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  • Brian Boone 2:00 pm on 2017/08/07 Permalink
    Tags: alison lurie, casey lewis, , , dorm room essentials cookbook, , ethan trex, , , foreign affairs, free stuff guide for everyone, gina meyers, goodnight dorm room: all the advice I wish i got before going to college, harlan cohen, keith riegert, kingsley amix, knack dorm living, , , , on beauty, peter sander, rainbow rowell, samuel kaplan, school daze, scott dikkers, , streeter seidell, the big u, the college humor guide to college, the idiot, the naked roommate, the pretty good jim's journal treasury, , , , wonder boys,   

    These 20 Books Are Absolute Dorm Room Essentials 

    So you’re headed off to college in the fall. Congratulations! It’s going to be both a lot of work and a tremendous karmic shift! You’ll be on your own, and also living in a very small dormitory room with a person who is, in all likelihood, a complete stranger. Regardless, books are both an escape and an olive branch—the books you’ll need to best understand, appreciate, and enhance the college-going experience.

    The Pretty Good Jim’s Journal Treasury, by Scott Dikkers
    Everyone who went to college remembers it as an exciting time of self-discovery, new friendships, and working really, really hard. We tend to forget about all of the downtime and boredom of college—class is only a few hours a day, after all. This is where the droll comic strip collection by Scott Dikkers, a founder of The Onion, traffics—a guy named Jim does all the boring, mundane stuff one does in college. Much of Dikkers’ “Jim’s Journal” (which ran in lots of college newspapers in the ’90s) concerned the protagonist’s low-stakes experience with higher education.

    Lucky Jim, by Kingsley Amis
    Countless authors, past and present, have also been college professors and academics. And as the old adage goes, you write what you know. The result is the subgenre of the campus novel, which details the unique experience of being in college, either for a few years or forever, including its unique politics, quirks, challenges, and maddening hypocrisies. Kingsley Amis’s Lucky Jim, published in 1954, is among the first major campus novels, and it’s a rightful classic of the genre, detailing the wryly humorous life of an academic who becomes a lecturer at an English university despite not really wanting the job.

    The Secret History, by Donna Tartt
    There are certain things in Donna Tartt’s breakout novel that are universal college experiences: arguing with professors to allow you to take their classes, finding your tribe of like-minded individuals, and looking up to the most charismatic students on campus.

    White Noise, by Don DeLillo
    Don DeLillo’s classic novel is told through the eyes of a contented professor and patriarch of a large, blended, technology-addicted family who leads a small northeastern college’s Hitler Studies program. While the themes of the novel deal with the omnipresence of chemicals in our food, air, and bodies, DeLillo also nails the day-to-day of college life, as well as how it feels to live in a university town, particularly how it’s both charmingly unchanging and always exciting due to the constant influx and outflux of new students and teachers.

    Free Stuff Guide for Everyone, by Peter Sander
    Almost everyone in college is poor. Tuition, books, and living expenses cost a lot of money, and 18-year-olds don’t have much of that, because they lack earning power due to being 18, not-yet-college-educated, and having to spend the majority of their time going to class and studying. To make it through with your health and happiness intact, you’re going to have to get a little scrappy and a little shameless and seek out deals and bargains wherever you can. A book like this one will clue you in to all sorts of free and discounted necessary items.

    Goodnight Dorm Room: All the Advice I Wish I Got Before Going to College, by Samuel Kaplan and Keith Riegert
    Not a parody of Goodnight, Moon, likely because the book Goodnight, Moon is larger than the average dorm room. Rather, this is a swift and funny advice guide to everything “they” won’t tell you about going to college. And it’s important stuff, too, from how to exploit the goodwill of TAs who want you to succeed, to what stuff you should definitely and not definitely bring with you to fill out your tiny, tiny dorm room.

    Dorm Room Essentials Cookbook, by Gina Meyers
    Man or woman cannot survive on cafeteria food and ramen alone. Also, most college dorms don’t allow hotplates. But you’ve gotta eat, and eat well, so you’ve got to get creative. This cookbook shows you how to use the tools at hand and affordable ingredients to prepare all kinds of snacks, meals, and desserts.

    Knack Dorm Living: Get the Room—and the Experience—You Want at College, by Casey Lewis
    That dorm room is small, but this book just might be a good investment of both limited space and money. Written by Lewis when she was a seen-it-all-in-college, done-it-all-in-college college senior, it’s full of easy-to-follow and crucial tips on what to take to college, what to buy when you get there, and how to effectively and efficiently organize what little time, space, and money you’ve got.

