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Excelsior! Academy

Any book suggestions for young adults?

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Specifically for Christmas presents.  We are purchasing box sets for each of  our younger children, though recommendations for them would be welcome too.  I am at a loss for my (almost) 22 and 19 year old daughters.  

 

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The 19 year old loves classic literature.  She's read Les Miserables and many other challenging titles.  My 17 year old just suggested Circe, so I am adding that to her list.  I'd really like to purchase at least one or two more. 

The 21 year old is a bit harder to buy for.  She loves to read, yet really doesn't have a genre.  In her later teen years she read a lot of dystopian novels like Hunger Games, 1984, etc.  I think she read too many too fast because she switched to much lighter fare for quite a while after.  She moved out on her own earlier in the year, so I don't see what she is reading laying around.  I thought about Handmaid's Tale and Shanghai Girls, but they both include sex scenes which we tend to avoid. It's been a while since I've read either.

We are Christians and enjoy books by both Christian and non-Christian authors. 

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You may want to check out Madeleine L'Engle's adult novels. I hate typing the phrase "adult novel" because it looks all "woooo-woooo." :blush: Anyway, Certain Women, The Small Rain, A Severed Wasp, and there are several others, were all enjoyable reads when I was in my 20s. Also, if your dds are already L'Engle fans, the Crosswicks Journals are wonderful.

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a few titles that might go along with Circe:
- other titles by Circe author Miller
- Till We Have Faces (Lewis)
- The Confessions of X (Wolfe)

an art book:
- J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator (Hammond & Scull) -- lovely book with reproductions of Tolkien's work

possible ideas for either DD -- lesser-known Christian authors of well-written books:
- The Auralia Thread quadrilogy (Overstreet) -- fantasy, but feels somewhat dystopian as well
- Roland March trilogy (Bertrand) -- modern-day crime mystery
- Death Comes for the Deconstructionist, and, Do We Not Bleed (Taylor) -- the 2 Jon Mote "mysteries" -- quirky characters, realistic/humorous
- literary fiction and semi-fantastical fiction by Gina Ochsner

For your 21yo, I just read The Fifth Season, first in the Broken Earth trilogy by MK Jemisin and was really knocked out by the quality of writing and the creativity of the dystopia world. I would recommend it, BUT... there are some explicit s*x scenes and you were wanting to avoid that.

The No. 1 Ladies Detective series (Smith) -- book 1 is a bit rough as the author is "getting his feet under him", but this is a charming go-to/re-read series I love for lighter "recovery reading".

other possible ideas for your 21yo -- not dystopia, but not light-weight:
- The Dalemark Quartet (Jones)
- The Thief series (Turner) -- The Thief; Queen of Attolia; King of Attolia; A Conspiracy of Kings; Thick as Thieves

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1 hour ago, Æthelthryth the Texan said:

The Great Alone by Kristen Hannah. I just finished it this weekend and it was incredible. It might be great for either. I just suggested it to dd16 to read on Kindle. 


Wow! Just looked that one up on Amazon. It looks a bit like Peace Like a River (Leif Enger). Or, The Plover (Brian Doyle). (both are beautiful writers and infuse their work with Christian themes and images without directly discussing Christianity or religion)

Edited by Lori D.
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Making a note on Great Alone below in white because it gives a bit of a spoiler- you can hit quote and then highlight in black to read: 

There are a couple of references to s*x in the book, and one (to me) very mild s*x scene where the main character and her boyfriend make love for the first time that leads to an unintended pregnancy. It is not graphic- it mentions him touching her breast under her bra and then they make love and fall asleep together. It's not detailed. There is also one scene that alludes to rape between the father and the mother, but it is alluded to and not descriptive or graphic. He drags her into the bedroom and later there is blood seen on the bed. I'm not sure if that meets your criteria or not, but thought I'd mention. 

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Thank you for the suggestions. There are a lot of books I hadn't heard of and may or may not of added to my own reading list. 

I agree about adult novels.  It feels wrong to type!

Thank you for the Lewis suggestion.  It will be perfect!

I know just the perfect person to gift Great Alone!  I appreciate the spoiler.

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I recommend Station Eleven to everyone.

Also, if you know of some books they already like, Goodreads will show you similar books.

Art related: my daughter loves The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St Clair. 

I enjoyed 2 nonfiction books by Victoria Finlay:  Jewels: A Secret History and Color: A Natural History of the Palette. I just thought they were interesting.

 

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Paksenarrion's Deed by Elizabeth Moon, for the daughter without a genre. It's high fantasy. 2 more "stressful" scenes that I can think of but no sex scenes, no real romantic storyline actually. It's my favorite book, I found it when I was 20 and reread it every year during Christmas and through the new year. 

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26 minutes ago, Mergath said:

Goodreads just announced the winners for their Best Books of 2018 contest: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2018?int=gca_eb 

If you browse through the runners up (runner ups? What is the plural of that?) you'll probably find quite a few ideas.

 

Thank you!

Anyone's thoughts on The Book of Essie?

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1 hour ago, Excelsior! Academy said:

Thank you for the suggestions. There are a lot of books I hadn't heard of and may or may not of added to my own reading list. 


ah-ha-ha-ha-ha!! I can't tell you how much these forums cost me in books every year! (:P

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14 minutes ago, Lori D. said:


ah-ha-ha-ha-ha!! I can't tell you how much these forums cost me in books every year! (:P

 No truer words were ever written! First I search the library website and if that's a bust, well then, hello Amazon.

