accident that ends in fatality. During this time Halley falls for Scarlett‟s boyfriend, Macon. He is completely opposite of what her parents want for her, but she still continues to like him anyway. Together the two figure out what it really means to grow up. Brittany Campbell This Lullaby Sarah Dessen Remy is just graduating high school and is going to be leaving for college in a few months. During this time she is trying to help her mother plan her fifth marriage hoping that this time it will last. Her father was a song writer, whom she never met. Between both her parents she has learned to avoid love at all costs. She has many rules that she follows with relationships, such as breaking up with a guy before anything gets to serious. Then she meets a guy named Dexter, whom completely annoys her and follows her everywhere trying to get her to talk to him. She believes that there is nothing there, but her friends for many years know that there is some kind of connection for the two of them. Adult or Young Adult Readers Brittany Campbell A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin Recommended by Ethan Genz George R. R. Martin‟s A Game of Thrones, from his series A Song of Ice and Fire is a wonderful book full of politics, intrigue, betrayal, war, and small smattering of fantasy. The scope of the book is huge, providing viewpoints from characters across the world, from Bran Stark in Winterfell to Daenarys Targaryen across the ocean, in only the first few chapters. Set in a world where dragons once roamed but are now extinct, as a warning this book is quite graphic both violently and sexually. Martin‟s world is intricate and deep, and you will never find difficulty believing it. Warning: This is the only series that hasn‟t been completed, and is far from it, unfortunately. A favorite quote from Jon Snow, on sword lessons to his little sister: “Stick them with the pointy end.” Rules of Ascension by David B. Coe Recommended by Ethan Genz Rules of Ascension is a book by David B. Coe, the first in his Winds of the Forelands series. Bearing similarities to both The Wheel of Time series and A Song of Ice and Fire, it is almost a middle ground between these two series. Also including subtle politics and manipulations, this series is a joy to read. Another fantasy world, Rules of Ascension begins with a prologue of a grief-stricken widower who purposefully carries a deadly plague into the castle of his lord, causing the deaths of nearly everyone there, including the rulers and heirs. This is where the Rules of Ascension come in; the next ruler must come from one of the five houses, but disaster has struck each of them in turn, causing strife and dissension among them. The question is: who will receive the throne? This series is also somewhat violent, although probably less graphic than A Song of Ice and Fire. Black Sun Rising by C.S. Friedman Recommended by Ethan Genz The Coldfire Trilogy, by C.S. Friedman, is another beloved series of mine. The first book is Black Sun Rising, which begins the series with a dark sense of foreboding. Interestingly, the series is sort of a hybrid between fantasy and science fiction. The world is Erna, and was colonized thousands of years ago by humans from Earth. However, technology doesn‟t work quite right on Erna, because of a force called the „fae,‟ which is a psychological force that basically manifests human fears. The back story is vague, because it has been so long that few humans remember how they got to Erna. Instead, they live rather in a medieval sort of society, which is almost never in darkness because either the Sun or the Core of the Galaxy provides some light. True night comes very rarely, and is a time when the fae are strongest, which is the basis of the title for the second book, When True Night Falls. Quotes: “When we play by the rules of the enemy, we inherit his weaknesses.” Freakshow by James St. James This is a book is fantastic! It‟s about a teenage drag queen named Billy who is sent by his uptight, homophobic father to a „special‟ school in Florida, where he is supposed to learn how to be a „normal‟ boy. While there, he obviously experiences tons of small-minded, idiot prejudice, and even gets beat in the middle of his classroom. His response? Running for Prom Queen!! This book is absolutely wonderful, with a character you laugh with, cry with, and get pissed off with. All open minded readers who love crazy characters with even crazier stories will absolutely love this book. Fave Quote: Reality is for poor people, ugly people, people with no imagination. Reality is for everybody else. Recommended by Hannah Burbank Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell I‟m sure that everyone‟s heard of this book, but most people probably haven‟t read it, and they should! But, just in case you don‟t know, it narrates the story of Scarlett O‟Hara, southern femme fatale, and her experiences during the Civil War and Reconstruction. I realize that most people feel kind of strange reading a book told from the point of view of a spoiled, slave owning southern belle, but in truth it‟s and amazing story. If you want a great classic, this one is perfect. Recommended by Hannah Burbank Where The Heart Is by Billie Letts A lot of people have seen the movie with Natalie Portman as the pregnant teenager Novalee Nation, but the book is a million times better. It‟s funny, sad, sweet, and one of those books that just makes you feel good. Novalee Nation is a pregnant 17 year old, with a fear of sevens, who is trying to make a life for her child that she never had, but she gets abandoned at a Wal-Mart