John Green responds

I am a huge John Green fan. His books are entertaining, real, thought-provoking, impactful, and most importantly read by teens — and they enjoy them! They like his books so much they campaigned for over a year to bring him to our campus — this didn’t happen, but they still like him and would welcome him with open arms. So, when goodreads offered the opportunity to ask John a question, I couldn’t resist. But, what to ask?

My question via goodreads is below

(if you follow the link, it’s the 26th response, scroll part way down the page)

Nicole wrote: “Hello. As a high school librarian I’m curious to know if you were an avid reader when you were a teen? Do you have a favorite book or author from that time in your life? What titles or authors wou…”

I read a lot as a teenager because I was assigned a lot of reading in English classes (and had to read several books over each summer), but I didn’t read much for pleasure until my senior year. That year I read Michael Chabon’s Mysteries of Pittsburgh, Jeffrey Eugenides’s The Virgin Suicides, On the Road, Catcher in the Rye, Sula, several books by Tom Robbins, and quite a bit of Eudora Welty, among others.

I also read a lot of contemporary fiction in my English classes in high school. Like, I discovered Morrison and Welty because we read their books in class. That’s also how I discovered John Irving and Kurt Vonnegut and Tony Kushner and Flannery O’Connor the list goes on. This was tremendously important to me as a reader, and as a writer, and as a person.

(I should add that we also read plenty of Shakespeare and a fair bit of the Brontes and Austen and DuBois and Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes and so on, so I did get some classics in me.)

Now when those John Green fans say “I’m looking for a good book,” I can direct them to the titles their beloved John Green was reading at their age.


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