Thursday, May 27, 2010

The Classics

Since Raquel was in middle school, she is now ending her Jr. year in High school, she has been taking advanced English courses. In these classes she was obligated to read some pretty classic books. At some point or another she had to define, report, debate, summarize, translate and pretty much dissect each and everyone one of them. Some of them she dislike with a vengeance and others was pleasantly surprised and a couple she had actually read on her own before having to do so in class. Before the age of 14, I was never much of a reader...until I secretly read my mothers Danielle Steele book from her side table and ...WOW!..pretty racy stuff back in 1969 and in turn, started reading all of Danielle Steele books for a while. My taste in books pretty much runs the gamete...from bio's(my fav) to architecture, to vampires to circus life and on, but the classics...not too much...until now.

I thought I should read what Raquel was reading so at first I could help her with homework and such, but gradually I just enjoyed reading them for the mere pleasure as I don't help with homework advanced for me. So little by little I read every single one and like Raquel, some I loved, one I've read every year for 15 years and one I hated....with a vengeance.

  1. Frankenstein....loved it! Better than any movie...except Young
  2. Flowers for Algernon...loved it. Read it before..made me cry both times. Made into a movie by the name of Charly.
  3. Lord of the Flies....loved it. Strange story but that's just me.
  4. Of Mice and Men. Only saw the movie till now. The book is very good.
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer....First of all, I'm not sure why I never read these books, as Mark Twain is my favorite author on the planet. Absolutely loved these two.
  6. The Great Gatsby...Hmmmm, interesting and I found it hard to get into it, but I managed and I'm glad I did.
  7. Great Expectations....Loved everything about this story....characters, location, era and of course Charles Dickens.
  8. Their Eyes Were Watching God...This is exactly the type of story I like to read. People's life journey including the celebration and trauma of life. Glad I read it.
  9. The Pearl...This book mad Raquel naturally, I had to read it. We discussed this story line for days...John Steinbeck's version of Mexican folklore.
  10. A Separate Peace....A very easy read....enjoyed it.
  11. To Kill A Mockingbird....What can I say except....I've read this book every year for years sometimes more than once. It's my favorite book and movie of all time. Something about it strikes a cord in me and hits me straight in the heart.
  12. Romeo and Juliet & Macbeth.... Lucky for me I like Shakespeare. We must of lived in another life together because the translation came easy for me...and Raquel.
  13. The Last of the Mohicans....HATED this book. It was so hard for me to get through. For whatever reason, I had a hard time following and understanding. I had to re read every page. I will NEVER read this book again. Raquel disliked it too for the same reasons.
  14. The Catcher In The Rye....Love this book, but after reading it, I was surprised that it was part of the schools criteria...pretty adult themed and explicit. Raquel never warned me and when I said something about was no big deal according to her.
  15. Animal Farm...One of the books I was forced to read when I was young and liked it then...liked it again this time around and Raquel and I had a very in dept discussion regarding it.
  16. Native Son....Raquel just finished this book and she loved it. I will begin to read it very soon.
  17. Night.....I actually had this book so we didn't have to buy it. Holocaust survivor story of his ordeal...very hard read in terms of graphic nature...but, we both loved it and Raquel actually visited the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC....she was very moved as was I.
  18. 1984....Strange book but entertaining....I liked it, Raquel didn't
  19. Ironweed......I loved this book. Again, the kind of story I enjoy. People's lives and how they effect people around them.
  20. The Invisible type of book. I'm always rootin' for the underdog.
And there you have it. I know there was more, but we can't think of them and too lazy to go find them. If you ever have a chance to read a classic now and then, I urge you to do might find out what all the hoopla's about. Now...let's hope I'm ready for my senior year...and I'm not talking about my life after 50.....I'm just sayin'


  1. Oh Bunny, you are an avid reader! And...there are some books that I read EVERY YEAR that I never get tired of. I love French well written. I remember I had to read a story written in French by the Algerian writer, Mohamed Dib....I HATE THIS BOOK but I had to write, in French, a report on it. I started out by saying that if the author's intention was to piss off his readers, he greatly succeeded...and that was my springboard from which I launched my critique, and I ended up seeing the author's intentions and STYLE in order to help us see the pain of his people. I learned something new about myself as a reader and a writer, that with our words, we have the power to change minds. Enjoy a great summer of reading my dear friend, and Raquel is soooooo lucky that she is learning how to read and evaluate and synthesize information at such a young age. El Rancho never offered such an experience for me!

    Bisous, Anita

  2. I love to read, and always felt I "should" read more classics, but it kind of felt like a "should" rather than a "want!" You may well have inspired me to attempt a couple more, Bunny, particularly "Their Eyes were Watching God" (like the title, sounds intriguing!)

    Of the ones on your list I have read a couple - Macbeth (meh) 1984 and Animal Farm (preferred the latter, but of Orwell's books I love "Keep the Aspidestra Flying" the most) and Lord of the Flies (one of my favourite books ever - I cried when Simon died!)

