Tuesday, July 20, 2010

an incomplete education

So, I've been working on some projects...
but I'm not quite ready to share.
But I wanted to share something else that's been going on
and ask your opinion as well!!!

I have figured out that my high school and even parts of
my college education were lacking.
Now, maybe it's because I have a TERRIBLE memory,
but I know it's also because there were huge gaps in my education.
Particularly in the English department.
I have NEVER once learned how to diagram a sentence,
not that I really care now,
but isn't that funny.?! sad?!
We didn't read the CLASSICS in any of my English classes.
Okay, we read Shakespeare...but as far as I can remember
we really didn't read CLASSICS.

What is a classic, well, I'm not really sure.
But I just know I missed a lot of great books!
When people start talking books I tend to glaze over,
and hope the floor opens up and swallows me whole.
I can't contribute...most often it's "oh I never read that book".
So, I'm on a quest to change that.

I want to be more well rounded, more well read.
So, I enlisted the help of my friend, Lydia, the English teacher.
Her den library is amazing. 8 floor to ceiling book cases FULL!
Full of classics, modern stories, children's books, Biblical books,
anything you could really want to read!

So, she let me borrow a bunch of books and told me
to come get more when I was ready.
So, what did I pick out?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Animal Farm by George Orwell
1984 by George Orwell
You Come Too by Robert Frost
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
and
I'm in the process of reading
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
and
already read
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
I know that's a LOT of books but it's where I wanted to start.

A really great book she let me borrow is called,
An Incomplete Education by Judy Jones and William Wilson.
It's a huge book but has some great parts about great/famous authors
and what you should know about them,
what you should have learned about them in high school
and what you should have read of theirs in high school and college.

I've obviously got a lot of reading to do,
but I'm looking forward to being more
well rounded (not just my belly)
and well read!
Did you have to read any of those in high school?
What do you recommend?
What are you favorite classics?

11 comments:

Cranberry Morning said...

When I was in high school, they'd just invented movable type, so there weren't a lot of books available. ;-) But okay, we read Shakespeare too, and I was one of the few who understood it, coming from a church and Bible background.

I loved The Once and Future King, Sense & Sensibility, O Pioneers, To Kill a Mockingbird, Killer Angels, to name a few. And I will think of others I'll wish I'd listed for you as soon as I press 'Publish Your Comment.'

Kandi said...

do not forget "to kill a mockingbird" .... one of the best books ever written in my opinion! i LOVE george orwell, 1984 is fabulous, so is animal farm. :) good luck! :) i love to read, i think this is a fabulous "to do" list! :)

Rob said...

Awesome! I have read many of the books on the list. I really enjoyed Farenheit 451 and Animal Farm. Two "modern classics" would be The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I know they may sound like guys books and I dont know if you saw the movies but the books are fantastic and a great read. If I think of anything else I'll let you know..have fun!
Rob

Catherine Piepenbrink said...

You will love these...you chose well! I have read almost all of them, but then again, I was an English major! I have been wanting to re-read Fahrenheit 451. It pretty much describes our current society: big screen TVs everywhere, ears plugged w/perpetual audio input, and only abridged literature available. Sounds like today, huh? Enjoy your reading!!! What a great project you are taking on!

Jamie said...

I have read "to kill a mockingbird" and that is why it's not on the list. Great book.

Rob, I almost borrowed The Hobbit, but figured I'd demolish this list and then get that one! It's on the list somewhere, just not near the top!

Playing Sublimely said...

ummmm....totally lovin you and your blog. so nice to meet you :)!

Elisa said...

I really liked Pride and Prejudice, 1984, you have a good start. I'll have to put some of those on my list. I loved Wuthering Heights too. Steinbeck's East of Eden is another favorite. Oh, and if you're reading A Thousand Pleasant Suns you should read Kite Runner also! Have fun! I need to start reading more again. :)

Amy said...

I am loving your list. Even as an English major I didn't have to read a lot of those books for class. I highly recommend Of Mice and Men. It's one of my favorites and always makes me cry (just so you know that up front). Pride and Prejudice is a good book too. I haven't read The Great Gatsby in a long time but seeing it on your list totally makes me want to pick it up again. Good choices!

Now you just need to find the time to do a little reading in between everything else you do! =)

mlorfeld said...

It wasn't until Seminary that I was thankful my high school English teacher forced us to diagram sentences.

I'd highly recommend Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (it adds what the original was lacking... a plot)... I'd also highly recommend using Pride and Prejudice to start campfires. ;P

Kristin Elizabeth said...

i was happy to see Pride and Prejudice was on top! i love jane austen, my fav from her is Persuasion. Here are some books i really enjoyed that i can think of : Catcher in the Rye, Night, and Little Women.

Missy said...

there are a lot of those that I have not read either. I was just thinking about this myself when I read an article on To Kill a Mockingbird, which I have never read.
Isn't it sad all that we seem to miss out on?