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Today’s question is:
What was your favorite required reading in school?
Ummm…so this is hard because my school didn’t require…how shall we put it…good books.
Lord of the Rings? No.
Anne of Green Gables? No.
Chronicles of Narnia? No.
Little Women? No.
Anything by Jane Austen? No.
I had to read things like The Grapes of Wrath (which was so boring, I actually broke out the Cliff’s Notes, which I am pretty adamantly opposed to) and Tess of the D’Urbervilles (which…okay, I have a story about that one, but it’s long and I won’t get into it now). I know they are considered classics and all the Classic Lit people are going to come and beat me now, probably with a copy of The Grapes of Wrath because it’s just so darn BIG, but you can’t ever convince me that either of those books is good.
Tess, in particular…well. I have a story about how this book caused a group of otherwise highly intellectual straight-A high school seniors to turn rebellious and a little bit crazy. But now’s not the time.
[One day, I need to write an entire post — or maybe a series of posts — about my senior year AP English class and our spacey teacher. It’s mind boggling, folks.]
I also don’t like The Great Gatsby. There, I’ve said it.
I remember a whopping two, yes, TWO, books that I was required to read that I actually liked. Both of which I read in that weird and somewhat surreal AP English class.
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. (The superior Bronte sister, in my opinion.)
I love how untraditional this story is, how neither of the main characters is particularly attractive or swoon-worthy, how neither of them really feels like they need romance to be complete as a person.
And yet, it’s somehow a beautiful love story. Complex and emotional and fabulous.
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.
Dystopian before dystopian was a thing. I honestly couldn’t tell you what it was about this book that I liked. Just that I really, really liked it.
Also, I gave my presentation on this book in a leather miniskirt and black fishnets, to be in character. Because my English class was so weird that that was normal.
Thankfully, there are no pictures. Just thought you’d like to know.