PDA

View Full Version : Looking for book recs



crunchymum
05-04-2014, 07:01 PM
Hi everyone

I am looking for 2 book recommendations. I would like to find a readable short story collection that covers more than just North American/European literature. I would like for it to be affordable and relatively accessible (it will be for a book club so out of print collections are challenging).
Does anyone have suggestions?

Also looking for book recommendations for our teen book club. We are following Poppin's idea of an around the world book club. Specifically right now I am looking for an English/European "classic". Dickens is out. I would prefer not to use Austin for now but if I can't find something else I would. I am happy with current classics or more traditional classics. It should be set in the UK or Europe as we are hoping to get the flavour of the location through the reading. We have a mixed secular/Christian group so I need to be sensitive to that. We've started with To Kill a Mocking Bird. Our South American book will be Julia Alvarez. "Good" young adult fiction that respects Christian sensibilities would work but it needs to be hearty enough for us to dig into.

Reading levels vary. I have a quite sophisticated older teen and a couple of 14 year old boys who are just starting down this path which probably makes some of the Russian greats out of our reach this go around. I am drawing a blank. Any suggestions?
Thanks!

pdpele
05-04-2014, 07:32 PM
frankenstein?

jane eyre?

Teri
05-04-2014, 08:10 PM
Book Thief? Number the Stars? (Can you tell we just did WWII? LOL)

We have this short story book and I LOVE It. I hate that it was taken out of print so quickly. Best Shorts: Favorite Stories for Sharing: Avi, Chris Raschka, Katherine Paterson, Carolyn Shute: 9780618476039: Amazon.com: Books (http://smile.amazon.com/Best-Shorts-Favorite-Stories-Sharing/dp/0618476032/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399248586&sr=8-1&keywords=Avi+Short+Stories)

farrarwilliams
05-04-2014, 09:19 PM
Seconding The Book Thief... Or, in that YA vein, how about Code Name Verity? Or Jennifer Donnelly has a few YA historical novels that take place in England and France and she's a great writer.

And seconding Frankenstein, which is a good classic to hit.

Hm... How about Ivanhoe? Though I admit I'm not a huge Walter Scott fan. Or how about Sherlock Holmes?

Or how about The Once and Future King? It doesn't get much more British than that.

Or, okay, not British... How about The Three Musketeers? I've taught All Quiet on the Western Front to 8th graders before, though it's obviously a bit gruesome in places.

farrarwilliams
05-04-2014, 09:22 PM
Reread your OP... hmm... Christian sensibilities. Well, I'll still stand behind all those, I guess. Frankenstein maybe not depending on your Christians? Though maybe classics get more of a pass. Code Name Verity obviously has some torture (nothing graphic and there's no sex, the romance is mild) and All Quiet is dark. But All Quiet might be sort of appealing to 14 yo boys. After all, there's an entire scene where they pick lice and throw them on a pan to watch them die. Not to overly stereotype boys, but some boys would find that interesting...

Mariam
05-04-2014, 09:43 PM
Here are some ideas:
Kipling's Kim
Homer's The Odyssey
Dr. Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde
Treasure Island
Robinson Crusoe
Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass

What about Tolstoy's shorter works. He was a Christian pacifist and maybe his short stories might work.


Here is an inexpensive book of short stories from around the world:
http://www.amazon.com/Worlds-Greatest-Stories-Thrift-Editions/dp/0486447162/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399253994&sr=8-1&keywords=The+World%27s+Greatest+Short+Stories+dove r


There are also some collections by women authors
The Penguin Book of International Women's Stories: Various, Kate Figes: 9780140261882: Amazon.com: Books (http://www.amazon.com/Penguin-Book-International-Womens-Stories/dp/0140261885/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1399254128&sr=8-5&keywords=penguins+international+short+stories)

crunchymum
05-04-2014, 10:32 PM
Book Thief? Number the Stars? (Can you tell we just did WWII? LOL)

We have this short story book and I LOVE It. I hate that it was taken out of print so quickly. Best Shorts: Favorite Stories for Sharing: Avi, Chris Raschka, Katherine Paterson, Carolyn Shute: 9780618476039: Amazon.com: Books (http://smile.amazon.com/Best-Shorts-Favorite-Stories-Sharing/dp/0618476032/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1399248586&sr=8-1&keywords=Avi+Short+Stories)

Sadly I think the swearing will eliminate the Book Thief and I think the girls in the group have done Number the Stars. But I like your suggestions for my own kids.

Teri
05-04-2014, 10:36 PM
Oh my gosh.....I can't imagine dealing with those restrictions. :p Book Thief has swearing? :p LOL

crunchymum
05-04-2014, 10:46 PM
Reread your OP... hmm... Christian sensibilities. Well, I'll still stand behind all those, I guess. Frankenstein maybe not depending on your Christians? Though maybe classics get more of a pass. Code Name Verity obviously has some torture (nothing graphic and there's no sex, the romance is mild) and All Quiet is dark. But All Quiet might be sort of appealing to 14 yo boys. After all, there's an entire scene where they pick lice and throw them on a pan to watch them die. Not to overly stereotype boys, but some boys would find that interesting...

Thanks!
Yeah Frankenstein is a no go with some of the kids in this particular group.
Hadn't thought of Sherlock Holmes - that's a possibility. It also has a shmoop profile which is a huge bonus :)
I'd love to do Once and Future King but I need something shorter than that for the month we're doing Europe.
I would have to check in with some of the girls on the war theme - it may not work for them. I had one girl sit out of To Kill A Mockingbird because it talked about rape.

I know these kids informally but working through their reading requirements, likes and dislikes, and sensitivities is more work than I thought. It's a new group so I'm also trying to get stuff that will engage all of them initially at least somewhat. I think I may go from South America to Africa and touch on Europe a bit later.

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

crunchymum
05-04-2014, 10:49 PM
Oh my gosh.....I can't imagine dealing with those restrictions. :p Book Thief has swearing? :p LOL

The stories I could tell.
They are nice kids. Their education is somewhat constrained by their religion but that's not their fault.
I haven't read the Book Thief yet (still waiting for the library copy) but my oldest who is in the book club and has listened to the audio book says the language will be an issue and he's friends with these kids, and I trust his judgement. So I am not going to go there just yet. Maybe when the kids and the parents trust me a bit more.

dragonfly
05-04-2014, 11:37 PM
The Narnia books would cover Christian sensibilities well.

farrarwilliams
05-05-2014, 07:47 AM
If you wanted to do The Once and Future King but it's too long, you could just do The Sword in the Stone. I know it's often sold as a young kid book on it's own... And while Disney did base their movie on it, it's actually really rich in language and story just on it's own.