The Catcher in the Rye || J. D. Salinger
Physically the main character Holden Caulfield reminds me of Jason, but internally he is more like me. Holden is a very cynical and disillusioned youth. He has an opinion about everything. He knows that there's something wrong with society and yet he is too yellow to take a stand. It is a classic coming of age tale of the challenges of growing up and (not) fitting in among the phonies and the hypocrites in the world. One word: angst.
Love Isn't Easy (Passionate Peanuts) || Charles M. Schulz
It's cute. The little characters are adorable. A humorous take on jealousy, unrequieted love, romantic advice, love letters, etc.. I loved it; ate it all up. You know how I am. I'm a sucker for that sort of stuff, cute and silly things that warm the heart and make
one smile. It'll make you smile, too. I would have gotten it for my bookshelf, but it's a really short read,
and I finished the whole thing over coffee at Borders.
The Exorcist || William Peter Blatty
The novel is better than the movie, I'm sure -- although, I wouldn't really know. I've heard about the movie and I've seen portions of it, but I've never really watched it in whole from start to finish. The Exorcist
is a great read if you're into gross horror novels. The imagery is vivid and the descriptions often grotesque. Definitely not for the squeamish.
The Butterfly Revolution || William Butler
A fictional narrative written in the form of a little kid's journal. The protagonist Winston Weyn writes about his experiences at High Pines, a summer camp for boys. Butler touches on a lot of issues. He has the main character writing about politics, religion, knowledge, corruption etc. And he brings up really interesting points.. The writing is very simple and easy to comprehend, after all it is the diary of a child, but it conveys some really important messages. It is the classic battle-between-good-and-evil type of story which also explores human integrity and how although most of us know right from wrong, we often feel tentative about challenging authority. And in the end, we are reminded that ultimately life is a struggle and there are certain things that can only be learned through experience.
Delta of Venus || Anaïs Nin
Erotica at a dollar a page.. This compilation of stories is definitely worth more than that. Where other writers of erotica write and portray sex to be dirty and pornographic she writes in such a poetic and beautiful way that it touches a chord within. This is a really enjoyable read -- even better than Little Birds
. Everyone should own a copy.
Burning in Water, Drowning in Flame || Charles Bukowski
You either really hate the author or you absolutely love him. With Bukowski there is no in-between. This is one of my favorite poetry collections. Jenni (my sister who is certainly not an authoritative literary figure) doesn't like Bukowski's poetry at all. She likes his short stories and everything, but she thinks that his poems don't make any sense... And I, on the contrary, feel that is exactly what makes them great.
A Clockwork Orange || Anthony Burgess
Alex' -- whose primary interests are "rape, ultra-violence and Beethoven" -- adventures in wonderland. The story of a confused, corrupt youth who becomes a victim of the State that is supposed to rehabilitate him.
Henry and June || Anaïs Nin
A journal unlike any other that I have ever read. The journal explores the author's sexual awakening... Sensual, revealing and very intimately written... Enlightening and liberating at the same time.
Junior College || Gary Soto
Soto is my favorite Chicano poet. He writes about the mundane and makes them interesting. He writes poetry that everyone can relate to, particularly in this collection.
The Little Prince || Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
This is not your average, everyday-variety children's book. The story imparts a very important lesson that is too-often neglected: "what is essential is invisible to the eye." Also available in French
Lolita || Vladimir Nabokov
A lot of people find this novel ill and disturbing -- but it's fiction and a really entertaining one at that. Although Humbert a bit eccentric and his tastes are rather perverted, I don't see him as malevolent at all. I think he is a victim circumstance... A victim of an uncontrollable passion for nymphets and his love for Lolita. This book was written with such meticulous detail, it comes as no surprise that it is one of the greatest novels of the century.
The Metamorphosis || Franz Kafka
What would you do if you turned into a cockroach overnight? Well-written, humorous, enlightening and introspective... Kafka explores issues such as guilt and self-worth and what it's like to be the ickiest of all vermin.
Notes of a Dirty Old Man || Charles Bukowski
A collection of stories or columns that Bukowski wrote for a paper that had a very tiny circulaton. These are amusing little anecdotes that make very little sense -- if at all -- but are entertaining nonetheless.
The Picture of Dorian Gray || Oscar Wilde
The tale of young, beautiful, naïve Dorian Gray's corruption and voyage toward moral decay. Basil paints Dorian's picture which captures his essence, his soul. It bore the marks of Dorian's evil deeds in his sensual quest while Dorian himself remained youthful, innocent and unmarred.
Little Birds || Anaïs Nin
The short stories published in this collection will make you blush, but not because it is a book of erotica. You will blush because of the utter sensuality of the writing. Then again, it may just be me. Noone blushes anymore.
Dogeaters || Jessica Hagedorn
A vivid novel about the Philippines as it was during the Marcos era. The details are soo realistic that it'll seem like you took the trip to Manila without leaving town. Believe it or not, most of the events that happen in this novel actually did occur. She changed the names of the people involved, of course, but they happened. The truth is, and will always be, stranger than fiction.
The Desert of the Heart || Jane Rule
A lesbian love story set in Reno. The first one that I've ever read. This novel is very well-written, better than your regular, everyday-variety love story. Besides, it's more than just a love story. There is a lot going on. Ann deals with her fear of salvation and her seemingly chaotic relationships.. While Evelyn, the reluctant homosexual, deals with her own emotions.