Teens, Idea Exchange | March 27, 2018
Whether you’re looking for a thought-provoking book to read or a great album to rock out to, we’ve got you covered. Enjoy these recommendations from two of our Teen Tastemakers, Gemma and Charlotte:
This month, I’ll be recommending books that double as social and political commentary - helpful in our changing political environment:
- Likely the most famous one on this list, 1984 by George Orwell. Written in 1949, it is set in the dystopian ‘future’ of 1984, where the omnipresent figure of Big Brother looms over every citizen, and history is constantly edited to fit Big Brother’s whim. The main character, Winston Smith, works in the revision of documents such as newspapers, until he starts to attempt miniscule rebellions against his totalitarian government.
- The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood, is set in the not-so-distant America, where nuclear war has torn the country apart. In its ashes rises the totalitarian, Christian theocracy known as Gilead, where women serve as Wives, Marthas (maids), or Handmaids, whose role it is to repopulate the infertile country. The main character, Offred, is one of these Handmaids, and the novel recounts both her daily life in this society and in the past, detailing how the new government came to power.
- Animal Farm, once again by George Orwell. It relates the story of a farm of animals, oppressed by their human masters, deciding to rebel against their lots in life and taking the farm for themselves. The animals begin as idealistic and hopeful, setting out commandments to follow and sharing their work equally, ensuring each animal has what they need to survive. But slowly, over the course of years, the animals’ perfect life decays into totalitarianism, as the pigs take over leadership of the farm.
- The Power, by Naomi Alderman, describes a future where all girls and women suddenly receive the power to create intense electrical charges, throwing the world into disarray. It explores this new world through multiple diverse perspectives, and offers a fascinating look at social, political, and economic change.
- Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley, conveys a futuristic ‘utopia’, where babies are no longer born biologically, but in test tubes. Every person is genetically and socially conditioned to be happy and accept their lot in life, and spend their time in frivolous and luxurious pursuits. The main character, Bernard Marx, however, is able to see through the veil of consumerism and excess, and longs for the imperfect world of the past.
2018 is looking to be a great year for new music. Here are a few of the most notable releases.
On January 26th, Scottish indie rockers the Spook School released their awaited third album, Could It Be Different. It is different from their previous albums, but is still lovely.
Soon after, LA garage-punk quartet The Regrettes released an EP, on the tail end of 2017’s universally acclaimed Feel Your Feelings, Fool! The EP, Attention Seeker features two new tracks, a cover, and two acoustic versions of previous songs.
In early March, the Australian alt-rock trio Camp Cope released their second album, How To Socialise and Make Friends. It’s incredible, with vocals that stay in your head for days. They’re also one of the only bands I like touring right now, playing an all-ages show in Toronto (I can’t wait!).
Looking to the future, fellow Australian Courtney Barnett will be releasing her highly anticipated follow up to her excellent debut. For this album, Tell Me How You Really Feel, she’s already released two singles, and they’re both different from previous Barnett songs, but still great.
It might not arrive in 2018, but lead singer and guitarist Laura Jane Grace has confirmed that Florida punk band Against Me! is in the studio working on new songs. I can’t wait, especially since their last two records have been their strongest yet.
Do you have exceptional taste? Do you love books, movies, and music? Would you like to be involved with the library, gain valuable resume experience, AND earn volunteer hours? If you would like to become a Teen Tastemaker, join us at our next meeting! Contact Idea Exchange Preston (519) 653-3632 for more information.