and influence people, cs lewis, dale carnegie, draco malfoy, gillian flynn, gone girl, Harry Potter, how to win friends, JK Rowling, jungle, maggie nelson, richard adams, salazar slytherin, slytherin, T5W, TFW, the art of cruelty, the silver chair, Top 5 Wednesday, upton sinclair, watership down
“Or perhaps in Slytherin,
You’ll make your real friends,
Those cunning folk use any means,
To achieve their ends.”
Slytherins tend to be ambitious, shrewd and cunning. We make strong, achievement-oriented leaders with highly developed senses of self-preservation. According to Albus Dumbledore, the qualities which Salazar Slytherin valued in the students he chose included cleverness, resourcefulness, determination, and “a certain disregard for the rules.”
So we’re epic rebels and will be very helpful during the zombie apocalypse. We are not, however, all evil (see: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child). We are also much better-looking than the movies give us credit for. Whatever. Read my TBR list for Slytherins below (as well as Morgan’s honorable mention) and let us know what you think!
Panicked rabbits ripping each other to bits? A ragtag gang of outcasts running from a destroyed past to a bleak future? A cunning cabal of bunny cultists?
The snake inside me says: yes, please.
More than that, this masterpiece by Richard Adams is all about the drive to survive, which is something that every Slytherin understands. I think that the frenzied flight of Hazel, Fiver and the others from their beloved Sandleford Warren out into a dark and dangerous world activates the survival instinct in all of us. We root for the little guys even as we bet against them. And even other Slytherins will be shocked by the brutal violence and impossible decisions forced upon these plucky little Hufflepuffs.
If you’ve been putting off reading this classic because you’ve heard it’s just a book about rabbits, please think again. I don’t care what the author said. This book is about surviving, about life lessons, about trust, friendship and betrayal. It’s epic, y’all. And it’s real life.
Slytherins are ambitious, so this book is required reading. Every leader knows that leading a team (/getting what you want) requires both iron fists and velvet gloves. You can’t just bulldoze your way through life unless you’re very privileged (Trump, I’m looking at you, you misshapen horror story).
But the rest of us have to understand how to explain our position and get other people on our side. If Malfoy had read this instead of spending all of his time spinning his vicious little wheels, things might have turned out very differently.
3. The Jungle
Slytherins aren’t automatically evil, ya know? And making sure that we read books like The Jungle helps to keep us grounded and empathetic. Upton Sinclair’s brutal expose of the Chicago stockyards at the turn of the 19th century led to increased food inspection litigation and chronicled the plight of immigrants barely surviving while working those grueling factory jobs. The style of the novel is also very Slytherin: blunt and clear-eyed and quick-moving.
This isn’t a super well-known book, but it should be. Especially in our current political climate. I originally bought this because Maggie Nelson’s long-ranging analysis of brutality, violence and cruelty includes examination of Antonin Artaud, my favorite theatre artist and theortician. His Theatre of Cruelty was all about overwhelming the audience with violence, lewdness and nightmare imagery. Once the audience is a shivering pile of jelly blanching before your show, you can begin to gently rebuild them with the final goal of leaving them better than you found them.
Sometimes cruelty can be instructive. That’s so Slytherin.
First of all, check the color scheme on the cover. Second, peep the Emerald Witch. This whole book is draped in Slytherin colors!
More than that, The Silver Chair is one of the darkest and bleakest books in the Chronicles of Narnia. It starts with an affecting and frightening scene of school bullying and stars Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole, who both might have been in Slytherin if they’d been written sixty years later. The book contains magnificently rich giants who attempt to eat the protagonists, an evil sorceress who can turn into a giant snake and the eponymous and enchanted silver chair.
For the record, this is my second-favorite book in the Chronicles of Narnia. It’s so. Good. And Puddleglum the Marsh-wiggle is one of the most memorable characters in children’s literature.
Morgan’s Honorable Mention: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gone girl is for every Queen out there who doesn’t get the attention and respect they deserve. Gillian Flynn takes you through a roller coaster of emotions, before reminding you “Who Run the World?”
Amy Dunne is most definitely a Slytherin, and this is a book for her people. (and other’s who just love Crazy shit too!)