I can’t remember why I first started this list, but if I’m asked for books I would recommend, this is usually what I give people.

Classic that won’t take 3 years to read: The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orzcy

Fiction you can analyze to death: Watership Down by Richard Adams (but it really is just about rabbits)

Everyone should probably read: Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Children’s to make you swear never to have kids: The Wouldbegoods by E. Nesbit (obviously it didn’t work for me)

Non-fiction you can use for trivia: The Language Instinct by Steven Pinker

Children’s read-aloud: A Long Way from Chicago by Richard Peck

Excessively surreal and obscure: Under Plum Lake by Lionel Davidson

One of my favorites: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

YA fiction to make you appreciate teenage hormones: Angus, Thongs, and Full-frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

YA fantasy: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (and then read Inkspell)

After you read Hamlet again: Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard

Underappreciated classic: Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Complete emotional drain: Song for the Basilisk by Patricia McKillip

Bestseller: The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (recommended with hesitation, see my blog post about it)

Science fiction, I suppose: Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

If you’ve never read C.S. Lewis: The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

One of my other favorites: A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (recommended with caution that there is a bit of swearing)

On a grouchy day: Judy Moody by Megan McDonald

Movie adaptation: K-PAX by Gene Brewer (it’s ok to see the movie first)

Because I don’t know what genre you like: Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann

…and there you have it. The world according to me.



Apparently I’m in a rather grouchy mood this morning.

Because I haven’t bothered to unsubscribe, I’m still on the email list for BYU’s Sociology department. That means I sometimes get notices about internships, forums, etc. This morning one of my genius former fellow students thought, “You know what, with this email list, I can get in touch with the entire Sociology student body all at once!” Which is quite true, but…well, I’ll get to that.

So I got an email from this kid who let all of us know that he’s selling the textbooks for Soc 420 for way cheaper than the bookstore, so let him know if you’re interested.

Maybe this is really not a big deal. Everyone wants to sell their books, everyone wants to buy their books from somewhere other than the bookstore, and it should be a win-win. But, as I said, my grouch meter seems to be completely full. Because what I got out of the email was that he was using a department list – where students provided their email addresses to the department secretary in order to be updated about department events and news – to advertise the books he waited too long to sell back to the BYU Bookstore.

I couldn’t just let it go, though…I wrote back.

“It’s kind of tacky to use this mailing list to advertise. Didn’t BYU make a book exchange and the Wilk board for this type of thing?”

In all fairness, he did reply and apologize for the extra spam, although he said he didn’t know about the book exchange and most people probably haven’t heard of it either, and he doesn’t trust the Wilk board. (The Wilk board is a very large cork board in the student center where students can post things for sale, items wanted, apartments for rent, and so on.)

I realize that there are probably a lot more people who pass through the Wilk every day than get the Sociology emails (and read them), but he doesn’t seem to realize that whereas the Wilk board would have let him simply put a phone number or email address as the contact information (and he could have created an email account specifically for that purpose), with the information in the email I got I easily looked up where he currently lives, his permanent address, and two phone numbers.

I want you all to applaud me for just biting my tongue this time and not writing back to tell him he’s an idiot. A tacky idiot, at that.