hema’s sphere

help me choose a book

Posted by hema on May 27, 2008

me:when was the last time you actually read a book?

student: the Shakespeare one we read in Lit

me: and did you enjoy it?

student: no, he’s well gay. he uses really old fashioned words like allegiance and bachelor

me: when was the last time you read a book you enjoyed then?

student: from pieces to weight ..(blank look)it’s 50 cents autobiography (blank look)oh come on .. you must know who 50 cent is.. he’s proper sick……..do you want to listen..

me: i’ll listen if you read a book over the break

student: ok, if it’s interesting i will innit

so i need you to help me choose a book that will appeal to a 17 male that would constitute as interesting. this could make or break his love of books. it’s your responsibility now, not mine πŸ™‚


17 Responses to “help me choose a book”

  1. 'liya said

    LOL to “he’s well gay” .. I’ve gotten that before πŸ˜€

    Hmm I read the Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night and lent it to one of my male students from last year who loved it. It’s about a boy with a mental disability and it’s touching enough to have a moral and some meaning but also written quite humourously and even has some pictures!

  2. Shawna said

    I have some recommendations! I’m a lurking reader and creative writer, so this post was an awesome invite to make myself known! Here they are:

    1) Snow Crash by Niel Stephenson. This is a kick-ass sci-fi novel that really takes you for a ride, but it’s pretty dense.

    2)Eye of the Dragon by Steven King. Just really cool. Really pulls you into the world. Kind of a feverish read.

    3) Youth in Revolt by C.D. Paine. This book is hilarious but debaucherous, so be forewarned that it is full of totally unacceptable behavior, sexual and otherwise, but it’s meant to be ridiculous, so if this kid is capable of taking that kind of stuff in stride, it could be a fun read.

    All of these are books my husband gave me to read when we were first getting to know each other. We were about seventeen at the time. πŸ™‚

    And finally, one my best guy friend loved so much he carried it with him everywhere for our sophomore year of high school:

    4)The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys by Chris Fuhrman. Here’s the review from Amazon:

    Heartbreaking yet hilarious, this posthumous novel set in Savannah, Ga., in the 1970s chronicles a school year in the life of narrator Francis Doyle, an eighth-grader at the parish school of the Blessed Heart. Though the plot turns on the youthful pranks of Francis’s gang, Fuhrman brings to his characters a near-adult consciousness as rites of passage like the first kiss are interwoven with imaginative acts of adolescent revolt and moments of terrible family life. Francis, soulful and suffering from a hernia, is beaten regularly by his father and turns to drink. He falls in love with Margie–a delicate, off-balance girl with a “wrist fragile as a swan’s throat,” who attempted suicide the year before–and longs for her with a sensual need that is captivating. When Francis first sees her, in church, the touching, love-at-first-sight moment is juxtaposed with the slapstick antics of a dog, with “tags clinking,” who urinates against the altar. By marrying the earnest to the ridiculous, Fuhrman captures the sublime intensity of adolescence. But the novel expands beyond first-rate character studies as Francis and his friends struggle against the racial prejudice that saturates their school and neighborhood and threatens to explode into a race riot when a black schoolmate breaks a duck’s wing with a baseball bat. Fuhrman (1960-1991) died of cancer while working on the final revision of this book–his first and last, which can be compared to many of the classic coming-of-age novels.

    An interesting side-effect of reading this book for my friend; he was an athiest but said the book convinced him of the possibility of God although it’s not a religious book. There’s no cramming of faith down anyone’s throat. I read it at his insistence and was really drawn in. I think it’s a great book and is my number one recommendation. πŸ™‚

  3. hema said

    liya, you’re a genius:) i’ve been meaning to read that book, so i’ll read it next and we’ve done loads of work on disabilities this term so it would be ideal

    hi shawna:) this list looks fantastic. i wish i’d had it when iw as ordering books for the library last week! but i’ve made a note of them all and will try and get them. thanks:)
    i’ve had a quick look at your recipes, and they look gorgeous, i will definitely be going back to have a proper look soon:)

  4. amal said

    L;OL read


  5. Haleem said

    last book i really enjoyed was Da Vinci Code!

