Max Reid works in Penguin Books Editorial, where he can be found talking at length about how much he loves New York.
I first read Ceremony for a Native American Religion course my freshman year of college. I expected bows and arrows and trips to the museum- I didn’t think for a second we might actually be talking about Native Americans today. Ceremony focuses on the loss of identity so many Native Americans have experienced in the 21st century, and shows better than anything else I’ve read that Native American culture is not just history.
As a citizen of the world I’m happy to report I had a healthy phase of dystopian fiction that sufficiently scared the hell out of me. This one hits particularly hard – a nation built entirely of glass, allowing secret police to watch your every move. Yeah. 1984 and it’s many protégés find their way to most school reading lists, but if you haven’t read We, you’re missing out – Zamyatin was a dissident in the early Soviet Union, so he knows what he’s talking about.
You’re not going to find a bigger fan of the Gene Wilder / Mel Stuart film adaptation, but really, if you haven’t read Roald Dahl’s masterpiece (one of many, in my opinion) you’re missing out on a trip through a world even more vibrant than Technicolor could offer. Try as you might, Tim Burton, but there’s just no replicating Roald Dahl’s imagination.
After 100 pages of living with the Gladney family, you’re part of it too, whether you like it or not. DeLillo is sneaky about it – you may not even realize you love these characters until things start to unravel, as they always do. DeLillo looks behind the façade of the modern American family, and finds the fears we all share.
Clocking in at 96 pages (that’s with the introduction and afterword), this is one of the most eye opening and powerful books I’ve read. Merle recounts his experience growing up homosexual in a world that wasn’t welcoming, to say the least. It’s heartbreaking, and unsettling that some of what he recounts was happening on a large scale only a few short decades ago. I’d love to see this on more high school reading lists.
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