Friday, February 15, 2013

Rereads from High School

Another book list!  Yes, these are like catnip to me.  This one features ten books that you may have read in high school that you should reread as an adult.  The list (with comments):

  • Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald - The first part of this list I read recently as part of the great American novel project lo so many years ago.  I've been thinking of rereading this lately and will probably do so before the movie version comes out this year.
  • Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain - I simply loved this when I read it a few years back.  This is something that my kids will read while in their teens. 
  • The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton - I didn't really care for this one.  It's a picture of its age but it didn't grip me.  I haven't thought of it much since I read it.
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee - A great book, one of the best I've ever read.  I think it is best reread every few years.  For some reason, I think of reading it in the summer or spring so the next time I reread it will be then.
  • Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury - Not my favorite.  It deserves high praise but I prefer other dystopian novels ahead of it.  I think it's widely misunderstood or at least the emphasis is different than Bradbury intended.
  • The Stranger, Albert Camus - (This is the first book on this list that wasn't covered by the earlier project.  The rest weren't either.)  I think this was assigned in high school but I don't remember reading it.  I vaguely remember some of the discussions though and nothing there kicked my interest.  I should probably pick it up at some point.
  • The Metamorphosis, Franz Kafka - I did read this in high school (I think).  I should definitely read it again.  I've read other works by Kafka since then.
  • The Poems of Emily Dickinson - Never read them and never had much interest.  I've got a blind spot, perhaps, when it comes to poetry.  I'm working on that here.  Maybe I'll give some of her work a go at some time.
  •  The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon - The only Pynchon I've tried is 'V'.  Didn't care for it.  Struggled through 100 pages and set it down forever.  I'd need some real convincing before I tried this one.  
  • Animal Farm, George Orwell - I've read it several times and enjoyed it.  I don't think of this one as a 'read and reread' book nearly as much as '1984'.  I guess I think of this book as more of a one trick pony.
It's an interesting list.  It comes from a larger book that argues for rereading 50 different books from high school.   I'm curious about the other forty choices. 
Come to think of it, I'm not sure that I had fifty different books assigned to me in all of high school.  Only two of the above list (Mockingbird and Stranger) were assigned.  Well, maybe the Kafka too, I don't quite recall.  I very much like the idea of creating a list that my kids will read before college.  This might be a good place to start putting that list together.

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