To celebrate our first birthday, we asked readers to vote on superlatives for books, yearbook style. Thousands of you took to Twitter to cast your votes, and below are the results. But as the prom court stands on stage to wave and don plastic tiaras, it’s really you we’re applauding, Oyster readers. Thanks for being with us in our first year. Here’s to many more!
1. Most Likely to Succeed: 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
As Aristotle once said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” While excellence might have seemed sort of annoying to our angsty teenage selves, now we probably all wish we’d raised our hands in class a little bit more. Covey’s business classic will show you how to turn good acts into habits to become more successful in your career, relationships, and just about every other aspect of your life.
2. Most Popular: The Girl Who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow
The Girl Who Fell From the Sky has been the Seabiscuit/Airbud/Erin Brockovich of Oyster this year. Up against classic favorites like The Giver and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, this book still came out on top. This PEN/Bellwether Prize winner is debut novel from Heidi W. Durrow—fellow New Yorker, former podcast host, corporate lawyer, and Life Skills trainer (and big reader on Oyster to boot). We see this underdog victory akin to that smart new gal from second period beating out the prom court incumbents. Sure, it might not have happened often in high school, but it would have been pretty cool if it did.
3. Class Clown: Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
You might think of Steve Martin as everyone’s mom’s favorite comedian. But the YouTube spiral you’ll go on after reading this book might teach you that—wait a second—he’s totally yours too. Paying frequent homage to his influences, from fellow comedians to magicians to lovers, this hardworking performer’s humility will show you that he’s much more than just the Class Clown—he’s also a great guy whose gags stand the test of time.
4. Biggest Flirt: Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
Carrie Bradshaw is perhaps the most iconic flirt in pop culture. From Big to Aiden to that snotty Russian artist guy, Carrie’s mastery of the coy head tilt and the see-through-shirt-and-colored-bra-look meant many men were at her fingertips. And if you’ve still only experienced Sex and the City on HBO, it’s high time you visit the original. We think Candace Bushnell’s sensation’s a shoo-in for Biggest Flirt, and clearly so do you.
5. Most Artistic: John Lennon: The Life by Philip Norman
Here’s something to imagine—this member of the Fab Four walking the halls of your high school. Having a Beatle around could have been the difference in getting your band off the ground (or out of your mom’s basement). Be inspired by Philip Norman’s biography of John Lennon—said to be the most revealing portrait of the artist to date.
6. Drama Queen: Are You There Vodka? It’s Me, Chelsea by Chelsea Handler
Handler’s collection of essays is a self-deprecating homage to her ridiculous youth and the characters in it—including a dad who has her pretend to be his wife and a judgmental born-again sister. To win this superlative, she beat out a Real Housewife, Janice Dickinson, and Kanye West—Kanye West, dear reader, the same man who once said, “I would never want a book’s autograph. I am a proud non-reader of books.” But we do want a book’s autograph. How do we get that?
7. Most Athletic: Beckham by David Beckham
Whether you were a jock or a bench-warmer, Beckham still would have crushed you in sports (and probably stolen your girlfriend, too). We applaud this honest rags-to-riches autobiography by one of the most famous living athletes for a fair win. And while we’re on the subject of winning, your faithful editors would like to take a moment to award you that Varsity Reading trophy you never got. Where was that letter for your jacket back then?
8. Life of the Party: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This mainstay of high-school curriculum is something like the greatest book of all time. And the King of the Jazz Age didn’t just write a good party scene, he could make merry with the best of them. F. Scott and Zelda resembled something very close to Gatsby and Daisy in terms of drama, dance, and consumption of mint juleps. If they’d been friends of ours in high school, it’s safe to say we’d have been attending fewer basement keggers and more starlit soirees.