Q:Hello! I was wondering - What are your thoughts on short stories? Any specific ones you recommend?
I love short stories. I read The Lottery in seventh grade and have devoured them ever since. When I was 14, my brother gave me two books for my birthday; Jesus’ Son by Denis Johnson and Pastoralia by George Saunders. Both are amazing collections of short stories, and the former is one of my all-time favorite books.
Other short stories that immediately come to mind are A Good Man Is Hard to Find by Flannery O’Connor, The Tell-Tale Heart by Poe (also one of my favorite examples of an unreliable narrator), and A Woman on a Roof by Doris Lessing.
Reservation Blues by Sherman Alexie
I’m reading Flight, another one of Sherman Alexie’s books right now, and suddenly remembered reading this book in high school.
I had a horrible English teacher junior year, this young blonde woman with an unpronounceable name who probably became a teacher because she couldn’t figure out what else to do with her life. This woman systematically ruined almost every book we read that year, but somehow, I still enjoyed reading Reservation Blues. This book is great.
Rebloggable, as requested
Anonymous asked: Do you have any suggestions for a scary book to fit the Halloween mood?
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is one of the scariest books I have ever read. Easily. It’s the definition of a cult novel, so it’s not for everyone, but I highly, highly recommend it to anyone willing to read a terrifying, insane, involving story with three narrators and layers of stories.
House of Leaves is one of those books that forces you to feel the same emotions as the characters in the story. If one character is trapped in a room that is quickly getting smaller, you’ll feel their sense of claustrophobia and desperation. You’ll feel the hopelessness of a character trapped in an abyss with no hope of escape. And you’re going to be looking over your shoulder weeks after you finish reading it.
Allyx Recommends: Banned/Challenged Books
To celebrate the very last day of Banned Books Week, I decided to share with you guys my favorite banned and challenged books. These are books that, for some reason or another, were considered too controversial to be read. An educated mind is a formidable one, and a well-read free-thinker is the most dangerous of all.
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
- Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
- Carrie by Stephen King (bonus points if you watch the original 1976 film)
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller. And if you only read one book on this list, make it this one.
- Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert PeckKidding. I’m still traumatized from reading it back in seventh grade (pig rape, you guys. Pig rape)
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- My Friend Flicka by Mary O’Hara
- One Day in The Life of Ivan Denisovich
- One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
- The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
- Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
- Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
- The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger
- The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
- The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
- The Shining by Stephen King
- To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Read on and stay dangerous,
Q:Hey:) I've been reading a lot more recently and it's helping me keep my mind off my exams this year; it's a complete break away from studying. I'm a huge fan of love stories but would prefer to read something that's quite modern and maybe contains some humour as well? Any suggestions of authors/books for me to read?:)<3
The Confessions of Georgia Nicholson series has romance and is hilarious. It sounds like exactly what you’re looking for.
Q:What's a good psychologically scary novel? Not gory and gross, but gives you the chills and can't go anywhere with the lights off.
House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski is the scariest book I’ve ever read. The characters all go mad, and they drag you down with them. HOWEVER, it’s not, by any stretch of the imagination, a novel for young adults. House of Leaves is very much adult, and requires a certain amount of maturity to really appreciate it. If you think you can handle a detailed, inventive, terrifying novel complete with hidden code and three/four different narrators, then you should definitely read it.
I occurred to me that we rarely/never write about Neil Gaiman books. So I’m just going to leave this here in hopes that everyone who reads HTBH will see it and immediately pick up a copy. Because Neil Gaiman.
Q:do have any supernatural teen / horror book recommendations. I just finished the trylle trilogy and vampire academy series. I can't find any books similar and its so frustrating.
I was a huge fan of the Mediator series by Meg Cabot. Suze is a mediator; she can see and communicate with ghosts. The series follows her move to California, where she finds out her house is haunted by a ghost named Jesse. He eventually becomes her unattainable love interest (for those of you who enjoy a good star-crossed lovers story), and helps her defeat other ghosts that are hell-bent on being evil and stuff. I loved every book.
I took a class this summer at my local community college on fiction, and this is the text book we used. I thought you guys might be interested in it, because it is hands-down the best text book I have ever bought. An anthology of classic short stories, The Art of the Short Story follows every story with a short essay written by either the authors themselves, or someone as respected in the writing field (Edgar Allen Poe’s two stories, for instance, are followed by an essay by Nathaniel Hawthorne). The last section of the book is full of analytical essays on the stories in the anthology, as well as in-depth articles on different types of criticism.
This is a great purchase for anyone who not only wants a small library of must-read stories, but for those of you who want to learn how to better read and understand any work of fiction you come across. I’m definitely keeping my copy.
Q:Do you know of any books where someone is in a forbidden relationship. Like a seventeen year old with a twenty-one, For example. A romance. I am having a hard time falling back into reading like I used to and I need your help. Please and thank you.
I don’t think either of us are big on romance novels, but I really enjoyed Naughts and Crosses, which features a relationship between a white boy and a black girl in a society where racism is the norm, but not in the way we’re used to. In Naughts and Crosses, being white is kind of like being black in 50’s southern America. It’s great social commentary combined with a riveting love story.