in tiny Sequoya Oklahoma by . She meets tons of crazy characters like Sister Husband, Moses Whitecotton, Forney Hull, and Lexie Coop, who all teach her the real definition of home and strength. But don‟t be fooled: It‟s way more than just some sappy story with a moral. Just make sure you have tissues ready Recommended by Hannah Burbank Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer Oskar Schell, a nine year old boy, goes on an excursion through New York City searching for a mysterious key left behind by his father who was killed two years earlier in the attack on the World Trade Center. During his adventures, he comes up with new inventions and meets new people who are all survivors in their own special way. This heartwarming novel uses photos, type settings, blank pages, colored pages and drawings creating a deep connection between the reader and each character within the book. Recommended for insightful readers Recommended by Hollie Bennett Summerland by Michael Chabon This adventure, fantasy novel starts off on a small island off the coast of Washington called Clam Island with an eleven year old boy named Ethan. Ethan plays baseball but never seems to be able to acquire the skills he needs to ever be very good. Going off in an unexpected direction, Ethan meets a werewolf named Cutbelly and is whisked away to the Summerlands. When his father is kidnapped by the Coyote, Ethan, his two friends, Thor and Jennifer T., and the leader of a small clan of ferishers (small Indian looking people) to save his father and ultimately save the world. Recommended for any reader who wants a long book to read over the summer Recommended by Hollie Bennett Valiant: A Modern Tale of Faerie By Holly Black In this grim fairy tale 17 year old Valerie runs away from home after learning a terrible secret between her mother and her boyfriend. Her journey takes her to New York City where she meets other teen runaways Lolli, Luis, and Dave who claim that fairies exist and that they deliver packages for the fairies. Wanting to know if this is true Val makes Lolli show her the home of a troll called Ravus and then winds up serving him. However, Ravus is kind and Val starts to like him. Soon she finds herself caught in the middle of a fairy homicide, fairy drugs, and a conspiracy. This type of book would appeal to teens who like fantasy and teen drama books. This fairy tale is more like the grim fairies tales rather than the Disney fairies. Ironically Valiant is more about drug abuse than mystical fairies. Person recommending this book: Katherine McGowan Peeps By Scott Westerfeld In this modern day vampire story, vampires are actually people who were infected with a parasite that make makes them bloodthirsty and they start to hate everything that they once loved. The parasite is also very contagious and can spread through sexual contact, a kiss, bite, or scratch. An unfortunate Cal Thompson gets one lucky night with an infected girl and becomes a „peep‟. However, he is one of the few that keep their sanity and now he has to track down all of his infected ex- girlfriends and stop them from hurting any one. While tracking down the girl who infected him, Cal finds himself in love with a girl named Lace but cannot be with her without infecting her with a parasite. Teens whop love vampire books would get a kick out of this one. A word of caution, the author provides detailed information on real life parasites, those with weak stomachs might want to avoid this one. Person recommending this book: Katherine McGowan Bartimaeus Trilogy: Amulet of Samarkand By Jonathan Stroud In London magicians rule with an iron fist and control it using demons they summoned. After being humiliated by an enemy magician, the young Nathaniel summons a cocky demon named Bartimaeus to steal the Amulet of Samarkand. However, when Simon Lovelance discovers his treasure missing, Bartimaeus and Nathaniel find themselves in over their heads. How far? Let‟s just say Lovelance murdered someone to obtain the Amulet and might kill again to get it back. Can Bartimaeus get Nathaniel out of this mess or will he just let Nathaniel‟s plans blow up in his face. Anyone who enjoyed Harry Potter will love this series it‟s full of surprises and humor. I just love the perspective of the book. Bartimaeus is a very colorful character and very sarcastic. Recommended by Katherine McGowan The Russian Concubine By Kate Furnivall Recommended by Libbi Wilkie for mature readers that enjoy historical fiction because it contains mature content. It is 1928 in Junchow, China and Lydia Ivanova just turned 16. She has a fierce spirit and nothing can dim it. Her and Chang experience many odd adventures. This is definitely an intense adventure through old China with a slight love story. Forever Amber By Kathleen Winsor and Barbara Taylor Recommended by Libbi Wilkie‟s Mom for mature readers due to mature content. Abandoned, penniless and pregnant, 16 year old Amber St. Clare climbs her way to the top of the totem poll using her charm and wit. It‟s a catchy tale about a young women and her struggles to be a wealthy women in Restoration England. The Secret Life of Bees By Sue Monk Kidd Recommended by Libbi Wilkie for those that enjoy an adventurous drama. Fourteen years old with belief that she accidentally shot and killed her mother. The only reminder of her mother that she is left with is a small photo of a Black Madonna with the words “Tiburon, South Carolina” written on the back. Lily Owens must journey through life looking for a mother and try to self mother herself. The Hitchhiker‟s Guide to the Galaxy By Douglas Adams