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Books to open your eyes and read as a teenager
The Catcher in the Rye
"A story about the loneliness and alienation of being a teenage boy who just doesn't fit in in 1950s America."
"You can get out of the army if you're crazy. However, if you're sane enough to want to get out of the army, you're not crazy and therefore you can't get out. Catch 22."
The Things They Carried (Flamingo)
"The horrors of the Vietnam war told in a greatly moving tale rich with humanity."
To Kill A Mockingbird
"A classic about race and class in 1930s deep south America."
These Are My Rivers: New and Selected Poems 1955-1993 (New Directions Paperbook, 786)
"Ferlinghetti is an eloquent and radical beat poet still very active in San Franscisco and through his City Lights bookshop near Chinatown there. "I am waiting" is a particular gem."
Selected Poems: 1947-1995 (Penguin Modern Classics)
"Containing "Howl" and other poems, Allen Ginsberg mourns the destruction of the best minds of his generation..."
Memoirs of a Beatnik
"All of Diane Di Prima's poems and stories are a fascinating and witty look at one of the few females of the so-called "beat generation.""
On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics)
"Although womanising Kerouac sometimes appears to be "one of the boys" 1950s style, there is also much mysticism, gentleness and vivacity in his prose, and some of it is almost Proustian."
Flowers for Hitler
"Whilst many know Leonard Cohen as a singer-songwriter, less are aware of his talents as a French-Canadian poet. "The Way Back" is a particularly haunting treasure."
Flowers For Algernon (S.F. MASTERWORKS)
"A very sad and touching story about a retarded boy, Charly, who becomes intelligent through the supposed wonders of modern science. Yet intelligence can bring with it all manner of complications ..."
Crime and Punishment: With selected excerpts from the Notebooks for Crime and Punishment (Wordsworth Classics)
"Crime and Punishment is a tale of morality in a very cold world, where if a man kills another he is called a murderer and if he kills a million he is called a hero."
The Trial (Vintage Classics)
"A respectable functionary, Joseph K, is arrested and cannot know the crime for which he is accused. This terrifying nightmare has many parallels with post-September 11th justice in the "free world.""
Frankie and Stankie
"A delicious book about a middle class girl growing up in apartheid South Africa, mixing the anxieties of female adolescence with the lived anecdotes of the injustices of apartheid."
"Whilst not of the highest academic calibre, this book is a very readable and entertaining introduction to some of the biggest global issues, enabling the reader to see beyond the coporate shine."
The Bell Jar (Faber Paper Covered Editions)
"Shows you just what happens when a young gifted woman works as an intern for a magazine in 1950's America."
The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (Flamingo modern classic)
"A collection of short stories depicting working-class life in post-war Britain by an angry young man."
Girlfriend in a Coma
"Attracted by the title taken from The Smiths' song of the same name, this book has a depth that Coupland's other more artificial books (such as Generation X) lack."
Days of War,Nights of Love: Crimethink for Beginners
"A wonderful, inspiring collection of essays against modern society and for love, anarchism, and reconciliation with nature and ourselves. Put away your tired cynicism and demand the impossible."
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream
"A darkly comic recounting of life on the highway in late sixties California, as America was embroiled in Vietnam and a new generation lost the plot through drugs."
"Adrian Mitchell is a very special British poet, sombre or humorous. His haunting poem "To Whom It May Concern" regarding the Vietnam war sadly resonantes all too well in today's belligerent climate."
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