QUIZ: Which Anti-Hero is Your Literary Alter Ego?

They’re complicated often to the point of being inscrutable, and you can’t always believe what they tell you, but they are the fascinating characters: fallible, unreliable, often lost and never what they seem. They are literature’s anti-heroes—protagonists and antagonists who go against the grain to get the job done, even if they’re not always sure what the job is. These are the people you want on your side…usually.

So which anti-hero is the Batman to your Robin? The yang to your yin? Take this quiz to find out who your kindred anti-hero spirit really is, and start planning your next literary misadventure.

 

coffee-shop-1209863_960_7201. You have the afternoon off. How will you spend it?

a) Sitting in a coffee shop wondering how all the other coffee drinkers seem to have it together when you don’t.
b) Sitting in a coffee shop writing scathing letters to all the people who wronged you in high school.
c) Sitting in a coffee shop waiting for the barista to bring you another cup of tea because the first one was too darn cold.
d) Sitting in a coffee shop conjuring ways to increase the caffeine content in your beverage through visualization.
e) Making soap.

 

cat-1378203_960_7202. Finish this sentence: The world would be a better place if everybody…

a) was less phony.
b) thought about the consequences of their actions.
c) respected their elders.
d) finally put me in charge.
e) worked out more.
 

tie-690084_960_7203. My dream job is:

a) Safety patroller
b) Psychologist
c) Teacher
d) Headmaster
e) Anarchist
 

books-1605416_960_7204. What is the last book you read?

a) Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen
b) Don’t You Cry by Mary Kubica
c) A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf
d) Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Macguire
e) V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
 

denver-1567052_960_7205. Your friends suggest a night out. Where will you go?

a) A museum
b) The hottest night club in town
c) Nowhere because my show is on, thankyouverymuch
d) What friends?
e) The gym
 

Calculating results:

If you answered mostly A:

Your anti-hero alter ego is Holden Caulfield from The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger.

Holden may be more of a thinker than a doer, and that’s okay. Sensitive and smart, Holden feels things deeply and observes people keenly. A protector, he may put other people’s needs before his own, which can lead to some resentment when it feels like nobody cares as much as he does. But take heed: the world is actually a beautiful place, and deep down, he knows this well.

 

If you answered mostly B:

Your anti-hero alter ego is Amy Dunne from Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

Amy is clever, popular and calculating. She is sometimes underestimated, but also has the propensity to not live up to her potential. She often feels taken for granted and manipulated, but the truth is, she is astute at understanding the games people play and refuses to lose at them. She believes in commitment and believes that other people should live up to their commitments as well.

 

If you answered mostly C:

Your anti-hero alter ego is Olive Kitteridge from Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.

Olive may seem like an old crank, but she has a lifetime’s worth of experience to shape her values and opinions. She has high expectations of those she loves, and feels that she holds herself to just as high a standard. She may seem strict and unyielding, but once she stops judging people’s actions and starts looking at the motivations for those actions, she understands the complexity and struggles of other people’s lives. Olive is a rock, which is a good thing to anchor yourself to if a storm is brewing.

 

If you answered mostly D:

Your anti-hero alter ego is Severus Snape from The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling

Professor Severus Snape believes in power and control above all else, which makes him seem dangerous and mean. Since he does very little to change anybody’s mind about him, Snape lives a fairly lonely life, but it is not a life unfulfilled. There are many forces guiding Severus Snape, and he often finds that he is heading down a path he may not have anticipated—for better or for worse. In the end, Snape is guided by loyalty and a sense of duty, as much as his own ambitions.

 

If you answered mostly E:

Your anti-hero alter ego is Tyler Durden from Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.

Tyler Durden is a misguided idealist. He yearns for meaning and truth but only understands its pursuit in the most aggressive of forms. While searching for an authentic life, Tyler may put his trust in the wrong people, and he certainly has the habit of getting carried away with an idea, but he is loyal and wants to be loved. Tyler often feels torn between two lives, but understands that people are complex and unpredictable.

 

Who did you get? Do you think you got the right result? Share with us in the comments below!


It’s Book Awards Season—Meet the Nominees

All the nominees in all the biggest competitions have been announced!

You’re going to need a bigger bookshelf.