    The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College, by Harlan Cohen
    Not only are dorm rooms small, but they have to be shared with another person, who could not only be a stranger, but also literally quite strange. (Hence the title.) Cohen’s book offers pre-emptive advice on all sorts of challenges a naive, inexperienced-to-the-ways-of-the-world college freshman may experience, such as the times when it’s okay to shoot for a C, how to find a campus job, and how to navigate both long-term relationships and more “temporary” ones.

    The College Humor Guide to College, by Ethan Trex and Streeter Seidell
    Nobody these days does college humor better than, uh, College Humor. The comedy website publishes all manner of silly videos and ridiculous articles about the absurd notion of being a young person alive in the world, feeling their way around with almost zero preparation. In many ways, this droll parody of college prep books feels a lot more realistic than the real ones do. This is a good one to have in college if only as a way to share it with others and knowingly laugh at the relatable parts.

    A guidebook about the city where the college is located
    For many, college is the first time to be out there on one’s own. It’s tempting and perfectly acceptable to just kick around campus and the surrounding neighborhoods—there’s certainly plenty for freshmen to do and explore. Or, you can mingle with the townies and check out a bit more of the area that surrounds the college. Getting out there and trying new things is what college is all about, but with a safety net, which is what a guidebook about that college town totally is. It’s a guidebook to fun and adventure!

    Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell
    College isn’t all partying and making new BFFs. At least not for everybody. This marvelous novel by the author of Eleanor & Park is about the difficult segue from teenhood to college life. It’s about a University of Nebraska freshman named Cath with social anxiety disorder, which precludes a social butterfly life and encourages her to stay at home writing fan fiction about a boy wizard…until she realizes that college is the best place to exercise and hone her writing skills.

    On Beauty, by Zadie Smith
    Having a Zadie Smith book on your dorm room’s sole shelf is a great conversation starter, and it’s a clue to others about how cool you are, because you’ve read Zadie Smith. The novel itself is an enlightening look at college—it touches on sexual, identity, and class issues, as well as how professors aren’t always the sage geniuses one would assume they are. It’s also a college-level text, as On Beauty was inspired by the structure and some of the plot points of E.M. Forster’s Howard’s End.

    Wonder Boys, by Michael Chabon
    It’s set in Pittsburgh, as is usually the case with Chabon’s novels, which is a beautiful and perfect college town. That’s just one of the blessings protagonist Grady Tripp takes for granted. He’s essentially a lost college freshman, but all grown up: He’s an established writer and college professor, he smokes too much marijuana, is having relationship trouble, he’s got writer’s block so bad he can’t finish his next book, and he’s just a little bit jealous of the young talent coming up behind him. Chabon’s prose is crackling, and he’s a great place to start in the world of “grown-up” fiction.

    Joe College, by Tom Perrotta
    Ah, the joys of working your way through college. In this dark and yet surprisingly optimistic book from the author of Election and The Leftovers, a Yale student named Danny doesn’t get to go on a debauched Spring Break trip with his friends: He’s stuck driving his dad’s lunch truck in New Jersey. That’s a plot device to get the reader into Danny’s head, where lots of college issues humorously and dramatically wrestle for attention.

    Foreign Affairs, by Alison Lurie
    Time for the semester abroad! Well, at least it is for the two American professors at the heart of this charming, Pulitzer Prize winning campus novel-meets-fish-out-water tale. Vinnie leaves his Ivy League environs to study playground rhymes and winds up in a family tree-tracing project. Fred, meanwhile, abandons his studies of English poetry to pal around with an esteemed actress.

    The Idiot, by Elif Batuman
    This almost stream-of-consciousness novel is told from the point-of-view of a Turkish-American freshman from New Jersey who is extremely happy to be away from her dull home life and attending the glorious Harvard University. This one shows how overwhelming college and all of its assorted social and academic entanglements can be. But, you know, in a good way.

    The Big U, by Neal Stephenson
    No matter how complicated and overwhelming college life gets, it could always be worse. This first novel from sci-fi icon Neal Stephenson demonstrates that. It’s about a Remote Sensing professor named Bud who works at American Megaversity, an eight-tower complex which pretty much makes the college a bubbled world unto itself. Hey, that’s like real college, only real college has way fewer electromagnetic weapons and radioactive rats.

