3.24.2010


What were your favorite books when you were a teenager about to become a young adult?
It's time for me to send my little sister some new books. She will be seventeen this summer, people. Seventeen.*
I am realizing I might start sending her some more adult books. Suggestions? I am having a hard time remembering what was appropriate/apealing to me at this crossover age. For example, I considered, maybe Tom Robbins? But then I recalled that when I first was introduced I was not impressed. Too young? Cause I loved him when I came back a few years later. For a frame of reference, she is a little less of a bookwork than I was at her age, and ya'll as a whole tend to be waaaay more literary than me, so nothing too heady is going to fly. ;)
xoxo
image via the selby
*When I was seventeen I finished high school and moved out of the house. Shudder.

27 comments:

  1. Absolutely: "The Perks of Being a Wallflower".

    ReplyDelete
  2. The Elephant Vanishes by Haruki Murakami

    Cripes, what a good big sister.

    ReplyDelete
  3. For literary beauty and amazing events: all the books of John Irving... For funny and light style: All the books of Alexander Mccall Smith. Fantasy and/or sci-fi: Philip Pullman- Dark Materials. (they recently filmed the first book. Golden Compass) this trilogy is amazing for all ages! And also Dan Simmon's Hyperion and the sequels and Olympos and Ilium. These are also amazing. And you are right, Tom Robbins requires some level of college talk and jokes I guess :)) Pride and Prejudice of course, if she had not read it.

    I got kinda carried away :)) Just love to remember the books...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anything by Jamaica Kincaid, Joyce Carol Oates. I especially love JCO's short story collections. Phillip K. Dick (sci-fi geek, yes!, John Irving for sure...Oh man, you just sent me down memory lane...17. AT the time, I had no idea how great 17 was...

    ReplyDelete
  5. shirley jackson!!

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Bell Jar, High Fidelity, The Catcher in the Rye...

    If you think she might want something light to dip her toes into, maybe Bridget Jones's Diary.

    I second the "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" too!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I remember loving She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb at that age. And the Red Tent by Anita Diamant. Anne Lamott's Bird by Bird and Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible are also good bets.

    ReplyDelete
  8. There is this rad series by Megan McCafferty. There are actually five books: Sloppy Firsts, Second Helpings, Charmed Thirds, Fourth Comings and Perfect Fifths.
    These books are about a girl in high school, but they are unbelievably witty and seriously just the best diving board for a young reader.
    The best thing is they aren’t pretentious in any way, and are sincere.
    I think most people would love them, if they could get over the initial idea of picking up a frothy young adult book.

    ReplyDelete
  9. For the teenager who isn't necessarily huge on reading - Youth In Revolt. I read it when I was 15 and thought it was the most hilarious thing ever. Looks like they are coming out with (already came out with?) a movie version, which I seriously doubt could be as awesome as the book, even with Michael Cerra playing the lead role.

    ReplyDelete
  10. i'm only twenty, so seventeen wasn't that long ago for me. sarah dessen's "someone like you" is great, as is tim o'brien's "the things they carried" (though in TOTALLY different ways). "bass ackwards and belly up" is also entirely appropriate end of high school reading, and there's a sequel, which makes it even better.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Agree with Wool & Misc. Def. Murakami. Norwegian Wood! I'm in love with that book. Also, if she's into classics, Gone with the Wind. Loved it when I was 17 and for once I was exposed to the idea of a strong woman.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "The Lone Ranger + Tonto Fistfight in Heaven" by Sherman Alexie. Also, I was a huge fan of Barbara Kingsolver... esp. the "Bean Trees" + "Animal Dreams".

    ReplyDelete
  13. I went through a serious Jack Kerouac and Hunter S. Thompson phase. It's always good to start off with ON THE ROAD and go from there.

    I also loved A HEARTBREAKING WORK OF STAGGERING GENIUS. It was so completely far away from for-school-reading, which I hated at the time. I loved getting lost in his life.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Definitely The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Catcher in the Rye. Madame Bovary was a favorite of mine at the time. Also, Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, while a pretty easy read was really powerful and spoke to me as a teenager.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I was a fan of anything by J.D Salinger.

    This is a little younger, but do you remember the VC Andrews books? WACKED OUT. If my mom only knew what I was reading....

    ReplyDelete
  16. Some of my favorites from that period of my life were:
    Barbara Kingsolver books (particularly Animal Dreams and Pigs in Heaven/Bean Trees)
    A Girl's Guide to Hunting and Fishing (not actually about Hunting or Fishing)
    I read a Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius a bit later in life, but I think a teenager would love it.
    David Sedaris books

    ReplyDelete
  17. Franny and Zooey, of course.


    (I loved T.R. at 17, but only Still Life With Woodpecker)

    ReplyDelete
  18. I'd have to agree with the Bridget Jones Diary comment. That's a winner if you're not big of "literary reading".

    I'd also suggest the collection of The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007 (great short stories) and Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto by Chuck Klosterman.

    PS I left school and home at 17 too. Now I think "woah!"

    ReplyDelete
  19. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides, and The Secret History by Donna Tartt are all a bit subversive and exactly the kinds of books I wanted to read at 17.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Anything by Margaret Atwood, esp. The Handmaiden's Tale and Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Angela6:46 AM

    david sedaris. he writes stuff that anybody can relate to and he's funny.

    ReplyDelete
  22. i am 21 - many of these suggestions seem a little young for 17. i'd go with salinger and curtis sittenfeld (all 3 of her books are great).

    ReplyDelete
  23. ooo and i definitely second the sedaris & atwood too.

    ReplyDelete
  24. 'perks of being a wallflower,' hands down. i still consider it one of the most important books i've ever read. and pick it up now and then to remember the amazing feelings it gave me back then.

    'i am charlotte simmons' by tom wolfe is also great. and anything and everything by david sedaris.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I loved "House of The Spirits" at that age. Loooovvvvvvveeeeeeddddd.

    ReplyDelete
  26. you guys are always so awesome!

    thanks for the help. i am making a list and heading to the used bookstore! happy to see a lot of books i read around that age, and older, and some that are on my list.... maybe we can have a sisters book club? ;)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Coming back way later because I forgot to mention Confederacy of Dunces, if she hasn't already read it in school. I remember being in hysterics for most of the book, and I was her age.

    And Robbins and Kerouac were both epic fails for me when I was a teenager, even though I was a pretty intense reader. Just didn't work at that age.

    I second the Atwood suggestion, but I'm biased because she's one of my all time faves. Start her with Cat's Eye or The Handmaiden's Tale for maximum accessibility.

    Oh, and Louise Erdrich! So easy to read at that age, so insanely awesome. I love everything she's written.

    ReplyDelete