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  1. #11


    Quote Originally Posted by aspiecat View Post
    Now regarding Jo, Laurie and Amy, I think the pairing of Laurie with Jo's youngest sister is really spot-on. In my mind, Laurie needed someone who could honestly love her both because she exuded beauty and elegance, plus was well-suited to the kind of wife Laurie would be expected by society to have. What is more, she had a vulnerability, masked by her good looks and sophistication; it also showed Laurie that he needed someone who needed him in a way Jo never did.
    Elegant, artistic Amy is probably better suited to be a proper wife for Laurie, but he and Jo really seemed like soul mates and had such great chemistry. Jo and Laurie's antics are some of my favorite parts of the book. By having Jo marry Friedrich, it seems like LMA was bowing to Victorian convention. She didn't want to give Jo a marriage based on passion or leave her single (as LMA was herself), but gave her an older, father-like husband who could guide her with his superior wisdom. Blah.

    I obviously have put too much thought into this book.

    I wish I could comment on the books I had to read in high school, but my long-term memory is really bad. I remember liking The Scarlet Letter, Catcher in the Rye, and Grapes of Wrath. Hated Billy Budd. I actually don't remember reading a ton of novels in high school, despite being in honors classes. We never read Lord of the Flies, Hamlet, or Gatsby, which the non-honors classes did. I read many more classic novels on my own or in my college humanities classes.
    Mother of two monkeys...daughter age 10 and son age 11.5.

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  3. #12


    Lord of the Flies

    I can't remember how old I was when I first read this--high school for sure--but I greatly enjoyed it, not because I found the story delightful, but because it was the first time I read something in which I understood the symbolism and themes without any help from the teacher or a textbook. It made for an easy critique assignment, which was a nice change. I guess I am or was very literal, so critiques and analyses were harder for me.

    Mom to one, 18 year old son.

  4. #13


    Alas Babylon, The Glass Menagerie, Of Mice and Men, The Oxbow Incident...these were the books we read in my 11th grade English class. I think there were a few others, but only one that I wouldn't call depressing (I can't remember what it was though...). Not knocking the books, they were great, just not anything I found uplifting.

    Harrison Bergeron: Even though it's a short story, it is one that stuck with me strongly since I read it for the first time in high school. I could get very armchair-psychologist-y here, but I won't. Suffice to say, I appreciated the message, and am reminded of it often.

    Mom to one, 18 year old son.

  5. #14


    I was homeschooled and didn't read most if these "classics". The few that I did read I hated, not because they were sad, but because I didn't "get" them and they just made no sense and weren't compelling. Teenagers just don't have the breadth of experience to understand why people do all sorts of things!

    Anyhow, after hating my way through "My Antonia" (can't even remember what that was about now) and a couple others (don't even remember what), my mom got smart and let me have more say in what I read. My hatred for analyzing books totally disappeared once I was talking about a book I liked (and understood).

    The one bad side effect was that I never even knew what the "classics" were until I was an adult - people would compare notes of having to read XXX classic and I would be like "what's that about, I've never heard of it". So maybe there is something to that captive-audience thing after all. As I've gotten older I've been more interested to find out what really happened in those books that are cultural touchstones and have gone back and read (or listened to) a few, but not a lot.

    There are some others that were mentioned that are aimed at slightly younger audiences, but I read them so young that I totally forgot what happened and had to go re-read them as an adult. And some of them were totally different! I too missed all the religious stuff in the LWW series, and remember being scared of Anne of Green Gables (maybe the croup incident?).

    Instead I gobbled evey sci-fi fantasy book I could get my hands on, and quite frankly I think that a lot of the "themes" that get analyzed in "Literature" are in that easier stuff too. Though you do miss some of the writing styles/voice stuff and of course the cultural references later on.
    2nd generation homeschooler!

  6. #15


    FWP - I see what you mean. The first two syllables in my screen name are frustratingly...well, frustrating! I take things so literally...apologies...

    My sister NEVER read for pleasure until she discovered PD James in her mid-20s. Every book she read in childhood and her teen years were ones that were part of the curriculum or those that would help her get where she wanted to be. So reading fashion books to learn how to dress for success and teen mags so she knew how to become popular and increase her standing at school was the norm for her, as was reading whatever chapters in school textbooks were required of her by her teachers. So even the awfully depressing novels we had to read at school didn't really faze her at all, and she never, EVER got emotionally involved in any book she read.

