I like to visit the blogs of the people who comment here; that’s part of the community spirit of wordpress, right? I love some stuff, ignore some stuff, and occasionally want to comment on it.
Guess which one I’m doing right now. 🙂
On the one hand, I loved this one article, as it’s useful to me as a writer.
On the other hand, I had both happy and negative thoughts reading another article. Having a mix of feelings makes me want to explain why I felt that way.
I always admire educators, whose job it is to pry open little minds and force some light in. But as a reader and a parent, I want those minds to be opened to wide, new vistas, not just the safe, comfortable ones. I also know that what I consider essential literature isn’t always the same as what an educator would agree with, which why I’m super glad I’m not a teacher! I’m also, obviously, not a part of a super conservative family, so that also affects my point of view.
Basically, I’m just a random blogger with too much time on my hands and thoughts I’m willing to overshare. And by ‘willing to overshare’, I mean go through the list, book by book, with commentary and/or an alternative. Because I like to
talk shit wax philosophical about stuff.
Also, if folks want to add their recommendations in the comments, please do! I may find more reading material, and that’s always a good thing.
- Gone with the Wind. Beautifully written, but also has lots of racism. If I gave this to my kids, and they’d be ‘OMG, Racism!!! Why did you give me this horror to read?’ I’ve heard it argued that this is a portrayal of a strong woman, but I was kinda conflicted about her character. OTOH, I think that was actually part of the writer’s intent, so you should probably just read this and see what you think.
- Kate Remembered. I’ve watched about 17 of her movies, I really think she was an amazing actress. I haven’t read this, but it sounds fabulous, so I’ve added it to my own reading list. As in, I went to my library website and put it on hold, lol.
- The Book Thief. Another book I haven’t read, so I can’t really offer an opinion. Guess it’s going on my non-teen 2016 reading list as well.
- The Horse and His Boy. Hahaha, how apropos! Ahem. Anyway, lovely book, lovely story that *doesn’t* focus on the regular characters/story line of the Chronicles of Narnia, I obviously love it, so yes, I’d recommend this too.
- Atonement. Meh. Two historical war novels? I’d prefer a bit more variety, but that’s me. My alternative: Animal Farm.
- The Help. OMG no! Clearly we’re going to have to disagree on this one, but if you’re wondering, this is why. I have little patience for White Savior stories, and I’d rather have my kids read stuff written by POC people about their realities. I could only see the point of reading this if afterward the teacher planned to point out all the things wrong with it. My choices: The Color Purple or Push, or hell, if the author has to be white, The Secret Life of Bees.
- The Hobbit. Nice book. I’m on the side that prefers The Simarillion, so I’d say if you can’t get into The Hobbit, try that.
- Rebecca. Good book. Fabulous descriptive scenes, great gothic suspense, and lots of twists. Thumbs up!
- The Historian. Another book I haven’t read. Going to add it to my list.
- The Trial. Ah, existentialism. I never liked the style (or philosophy for that matter), but I’m still haunted by the stuff I read in college, so why not? Though if you’re even remotely depressed, avoid existentialist books. Please. Totally non depressing alternative: Anne of Green Gables.
- Sense and Sensibility. Meh. Not my favourite. Do yourself a favour and read Pride and Prejudice first; not only will a whole bunch of movies suddenly make more sense, but you’ll get extra joy out of Pride & Prejudice & Zombies when the movie comes out next month. Next month, already? Read fast!
- Death of a Salesman. Oh goody, another depressing one. Well written, but boy, is it dark. My alternative: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Still dark, but also funny.
- The Call of the Wild. Good book, loved it as a teen. Thumbs up!
- The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio. Not even remotely my cup of tea, so I can’t give a review of it. Here’s my alternative: I Beat The Odds: From Homelessness to The Blind Side and Beyond.
- Jane Eyre. Okay, yes, read it. But afterwards read this: Wide Sargasso Sea.
- The Lady Elizabeth. Another genre I don’t really have any interest in, so if you’ve never tried historical fiction, I’d definitely recommend reading it; you might find a new favourite!