  6. ymiss said

    ooooooo I had the same problem but I guess the picture books I used wouldn’t go down to well…? One of my brothers is like that and will only read bio’s by footballers. Its a little late but I’ll check which of the books i’ve bought for him he has actually read and enjoyed…doubt there will be a lot!

  7. mishymoshy said

    Hello stranger!

    You could try Malcolm X’s biography (or is it auto? ahh I don’t know) if he doesn’t like fiction. Thats a cool read and one of those things that guys like.

  8. Oh thats a hard one hema! My husband read ‘Dune’ it kind of made him start thinking sbout our purpose in life before he reverted to Islam. its sci fi.

  9. welcome back…

    how about one flew over the cuckoo nest i recently read that and its an interesting book. An apparently deaf and dumb indian tells us about his stay in a psychiatric ward in the 80s and how the coming of one of the patients changed everything. Its funny, and warmhearted but still has jokes and stuff that’ll appeal to a 17 year old male

  10. hema said

    heleem, umm maymoonah and JTM, thanks for the suggestions. i think the books you’ve mentioned are a bit too much for this student though.
    amal, i haven’ heard of him , but your passion is infectious lol, i’ll look into it!
    mishy..ooh that would have been a good idea, but i wanted fiction. he is failing Literature miserably:(
    ymiss, aaww i was looking forward to your input!
    i finished “curious incident..” today. have been meaning to read it since mishy reviewed it here:

    i liked it better than i thought i would actually, but it’s not as easy to follow as i thought. so i still need a book i think:(

  11. ymiss said

    awww glad you value my input πŸ˜‰ questioned my brother turns out the only ones he really reads are footballers autobiographies. From your reply I know that’s not what your looking for so I did some research and made you a list :):

    1. To Kill a Mocking Bird
    2. Kite Runner
    3. Roots (im currently reading this)
    4. 1984
    5. The Catcher in the Rye

    If he doesn’t like lit. some of these might be a little heavy for him…I would go with the first one. Hope that helps

  12. ymiss said

    oh and this might also help its a list of 100 books men supposdly love:


  13. ymiss said

    just been through the list of these books remind me of mishy! theres afew on there i’ve always been meaning to read but always forget about when ordering/taking books out. I shall make a list of them now

  14. saabirah said

    Malcolm X’s autobiography!

    BTW I miss you luv, where have you been? 😦

  15. mishymoshy said

    Heyyy…I know what you mean actually! :p

    I’ve looked at the list and the two that stand out are The Hobbit and Animal Farm (I thought this was quite scary, I was doing a politics unit at the time so that really helped understand it but you don’t need to know anything about Russian politics to enjoy it).

    You should get him to read Malcolm X anyway because its a decent book, if he enjoys it he might trust books more and might give more a try. Requiem for a dream is cool but he may find it a bit difficult to read. OHHHH I KNOW! Fever Pitch! Its about a guy obsessed with Arsenal. Oh but I think its autobiographical. Damn. What about About a Boy? Thats another Nick Hornby one thats good. Its set in the early 90s so it links with Nirvana and Kurt Cobains suicide, if hes interesred in that he might like it. I remember reading Z for Zacahariah when I was younger and that scared the poo poos out of me. Don’t think your student is its target audience but it was still a good read.

    Ahhh I can’t wait for summer, I want to go crazy over books again like last summer, I never get to read any during the year.

  16. hema said

    ymiss i love you will you marry me:)
    i actually thought of the catcher in the rye first of all, but wanted to see if someone else mentioned it. i didn’t think it was too complex, but gave it to an access student who found it too hard so i’m not sure now:(

    saabirah-i knoow, i’m sorry i missed you that time. i have seen you on msn ut figured you must be busy revising for exams about now:(

    mishy- oh i did think of About a Boy but couldn’t find our cipy. have you got it? i bet you have stolen it, give it back!!

  17. Tazeen said

    lucky that you have a job you love.
    I have been looking all my life for a job that pays well and is interesting, I have failed miserably on both counts

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