(M-W's Word of the Day: Vendetta-a feud between different families)
Greetings, fellow procrastinators!
I'm on a bus going to a band competition. Yay! The two hour bus ride is a perfect opportunity to get some physics homework out of the way. Instead, I'm enjoying my remaining hours of freedom sitting in the sunlight and thinking about literary torture.
No, this isn't actually a form of human rights abuses (though sometimes it feels like it), but rather the more honest term for "assigned reading."
Don't get me wrong. English is my favorite subject. But sometimes the books we're asked to read are just a little bit horrible. Usually, they're boring, confusing, or both, and while you sit at your desk trying to understand while the book is still in print, your teacher is hailing it as one of their "top five favorite books ever" and as "a book everyone should read in their adolescence." You start to wonder if you were reading the same books.
But, fortunately, not all books were like that (just most). In fact, some assigned reading books were books that I rather enjoyed. In this post, I'll share ten of them (in no particular order).
10) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. This was my summer reading assignment for my English class this year, and for once, I didn't put it off, because it was a good story. The book is about two women living in war-torn Afghanistan, and how their lives intertwine. It was a great book, both a school book level and as a novel in general. My only complaint was that it felt a bit soap opera-ish at times, but overall, I liked it and would read it again.
9) The Giver by Lois Lowry. Though I was asked to read this twice in middle school (once at private school in seventh grade, once at public school in eighth), I didn't mind because it was an interesting story. In this dystopian novel where bikes are regulated and people can't see color, Jonas is an empathetic character, especially as he begins training to become the new Giver, a special job that no one else completely understands. His struggles with morality versus what he's been taught are great for middle school reading, and I'm glad I was asked to read this book for school, as I might not have otherwise. If you haven't read this book yet, you should. (Side Note: A companion movie by the same name has been made for this book, but I've heard bad things about it. Should I see it anyway? Comment below!)
8) Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw. I read this play last year in English. (For those of you who don't know, this is the play that My Fair Lady was based upon.) I think the fact that we read the play out loud helped me to enjoy it a lot; between the kids who threw in dramatic falls out of chairs to add emphasis and the kids who knew exactly how to do a Cockney accent, I really got into the story. I was a bit frustrated by the inconclusive ending and the somewhat pretentious "sequel" that the author tacked on at the end, but that didn't spoil my impression of the play, which I hope to see on stage one day.
7) The Metamorphosis by Frank Kafka. Considering how poorly I did on the test on this last week, it's still a little too soon to blog about, but though the test I took over it was super hard and I hated the self centered characters more than I've ever hated a character in a very long time, I didn't hate this novella (it's about 60 pages). It's an interesting read about how Gregor Samsa, a stable, reliable man wakes up one day as a gigantic bug, and for some reason, I kept thinking of it as an analogy for chronic illness. I'm not sure why.
6) The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. Most books with eight characters are so confusing that I give up half way, but Amy Tan manages to keep all the characters separate and most of them sympathetic. I genuinely enjoyed the characters' stories, and found them engaging. It was cool!
5) The Stranger by Albert Camus. With a crime committed and main character that doesn't care, I have to admit that this book had me fascinated. It got a little dull at times-the protagonist is obsessed with details-but overall, I found it a good read.
4) Macbeth by Shakespeare. This comes as a shock to most people (including my mother), but I don't mind Shakespeare. Sure, it takes a lot of brainpower (or Internet access) to understand, but ince you do get it, they're good stories. Macbeth is definitely a great story, of how a nice but ambitious-to-a-fault young man becomes a murderous monster when the opportunity arises. I recommend it.
3) Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare. Like Macbeth, once it's decoded it's a great book. My only issue with it is that I am strongly opposed to the idea that it's the greatest romance ever. It is NOT romantic. *takes deep breaths so as not to lose it completely*
I've got several Romeo and Juliet rants that I'm sure will be posted soon. Until then, onto the next book.
2) A Separate Peace by John Knowles. This book wasn't too bad. I disliked the psychotic main character, but I found the story absorbing. The all-consuming jealousy, a theme in the book, drove the plot and gave it darker shades that had me intrigued.
1) The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton. Okay, I cheated. I didn't actually read this for school. However, my brother did, and he insisted that I read it, and it was one of the best books I've ever read. If you haven't read it, you definitely should, because it's one of my favorite books, ever after so many years.
What school books did you like? Comment below!
Also, I heard Twitter is a big thing for indie authors, so I got one. I've always thought Twitter was overrated, so I don't really plan on using it much, but if you want to follow me, my account is: @flutecute_
Until then, time to try to do physics on a bumpy bus.