I keep looking, and looking, and looking...but lately I can't find a good book to read. A lot of the books at my school (I attend Davidson Early College High School) are about professions, and few have anything to do with teenage things...so that leaves me in "boo land".
Please don't bite me (or ya know verbally despise me), but does anyone know a good book that actually makes you think, or feel any kind of emotion?
By the way, I'm really in love with you Nerdfighters. Not in a, "I'm going to rape you" kind of way, but more in a "you totally understand what I'm saying, so I'm going to forcefully glomp you" kind of way. ...if that makes any sense at all
> does anyone know a good book that actually makes you think, or feel any kind of emotion?
These don't "have anything to do with teenage things" so they may not be what you're looking for. But they are the best suggestions I can give. They all meet one simple but demanding requirement: I wanted to (and did) re-read them immediately after finishing the first read-through.
Before the first time that happened, I couldn't imagine why anyone would reread a book. They take so long to get through, usually, and there are so many other books waiting to be read. But then I found one that that was so gripping that I just didn't want to leave it. A few years later, I found another. In my life so far I've found five such books. Probably there are more, and others would probably find other books more appealing.
But the first book that I re-read immediately after finishing the last page was "Les Miserables" by Victor Hugo. It tops every 19th century literature class recommended list and for good reason: it is to novels as Beethoven's 9th is to symphonies. Set in the decades before and after the death of Napoleon, the characters are so vivid that you worry about their fates more than your own family's.
"Magister Ludi" by Herman Hesse. I discovered later that Hesse intended this book to be a satire, but I missed that (as did all my friends) so we probably took it much more seriously than he intended. Or maybe the passage of time has made it more relevant than he could foresee. Set in the far future when no one has to work to survive and intellectuals spend their lives playing the Glass Bead Game (a metaphysical synthesis of poetry, mathematics, dance, gaming and all the other human arts and sciences), it's basically about a game master cultivating his disciple until the disciple outgrows and replaces him. The Bead Game itself is a vision of art/science/life becoming an all-consuming recreation.
"V" by Thomas Pynchon. Before "Gravity's Rainbow" proved his prowess, "V" put Pynchon on the map. There's an early chapter that is mainly a detailed description of a "nose job" - a common type of cosmetic surgery. It was so grewsome I could not read it. Put the book aside for nearly 5 years, until I felt old enough and strong enough to get through that chapter, and certainly was glad I did. It's hard to summarize the story. Just read it if you think you can survive the nose job.
"Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins. Robbins doesn't mind being called a psychedelic writer because he believes the highest use of language is to make the impossible believable. And he does that in book after book with LOL humor and brilliant insights. This is a love story covering about a thousand years. The central characters live that long but lose track of each other periodically. Sometimes it takes them centuries to find each other. Brings history to life as no other book I've ever read.
"The Phenomenon of Man" by Teilhard de Chardin. This is the only non-novel on my list and it is the one book to read if you can only choose one. De Chardin was a priest and scientist. This book is his vision of the meaning of evolution, the struggle to develop consciousness and enable it to transcend our material bodies and finite lifespans. Now that we have satellites and the Internet it doesn't seem so radical to speak of a planetary consciousness. But de Chardin saw this coming when telephony and broadcasting were still new. Better than Artistotle, this is the book to beam at distant planets to prove we deserve membership in the community of advanced beings.
You could try 'Living Dead Girl' by: Elizabeth Scott, 'Speak' by: Laurie Halse Anderson, 'Crash Into Me' by: Albert Borris, or 'Willow' by: Julia Hoban. These are all very good books, that i have in my personal library.
totally has nothing to do with "teenage things," but i found Freakanomics to be awesomely interesting. also The House of the Scorpion was really, really good. My other recommendations are Ender's Game, The Supernaturalist, and I am the Cheese
I've read House of the Scorpion, Ender's Game, and The Supernaturalist; I don't remember much of the last, but the first two were good.
I'd go so far as to say that Ender's Game is phenomenal, as is it's three sequels (Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide, Children of the Mind), and the parallel (spin-off) series following the character Bean (Ender's Shadow, Shadow of the Hegemon, Shadow Puppets, Shadow of the Giant). There are several short stories featuring other characters in this universe, most of which I have not read, but would still recommend. A new book was recently added to the original series which I believe was meant to be a kind of addition to the first book, taking place between two events contained in it.
Other books I'd recommend:
Fight Club. I think most of us know what this one's about.
The American Psycho. Not for the faint of heart...it's incredibly disturbing and fantastically gory. The theatrical version contained a naked Christian Bale covered in blood, wielding a chainsaw and laughing like a maniac.
1984. You've probably read this already, but it's always worth a re-read.
Black Coffee Blues. A series of writings by Henry Rollins written between 1989 and 1991. His thoughts, ideas, a diary, a record of dreams he had during that period, a list of 123 of some of the most disturbed people you'll ever hear about, songs, poems. It's all in there.
Silent Bob Speaks. A collection of writings by Kevin Smith, AKA Silent Bob. He's a director (Clerks, Mall Rats, Dogma) and comic book writer (Green Arrow, and I want to say Daredevil, though I'm not sure) and avid hockey fan. He's a pretty cool guy.