books, discussion, Themed Book Recommendations

The Most and Least Popular Books I’ve Read

I previously did a post on the Most and Least Popular Books On My TBR so making a similar list for my read books made perfect sense as a follow-up.


Most Popular

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter’s life is miserable. His parents are dead and he’s stuck with his heartless relatives, who force him to live in a tiny closet under the stairs. But his fortune changes when he receives a letter that tells him the truth about himself: he’s a wizard. A mysterious visitor rescues him from his relatives and takes him to his new home, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

After a lifetime of bottling up his magical powers, Harry finally feels like a normal kid. But even within the Wizarding community, he is special. He is the boy who lived: the only person to have ever survived a killing curse inflicted by the evil Lord Voldemort, who launched a brutal takeover of the Wizarding world, only to vanish after failing to kill Harry.

Though Harry’s first year at Hogwarts is the best of his life, not everything is perfect. There is a dangerous secret object hidden within the castle walls, and Harry believes it’s his responsibility to prevent it from falling into evil hands. But doing so will bring him into contact with forces more terrifying than he ever could have imagined.

Full of sympathetic characters, wildly imaginative situations, and countless exciting details, the first installment in the series assembles an unforgettable magical world and sets the stage for many high-stakes adventures to come.

I could have beat money on this being here. I am in no way surprised.

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)WINNING MEANS FAME AND FORTUNE.
LOSING MEANS CERTAIN DEATH.
THE HUNGER GAMES HAVE BEGUN. . . .

In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and once girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister’s place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weight survival against humanity and life against love.

Again, this one makes complete sense.

Twilight (Twilight, #1)About three things I was absolutely positive.

First, Edward was a vampire.

Second, there was a part of him—and I didn’t know how dominant that part might be—that thirsted for my blood.

And third, I was unconditionally and irrevocably in love with him.

Deeply seductive and extraordinarily suspenseful, Twilight is a love story with bite.

This list is really just “early 2010s” in a nutshell.

The Fault in Our StarsDespite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

I knew this book was insanely popular. It didn’t realize it was “up there with Twilight and Harry Potter” popular.

1984The year 1984 has come and gone, but George Orwell’s prophetic, nightmarish vision in 1949 of the world we were becoming is timelier than ever. 1984 is still the great modern classic of “negative utopia”—a startlingly original and haunting novel that creates an imaginary world that is completely convincing, from the first sentence to the last four words. No one can deny the novel’s hold on the imaginations of whole generations, or the power of its admonitions—a power that seems to grow, not lessen, with the passage of time.

I am honestly surprised that this is the only classic on this list. Though I guess it says something about 1) the amount of YA I read and 2) the sheer power of YA. Or maybe it just says something about the demographic that uses Goodreads the most.


Least Popular

The SciFi End of the SupernaturalSeven stories. Many characters. Some human. A few not. It’s science fiction with a smattering of the supernatural (a couple of ghosts, a witch, or two and meteorites…go figure.) Wander into a familiar world, Earth, and see it from a different perspective. However, each story opens you up to a new aspect of reality.

• Blue Boy
Blue children have always been with us throughout time. However, Donald, is of a different kind.
• The Complications of Time
Meteorites and first dates don’t usually go together well. This is no exception especially when you throw in a space rock that glows.
• Technophobia
He gets the cold sweats when he must interact with a machine, any machine. Especially her.
• TJ’s Petition
Moving to a new place can be tough especially when you’re a teenager. It becomes tougher when you have rotting finger locked in a trunk…
• The Ascension of Peoria 5
Aliens can be bi-polar, too. But, that rule only applies when said alien has three eye spots, instead of the normal five.
• Jack, the Beanstalk, and all the Rest
Taking a well-known childhood tale and turning it on its head, we meet a new, urban Jack with a few new tricks that Tabart and Dahl did not envision.
• How Charlie Ray Saved My Life
A regular Joe-Schmo gets lucky and finds the girl of his dreams. And, they live happily ever after – not. That’s where Charlie Ray comes in.

None of these stories are “normal.” But then, what’s normal anyway?

I am literally the only person who has put a rating for this on Goodreads… Weird.

Detective Partner Hero VillainThe black-and-white morality of superheroes is turned on its head in this ode to the modern action/comic book genre mixed with the dark humor of a gumshoe noir. Introducing the world to crime-fighter The Fantastic Phenomenon (the hero) and his arch nemesis Supernova (the villain), a detective searches for the killer of superhero super-fans while trying to understand his own oddly formal relationship to The Fantastic Phenomenon. Discovering that The Fantastic Phenomenon is having an emotional breakdown, the detective tries to be a shoulder for him to lean on in hopes of getting the hero back on track toward capturing Supernova. Supernova begins to harass the detective, phoning him on The Fantastic Phenomenon’s super-secret “yellow telephone” and asking the detective about life’s inner workings and the spiritual and physical connections between heroes, villains and those caught between both. Frustrated, the detective seeks advice from his partner and finds himself coming face-to-face with the dangerous Supernova. After being drugged by Supernova, the detective reveals some guarded truths about his relationship with The Fantastic Phenomenon, which leads the detective into hot water with his partner and further bloody murders. The detective’s world quickly begins to unravel as he begins to question his own belief in law and justice and starts to peel back the good-versus-evil veneer, exposing the realities of life and death and the ultimate consequences of trusting those who tell us to “keep the faith.”

Read this in school. Its a bit of an odd play, but interesting.

Amy and the Orphans – Roundabout Theatre CompanyWhen their 85-year-old father dies, sparring siblings Maggie and Jake must face a question: How to break the bad news to their sister Amy, who has Down syndrome and has lived in a state home for years? Along the way, the pair find out just how much they don’t know about their family and each other. It seems only Amy knows who she really is.

Also read this in school. I LOVED this play and I highly recommend it.

 

 

 

Reverse Flâneur: On Being Blind, Glamorous, and Alone in PublicA 36 page comic zine about being blind, glamorous and alone in public. Specifically, spending time alone in public art spaces, engaging with contemporary art, and being visible in public as a blind woman, while visiting Vienna.

Again, I read this in school. Its a good comic about disability and the perception of disabled people.

Beginning with Disability: A Primer

 

While there are many introductions to disability and disability studies, most presume an advanced academic knowledge of a range of subjects. Beginning with Disability is the first introductory primer for disaibility studies aimed at first year students in two- and four-year colleges. This volume of essays across disciplines–including education, sociology, communications, psychology, social sciences, and humanities–features accessible, readable, and relatively short chapters that do not require specialized knowledge.

Lennard Davis, along with a team of consulting editors, has compiled a number of blogs, vlogs, and other videos to make the materials more relatable and vivid to students. Subject to Debate boxes spotlight short pro and con pieces on controversial subjects that can be debated in class or act as prompts for assignments.

This is straight-up a textbook I had for class. Its full of some great essays though.

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