Monday, February 24, 2014

How my list of books to read got way longer

It's amazing what a good list can do. Make you think, make you—meaning me—feel old (because nostalgia and all that), but also introduce you to new things.

The Young Adult Library Services Association (YALSA) puts out several lists of recommended books each year. All are worth checking, but this year, the one that really caught my attention was the Outstanding Books for the College Bound list.

In the past, I have to admit, this is the list I paid the least attention to. But this year's list includes so many of my favorite books from the past few years (like Packing for Mars by Mary Roach, Patrick Ness's Chaos Walking series, Quiet by Susan Cain, and especially Spillover by David Quammen, which tops my personal Favorite Books Published Recently list, hands down) that I seriously want to go and read everything else on the 2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound list that I haven't yet read.

According to the list's introduction, "the 2014 list is designed to mirror academic disciplines. It is divided into five categories: Arts and Humanities, History and Cultures, Literature and Languages, Science and Technology, and Social Sciences." And while it does include books college students have been assigned to read, such as Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, the purpose of the list is not to mimic college reading lists, but to encourage teens to "broaden your horizons and deepen your understandings, whether you are preparing for college or looking to expand your learning in other ways."

A number of books on the Outstanding Books for the College Bound list have been reviewed here at Guys Lit Wire, which will give you an idea of the breadth of the list:

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