    A second copy of what you’re currently reading
    Talk about an icebreaker. “Hey, what’s that you’re reading,” a roommate, hallmate, classmate, or random person in “the Quad” asks. You tell them, you show them, you lend them your copy because it’s so good. Boom, friends for life.

    A copy of your favorite book from childhood
    For when you’re homesick.

    What books should every college student read?

    The post These 20 Books Are Absolute Dorm Room Essentials appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Jenny Kawecki 7:09 pm on 2016/10/05 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , rainbow rowell, , , , stacey lee, , ,   

    8 Books to Convert a YA Naysayer into a YA Fanatic 

    We’ve all got that friend who thinks that, just because they’re an adult, they can’t be seen cracking the cover of a young adult book. Maybe they’re snobby about it, maybe they just don’t think YA could be their thing, but either way you’ve got a mission: help that friend find the right book, thus opening their eyes to a marvelous, ever-expanding category of fabulous reads. Here are 8 YA books that will entice even the most selective reader.

    I Capture the Castle, by Dodie Smith
    Dodie Smith’s old-school YA I Capture the Castle is a good place to start; it’s usually shelved with the adult books, so you may be able to recommend it with nary an eyebrow raised. Seventeen-year-old Cassandra lives in a broken-down castle with her crazy family and no money, waiting for the day when her famous novelist father overcomes his writer’s block. When they get a handsome new landlord—one who might actually expect them to pay rent—things around the castle start to change. Narrated in Cassandra’s clever, engaging voice, I Capture the Castle is the perfect gateway YA read.

    Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell
    This book is like a sucker punch to your emotions: full of beautiful, lovable teenage moments, but heartbreaking as hell. Eleanor and Park meet on the bus. Eleanor, red-haired and strange, is the new bully magnet; Park has been always stayed successfully under the radar. Slowly they fall in love over comic books and music. As they face struggles with other kids, their families, and each other, they both know it’ll never last—the only question is what will tear them apart in the end.

    Wolf by Wolf, by Ryan Graudin
    Fast-paced and wonderfully original, Wolf by Wolf will quell a lot of non-YA readers bad assumptions about YA stereotypes. Yael lives in an alternate post-WWII world in which the Axis powers won. After surviving torture and experimentation in a death camp, she’s determined to get revenge for the loved ones she lost. Her plan? Win the annual motorcycle race held to commemorate the Axis victory, gain an audience with Hitler, and kill him. Sounds foolproof, right?

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie
    Junior has spent 14 years on the Spokane Indian Reservation, watching the people around him live hard and die young, and he wants out. So he uses his smarts to gain a transfer to the local all-white high school off the res. Building a new life for himself isn’t easy: his new classmates stereotype him, his old friends think he’s abandoned them, and on top of it all, he usually has to hitchhike to school. Funny, heart-wrenching, and beloved, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is basically irresistible.

    I’ll Give You the Sun, by Jandy Nelson
    I’ll Give You the Sun tells the story of Jude and Noah, twins who used to be inseparable. At thirteen, they complete each other. At sixteen, they barely speak. What happened in between? Told in alternating perspectives, with Jude narrating the later years and Noah narrating the early years, the story slowly pieces itself together. Full of family, grief, first love, and what comes after, this book will make your YA-reluctant friend cry and swoon in equal measures.

    An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir
    If you know someone who thinks YA novels can’t include complex, well-built worlds, this book will prove them wrong. Laia and Elias are on opposite sides of an ancient Rome-esque world: Laia’s people have been conquered, and Elias is training to lead the conquerors. As Laia embeds herself as a slave in order to gather intel from the military academy Elias is training at, Elias enters into a deadly competition he wants nothing to do with. Dark, detailed, and action-packed, An Ember in the Ashes is a standout.

    Outrun the Moon, by Stacey Lee
    Looking for an excellent young adult historical fiction novel to recommend? Outrun the Moon is it. It’s 1906 in San Francisco, and Mercy Wong is determined to go to a posh private school so she can become a businesswoman. The problem? She’s Chinese, and the school is open only to white students. But Mercy is stubborn, and through a combination of bribery and blackmail, she gets in. Cue a massive earthquake that tears apart the city, leaving Mercy stranded among her less-than-friendly classmates.

    Six of Crows, by Leigh Bardugo
    What could be better than a heist novel full of six lovably damaged characters, a gritty backstory, and a touch of magic? Kaz Brekker is notorious for his criminal skill, so when he’s offered the job of a lifetime, he can’t turn it down. But the only thing more impossible than the task ahead is getting his team of talented misfits to get along long enough to pull it off. Full of twists and distinct, well-developed characters, Six of Crows will make anyone fall in love with YA.

