Intelligence – Wit – Wisdom – Creativity – Originality – Individuality – Acceptance
Hi guys! Last Monday I started this little series of book recommendations based on Hogwarts houses with books for Hufflepuffs. Today I’ll be sharing some recommendations for you intelligent, individual and creative Ravenclaws. I had so much fun picking out books for Ravenclaw. Though I’ll admit half of these are just books I think Luna would enjoy (cause Luna is the best and my fave) but that’s okay cause we all love Luna.
The Portable Dorothy Parker by Dorothy Parker
Dorothy Parker is the indisputable queen of wit. Her prose is often biting and always hilarious. This lovely bind-up from Penguin, which collects her poems, short-stories and essays all in one place, deserves a place on every Ravenclaw’s bookshelf.
An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine
Aaliya Sohbia lives alone in her Beirut apartment surrounded by books, 37 of which are great works of literature – from Tolstoy to Bolaño – that she herself has translated into Arabic. No one has ever read or even seen these translations, still every year she starts a new one. Aaliya is an incredibly interesting character to read about. She is as individual as she is wise, a true Ravenclaw. I think all readers are drawn to books about books (I know I am) and in my humble opinion this quietly brilliant character study of an aging woman in a city marked by war is one of the very best.
Frida Kahlo: The Story of Her Life by Vanna Vinci
Frida Kahlo’s one of the world’s greatest artist and an incredibly interesting woman. She was creative, intelligent, original and individual. Or in other words, a quintessential Ravenclaw. A lot of books have been written about her (including this 500+ pages long biography on which the movie starring Salma Hayek was based) but I have such a fondness for the very specific genre of artist’s biographies in graphic novel(?) format. It just seems so appropriate and this particular one is simply stunning.
A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride
This Irish coming of age story isn’t one I’d recommend to anyone. It’s quite a difficult read in more ways than one. The story itself is quite bleak and has some disturbing content, but the real challenge is in the writing style. It’s written in a very fragmented stream of consciousness that’s unlike anything else I’ve read. It’s raw, it’s beautiful, it’s brutal. It’s so completely worth it and if anyone’s up for a book that will challenge them and push the boundaries of narrative, it’s going to be a Ravenclaw right?
Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link
Whenever someone tells me they don’t like short-stories I have to fight the urge to throw this book in their general direction (I would never throw books at people. I swear). Kelly Link’s short stories are difficult to talk about because they’re just so compellingly strange and surreal. When you read them you step into another realm where different rules of logic apply, but rules do apply. Surrealism often leaves me a bit cold and confused, but Kelly Links whimsical brand of surrealism makes an odd kind of sense. This collection contains some of her finest stories including: The Faery Handbag, in which a girl loses her grandmothers purse – a purse that contains a whole village and Magic for Beginners, a story about a boy’s obsession with a tv-show he’s unknowingly a part of.
Radiance by Catherynne M. Valente
If you’ve been here before, you probably already know that Catherynne M. Valente is my favorite author. All her novels are brimming with creativity, originality, wit and wisdom. But the most original and creative of them all is Radiance, an alt-history space-opera mystery from the jazz-age in which humans have colonized the solar system and the moon is the center of a blooming film industry. It tells the story of Severin Unck, a documentary film-maker who vanishes while making a movie on Venus via streams of consciousness from several POVs, excerpts from interviews and movie scripts, as well as more straight forward narratives.
Astrophysics for People in a Hurry by Neil deGrasse Tyson
Is there anything more endlessly fascinating than space? I don’t think so. If you don’t think so either, this is the book for you. Neil deGrasse Tyson writes about huge, complex, mind-boggling things I know I don’t have the prerequisites to understand in such a way that I actually do understand some of it and feel convinced, while reading, the rest is at least possible to understand. Not only is this book incredibly educational, it’s also really fun.
Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
Sapiens is one of those rare gems I’d honestly recommend to anyone. I’ve rarely, if ever, learnt so much from a book as I did from this one. In short this is the history of the human species, the homo sapiens, and how we evolved to what we are today. The way Harari tells it is utterly compelling in it’s objectivity. This book will alter your perspective.
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
I want to be Rebecca Solnit when grow up. No matter how many times I read her books I always end up in awe of her ability to make connections and express abstracts in such concrete terms. In A Field Guide to Getting Lost she explores themes like desire, wandering, the meanings of place and the value of the unknown. This is a field guide to getting lost and a road map of the soul. If you’re a Ravenclaw with wanderlust – read this.
Feel free to tell me in the comments if you agree or disagree with my choices! And please tell me what house you’d like to see recommendation for next time 🙂