12 April 2011

Wisest Thing I’ve Read Today

From British novelist Patrick Ness’s Guardian column on books to read when you’re supposedly too young for them:

I can’t possibly recommend some of the books that I and others read when we were teenagers. I mean, really, is Trainspotting in any way appropriate for a teenager? And what about the Jilly Coopers and the Jackie Collinses and, heaven help us, Flowers in the Attic? We older folks may have cherished, er, survived reading them at your age, but you’re too young, WAY too young, to read any of these books that are easily available at your local library. Listed alphabetically by author. So the Cs would be near the front and Ws near the back. But I couldn’t possibly recommend that.
I still haven’t read most of Ness’s list, but I read other “inappropriate” books as a young teenager, including The Great Gatsby (which I didn’t get) and Ulysses (which I really didn’t get). Their effects were much less harmful on me than the effects of being a young teenager.

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