Arthur Dents adventures through the galaxy with his friend Ford. Don‟t forget your towel in this fast passed random novel. This book is for all those who are in search of a laugh and a good read. This is recommended by Sean Lundgren Ender‟s Game By Orson Scott Card Andrew Wiggin is selected to join the elites of battle school. Coming out of a war with an alien race the world is trying to prepare the commander of tomorrow. This is the tale of one who may be the best. This is for all science fiction and war fans. Recommended by Sean Lundgren Moby Dick By Herman Melville Join Ishmael and the crew of the Pequod as they search after the great white wale. This is for all those patient readers that can appreciate classic literature. Recommended by Sean Lundgren I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak Recommended by Stephanie Ahlgrain Nineteen year old Ed Kennedy lives a plain life and he has little ambition to do anything to change it. He lives for his group of friends who he casually plays cards with, for his shaggy dog, and the broken apartment he lives in, none of which truly make him happy. After stopping a bank robbery, someone takes notice of this overlooked teen, and things begin to change. He begins receiving playing cards in the mail with various clues on them. The messages on the cards can not just be tossed away; the danger of ignoring them is too great. If Ed does not solve the clues, their subjects will not get the attention they need. Through these messages Ed begins to care about something, and he starts to spend his days solving the mysteries which bring him to sometimes very dangerous situations. From helping a rape victim escape the abuse to building up an abandoned church, Ed‟s life begins to gain meaning. Who knew a life could be thrown off course by a simple game of cards? I recommend this book to anyone who loves realistic stories. The scenarios Ed Kennedy is presented with are potential situations and will cause you to question your response to the same complicated circumstance. The question is whether to take the easy way out or take the challenge to do something valuable with your life. Ed Kennedy‟s struggle throughout the story will inspire you to make the most out of the life you‟re given. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini Recommended by Stephanie Ahlgrain Amir and Hassan had been friends all their lives, but had always remained distant because of their differences in social status. As servants, Hassan and his father live in the back of Amir and his father‟s house. All things are good until Amir witnesses something horrible happen to Hassan. He can not handle the guilt of not being brave enough to stand up for his friend, and both boys become very depressed. Soon after the incident Hassan moves away. This makes Amir very happy because he can finally have his father‟s full attention, which he never had while Hassan was there. Violence in Afghanistan causes Amir and his father to have to move away, and the end up living in a bus, engulfed in a life far less pampered than the one of Amir‟s childhood. Years later Amir is sent on a quest to find the son of the now deceased Hassan to save him from the harsh world in Afghanistan. Memories of his childhood in Afghanistan come flooding back when he returns, but he feels like he owes Hassan for all the times Hassan stood up for him. Amir faces everything he ran away from as a child again and gets a second chance to redeem himself. I recommend this book to someone that is curious about the life of people in Afghanistan, and want an exciting story that brings you into their culture. The book is about more than the political turmoil in the country, it is an inspiring story of a young boy that has to deal with secrets no young boy should ever have to keep. Amir‟s difficulties in separating who he is from who his father wishes he was is a lifelong quest for him, and it gives the story a very emotional touch. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan Recommended by Stephanie Ahlgrain Laura is a very plain girl, and although has had several boyfriends, is not projected by anyone to ever get married. That is until a charming veteran comes back from the war and transforms Laura‟s life. The couple marries, have children, and per Henry‟s dream move away from the city to live on the farm. Without the amenities she‟s accustomed to, Laura feels trapped inside a life she no longer loves. She does not adore her children as most mothers adore theirs, she has fallen out of love with Henry, and her live-in step father is the most rude, racist, and unhelpful person. Laura gets help with her house work from a tenant of the farm, Florence, and her close relationship with this colored family turns out to be a big mistake. When Henry‟s brother Jaime comes back from WWII, Laura‟s life is excited for the first time since they moved to Mudbound. Jaime is charming, sensitive and caring about Laura and her children which is just the boost they need to be a happy family once again. But Jaime‟s alcohol addiction and relationship with his brother‟s tenant family ends up very dangerous for both families. Racism, Love, and Family are all explored in this novel, and are all tied together in the story of this southern town. I would recommend this book to someone who wants a very relaxed book. Although not action packed, the book is a very good family story about the daily hardships people go through. The various perspectives the story is told through add another dimension to the ideas, and make the story all around more enjoyable to read.
"Recommended Summer Reading"