August 27, 2018

Looking on the Bright Side | Books I am excited to read this semester

Even though it comes the same time every year and I am fully aware of its impending doom, the start of the school year always surprises me. When I am in summer mood, it feels like nothing will ever harm me again (or at least make me do homework again). Alas, every summer comes to an end at the same time in August and I have to grieve my last of free time and freedom. However, the great thing about college is the opportunity to pick your own classes, and being an English major, my classes mostly revolve around my passion, literature. So, in an attempt to look on the bright side, I am going to share the required texts that I am actually excited (or at least not dread) to read.

1. Run by Anne Patchett

I am reading this book for a class on literature, film, and stereotypes in America. I am not sure how this book contributes to those topics, but it is one of the few modern fiction books on my syllabi this semester and I am excited to read a story instead of a textbook.

2. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

I have read Frankenstein more than once for school and it turns out that I am reading it again this semester (and writing a final paper on it). On the bright side, I really love the complexity of the story and the infinite possibilities for analyzing the story. Not to mention the props I have to give to Mary Shelley for practically inventing the science fiction genre as a teenage girl.

3. Hocus Pocus by Kurt Vonnegut

I read Cat's Cradle by Vonnegut last semester and I liked it. I still don't feel like I fully understood all of the complexities, but I did appreciate the absurdities and philosophical journeys the book took me on. I have high hopes for Hocus Pocus mostly for the title, but also for my experiences with the enjoyable confusion that was Cat's Cradle.

4. America on Film by Benshoff and Griffin

This is the textbook for my aforementioned class on film. I know that it is a textbook, but the material is still really interesting to me (compared to the horrors of a physics textbook or a history tome). I have taken a few classes in the past that analyzed film, but I have never done it only in the context of American history and tensions. Plus, part of the homework is watching movies, so I am up for it!

5. The Tempest by William Shakespeare

I know that Shakespeare is most high school students' nightmare, but there is some fun in the drama and rhyme for me. Again, I don't claim to perfectly understand Shakespeare and his pendant for flowery language and metaphors, but I do enjoy puzzling everything out. Discussions about Shakespeare have never done me wrong, especially when half of the class doesn't know what is going on.

6. The Awakening by Kate Chopin

I am not as excited to read this one as I am excited to have read it. I read her short story, The Yellow Wallpaper, in high school and I appreciated the language and the feminist themes. From what I know about The Awakening, those feminist sentiments are continued in a ground-breaking way for the time period. I want to know more about the early approaches to feminism in literature, but I just have to get through it first.

7. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir

This one is the non-fiction friend to The Awakening. I am reading them for completely different classes, but the feminist themes can easily be connected between the books. I have learned about Beauvoir in a couple history classes, but I want to finally read her work myself.

8. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

Once, I took a Buzzfeed quiz that told me if I were a character from a classic it would be Madame Bovary. Not going to lie, I am just curious to see what that means (especially if it is a good thing or not).

Bonus Books assigned by myself for myself (not on any syllabus but I want to read to enlighten myself)

9. The Parable of the Sower by Octavia E. Butler

This one was recommended by John Green as one of the best dystopian novels out there. In pursuit of my goal to educate myself with more adult, literary fiction books, I want to give it a shot. 

10. So You Want to Talk about Race by Ijeoma Oluo

I took a class last semester about race and diversity in America, but I know that I still don't understand nearly as much as I should. So, this is my attempt to learn more about approaching conversations about race outside of the classroom. I don't want my education about race to stop at just one class.

Top Ten Tuesday is a list-based meme hosted by the amazing Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. If the meme sounds familiar, it was formerly hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
Are you going back to school yet? Or are you one of the lucky adults who has already done their time? What required reading texts have you enjoyed in the past? Have you read any of these?

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