Me: “A green, framed “Leaves of Grass” poster would look great in our bedroom.”
Professor Teen: “Leaves of Grass? Is that a book or something?”
Me: “Are you joking?”
Professor Teen: “No.”
Archive for teenagers
I asked for new book suggestions and you answered. You answered with books that you care about, books that your teens care about and books that you think Professor Teen will care about. When Netflix recommends old tv shows and movies based on an algorithm, I try their suggestions. I love movies and tv, but they are as nutritionally satisfying as popcorn and have about the same amount of impact on your psyche.
Books get deep inside your head to plant feelings, question ideas and open windows. When a book touches all the right keys, you tell people. There’s a running joke between Doug and I that he is incapable of entering a store and not asking employees for help with everything on his list while I will wander the store forever until I find it myself. We both ask employees at book stores for suggestions and help. It is always worth hearing an employee tell you why they recommend a certain book. Always.
Your book suggestions for Professor Teen:
Ray Bradbury – The Martian Chronicles, Short Story Collections
Dee Brown – Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee
Jim Butcher – Dresden Files
Italo Calvino – T-Zero
Karel Capek – The War with the Newts
Orson Scott Card – Ender’s Game series (already devoured)
Jacqueline Carey – Kushiel’s Dart
Arthur C. Clarke – Rendezvous with Rama
Ernest Cline – Ready Player One
B.H. Crew’s – A Cornucopia of Science Fiction of the 30′s, 50′s & 60′s
Philip K. Dick – “The Man in the High Castle” or choose which book here (already devoured several)
Stephen Gould – Jumper, Reflex, Wild Side
Lev Grossman – “The Magicians”
Harry Harrison – “Stainless Steel Rat” series
Lian Hearn – Across the Nightingale Floor
Robert A. Heinlein – Rocket Ship Galileo, Star Beast, Starship Troopers, Stranger in a Strange Land, The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, The Rolling Stones, Tunnel in the Sky
Frank Herbert – Dune (already devoured)
Robert E. Howard – The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian
Stephen King – The Gunslinger, The Stand
Stanislaw Lem – The Cyberiad
Ira Levin – This Perfect Day
Michael Lewis – Moneyball
George R.R. Martin – Game of Thrones
China Mieville – Perdido Street Station
Mervyn Peake – Titus Groan
Clifford Pickover – “Archimedes to Hawking“, The Loom of God
Cherie Priest – Clockwork Century series
Steven Pressfield – Gates of Fire
Philip Pullman – His Dark Materials series (already devoured)
Carl Sagan – Contact
Dan Simmons – Hyperion, The Fall of Hyperion
Olaf Stapledon – Sirius
Jonathan Stroud – The Bartimaeus Series (already devoured)
Kurt Vonnegut – Cat’s Cradle
Gene Wolfe – Shadow & Claw
Tom Wolfe – The Right Stuff
After borrowing and buying the warmest clothing that exists in our southern city, I am now tasked with putting half a dozen books on Professor Teen’s electronic reading device of choice. Sometimes I don’t drop names because I don’t want to sound like a commercial. I am not doing that here. I buy eBooks and they automatically load to multiple devices in our family. I honestly don’t know which device will be earning SkyMiles.
So, I am on a book hunt. What will entertain a 16-y-o who has read Tolkien enough that you do NOT want to get him started on what the movies omitted? He has also read Doctorow, Gibson, Pratchett, Gaiman and Douglas Adams. Sci-Fi is his favorite genre, but he also digs physics, math and history. What would be good book fuel for the reading monster? If you need me, I will be drowning in the GoodReads lists.
Dad: “Don’t forget you have a nurse appointment tomorrow.”
Boy teen: “I do? Why?”
Mom: “It’s just your HPV booster.”
Dad: “Herpes or something.”
Mom: “Cervical cancer.”
Dad: “Do you have a cervix, son?”
Boy teen: “Uh, I guess so.”
Boy teen: “Hang on. I’m googling it.”
Dad: “You should do that?”
Several months ago, someone used my credit card to do some online shopping. I wanted to figure out how it happened so that I wouldn’t repeat whatever allowed the theft to occur. I found it extremely frustrating that neither the bank nor the online retailer would tell me the address of the recipient of the things I didn’t order. Apparently thieves’ right to privacy supersedes my desire to learn from my mistakes.
While she was home for winter break, someone in New York was shopping with sparkly NY vampire teen’s bank account. I thought she would be worried about how it happened. I expected some drama about the loss of her small savings for living expenses in NY. Instead, she reacted with confusion at the thief’s spending choices. “They bought a bunch of new clothes and then they ate at McDonald’s. Why would they go to McDonald’s when there are so many great places to eat in NY?”
Upon returning to NY last week, sparkly NY vampire teen was horrified to learn that during the break, housekeeping threw away all the food in the college students’ rooms. “All my food is gone! Pop-tarts don’t go bad. Who wastes canned food? I was gonna eat that corn!”
I’m starting to suspect that sparkly NY vampire teen is perpetually hungry.
That is probably the cleanest picture I took during my New York visit. I also like my less impressive, cell phone picture of the Bethesda Fountain. Neither picture is my favorite.
My favorite picture was taken less than a minute after the sparkly Manhattan picture at the top of this post when I turned the camera toward my companions. The resulting picture is terrible and I love everything about it.
When Sarah left high school a semester early and moved to a city she had never visited, I was terrified. She was a 17-year-old from a small town in a large city with no family nearby. Unsurprisingly, Sarah thrived in her new environment. I don’t know if her school and the city create strong, independent young adults or if the school and city attract teens on the verge of dynamic adulthood. I do know that Sarah has surrounded herself with absolutely wonderful people. They have formed their own family. A family that makes my diminishing role in her life, comforting.
Me: “Have you eaten anything other than funnel cake today?”
Girl Teen: “I just finished eating some baked beans.”
Girl teen: “Bush’s beans. I didn’t think I could buy them in New York, so I hid a can in my luggage.”
Me: “The luggage we shipped so you could travel to school on the Megabus?”
Girl teen: “Yes. I couldn’t imagine a semester without the good kind of beans.”
A restaurant or food cart every few feet and the pink haired teen is worried about being homesick for… Bush’s baked beans.