    The post 8 Books to Convert a YA Naysayer into a YA Fanatic appeared first on Barnes & Noble Reads.

  • Diana Biller 9:00 pm on 2016/06/08 Permalink
    Tags: connie willis, pay it forward, rainbow rowell, the burning sky,   

    6 Books to Leave Behind in Your Summer Vacation Rental 

    Several summers ago, I rented a cabin in the Catskills for a weekend. It was perched on a hill in middle of nowhere—the nearest grocery store was 15 miles away and staffed by very suspicious locals—and decorated in high rustic style, with musty wool blankets and lamps made out of antlers. Best of all, it had a record player, along with a pile of surprising and delightful albums that had apparently been sitting in the same spot for the last 30 years. There’s little better than coming across treasures in unexpected locations—and that’s certainly true for books.

    But what if we all agreed to game the system? What if instead of relegating vacation bookshelves across the country to a lifetime of housing the same four thrillers dating from the early 1990s, we starting leaving good books behind—fizzy, fun, engaging books, perfect for a long, hot afternoon with a cold, sweating drink? Here are six to start with.

    The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
    Something about YA and summer go well together—maybe it’s all those memories of the last day of school, with the hottest days in front of you. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks is tippity-top YA, with a brilliant, funny protagonist, an elite prep school, and an all-male secret society actually called the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. Frankie is a shy, geeky girl when she starts school at Alabaster, a fancy boarding school. But it doesn’t take long before she starts to wonder why the boys get all the glory while the girls have to just sit back and watch…and then she decides to do something about it.

    To Say Nothing of the Dog, by Connie Willis
    I read this on a gloriously sunny afternoon, so I can attest that this hilarious, charming book is 100 percent summer vacation certified. Willis—winner of a truly astonishing number of Hugo and Nebula Awards—has created a universe in which time travel is a rather mundane thing, conducted entirely by academics. One historian has been sent back in time to 1889, where a series of mishaps and misunderstandings puts him in a boat, undertaking a lengthy trip on the river Thames, among countless other misadventures. Peak relaxation really is sitting outside in the sun while reading a comic account of a boating trip.

    The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde
    In this version of 1985, everybody has a cloned dodo and literature reigns supreme. Like, really supreme. Enter Thursday Next, special operative in literary detection, who gets embroiled in a dastardly scheme to kidnap literary characters from the original manuscripts of famous books—and then ends up actually inside Jane Eyre. Well, the book. not Jane herself. The first entry in an absolutely delightful series, The Eyre Affair has been compared to works and authors as wildly diverse as Harry Potter, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Stephen Hawking, Lewis Carroll, and Umberto Eco. A light-hearted romp that never insults the reader’s intelligence—perfect for the beach or the pool.

    Funny Girl, by Nick Hornby
    The latest from Nick Hornby (High Fidelity, About a Boy), follows a young comic actress in the 1960s as she climbs the ranks of the BBC. Warmly written and sharply funny, Funny Girl is a great read for anyone interested in the early days of television (and especially for fans of Lucille Ball). It’s also the sort of book you want to inhale in an afternoon, so a vacation is the perfect time to start it.

    Attachments, by Rainbow Rowell
    Rowell’s sweet, highly entertaining debut takes the form of a modern-day epistolary novel, but with emails instead of letters. Film critic Beth and copy-editor Jennifer spend a lot of time at work emailing each other, talking about men, children, coworkers, and anything else that catches their interest. What they don’t know is that their emails are being monitored by a tech geek named Lincoln who is slowly but surely falling in love with Beth. A charming and light-hearted novel.

    The Burning Sky, by Sherry Thomas
    One of my favorite reads so far this year, The Burning Sky is the first novel in Thomas’s Elemental Trilogy, a young adult magical saga about a girl who’s the best elemental mage her world has seen in decades, and a prince who’s spent most of his life playing a dangerous and terrifying political game. It’s romantic, funny, and action-packed (oh, and the first one’s set largely at an English boarding school, so if you’re a sucker for that setting, check this out immediately). It’s a great way to spend your time while you’re chilling at your cabin or getting your tan on at the beach.

    What books would you gift the next guest?

