Monday, November 23, 2009

Musing Mondays



Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about your bookshelf…

What books did you read while in school? Were there any that you particular liked, or even hated? Did any become lifelong favourites?

I don't remember a lot of what I read in school and I think I wasn't old enough or mature enough to enjoy most of the reading that was assigned to me. I remember reading Billy Budd, Death of a Salesman and the The Sun Also Rises in 9th grade. The only books I remember from 10th grade are Sherwood, Ohio, A Raisin in the Sun and To Kill a Mockingbird. In 11th grade (British Literature), we read Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales and lots of Shakespeare. I remember absolutely loving both The Canterbury Tales and Shakespeare, even though I didn't understand all of it. I think it was the language and the "history" that I loved most of all. But that was the start of my great love of all things Shakespeare and in college I took two Shakespeare courses. Again, I didn't always understand absolutely everything, but I LOVED it just the same. Oddly enough I can't remember what I read in 12th grade. Not a single thing. Weird. Anyway, the one book I read in school (for an 8th grade book report) that became an absolute life long favorite and one of my "transcendent books" is A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith. This book stayed with me (which is very unusual) and I decided to reread it a few years ago. I was delighted to discover that it was just as good as I remembered. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.


How about you? Do you have any favorite books from your school days?

5 comments:

Anita said...

To Kill a Mockingbird has stayed with me, and my girls will read it this year. Catcher in the Rye is another I remember.

nan said...

Pam, great post. I agree that To Kill a Mocking Bird and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn were "lifers." Have to also agree with Anita on Catcher in the Rye (although I may have read that on my own and not for a high school class - I can't remember; I used to sneak paperbacks from my mother's J.D. Salinger collection.) Other works from HS that were not necessarily favorites, but stayed with me for life for their sheer power: Heart of Darkness (J. Conrad), Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Flannery O'Connor's A Good Man is Hard to Find. It is hard to believe that from the ages of 15-17, we could take in so much. I actually think we were shaped the better by what we were required to read!

Sandy said...

I had a very progressive English teacher in 9th grade. I remember reading Sartre and Camus if you can believe it. I remember Ivanhoe from that year, too. In HS I remember Beowulf, Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Flies, 1984 (which I loved and have reread), Animal Farm. In 12th grade I remember listening to Shakespeare's Twelfth Night which was far easier than reading it. I'm sure there were many more but that was a long time ago and they haven't stayed with me. But I'm sure I'll think of them later!

Marie said...

I read A TREE GROWS IN BROOKLYN about three years ago, for the first time- and LOVED it. I can't believe I missed it as a child but I'm so glad I finally found it! It's one of those books you just want to share with everyone.

Gamma Sharon said...

There was one that I think made me a reader to begin with... I did not want to read in school then which is so weird because now and even right out of HS, I can't imagine not! It was called "The Grass is Greener" and I don't remember the author's name but I would love to re-read it. It was on the list in my Senior English class. We had to read a book off that list. I think I will see if I can get it at the library.

 

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