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Thread: Lit 101

  1. #21
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Oh, someone mentioned "A Room With a View." That is my second-favorite book, right after Pride & Prejudice. I that book.
    I didn't read this in class, but T.H. White's "The Once and Future King" is a classic and I enjoyed most of it. It's been a while, but I remember it as really funny through about the first half, and then a bit slow afterwards.
    Also, just about anything by Mark Twain. We visited the house he lived in in Connecticut (I think) once and they had a lot of his writings that I'd never seen before. His "Diaries of Adam and Eve" had me in tears of laughter, so hard I couldn't even breathe enough to tell my family what was so funny.
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  2. #22
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    Yeah, Hemingway is a bit of a slog. I don't think he's overrated, but...minimalist prose, what can I say?

    For me, definitive works I read during my high school years were "The Metamorphosis", "Hamlet", and "The Catcher in the Rye". The first two, in particular, remain endlessly fascinating to me. I can't think of much else. The other standards (i.e. "Lord of the Flies", "Romeo & Juliet", "To Kill a Mockingbird", ""Death of a Salesman", The Odyssey") were worthy, but not particularly memorable.

    "1984", which my class uniformly loved, didn't move me much. Growing up in a communist country, where doublespeak and thought control was and continues to be the norm, the book didn't seem that provocative nor groundbreaking to me.

    On the other hand, "The Iliad", which almost everybody hated, I loved.


    HATED all those Poe stories. HATED "A Man for All Seasons". Despised "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Disliked "The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz" (strange, considering I love Richler's other stuff.) And what was the point of reading Shaw's "Pygmalion", when he had written much better stuff?? Ugh. :rolleyes

  3. #23
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    The Iliad rocked, nausicca.

    I did like "Pygmalion" though. It was the first of Shaw's works that I read, so that may have been why, but it remains my favorite.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

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  4. #24
    FORT Fogey nausicaa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stargazer
    The Iliad rocked, nausicca.

    I did like "Pygmalion" though. It was the first of Shaw's works that I read, so that may have been why, but it remains my favorite.
    Someone else liked "The Iliad"!

    I don't have anything against "Pygmalion", really. It was easy to get through and pretty entertaining. But I read it in the middle of my 11th year, wedged on the curriculum between "A Man for All Seasons" (dry and stolid, IMO) , "Richard II" (oh, hells! I forgot - *this* was awful! The only Shakespeare play I didn't like) and "Taming of the Shrew" (misogynistic, much?). So I think we really could have used a play like "Saint Joan" (also by Shaw) to kick some serious a** and inspire the girls.

  5. #25
    daydream believer oneTVslave's Avatar
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    The first school-assigned book that I recall making a huge impact on me was To Kill a Mockingbird. Excellent book, and I need to read it again. I also loved The Once and Future King, Watership Down, and The Catcher in the Rye. If I keep thinking, I'm sure I'll come up with many others that I loved.

    The WORST assigned book for me was A Tale of Two Cities. Try as I might, I could not force myself to finish reading it - it was like I would go into a boredom-induced coma after two sentences. I had the same problem in college with A Passage to India and couldn't even stay awake to watch the movie. I don't think I did very well on that exam.
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  6. #26
    Livin' the life Dinahann's Avatar
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    Ooohh Watership Down is one of my favorites. Loved the movie, loved the book. My kids have read it and loved it too.

    I've never read The Turn of the Screw, but I should. It was made into a movie in the early sixties and I remember watching it with my mother some years later, late at night. I was so scared I had to sleep with her, and I was probably in the 6th grade (I'm a 'fraidy cat when it comes to scary movies). The name of it is The Innocents, and it starred Michael Redgrave and Deborah Kerr. If you like to be scared without sitting through buckets of blood and dismemberment you'll love it. Of course, I haven't seen it in 30 years so it may not be quite as spine chilling as I remembered...

    Loved A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, did not love A Tale of Two Cities, although I had to memorize a line or two from it.

    AJane, I loved Atwood's The Handmaids' Tale and Oryx and Crake. She is such a talented writer, and her subjects are so unusual. I've bought copies of The Handmaids' Tale for several of my reading friends, and they've passed it on to their friends in turn. It is one of my favorites.
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  7. #27
    Anarchist AJane's Avatar
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    Lucy - I loved Room With A View too. I have a collection of EM Forester's work that includes Room, Howard's End , and Maurice (which I also enjoyed, but the movie they made from it was kinda creepy).

    Dinah, you should give Atwood's earlier work a read as well. My absolute favourite work of hers is Lady Oracle, it's hilarious. Life Before Man is brilliant too.

    Funny how they don't seem to give kids Jane Austen to read in school. I had to find her on my own, actually my mom put Persuasion in my Xmas stocking eons ago and I've been hooked ever since. The novels are seen as too *girly* for the boys, maybe?
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  8. #28
    Wonky snarkmistress Lucy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJane
    Funny how they don't seem to give kids Jane Austen to read in school. I had to find her on my own, actually my mom put Persuasion in my Xmas stocking eons ago and I've been hooked ever since. The novels are seen as too *girly* for the boys, maybe?
    Well, they make us read "A Separate Peace" -- about boys -- "Huck Finn" -- about boys -- and "Red Badge of Courage" -- about boys. Friggin' double standard!
    Well, the boys missed out. I had to find Jane Austen on my own, too -- not from my mother, either. I can't remember now why I picked up Pride and Prejudice. We did have Jane Eyre in the house -- that's the copy I still have.

    This thread is inspiring me to go dig out my Norton Anthology.
    It's such a fine line between stupid, and clever. -- David St. Hubbins

  9. #29
    Cy Young 2010 Mariner's Avatar
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    I'll chime in on the Pride and Prejudice is my favorite book of all time train. I didn't actually read it for school though. I read it when Masterpiece Theatre showed it before the Colin Firth version. I was probably in 9th grade. After that, I read all the rest of Jane Austen.

    I read many of the same books others did in school as part of their curriculum. Other ones that stood out to me were a couple of short stories, Bartelby the Scrivener which will forever have the phrase, "I'd prefer not to" stuck in my head and Billy Budd. I also remember reading an incredibly obscure book in 10th grade which was made into a 1944 movie with Gregory Peck called Keys of the Kingdom about a missionary in China and a book that made me cry called Farewell to Manzanar. It is a memoir of a Japanese-American interred during World War II.

  10. #30
    RESIDENT JEDI MASTER Stargazer's Avatar
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    I reread an old Henry James favorite of mine tonight and cried once again. "Four Meetings" remains one of the most heart-wrenching short stories I've ever read. Poor little Caroline Spencer.
    "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."- Yoda

    "I'll just see where Providence takes me and try to look like I got there confidently." - Craig Ferguson

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