12 January 2009

Musing Mondays: School Reads

Here is today's Musing Mondays, hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page. To see the complete meme and to see everyone's answers, click on over to Rebecca's blog.

How did you react to assigned reading when you were in school/university/college/etc? How do you think on these books now? What book were you 'forced' to read when you where in school that you've since reread and loved?

I was always an avid reader and never reacted badly to assigned reading. That is not to say that I loved everything assigned but that I approached my assignments with an open mind. I was a science major, so I didn't take many English classes as an undergraduate.

Three authors I disliked in my youth and still dislike: Henry James, Thomas Hardy, and E. M. Forester.

Two authors I always liked but for whom my appreciation has grown as I have matured: Franz Kafka and Victor Hugo.


Louise 1/12/09, 8:35 AM  

How funny is that? I just talked about the Danish school system at Krissi's blog and now this. LOL.

There are a lot of authors that we were forced to read in school (mainly in gymnasium, which is where you go between the age 15-18, don't remember what you call that level in the system in USA, because it is not high school, is it?) that I still love and read. Actually I am right now reading a Danish author called Hans Kirk who is also translated into English. He is not considered the easiest author to read and many people hate his books, as they are not very modern (the one I read was written in 1928) but I love it and has read it several times before now. First time was in gymnasium.

I also read Isabel Allende as a forced author when I was at the 3rd level in gymnasium (3rd level is the last level/last year before you graduate) and I still love her books and have read most of them. The fave is still House of Spirits.


Anonymous,  1/12/09, 8:44 AM  

I was a lot like you. I approached it all expecting to enjoy it and usually I did. I can only think of one time that I just couldn't make it through a book that was assigned.

Anonymous,  1/12/09, 9:18 AM  

Junior year of high school just about every kid in America (or at least Missouri) reads The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne; most hate it. The book is purely used to introduce the concept of symbolism as a literary device. I abhorred this book and the experience of reading it in high school and into college. However, upon becoming an English major, I knew I would be forced to face my demons for sure at some point. In my second American Lit. course I did, in fact, have to read Mr. Hawthorne's drawn out treatise on symbolism; this time, however, I loved it.

The moment that clicked for me was when I realized just how complex the story was. Each character seemed to have taken on new and exciting features that I did not notice years ago.

Now, after graduating, I intend to reread other "favorites" from high school such as: Jane Eyre, My Antonia, and All Quiet on the Western Front.

Brooke from The Bluestocking Guide 1/12/09, 11:46 AM  

I didn't have to read any if those 3 authors in school. I've read Howards End since then. I liked it.

Anonymous,  1/12/09, 11:56 AM  

I can't read Hemingway. The Old Man and the Sea was in my course. I hated it. Even now.

Here is mine

Marie Cloutier 1/12/09, 12:03 PM  

Victor Hugo is incredible. Nice! :-)

Anonymous,  1/12/09, 12:03 PM  

I gave the three most difficult books that I was required to read. One of them I probably won't re-read unless I have a book discussion group.

I actually like E.M. Forster but am skeptical about Thomas Hardy and William Faulkner.

Sandy Nawrot 1/12/09, 12:12 PM  

My high school did me no favors in orienting me with the classics. I don't think I had to read a one (at least I don't remember that I did). In college, I was forced to read The Iliad and The Oddysey, and I hated them. I didn't like to be told what to read, and I had no patience for the prose. Now, if someone would have encouraged me to read Isabel Allende back then, my attitude might have been completely different!

Anonymous,  1/12/09, 1:44 PM  

I don't remember my high school as being big on the classics, I read some in college, but I have a lot of catching up to do.

Literary Feline 1/12/09, 2:04 PM  

I read so many wonderful books that had been assigned throughout my years of schooling. I think Shakespeare was the only oneI dreaded each time I was assigned one of his plays.

Darlene 1/12/09, 2:51 PM  

You know we never had assigned reading in school. We studied Shakespeare and wrote journals but never did have books assigned. I wish we had though.

Lisa (Southern Girl Reads) 1/12/09, 3:03 PM  

I've heard many people say they didn't care for Thomas Hardy.

Sherrie 1/12/09, 6:56 PM  

I haven't read any of your authors. I may have to put them on a list so I can look them up. Thanks for stopping by my place. Have a great day!


Kim 1/13/09, 1:15 AM  

Thomas Hardy! Yuck! :) I am hoping to give E.M. Forester as an adult sometime, but there is always so many other things to read.

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