Worth Reading


How can we help girls become stronger, more self confident, more intelligent girls if reading merely for pleasure is becoming a less and less popular activity? Scanning Jezebel or the New York Times every morning is great, but it informs rather than inspires. Besides, how can you even start informed reading is the love for words and curiosity isn't already there? I gush over movies quite frequently, but here is a bit of what I love.. or what I've loved, and what you might love too.

Philosophy/Critical Writing:
*= it has a plot and is not just a body of essays/ideaology
Sophie's World* by Jostein Gaarder
Slaughterhouse Five* by Kurt Vonnegut
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
The Stranger* by Albert Camus
1984* by George Orwell
The Trial* by Franz Kafka
Web of Hate: Inside Canada's Far Right Network by Warren Kinsella
No Fat Chicks by Terry Poulton
Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks
Reviving Ophelia by Mary Pipers
Brave New World* by Aldous Huxley
Feed* by MT Anderson
The Gutenberg Galaxy by Marshall McLuhan
note: For some reason after this point, only some of the hyperlinks started working, so from here on you kind of have to search for yourself. But they're worth it, I promise.

Enjoyment:
The Road
Le Petit Prince
The Lord of the Rings
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time
The His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman, especially the last book
Letters to Barbara by Leo Meter
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowery
Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders by Vincent Bugliosi
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood

Awesome Women & Girls:
Madeline by
Persepolis
Clever Lazy
No Logo
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
The Book of Small by Emily Carr
A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews
Mrs Dalloway by Virgina Wolfe
The Handmaiden's Tale by Margaret Atwood

... I think I missed at least one hundred million...
What are your favourite books?
Always,
Mary

(Oh, and I'm not even endorsing amazon.com at all. I've never ordered stuff from there, but they do have good descriptions/summaries.)

21 comments:

AFitz said...

Hm...ones you havent mentionned that I liked:
Franny & Zooey, The Catcher in the Rye, 9 Stories (where I got my twitter name from!), The Bell Jar, Wuthering Heights, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Everything is Illuminated, the History of Love, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, The Diary of Anne Frank (speaking of awesome women), Middlesex, Jane Eyre, Breakfast of Champions, A Coney Island of the Mind

Haley said...

Pippi Longstocking! Anne of Green Gables! Jo March! Harriet the Spy! Weetzie Bat! Ella Enchanted! Sara Crewe (A Little Princess)! Lucy Van Pelt (Peanuts)! Eloise! Amelie! Velma (Scooby Doo)!

You've hit upon one of my very favorite topics. Badass Girl Characters.

Kelsey said...

I'm glad to see I've read most of these and I wrote down the names of the ones I haven't. Off the top of my head the only one I would add is either The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle or Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami. I still can't decide which one I like better. Out of curiosity, why Mansfield Park compared to other Austen novels?

Hana Talita said...

I like Are You There God? It's Me Margaret! I think it really captured the reality of teenage girls. And while I was reading Sophie's World, I read each page over and over again.

I like Mitch Albom's Five People You Meet in Heaven.

Thanks for the recommended books!

-Hana
Indonesia.

Amy said...

I have an autographed copy of the handmaids tale. My bf met Atwood and she signed it for me. He said she was really nice :) I asked for a copy of Oryx and Crake for xmas, along with about 10 other books.

I loved Judy Blume books when I was a kid. Awake and Dreaming by Kit Pearson is also a good kids book.

Gladys said...

I totally agree. Girls should read more. ;)

Faux Naif said...

like like like like like. like. a lot. you're swell. you're sweller than swell. i will never pick a favourite book, but anne of green gables is a good model (in me humble opinion), "les mains sales" by sartre (even if i STILL think he was douchy), the crucible, i capture the castle, the importance of being earnest, and emily dickinson poems. if you've never read anything by her, do. she expands the mind.

jayne said...

I love the curious incident of the dog in the nighttime! such a beautifully bittersweet novel

Faux Naif said...

ooh, also "a tree grows in brooklyn" and "brideshead revisited." i'm such a nerd. look at how enthusiastic books make me.

Erin said...

oh YAY, thank you for this post! You are one of the best people I can think of to write a book list. A lot of my favorites are already on there or have been mentioned in comments already, but I'm adding One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, Lord of the Flies, The Great Gatsby, and Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (my favorite author, he is amazing). Also A Man Without a Country by Kurt Vonnegut, it is short and very fast to read and it still packs so much in and made me look at things differently, as cliche as that sounds. Also any of Sarah Vowell's books!
Anywayy, definitely bookmarking this list (aahaha, i am soo punny...) for future reading material. Also thanks for commenting on my blog awhile back (the post about the american apparel toronto rummage sale)! It actually pretty much made my day, hahaha.

Rose said...

Right now, I am completely in love with "Everything is Illuminated" by Jonathan Safran Foer. His post-modernist style is like nothing I've ever read, and I can't get enough of it. Everything about it is so beautiful, and I whole heartedly recommend it.

Hailey said...

Miriam Toews is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors. If you liked A Complicated Kindness, I'd recommend The Flying Troutmans, too. One of the characters, a young girl named Thebes, definitely belongs on the list of Awesome Women & Girls.

Also, to second a recommendation above, The History of Love by Nicole Krauss is a really beautiful novel.

In elementary school, I was really in love with the Guests of War trilogy (http://www.kitpearson.com/guestsofwar.html) by Kit Pearson. I re-read them all this summer and they're still just as great as they were when I was 10.

Finally, Come, Thou Tortoise by Jessica Grant is one of the oddest, funniest, most interesting books I've read in a while.

(Also, except for Nicole Krauss, all of these authors are Canadian!)

bobb said...

I'd add Pale Fire - Nabokov's best book - and Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard.

Chelsea said...

Oh man, I wish I had brought my copy of The Island of the Blue Dolphins with me, instead of storing it in my parents basement. I'll just have to go check it out from the library, I guess. When I am done with Little Women, that is.

Annie said...

Oh gosh. This is so wonderful. I've been looking for a great book to delve into and you've given me so many options!

As for my favorites... 1984 and Slaughterhouse Five definitely make it on there, along with Bluebeard and Cat's Cradle, both by Vonnegut. Actually, pretty much anything by Vonnegut. The Perks of Being a Wallflower will always remain in my top five, along with The Alchemist, The Bell Jar, and The Catcher in the Rye. And The Virgin Suicides. I could blather all evening about my favorite books but I shall leave it there.

Belle said...

I have read some of those and many are on my list. I loved the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.
I love Anne of Green Gables and Little Women and so many more that aren't coming to mind.
Belle

K said...

Ooh glad to see so many of my favourites here! You have good taste in books :)

Emmy said...

Oh boy. This is difficult.

I agree with you 100% on Brave New World and Lord of the Rings (closet LOTR nerds, represent!) but I also love The Alchemist, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, A Tale of Two Cities, Atonement, and OF COURSE Harry Potter.

Signora Said said...

other kurt vonnegut, of course! slapstick is absolutely enlightening, and one mustn't forget fear and trembling, or the most beautiful book of all time : raise high the roofbeam, carpenters, and seymour an introduction, by lovely mr. salinger.

Becca Jane said...

AHHHH I love so so many of these. Sophie's World is one of my all time favourites.

I would also suggest, as some additions to the list:

Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery (Valancy is a hero of mine)
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Okay - I will stop there, since I could go on forever and a day. Love the book post, once again!

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