This year, I’m taking on the Books I Should Have Read in High School, But Didn’t challenge Dana is running, and I’m pledging to read six books I feel I should have read, putting me in the Graduate Student category. The over-ambitious part of my personality wanted to try the Literature Professor category, but decided not to, since I’m tackling a notoriously long book as one of my choices. A few of these books I wouldn’t expect to be assigned in high school, nor would I want to teach them, but I feel I would, might or should have read them if my graduate degrees were in literature.
Here’s my proposed list, in no particular order:
War and Peace and Vanity Fair take place against the same historical backdrop, so I’m looking forward to those. Also, I have to confess two more superficial reasons for choosing Vanity Fair: looking forward to watching the Reese Witherspoon film, and finally/fully understanding the Becky Sharpe allusion Anne makes in Anne of Windy Poplars!
This is certainly a lot of reading, but I have a few strategies. First, I’ve gotten into a really good habit of reading before I go to bed every night, so that will be helpful to keep me moving forward. Second, I’ve always been a voracious reader, so I’m not daunted by the sheer number of pages I’ll be tackling. Third, I’ve also always been a relatively fast reader. Fourth, I’ll probably start my longest book (W&P) at the beginning of the summer, which is when I often get a lot of reading done, either in the long summer nights when I don’t have to wake up for school the next day or the long summer afternoons I spend poolside (yes, it’s clear why summer is my favorite season!).
Some of these are titles I’ve wanted to read for years, but I also like the idea of challenging myself to do what I ask students to do–read an unfamiliar, challenging text simply because it’s in front of me, and see what I can get out of it along the way. I’ll be blogging reviews and thoughts along the way, and will be watching film adaptations too. This is my first time participating in one of these kinds of reading challenges, but I think it’s going to be a lot of fun–feel free to join in, or try one of the many reading challenges Dana is trying. Dana is encouraging participants for hers even if you don’t have a blog, so jump in!
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