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On the Books: Kick off National Reading Month with these recommendation lists

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Everett Collection

-March is known as National Reading Month, and to celebrate, numerous publications have published lists of reading recommendations, depending on your need. Business Insider has 100 books you should read before you die (topped by To Kill a Mockingbird, as voted on by Goodreads users), Telegraph has 15 books every man should read (including Brideshead Revisited), and TIME has 15 literary works under 100 pages (such as Frederick Douglass’ autobiography). If you’re more interested in new releases, Vulture has its monthly recommendations as well. Each list has strange inclusions and sometimes even stranger criteria, but the pure volume means you’ll probably find something worthwhile. Such is the triumph and tragedy of listicles. 

-Kazuo Ishiguro, author of contemporary classics like Never Let Me Go and The Remains of the Day, has returned with his first novel in a decade, but not everyone is pumped about it. “I found reading the book painful,” Ursula K. LeGuin wrote in a blog post. LeGuin, a longtime fantasy and sci-fi author, also slammed Ishiguro for the disdain for fantasy he expressed in a New York Times interview, despite the inclusion of ogres and dragons in his new book. “To me that is so insulting, it reflects such thoughtless prejudice, that I had to write this piece in response,” LeGuin wrote. [Ursula K. LeGuin’s Blog]

-Now that the movies are all done, is Harry Potter slowly declining? J.K. Rowling is losing out to Dr. Seuss in popularity among British schoolchildren, Renaissance Learning’s annual poll found. Rowling was the fifth most-read author in 2013 and seventh in 2014 but missed the list this year, while Dr. Seuss, John Green, and The Very Hungry Caterpillar author Eric Carle are new additions to the list. [Telegraph]