Wednesday, July 30, 2008

First on 'The List'...

Well, what do you know? Already a week in and I am already working on ‘The List’. I started out by doing some research on High School Required Reading lists. So far I have found out, there is no such thing as a ‘standard’ reading list for all high school students, but rather each school creates their own list. Since I hated John Foster Dulles High School, I won’t be using those bastards’s list or any schools located in the Bible belt. I want to go with a more progressive and open minded curriculum. It seems that the protocol is for a selected panel to review last year’s list and revise the selection for the coming year. That seems pretty fair to me, as long as you think like the panel. Using this thought process, I have decided to list a fair number of books that I have always heard about, but never read and let my readers pick the top 10. I also welcome any feedback about books not listed and WHY you think they should be on the list. I ask that you either post a comment with your top five choices (preferred) or e-mail them to me.

Here are the choices I have gathered from various HS Required Reading Lists so far:
1) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2) Lord of the Flies by William Golding
3) Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
4) 1984 by George Orwell
5) Animal Farm by George Orwell
6) The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
7) A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry
8) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
9) The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
10) Invisible Man: A Novel by Ralph Ellison
11) The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
12) Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
13) All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
14) Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
15) Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
16) The Crucible by Arthur Miller
17) Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
18) Walden by Henry David Thoreau
19) Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes
20) Watership Down by Richard Adams

Now, before you start screaming, I can’t believe you left out ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’. (Yes, I mean you Sally!) I left off books I’ve already read, ‘Pride & Prejudice’, ‘The Iliad’, ‘The Odyssey’, and so forth. I also tried to leave out plays, old English translations and under no circumstance was Shakespeare making the list. I know my limitations. Though to be honest, I am quite surprise at how many of these books pertained to or are set during the war. Not my favorite subject or time period, believe me.

Most of you that know me have probably read most of these books, and know which ones I will benefit most from reading. Remember, the whole point is to broaden my horizons, and to read the classics I missed out on in high school. When someone talks about Hemingway, Dickenson, or Faulkner; I want to know more than just they were writer who are now dead.

This is by far the easiest item on ‘The List’, I love reading. It is my passion. It also helps me out quite a bit financially that I moved right next door to the library in The Heights. So I will have no excuse not to simply walk on over, grab a book and return it when I am done. I have also decided that while I am waiting to complete Steven’s Post High School Reading List, to read something I have wanted for a long time, Sherlock Holmes. So take some time and think about it, and send me your responses, I can’t wait to start edjumicating me-self!


e. said...

'raisin in the sun' and 'the crucible' are both plays, ya know... i'll pick my five later. but if you're avoiding plays you could replace those. maybe "rebecca" or "all's quiet on the western front"? and i'll NEVER recommend you read puritan literature. yuck!

Marissa said...

I love the list. It's incredible. I especially love Wuthering Heights. I can never read that book enough. I have even seen about 4 differrent movie versions. Then there's the song sung by either Kate Bush or Pat Benator. Both women do a phenomenal job. As far as "the required reading list," some old fat white man tried to make a required reading list this past year, but it sucked so bad that it was voted down pretty damnquick.

e. said...

my suggested reading list for you:

1) The Great Gatsby
2) Lord of the Flies
3) 1984 -or- Animal Farm
4) The Catcher in the Rye
5) Rebecca (I added this one) -or- The Old Man and the Sea

i might also suggest you read the plays: A Raisin in the Sun and The Crucible.

you will HATE:
The Sound and the Fury
The Scarlet Letter
All Quiet on the Western Front
Don Quixote

enjoy! it's good reading.

salsez said...

ok i am just now reading this blog. I agree with Eric, do read Rebecca, it is a favorite o' mine. I have also wondered if i read Catcher in the Rye now; would i find it pretentious and just plain silly?
Also i would add The Good Earth by Pearl Buck. Great book.
How come no John Steinbeck? Of Mice and Men...add that on your list.