Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Summer reading

The summer reading project I decided to embark on last month is to try and read as many of the classic novels my daughter has had to read during her first two years in high school, most of which I have never read. When I was in school, we were rarely required to read anything outside of class, and much wasn't required during class either. English wasn't about literature, it was about spelling, sentence structure, punctuation and all that jazz. I'm glad to see that has changed, at least in the advanced academic program she's enrolled in.

Not only has she been required to read at least two books a semester on her own time, in addition to the books they read in class, but she's also required to read two books over the summer. This gives me plenty of books to choose from.

I started with Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. This is one of the few books I actually did have to read in school, and I remembered enjoying it, so I figured I'd read it again. It's so short that I was done with it in about two hours.

I then moved on to the book I just finished, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. If you've only ever seen the movie, like I had, I strongly suggest you read the book. While the plot of the book also revolves around McMurphy, he isn't necessarily the main character. My daughter read the book before she saw the movie, and I didn't understand why she seemed so confused by it...until I started reading the book myself.

My favorite lines from the book were spoken by the character Harding...."Never before did I realize that mental illness could have the aspect of power, power. Think of it: perhaps the more insane a man is, the more powerful he could become."

Without including the next line of text, which does mention Hitler, a person could actually find some sense of hope in the above words. Many of us do feel powerless in the face of our illnesses, but maybe we shouldn't be so willing to relinquish control.

Anyway, the next book I'm moving on to is 1984 by George Orwell. I have no idea what the book is even about and I haven't read the back to find out. I'm just going to jump into the unknown and be surprised. I kind of prefer things that way sometimes.


Blogger Polar Bear said...

hi Sid
It's nice to have your comments open again.

I think you'll like 1984. I read it when I was in college. I also read Of Mice and Men around the time I was in college. I can't remember what Of Mice and Men was about now - maybe I should read it again.

I do remember 1984. I won't give anything away though - except to say, it's a pretty good book. If you like it, you may want to try Huxley's Brave New World or Margaret Atwood's Handmaid's Tale

4:04 PM, July 31, 2008  

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