Monday, March 23, 2009

book recommendations

a student has asked for some book recommendations. she says frankenstein and potrait of dorian gray to be easy reads, but currently finds sherlock holmes difficult (which i get given the puns and clever talk). she specifically then says this:

I really like fantasy novels like twilight or pendragon but I want to read other kinds of books as well.
It can be non-fiction or fiction.. I don't really care.
But please don't recommend something too easy (something 4th or 5th grader would like)
or too hard (something too philisophical or anything involved with advanced politics and economics)

any thoughts would be good. i keep thinking the stranger, but that seems somehow ridiculous (tho an easy enough read).


kevin.thurston said...

my other thought is catcher in the rye

gina said...

Catcher in the Rye would be a good choice, and along that vein of coming of age tales maybe The Perks of Being a Wall Flower, which would have been a good book had I read it when I was fifteen. I, however, read it when I was twenty-one.

If she likes Frankenstein and The Portrait of Dorian Gray, then she might also like The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde, or other Victorian books, maybe Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, etc.

I am currently teaching Their Eyes Were Watching God, but I am thinking the dialect might be too challenging for an ESL student. I though Jonathan Lethem's Motherless Brooklyn would be a good recent novel, but it runs into some of the same problems since the narrator stutters.

You're thinking an English translation of Camus? What about some Kafka?

Ekrem Serdar said...

If you're going with translations into English, which in theory would be more easy to read then older English stuff... I always thought Calvino's translations by William Weaver worked well, and "If on a Winter's Night..." might be really fun, and the newer translation by Edith Grossman of Don Quixote is also very readable.

nps said...

animal farm seems reasonable;
i would also suggest flatland, which is a really clever little novel, but perhaps she would find it too simple of a pure read?

i also like ekrem's suggestion of calvino...

Buck said...

ender's game