Rebel Reading Corner
Flintridge Prep is a thriving community of readers, both in and out of the classroom. The Rebel Reading Corner is a student-recommended list showing the various interests and great reads from all corners of the Prep campus. Here is a taste of what they’ve been reading lately, and what they think you might enjoy, too.
This list is periodically updated based on student interest. All students and clubs are encouraged to share books with Dr. Tyke O’Brien, English Department Chair.
Recommended by the Book Club: Sue Monk Kidd, The Invention of Wings. 2014 This is a wonderful story that follows both a young African American slave and a young white girl as they journey through the injustices of early America. Sarah and Hetty, the slave, travel through life together, learning of and eventually fighting for women's rights. The Invention of Wings is a poignant, well-written, and profound story that we would recommend for upperclassmen. Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees. 2001. This novel follows Lily Owens, a young girl abused by her father and haunted by the death of her mother. After running away from home, Lily comes into the company of three miraculous women, where she learns the language of bees, finds out more about her deceased mom, and finds her place in life. This is a wonderful read for high schoolers. Emily M. Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post. 2012. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is a well-written and poised novel. Taking place in the 1990s in Montana, it explores the life of Cameron Post, a young woman who is put through conversion therapy after her aunt finds out about her relationship with another girl. The book demonstrates the importance of acceptance and understanding among our peers’ general community. The Spectrum Club thought this book was amazingly good: Kim van Alkemade, Orphan #8. 2015. Kim van Alkemade tells the fascinating story of a woman who must choose between revenge and mercy when she encounters the doctor who subjected her to dangerous medical experiments in a New York City Jewish orphanage years before. This is such a compelling book because of its dual narrative and it allows for its main character to be gay without being only about her sexuality. Catherine Zheng loved: Paul Kalanathi, When Breath Becomes Air. 2016. When Breath Becomes Air is an absolutely amazing memoir about Paul Kalanathi finding his way through life. It chronicles his journey from a medical student to his career as a doctor and, finally, his role as a father and a terminal cancer patient. The novel reflects on the ideas of morality and identity as Kalanathi realizes what is most important in life and his identity. I'd recommend this book to all upperclassmen. Conrad Oakes thinks you should consider: Mark Danielewski, House of Leaves. 2000. This is a novel that experiments heavily with mixing up the format of the page (words will move around the page, often in a way that mimics the events of the story). The main part of the story is an academic analysis of a fictional movie, but there are also two other side stories that are intertwined with the novel. I'd recommend it because, in addition to having a riveting and unsettling story, the amount of codes and hidden messages ensures that it has plenty of reread value. Ada Palmer, Too Like the Lightning. 2016. Book 1 of 4 in the Terra Ignota series. Too Like the Lightning is a novel set in the far future, in a utopian society where humanity has outgrown the need for geographic nations due to improved methods of travel. Instead, people are linked by Hives (groups that share a common ideology and laws, and to which admittance is voluntary). The book follows Mycroft Canner as he witnesses and participates in events that start to destabilize this world. I highly recommend this book mainly due to the excellent world building and lore. Every facet of the world is riveting, and seeing the interplay of relations between the world's leaders is fascinating. The Stock Market Club enjoyed this vintage gem: Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham. 1949. Benjamin Graham, one of the most famous investors of the 20th century and the mentor of Warren Buffett, details the fundamental principles of achieving success in investing in the stock market. This book teaches readers the value of thinking in the long term, minimizing risk, and focusing on the safe and steady. An essential read for anyone interested in investing, it is no surprise that the legendary Warren Buffett calls it the best book on investing ever written. Girl Up Club would like to recommend: Mark Zusak, The Book Thief. 2005. This novel tells the gripping story of a young German girl who is given up by her mother shortly before World War II. The Black Student Union was taken by: Ta-Nehisi Coates, Between the World and Me. 2015. This book is written as a letter to the author's son about "the feelings, symbolism, and realities associated with being black in the United States. Coates recapitulates American history and explains to his son the 'racist violence that has been woven into American culture.'" We recommend this book because it really gives insight into to the consciousness and mind of a black male in America and the struggles of being black. We think it would best be enjoyed by students in high school (ages 14 and up). These books made The Yell laugh a lot (submitted by Izzy Wachtel and Roland Martin): David Sedaris, Me Talk Pretty One Day. 2000. A compilation of comedic essays, David Sedaris' book drew inspiration from his move to Paris from New York City. The book is broken into two parts; the first revolving around Sedaris' life prior to the move, and the second part regarding his new life as a Parisian. Each chapter is a story in and of itself, not necessarily relating to the one prior. Perhaps this is what keeps the reader so invested, as each story is short enough to get through if you lose interest (which you won't) and long enough to keep you laughing until the next chapter rolls around. Me Talk Pretty One Day is both appropriate and recommended for readers of all ages! Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse Five. 1969. It is about a man named Billy Pilgrim. Most of the novel centers around Billy's time as a soldier during World War Two, his abduction by the alien Tralfamadorians, who have transcended the concept of time, and his obsession with the fictional science fiction author Kilgore Trout. Slaughterhouse Five takes place in an often violent and depressing reality, but its absurd characters and circumstances give the novel humor. Vonnegut uses fantasy and ridiculousness to indirectly mock our ideals and institutions, something that The Yell tries its best to imitate. Georgia Yamamoto loved this creepy read: Shirley Jackson, We Have Always Lived in the Castle. 1962. Here is a chilling story about two young women and their uncle who are outcast from their village due to tragic murders that happened in their house six years before. After being acquitted of the murder charges, the main characters reveal who should be at fault for the heinous crime. This book is perfect for people who can take a little bit of horror and are okay with it leaving them a bit uneasy. Alyssa Christopoulos enjoyed reading more than usual with this one: Ernest Cline, Ready Player One. 2011. Last summer, my dad introduced me this book he read in the last year, but being the "I hate reading" girl I was, I wasn't really interested until I turned to the first page. Ready Player One, now an upcoming movie directed by Steven Spielberg, is a futuristic novel about a high school boy living his life in a virtual reality game to escape the dystopia he lived in. The creator of the game was a multibillionaire and decided to give his fortune and company to whoever could find the Easter egg he hid in his game. The book explores the adventures of the main character, Wade, as he competes to find the egg, changing his life in the process. I was surprised to be so captivated by the novel, hardly putting it down. I believe any Prep student could enjoy this book. Ryan Huntley wants you to think about reading this new classic: Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers. 2008. Outliers is a fascinating and unexpected insight into the true nature of success. Have you ever heard of Bill Gates or the Beatles? Probably, but do you know how they became so famous? In this book, Gladwell uses examples of well-known outliers like these to illustrate how success stories aren't what you think they are. The truth is very surprising, and it will radically change your outlook on what exactly it means to be successful. And this book is so popular that Sofia Echavarria ALSO recommends it: Emily M. Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post. 2012. I recommend this to an audience that wants to help open their eyes to an experience of a gay character and to give a story behind the big idea. I would recommend this to people who are anti-LGBTQ, if that is because of religious reasons, or other ideas. I would want them to read it all the way through and possibly make them think twice about their close-minded beliefs. I would also want to give this book to someone who is gay or questioning. I would give it to that community because with a feeling like this it seems terrifying to face it alone and if you know that there are other people who have gone through similar events, it could help lift a heavy heart. Finally, I would recommend it to someone who wants a detailed, fascinating book that immerses you in diverse, complicated characters and their emotions. The Miseducation of Cameron Post is an influential, powerful book that has the ability to have a significant effect on our community. Miranda Zhang recommends: Celeste Ng, Everything I Never Told You. 2014. Lydia Lee is a 16 year-old girl living with her parents and her brother, Nath. But being the only non-white girl in the school with half Asian blood and her mother's blue eyes is undoubtedly going to change her life. In her parent's mind, Lydia is docile and easy to please--- she says "Yes, please" to whatever they give her and her eyes flash with joy simultaneously; she's got tons of friends, spending tons of time on the phone each night and often bursting out in laughter. But suddenly, everything is too late--- Lydia is dead, and everyone searches for reasons why. Her father doubts his choice to marry someone of a different race; her mother went mad, holding onto the idea that someone must have killed her daughter; and her brother also desperately searches for evidence to help him get revenge for his sister. In the process, Nath never has any idea how deep and wide a cut he is making on the hearts of the living. And everything Lydia "never told" this family will be sealed under the deep dark lake with her forever.