[Book Club] Second Week!

So, we’re now finished with the second week!

How’s everyone finding the book(s)? Do you have any burning questions? Something you find a little bit silly?

We’re now halfway to the end of the month, and in theory, you should now be at least half way through your book!

If you haven’t started, or would like to join in, here’s the list for our December Reading!

Reading Teen Fiction

Over the years, I’ve read quite a lot of teen fiction, or young adult fiction and immensely enjoyed it. There are so many gems in the genre, and some amazing writers.

Whilst studying English literature at undergraduate level, I discovered that there was some dissent to even considering teen fiction as literature.

There seems to be a stigma around reading teen fiction, about perhaps the way it is not considered literary enough for it be anything noteworthy. I have personally never understood this concept.

Literary fiction implies that the novel that is published under this name is somehow superior. The Oxford Dictionary describes literary as “Concerning the writing, study, or content of literature, especially of the kind valued for quality of form.” Quality of form implies that it is a well-written piece, or it is valued for it’s form, and it’s use of language, perhaps over the plot of the writing. This could also be seen as marking ‘literary fiction’ as a superior writing genre, as it is ‘quality of form’. It could could also imply that the person writing in this genre is somehow better than someone working in teen fiction, or even children’s fiction.

I’m curious as to why that is. Is there a certain aspect of teen fiction that doesn’t meet a certain criteria? Is there an element of classism that makes it not literary?

Classism wouldn’t be hard to rule out, if it is viewed as not literary, then that implies a substandard. That only ‘real’ readers will reader literary works, and that the ease of access of teen fiction or the aim at younger reading implies that there can not be a literary concept to teen fiction. The ease of access implies that anyone can read it, whereas if it were considered literary, it could imply that it is inaccessible to ‘normal’ readers.

What are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

Your Top 5 Book Recommendations!

We all have our favourite books, but what are your top 5 reading?

What are the top five books you can think of that you always go back to reading?

Mine would be:

  1. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (technically it’s one book!)
  2. After Dark by Haruki Murakami
  3. More Than This by Patrick Ness
  4. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
  5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

All five of these books have influenced me in quite a large way, either growing up or as a person. I always struggle to think of my top five favourite books as they change quite frequently. For example, if you’d asked me maybe ten years ago, Harry Potter would have been on that list, too. And whilst Harry Potter was still an influence part of my reading, it’s not in my top five anymore. Maybe in ten years, my top 5 will have changed again.

What are your top 5 favourite books? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Pride Month!

June is Pride Month, and to celebrate, let’s share our favourite LGBT+ novels!

Is there a character that you feel you can relate to?

Do you have a favourite author from the community?

Patrick Ness is an amazing teen fiction author, and his characters come from a wide variety of backgrounds and sexualities.

As an asexual myself, I have not yet found anyone to relate to myself. This could just be because of my avoidance of typical romance novels, or perhaps I just haven’t looked hard enough.

Share your thoughts on your any good reads from the LGBT+ in the comments below!

Your Favourite Novel

It’s possible to believe that everyone has a favourite novel, or at least a novel they look back and think, ‘I adored that’. It doesn’t matter what kind of novel it is, it’s a novel that makes you happy.

Throughout my life, there’s always been one novel (Technically!) that stands out for me, and a novel that I’ve always thought back to with a smile because that novel has taken me through a lot of places.

That novel for me is Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I loved that novel to the point of writing my undergrad dissertation on it. It opened up a new world of folklore, myths, legends, and things I would be studying further into my education. It inspired me to look at the folklore of my own country, and since then inspired my Masters dissertation (on the Welsh stories ‘The Mabinogion’).

What’s your favourite novel(s)?

Don’t forget to vote in our May book poll here!