 

National Book Awards — winners to be announced November 16, 2016

Fiction:

  • The Throwback Special by Chris Bachelder
  • What Belongs to You by Garth Greenwell
  • Imagine Me Gone by Adam Haslett
  • News of the World by Paulette Jiles
  • The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan
  • The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth McKenzie
  • Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet
  • Miss Jane by Brad Watson
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
  • Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson

 


Need more edge in your life? Try these four creeptastic reads

If your reading list is starting to feel a little same-old, same-old, fear not—here are some fantastic thrillers that will act as a defibrillator to your tired reading regime.

Cover_Before I Go To SleepBefore I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson

Before The Girl on the Train became the benchmark for the patchy-memory unreliable narrator, there was this disturbing Memento-style thriller about a woman who tries to uncover the truth about who she is, despite the fact that her memory gets erased every day. But learning the truth puts her in great danger—and danger is closer to home than she thinks.

 

 

 

9780778319443_bc77dOnly Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

It’s been over a decade since Rebecca Winter went missing. In what her family and friends consider a miracle, she’s returned, escaped from her captor and back in their loving arms…but there’s something different about Bec now. Is it truly her or somebody posing as her? This insanely creepy Australian debut will send chills down your spine.

 

 

 

Cover_Into The Darkest CornerInto the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

I hope you don’t like sleeping. Because even if you can tear yourself away from this incredibly propulsive thriller about a seemingly idyllic relationship gone horribly, horribly wrong, you still may not be able to relax enough to drift off into a peaceful slumber. I read this one in two days. And didn’t sleep that whole time.

 

 

 

Cover_Night FilmNight Film by Marisha Pessl: If you like your thrillers with a hint of occultism (and don’t mind lots of italics), Pessl’s follow-up to her debut, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, is as multi-layered and complex as it is dark and creepy. The daughter of an infamous and cultishly popular horror film director is found dead, and a journalist whose personal life and career are in shambles races to uncover the truth about her death—and gets caught in a spider web so dangerous you’ll be biting your nails hoping he’ll make it out alive.

 

 

 

What did we miss? Tell us about your favorite creepy reads!


Books and Beverages: Fall 2016 Edition

Folks, we are closing in on September 22nd, and you know what that means…it’s officially going to be Fall! This season we’ve got a fresh batch of book and beverage combos to quench your literary thirst. Read on to see which pair is the one for you before you go on your next café/bookstore trip!

 

cover_be-frank-with-meIf you like hot cranberry tea

Sweet, tasty, and family-friendly! If you’re a fan of the cold season classic, pick up Be Frank With Me. Julia Claiborne Johnson’s quirky and charming book will steal your heart—but not before first warming it up with the help of your steaming cup of tea.

 

cover_commonwealthIf you like homemade apple cider

There’s nothing like returning to where the home fires burn and enjoying a cup of fresh homemade apple cider…unless, perhaps, you’re one of the characters in Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth. This domestic drama about all the multifaceted and complicated ways that intertwined fates unfold when family get involved is perfect for a night on the couch with some homemade cider.

 

cover_today-will-be-differentIf you like pumpkin lattes

Whether it’s pumpkin spice, pumpkin chai, pumpkinspresso (is that a thing? It will be.) or whatever else, if you’re partial to the quintessential flavor of autumn, Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple will make a fine companion with your beverage. In it the hilarious and earnest Eleanor Flood must grapple with life, curveballs and all, and Maria Semple’s signature wit and insight will make the delicious drink in your hand that much more fulfilling.

 

Cover_The TrespasserIf you like London Fogs

While not set in London, Tana French’s The Trespasser (the latest installment of her Dublin Murder Squad series) will hit just the right spot with your tea anyway, as we reunite with detective Antoinette Conway, who must unravel what seems to be a clear-cut crime of passion and discover what deeper, more sinister goings-on lie underneath.

 

 

What’s a book and beverage combo you’re going to be snuggling up with this Fall? Let us know in the comments below!


5 Books to Commemorate International Day of Peace

September 21 is the United Nation’s International Day of Peace, a day to work to strengthen bonds of peace and understanding around the world. There is no better way to foster these things than by gaining an understanding of the lives and struggles of those around us, and (if you are not able to attend a gathering or discussion on September 21) there’s no better way to do that, than by reading a book. From the immigrant experience to the little-known history in our own backyard, these books have the power, as they relate truth, grace and an inevitable amount of brutality, to illuminate the dark and help spread empathy, understanding and, ultimately, peace.

