When I think back on my high school assigned reading, there are two good experiences that come to mind: Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities and Willa Cather’s My Antonia.
It is a tribute to my 9th grade English teacher that I liked A Tale of Two Cities because I had a let’s-just-get-through-this attitude. But her love for the book electrified the class discussion, and by the end, I would have told you it wasn’t half-bad!
I believe it was 11th grade when My Antonia landed on my desk.
I thought it would be dull as dirt (look at the cover, okay?), but to my surprise, the story and the characters grabbed me. I read ahead and finished way before I "had" to, and couldn’t wait to get to class to see what other people--and the teacher--had to say each day. But unfortunately, I ended up being the biggest fan in the classroom.
Still, I wondered if I hadn’t crossed a threshold, that from then I’d “get” the required reading books, and understand why the school district had assigned them. Okay--not true. I went on to be bored with the rest of them. (At least until years later, when I re-read some.) Which in hindsight, gives me even greater respect for My Antonia.
Did anyone else read My Antonia or have a required reading story to share?
Books I Read (and also enjoyed) This Past Summer:
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
Paper Hearts, Debrah Williamson
Revenge of the Homecoming Queen, Stephanie Hale
Not a Happy Camper, Mindy Schneider
There’s a (Slight) Chance I Might Be Going To Hell, Laurie Notaro
Honk if You Hate Me, Deborah Halverson
Skin Deep, E. M. Crane
Lean Mean Thirteen, Janet Evanovich
The Undomestic Goddess, Sophie Kinsella
You Had Me at Halo, Amanda Ashby
Evolution, Me & Other Freaks of Nature, Robin Brande
Top Ten Uses for an Unworn Prom Dress
How to Hook a Hottie, January, 2008
The ABC’s of Kissing Boys, Spring, 2009