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ooo! I just remembered: Father Elijah, and the sequel Elijah in Jerusalem, by Michael O'Brien. I only read the first book when it came out years back, and then was so busy with raising kids, I forgot about it and didn't realize a sequel came out. So it's been almost 20 years since I read the first one, but I don't remember any graphic s*x -- I do recall 2 characters getting into a relationship, and it was implied that s*x was part of it. Rather than a dystopia, it's kind of like a cross between a hard-edge crime novel and an apocalyptic work with spiritual/supernatural overtones. I guess a bit like a modern-day Charles Williams novel.

It looks like O'Brien has a more dystopian trilogy: Children of the Last Days (Strangers & Sojourners; Eclipse of the Sun; Plague Journal) -- NO experience with these to know if they are graphic/not-graphic or well-written/not well-written.

And BTW, if you're not familiar with Charles Williams (one of the Inklings with Lewis and Tolkien!), that might be an author to check out. I will say that his work is very dense and can be confusing if you are not familiar with all the things he is referencing. I first read Williams' novels back when I was in my mid-20s, and find I have understood and appreciated his novels more upon re-reading as I have matured. His "easiest" work, War in Heaven, is at least as dense and difficult as CS Lewis' 3rd space trilogy book, That Hideous Strength. CS Lewis was very heavily influenced by Williams' ideas and images in That Hideous Strength. My favorite of Williams' 7 "supernatural thriller" books, and the two strongest works (IMO), are Descent into Hell and All Hallow's Eve. The remaining 4 titles are are weaker/flawed, but are still interesting and worth reading once, if you like Williams.

And that just led me to suggest CS Lewis' space trilogy as a possible gift book set, if DD 21yo hasn't read those 3 books yet: Out of the Silent Planet; Perelandra; That Hideous Strength. They are very much of their time (1940s), and I think Lewis has a very male mind with no real understanding of women, BUT... some terrific Christian themes and images throughout!

Edited by Lori D.
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20 hours ago, Excelsior! Academy said:

The 19 year old loves classic literature.  She's read Les Miserables and many other challenging titles.  My 17 year old just suggested Circe, so I am adding that to her list.  I'd really like to purchase at least one or two more. 

The 21 year old is a bit harder to buy for.  She loves to read, yet really doesn't have a genre.  In her later teen years she read a lot of dystopian novels like Hunger Games, 1984, etc.  I think she read too many too fast because she switched to much lighter fare for quite a while after.  She moved out on her own earlier in the year, so I don't see what she is reading laying around.  I thought about Handmaid's Tale and Shanghai Girls, but they both include sex scenes which we tend to avoid. It's been a while since I've read either.

We are Christians and enjoy books by both Christian and non-Christian authors. 

 

Has she read the Shopaholic books? They are fun light fare.

 

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The main character in The Book of Fred by Abby Bardi is a teen girl sent to a foster home after growing up in an isolated cult.  The story of her adjustment to and effect on her new environment and eventual reuniting with her FOO is handled in a light and humorous way even though the issues are serious and even dark.  I really liked it. 

No sex scenes that I can remember but there is some creepy grooming or almost-sex with a cult leader.

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Ah I just saw the bit about Christians.

You might give her some of the Yada Yada Prayer Group books by Neta Jackson. (though maybe they are better for more middle aged folks to relate to?) -- or even one of her shorter series:

http://daveneta.com/support-pages/series-relate.html#SOS

House of Hope and SOuled Out Sisters both involve characters from the Yada Yada Prayer Group Series -- though I think they could be enjoyed on their own easily.

Windy City Neighbors is more stand alone, though it is still set in the same city.

I think I'd recommend Souled Out Sisters or the Windy City Neighbors for a younger reader (adult but unmarried) as having more they might relate to.

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My DS who is in that age range really liked the Annihilation trilogy. I didn't read it by it is like a sci-fi genre, I think? And I'm not sure of the sexual content, if there even is any.

(Full disclosure...I saw the film with DS and it is not my favorite but DS says the book is not only better but very different. And he insists i will love the book).

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At that age, my girls really began enjoying memoir type books and biographies of inspirational women in history.   There are some great ones about women during World War II, for example.  Once you get on that topic on Amazon, more and more will be recommended until you have a list a mile long!

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Has your older one read any Flannery O'Connor? 

Do they  like mysteries? Dd has enjoyed Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series. 

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If you're dd is still into more gentle reads (I'd count these all as clean reads) .....

Bess Crawford Series ~ Charles Todd 

The Cottage Tales of Beatrix Potter Series ~ Susan Albert Wittig  (my dd & I enjoyed these more via audio)

Thrush Green series ~ Miss Read

Gray Matter ~  David Levy (my family's favourite NF book for this year)

ETA: With art, is that NF, fiction, or both?   

News of the World ~ Paulette Jiles 

Edited by tuesdayschild

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On 12/11/2018 at 9:13 AM, Mergath said:

Goodreads just announced the winners for their Best Books of 2018 contest: https://www.goodreads.com/choiceawards/best-books-2018?int=gca_eb 

If you browse through the runners up (runner ups? What is the plural of that?) you'll probably find quite a few ideas.

Runners-up (?) 😏

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Good afternoon, boardies!  

For anyone interested I wanted to update you with what we decided to purchase.  For 19 year old dd we chose Circe, Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis, and the first of the Lady Sherlock series, A Study in Scarlet Women.  For the 22 year old we chose Midwives by Christ Bohjalian, The Daily Connoisseur's book At Home with Madame Chic, and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan.  DD22 is a trained Doula and she introduced me to the Daily Connoisseur's blog and books, but I know she hasn't read this one.  

Thank you to everyone who made suggestions.  I know I will read quite a few of the suggested titles and will have several recommendations to my daughters when they finish their books. 

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