  • Jenny Kawecki 5:00 pm on 2015/11/10 Permalink
    Tags: , , health and safety, , , , , rainbow rowell, ,   

    7 Fictional Schools That Are Definitely Not Up to Code 

    Fictional schools may seem wonderful and magical when you’re thinking about all the adventures your favorite students get up to, but consider them from the perspective of a concerned parent/insurance adjuster/PTSD-troubled survivor graduate—you cringed, didn’t you? And there’s no way you wouldn’t raise a red flag or two by telling future coworkers/friends there was an entire floor of your high school you weren’t allowed to visit because it was too dangerous. These schools had better hope no one ever sends a safety inspector their way, because there is no way they’re up to code.

    Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy (The Magicians, by Lev Grossman)
    Maybe Brakebills can stand to be a little harsher because it’s technically a college, but still. Turning students into geese? Forcing them to wander the Antarctic? Pushing them to the point that they hate each other and themselves? Given the depressing, hedonistic sort of lives many Brakebills graduates lead after completing their education, it seems like something (a lot of things) must be wrong here. Not to mention, there is no way welters would ever be allowed as a sport on a normal college campus.

    Watford School of Magicks (Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell)
    Watford might be one of the safer schools on this list, and it’s missing a lot of the random troubles that plague Hogwarts (hello, no dumb underage magic law), but it still has a few problems. For instance, the fact that they had to institute the Roommate’s Anathema to prevent roommates from harming each other in their rooms (but it’s perfectly okay elsewhere). Or that they let minors (Simon) walk around campus with swords. Or that the staff has no protocol for dealing with emergencies. (What’s with all the adults letting Simon and Baz deal with that dragon, while they stand by uselessly?) I have no idea why anyone lets these people be in charge of children.

    Crunchem Hall Primary School (Matilda, by Roald Dahl)
    Of course, the main problem with Crunchem Hall is its headmistress, Miss Trunchbull. She’s a bully (and a terrible educator), but her existence is made even worse by the fact that the school board essentially ignores her behavior, allowing her to torture students to her evil heart’s content. And the Chokey? As if even the bare existence of a tiny closet filled with glass and nails would be tolerated at a school that had ever, even once, had a safety inspection.

    Forks High School (Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer)
    It’s one thing, I guess, for all these private schools to be skirting safety standards, but Forks High is supposed to be a public school—shouldn’t it have to be up to code to get funding? Apparently not, because let me tell you, there are some serious flaws at Forks. Science labs where students actually sample their own blood, ignoring students who repeatedly skip far too many classes, and the sheer number of accidents that happen at the school seem to indicate a lack of attentiveness on the part of the staff that I just can’t condone. And where is Bella’s guidance counselor?

    Wayside School (Sideways Stories from Wayside School, by Louis Sachar)
    Wayside should have been shut down a long time ago for architectural issues alone. 30 floors high, with no sort of support? It’s a death trap. Add to that the fact that one of the teachers turns students into inanimate objects, the lunch food is inedible (where’s Michelle Obama when you need her?), and someone is selling toes, and you’ve got an insurance nightmare on your hands.

    Prufrock Preparatory School (The Austere Academy, by Lemony Snicket)
    There are more problems at Prufrock Prep than I can count, but let’s examine a few, shall we? First, there’s Sunny’s job as a secretary, which violates pretty much every child labor law out there. Then, there’s the Baudelaire’s living situation, which involves fungus and crustaceans and no health or cleanliness standards whatsoever. On top of that, there are the teachers, whose basic incompetence indicates they aren’t even qualified to graduate elementary school, much less teach it.

    Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry (Harry Potter, by J. K. Rowling)
    Of course, the most beloved school on this list is also probably the least capable of keeping its students from bodily harm. With the terrible hiring decisions (a literal two-faced villain, a fraud, and a seer who’s had a single authentic prophecy?), the sheer lack of adult supervision, and the constant invasions of evil, is it really a surprise that the school board wants to remove Albus Dumbledore as headmaster by the fifth book? I think not. And we haven’t even started talking about why a school has a dungeon, where that troll came from, why they chose to build beside a forest full of monsters, or the fact that second-year students are handling paralysis-causing plants with very little instruction.

  • Jenny Kawecki 7:00 pm on 2015/09/28 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , rainbow rowell   

    8 Fictional Characters Who’d Make the Best Travel Companions 

    Picking a travel buddy is just as important as picking a roommate: you’re going to be stuck with them, probably one on one, for long periods of time, so you’d better make sure you choose someone you’re not going to regret. You’ve got to ask the big questions: will they be fun to be around? Do they have good taste in music? And, most importantly, can you trust them not to take weird photos of you while you’re sleeping? We’re not sure about your friends, but here are 8 fictional characters you wouldn’t regret bringing along on your cross-country road trip.

    Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series, by J.K. Rowling)
    Hermione has all the traits of a great travel companion: she’s fun to be around (as long as you don’t have any homework assignments to do), she’s reliable, and she’s a great packer. You know she’ll always have your back, no matter what crazy hijinks happen along the road. Plus, as we learned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, she can fit pretty much anything into her magical beaded bag, which means you can buy all the souvenirs you want and not have to worry about fitting them into your suitcase. What could be better? Plus, if you ever get lost, just ask her to do a point-me spell and you’ll be back on your way again.

    Merry and Pippin (The Lord of the Rings series, by J.R. R. Tolkien)
    With Merry and Pippin on your trip, you’ll never get bored. In between pulling pranks on each other (and you) when things get a little slow, you know they’d be finding all of the best places to eat and drink along the way. And because they, like you, understand the importance of every meal (including elevensies), you’d never have to feel guilty about wanting to stop for a snack. Besides all that, with their cheerful dispositions, they’d never complain about the weather or the lines or the dingy motel rooms—and definitely not about the lack of legroom.

    Anne Shirley (Anne of Green Gables series, by L.M. Montgomery)
    Feisty, talkative, and fun, Anne would make sure that your trip was always exciting and full of adventure. One of the best parts about traveling is getting to try new things, and with Anne on board, you’d be trying every new thing you came across—and loving it. And though you might sometimes have to reign her in a bit (there’s a 99% chance that Anne would be laughing in the streets of Paris way too late at night), you’d never run out of things to do. And anyway, chasing down crazy friends is half the fun, right?

    Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen)
    This may not seem like an obvious choice at first—grumpy, silent Darcy on a road trip? No, thank you—but think about it. If Darcy liked you well enough to go on a trip with you, you know you could count on him to have your back at every turn, and to make hilarious snarky comments about the tour guide that only you can hear. And since he’s such a gentleman, he probably wouldn’t even consider snoring in the hotel room (way too unseemly). Extra bonus: he’s absolutely loaded, so you know you can count on him to pick up the tab on any emergency travel expenses that happen to come up.

    Calcifer (Howl’s Moving Castle, by Diana Wynne Jones)
    If you’re the type of person who enjoys a little friendly bickering, than Calcifer is the travel companion for you. He’s got the disagreeable-but-friendly thing down pat, and you know he’ll always follow through in the end. As a fire demon, he’s got loads of mysterious powers that cover everything from helping make a tasty breakfast (always important when you’re on the road) to moving entire castles when necessary. And anyway, a fire demon would make a great addition to your travel scrapbook.

    Dr. Watson (Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle)
    Watson is smart (without being completely obnoxious about it, unlike Sherlock) and resourceful, but most importantly, he’s just about the least selfish person in fiction. Always willing to sacrifice for the greater good, or even for the good of his friendships, Watson would make sure that you got to do everything you wanted to do on the trip, and he would always take the couch and let you have the bed. And, he’s used to all sorts of weird behavior from Sherlock, so he’d never judge you for any of your quirky habits. Bonus: it’s always a good idea to travel with a doctor.

    The Baudelaires (A Series of Unfortunate Events, by Lemony Snicket)
    Imagine this: you’re on a road trip. You’ve been driving for eight hours already today, and it’s been fun so far, but then your car breaks down. And you’re in the middle of nowhere. It’s right about then that you’ll be thinking back on your choices—why didn’t you get off at the last rest stop? Did you pack enough snacks to get you through this emergency?—but the one choice you absolutely would not question would be bringing the three Baudelaires along with you. Before you could even blink, Violet would be fixing the car, Klaus would have researched local places to stay, and Sunny would have prepared a delicious picnic. Plus, all their stuff was burnt in a fire, so they definitely wouldn’t pack heavy.

    Levi Stewart (Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell)
    If there’s one thing you need when you’re traveling, it’s coffee. Loads of coffee. Luckily, Levi is well aware of the importance of coffee, and you could absolutely trust him to keep you steadily supplied with it. Levi’s endless energy would also help him—and therefore you—make friends wherever you went, so you’d never have to worry about dealing with grumpy people. You can count on him to always be interested in whatever you want to talk about or whatever sights you want to see, and never complain about being bored. Plus, he’s nice to look at, which is definitely a bonus if you’re going to be spending lots of time in a plane/train/car with him.

    Which fictional character would you most like to travel as a travel companion?

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