 

cover_the-illegalThe Illegal by Lawrence Hill

Set in a fictional, yet familiar, country torn apart by war and corruption, Keita is one of his nation’s best runners, forced to flee after his father is murdered. Keita finds his way to a wealthy nation where he discovers the life of a refugee is measured by its own brutally difficult standards.

 

 

 

cover_homegoingHomegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Effia and Esi are half sisters in Ghana, living in separate villages. One is kidnapped and sold into slavery in America; the other is left to a seemingly lavish life as the wife of a British noble. What follows is a 300-year trajectory of both Effia’s and Esi’s families through slavery, the British colonization of Africa, the civil rights movement and, finally, to modern day New York City, where the memory of generations of injustice is imprinted on the lives of Effia’s and Esi’s descendants.

 

 

cover_a-thousand-splendid-sunsA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Set in Kabul as the conflict in Afghanistan erupts around them, this is the story of two women, brutalized by both the country and the man they are sworn to, who come to terms with life together in a nation delving deeper into war. An insightful look at the both the micro- and macro-level atrocities war creates and woman’s place in the growing chaos.

 

 

 

Cover_AmericanahAmericanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are teenage sweethearts in Nigeria, which is under a military dictatorship and holds an uncertain future for its citizens. Ifemelu manages to leave to America, where she finishes her studies and forges a new life, but Obinze is unable to join her, going instead to London and following a very different path. Years later they are reunited in Nigeria, where they must come to terms with the choices they made while apart, the notion of “home” and whether they can ever build a life together.

 

 

cover_ruRu by Kim Thúy

This is the story of a girl’s immigration to Canada, from her perilous journey out of the war raging in Vietnam to the fractured future waiting for her. Told in beautiful snapshots that evoke the horror, hope, torment and tenacity of escape, Ru uses poetry, insight and wit to show us how personal tragedy and resilience is woven around the lives of others, and into the generations that come after.

 

 

 

There are many gorgeous and heartbreaking tales of war, hope, peace and humanity. What must-reads have been left off this list?


I Like Big (Fall) Books and I Cannot Lie: 18 Blockbuster Reads This Autumn

Although summer is over, there’s a ton of big fall books on the horizon to help you swap those beach trips for cozy days spent inside reading. Here’s a list of titles (arranged by release date) that the BookClubbish team is especially looking forward to this season, ranging from familiar franchise authors to debut literary voices.

 

September 20:

9780778319443_bc77dOnly Daughter by Anna Snoekstra

“Home can be the most dangerous place of all in this chilling psychological thriller, where one woman’s dark past becomes another’s deadly future.”

 

cover_the-wonderThe Wonder by Emma Donoghue

“In Emma Donoghue’s latest masterpiece, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle—a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life.”

 

cover_the-bookshop-on-the-cornerThe Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

“Nina Redmond is a librarian with a gift for finding the perfect book for her readers. But can she write her own happy-ever-after? … New York Times-bestselling author of Little Beach Street Bakery returns with a funny, moving new novel for fans of Meg Donohue, Sophie Kinsella, and Nina George’s The Little Paris Bookshop.”

 

cover_homeHome by Harlan Coben

“Ten years after the high-profile kidnapping of two young boys, only one returns home in [#1 New York Times bestselling author] Harlan Coben’s [latest] gripping thriller.”

 

October 4:

cover_today-will-be-differentToday Will be Different by Maria Semple

“A brilliant novel from the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.”

 

cover_news-of-the-worldThe News of the World by Paulette Jiles

“Exquisitely rendered and morally complex, News of the World is a brilliant work of historical fiction that explores the boundaries of family, responsibility, honor, and trust.”

 

cover_two-by-twoTwo by Two by Nicholas Sparks

“#1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with an emotionally powerful story of unconditional love, its challenges, its risks and most of all, its rewards.”

 

Cover_The TrespasserThe Trespasser by Tana French

“A brilliant new novel from the New York Times bestselling author, whom Gillian Flynn calls ‘mesmerizing’ and Stephen King calls ‘incandescent.’”

 

cover_the-wangs-vs-the-worldThe Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

“A hilarious debut novel about a wealthy but fractured Chinese immigrant family that had it all, only to lose every last cent—and about the road trip they take across America that binds them back together.”