I've been told that since yesterday's list was a big hit with your older sister, you now want a list of your own.
You're going to be a high school freshman in a couple of months, yes? You loved the Percy Jackson books a few years back, and you're currently enjoying Neil Gaiman's Anansi Boys. I like the sound of that.
All right, Andrew, I only know a little bit about you, but I couldn't resist the challenge. First of all, you should definitely read several of the books I recommended for your sister. There are some that are seriously girly, but I'm pretty sure you would groove on the rest.
Then, see what you think about the list below. And here's the best part: if you discover that you love any of the following, please know that most of these writers have written lots of other fantastic books you can enjoy just as much.
Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson
One of the very first--and in my opinion, best--cyberpunk novels. Hiro delivers pizza in real life, but he's a warrior prince in the Metaverse. Stephenson coined the word "infocalypse," and this book is all about warding it off.
The Maze Runner, by James Dashner
If The Hunger Games left you hungry for more (or if it was too girly for you), check out this series about a group of boys trapped in a maze. Dark and twisty--literally.
The Summer Tree, by Guy Gavriel Kay
Anyone who likes Anansi Boys is sure to like The Fionavar Tapestry, the series that begins with The Summer Tree. It deals with gods and metamyths, too, but came before Gaiman's book and surely influenced it.
I Am Not a Serial Killer, by Dan Wells
John Cleaver knows he's a sociopath, so he develops a strict set of rules for himself so that he doesn't imitate the serial killers he's obsessed with. While working at his mother's mortuary, he discovers that a predator has come to his small town, and John becomes the unlikeliest of heroes when he sets out to stop the murders. SO GOOD.
The Colour of Magic, by Terry Pratchett
I envy anyone just starting Pratchett's Discworld novels. What a world awaits you! You will literally laugh out loud when you read this and the many books that follow. Highly addictive.
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams
Everyone should read this--not just because it's awesome, but also because it has become a highly influential piece of American pop culture. It's just as quotable as a Monty Python movie, and just as funny.
Something Wicked This Way Comes, by Ray Bradbury
The creepiness is delicious, and the writing is gorgeous. Ray Bradbury's books are summer reading at its best.
The Painted Boy, by Charles de Lint
Most of Charles de Lint's books occupy the Borderlands, a dark, nebulous place between the human world and...non-human...worlds. Those who love Gaiman will surely love de Lint.
Little Brother, by Cory Doctorow
Another book about the infocalypse, this time with a teenage hacker hero. A very fast, very fun read.
Hyperion, by Dan Simmons
Dan Simmons writes both science fiction and horror, and it's all terrific. A bit of a riff on The Canterbury Tales, Hyperion will keep you up reading far into the night..
Old Man's War, by John Scalzi
An old guy gets a new body to fight in a war against aliens. This thrilling novel would be a great book to compare and contrast with Ender's Game.
The House with the Clock in Its Walls, by John Bellairs
Simple and short, but deceptively haunting. I don't know why Bellairs's books aren't better known, because they're brilliant. Ignore that they're now marketed to middle graders. They're Gothic fun for readers of any age.
The Complete Maus, by Art Spiegelman
This amazing graphic novel tells the story of the Holocaust in stark, compelling fashion.
Andrew, you'll notice that the above are all written by men. Here are a few books written by women that any manly, reading male should enjoy. Again, all these writers have written other books you should look for if the following pique your interest:
The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
Super bleak, but so good. One of the original dystopians, The Handmaid's Tale is now considered a modern classic.
The Bloody Chamber, by Angela Carter
Carter did really scary stuff with classic fairy tales. Hollywood should be mining her stuff the way it mines that of Philip K. Dick.
Kindred, by Octavia Butler
A time-travel novel about a woman who is abducted from modern-day reality into the pre-Civil War South. I've heard some college freshman are now required to read this. Get a jump on them. You won't regret it.
Pretty Monsters, by Kelly Link
No one rocks short stories like Kelly Link. Super freaky--like Donnie Darko times a thousand.
The Glass Castle, by Jeannette Walls
Yes, this is on your sister's list, along with a lot of other stuff you should read, but I'm mentioning it again because you'll love it. My boys did. This memoir was written by a woman, but her brother Brian was right there with her through the wildest childhood you can imagine.
The Left Hand of Darkness, by Ursula K. LeGuin
Written in 1969, it still reads as fresh as it when I first read it in the mid-1970s. It's one of the greatest science fiction novels of all time. Read it to see why.
Persepolis, by Marjane Satrapi
This graphic novel is often compared to Maus and is also now required reading at many colleges. You'll laugh when you read it, but make sure you're by yourself, because it just might make you cry, too.
All right, Andrew. I'd love to know what you think if you end up picking up any or all of the above and reading them. I'll look forward to hearing from you.