    If you like slightly weird stories like me, I'd definitely recommend "A Prayer for Owen Meaney" and "We Need to Talk About Kevin" - both are brilliant!

  3. I'm ashamed to say I just read To Kill a Mockingbird with my middle schooler for the first time. Never even saw the movie. I'm hanging my head in shame. Loved the book though.

  4. Bunny, thank you for sharing your reading list. Some I have read, some I have not. My favorites will always be the ones my mom recommended ~ her taste in reading material was just stellar! Most of her reads were good for a real belly laugh. Have a great weekend, and good luck on your quizzes. ~ Angela

  5. Bunny, thanks for the reading list! I love to read, but have not read the classics like I "should". Just what I was required to read in school. I've always had the sneaking suspicion that I was really missing out and would probably like many of them. After all, they're classics for a reason!

    So your post has inspired me to dig some up. I've read some of these (LOVED To Kill a Mockingbird) and will definitely be looking for the ones you mentioned!

  6. This could quite possibly be the most important post you have written so far...there is nothing like one adult telling another that they acturally enjoy reading to encourage literacy in this world..
    When I used to tutor kids with poor reading skills, my criteria was simple-read what you like...didn't matter if it was comic books or motorcycle manuals (one boy's choice)...also encouraged them to read the original books when they'd seen the movie (the opposite of what i do!)
    but all these things encourage non-readers to pick up a book...and a reading public is an educated public...thanks so much for this...

  7. You liked Animal Farm!? :) Oh now you couldn't pay me to read that again! Painful :) Actually I think the ones I had read I agreed with you totally..with the exception of AF :)

    If you like a good fictional bio..I LOVED Pope Joan. Now that is a book I want to read again! You would never guess it by the name though :) Buty seriously...a good read :)

  8. P.S. Love your rap song!

  9. What an interesting reading list. I couldn't even tell you if I read any of them. I am so bad with names, titles -- and I forget easily, whereas some people can recall details of movies and books. I am usually a voracious summer reader. Just can't seem to get into books during the school year as there just isn't enough time for everything. I already have a couple on my list of books to look for this summer. :) Hope you are having a great day. I need to hit they hay. G'nite! Tammy

  10. What a wonderful way to stay up with your child and get some enjoyable reading in!

  11. I love most of the classics, especially The Great Gatsby.

  12. Bunny I am so proud of you for doing this with your daughter what a great way to help and stay connected plus look at the pleasure you received from these classics. I loved most of them too. Funny I just pulled out the Great Gatsby from my bookshelf yesterday and could not dicide if I wanted to read it or not.
    Can't sit up any longer and I have only been to Libbies and Auntie Cakes and here. What a mess I have gotten myself into. Going to bed
    Love ya

  13. I so love to read and was planning on starting to read the classics. Now I know where i can reading your list, lol.

    My children and hubby both enjoyed Catcher in the Rye also. Oh ya, I totally agree with Young Frankenstein. oh my..that is a definite.

    Your comment to my post was a blessing (as it always is when you come to see me)

    I said that to Asher...'thank you for telling me how you have been feeling Asher'....He really did start to break down crying when I started to share. He didn't want to deal with those emotions. Was difficult for him to handle. I told him that I refused to allow myself to think the negative. That didn't make me be in denial, but to believe the best. That is what sets us apart from the 'world'. We are believers!

    A counselor asked me what you stated,,'do you have anyone to talk too?'...I do share bits and pieces with some. Not much though. In person that is..through emails I have been able to share at times with others. Seems in the 'real' person way though, many just can't deal with what I have to unload,,lol. Wanna come over girl? Can you handle me? lol.

    You know each time I see your profile pic I say,,'she could pass as one of my relatives'. You definitely look like a long lost cousin girl! I AM serious...


  14. I love To Kill A Mockingbird. It is in my top 5 favorite books of all time!!!

  15. Hi Bunny, how about A Tree Grows in Brookly or maybe Jane Eyre? I've been a little MIA so I've got to catch up on your posts. Are you enjoying the great weather we're having?


  16. Bonnie beat me to recommending A Tree Grows In Brooklyn. A life-changing read for me. Read it for the first time at age 12.

  17. Bun, I've read quite a few of those books myself. For some reason I never read Catcher In the Rye. In fact, I thought they'd taken that book out of publication. They're books that are written so well, I can see why the schools "make" the kids read them. Just plain old great literature. I love to read so if you read anything that's worth the mention, please do. I'm always looking for a good read.

  18. My daughter has a BA Hons degree in English and History!! I never read any of the books that she had to read!! Well done you for reading those books!!

  19. Wow! I'm so impressed! I've only read a few of these. I can't say I'm much of a reader. I'm like you before kids. Light reading for me. Love the romance novels. What a dork!
    I think it's awesome you read these with your daughter so you could discuss them. Your such a good mom!


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