Laura over at her blog, Ink: In All Forms
, dictated that folks should write about their summer reading goals
. One cannot deny a lady who likes Kenshin
. (Man, I need to listen to the opening theme now.)
There are those books you always expect to have to read for school. You recognize their covers, clutched between the fingers of the bigger, smarter kids. Adults say the authors' names and titles with a certain amount of reverence. They're award-winning, changed-the-literary-world tales.
Safely ensconced within the logic that a teacher would eventually assign them; I purposely avoided these books outside of school. Because...re-reading a book for a class somehow takes away from the experience? Or...maybe that's just me.
I graduated from college in May 2010 and found myself realizing that there were a number of books that fell into that category that I probably won't ever be reading in class. Oops.
Last summer, I read The Giver
by Louis Lowry and A Clockwork Orange
by Anthony Burgess. (Why yes, I remember being envious of the kids who had read The Giver
. I saw that cover and wanted it. But I firmly forbade it, reasoning that my time would come. IT NEVER CAME.) I suppose dystopians never get old. Not really. (Just to be clear, I read many other books in addition to these two. What else do you do in the summer but raid the library for heaps of books? These two are merely the relevant ones.)
This summer, I have decided to tackle several other literary classics that I really should've read but allowed myself to wait for the day it was assigned.Fahrenheit 451
by Rad Bradbury - I have wanted to read this for ages! There were always posters during banned book week. Clearly, this is a book destined to be read in an English class. And yet...it never happened.1984
by George Orwell - We read Animal Farm
in...sixth grade, I believe. It made sense that we'd eventually get to this book.Brave New World
by Aldous Huxley - Okay, first, I was thrown off by the fact that I had read a book with a similar title in 8th grade and thought that it was the same thing. Ever since I realized my mistake, I have been dodging spoilers.The Divine Comedy
by Dante Alighieri - Yeah, I have no idea how this happened either. During the special students welcome day at college, there was a course/lecture for parents about this. If even the parents were getting lectured about this, it was clearly only a matter of time before a professor bestowed it upon me.Paradise Lost
by John Milton - I promise you that my education really was well-rounded. We read many things. Just not absolutely everything. Some slipped through the cracks.
So, those are my grown-up goals when it comes to reading. Of course, there are a bajillion other books I have every intention of reading along the way. My shelves are crammed with must-reads. Hrm, I think my classics could do with more female writers though. I should look into that. Definitely.
And maybe, I should finally read some Tolkien.
SHOCKHORROR. I have never read any Tolkien. I know, seriously.
Excuses time. I was bullied by the kids who read Tolkien. That's right. I was in the lowest reading group for the first three years of school. We were exiled to the basement classroom. There were no windows. Colorful signs about vowels adorned the walls. We read lame print-outs about a fat cat sitting on a mat. And the kids who were loving on Tolkien taunted me. It was all very traumatic.
Sometime between third and fourth grade, something finally clicked in Becky's head. It was partially related to Edward Eager
and lots of time spent with a noble tutor named Maria.* I could read, and I read and read and read. I won a reading award in fourth grade.
A teacher even asked me if I could give a girl reading recommendations. That girl had made fun of me in front of the entire class in first grade. It was a beautiful victory. I am so allowed to still feel a thrill of delight even now.
And those kids who had picked on me? Told me to read Tolkien. And I said no. I refused. I took all that hurt and turned it against a perfectly innocent author. And I decided that I would read every other book in the library besides The Hobbit
and that Lord of the Rings
series.* Edward Eager also made me absolutely terrified of movie theaters. Every time I went to the movies, I was convinced that the entire audience (myself included) would die from a gas leak.
P.S. I decided to read his works because of his name. I was all, HIS LAST NAME IS LIKE MINE BUT WITHOUT THE Y!
P.P.S. He also taught me to be very careful when wishing.