    I, on the other hand, hardly ever had my nose out of a book. I read voraciously - probably as an escape from real life - and even the typical tragedy-themed novels I had to read in high school couldn't put me off reading for pleasure. Heck, I was always reading another one or two books of my own choice at the same time, so it didn't even occur to me to be put off reading.

    I really hate the fact DS likes reading about as much as my sister (they're not blood's a coincidence). Never reads for pleasure and when he decides he wants to read something, it takes a couple of days for him to realise he isn't into reading LOL. That from a kid who was reading at age three and teaching his Gr 1 classmates at age four how to do the same!

    One book I had to read for school and I actually ENJOYED was "Kes". Great book...sad, but inspiring.


  7. #16


    Oh no. LOL. I still hate Little Women with a purple passion. Tried to read it again...just for the hell of it....cause so many of ya'll like it. Bleh. It's like every stereotyped gender role that's ever been inflicted on woman-kind. I just HATE seeing women portrayed as so small minded, so emotional, so caged. It's like reading ROOTS. Yes, I understand that it's a true portrayal of a time of history. I get that it's important we remember. But YUCK...let me OUT of that negative ugly time period. It frustrates me to have to revisit it. Above all, it makes me angry. I want to shake the people involved. I get it....they didn't have options. But spending time inside of that feels like torture to me. Little Women....if I had to live your lives...I would open a vein. (Sorry to those of you who are fans of the book...different strokes for different folks)

    I loved Catcher in the Rye. Everyone hates that book. I adored it. Loved Nine Stories, too. (I also liked Joyce Marnard's autobiography about what a slimy creep JD Salinger was when she lived with him.)

    I love almost everything Tennessee Williams ever wrote. I like dark southern dysfunctional family secret stories. They feel like ghost stories.

    Hate, hate, hate Charles Dickens. Everyone loves Charles Dickens. I despise his stories. Ugh.

    Hate Shakespeare, mostly. (Gasp!

    Love James Joyce. (even his extremely kinky love

    Love Steinbeck, Mark Twain. Gorgeous writers, both.

    Hemingway was a misogynistic jerk....but he had amazing word economy. Very tight writing.
    Retired Home Schooler
    One kid, Elle, Sophomore at The University of Michigan studying Cell/ Molecular Biology Go Blue!
    One hubby, 23yrs

    Not a fan of homophobe, Everett Piper, who is sometimes promoted by others at this site. Read about him here::
    CAUTION: might make blasphemous remarks that could potentially offend religious people. Please use ignore feature if sensitive.

  8. #17


    I hated a lot of books I read in high school.

    Their Eyes Were Watching God - I didn't like it all and I'm pretty sure I never finished it. I found the southern dialect hard to read. I did read a short story by the same author in English 101 in college, Sweat. The short story was much better for me. I'm not sure if the length made it easier to read or the maturity and experience.

    The Stranger - This was another one I hated in high school. It was excruciating. I never finished it and a group of my friends had the one person in our group summarize what happened in the chapters we were supposed to read before class. In my English 101 class we read it again, but before we did he made a big deal over getting the right copy. He held up the same copy I had in high school and said "now this is a terrible translation, if you got this return it." He was right too the other translation was much better and I actually enjoyed the book.

    Shakepeare - I love Shakespeare but I only loved it when read it out loud in class. That was the only time I enjoyed reading aloud in class. To study Shakespeare with homeschooling I'll probably have to get an audio book we can follow along with. It's much easier to get into with the separation of voices. Also Macbeth was my favorite, I had to read it twice for high school.

    Lord of the Flies - Pretty sure I never finished that either, another book we had the one friend summarize.

    The Cat who Went to Heaven - I found this book in my grandmother's house one summer and read it, then about a year later I had to read it again for school. I really loved this book and it was really my first experience with a religion that wasn't the vague Christianity I was growing up with. It told the story of the Buddha, and his experience with the animals that helped him, and all of this was explained through the story of an artist painting that scene. I still love calico cats because of that book.
    Teemie - 11 years old, 6th grade with an ecclectic mix

    Blog : Tumblr : Instagram : Facebook

  9. #18


    Quote Originally Posted by Riceball_Mommy View Post
    I hated a lot of books I read in high school.

    Their Eyes Were Watching God - I didn't like it all and I'm pretty sure I never finished it. I found the southern dialect hard to read. I did read a short story by the same author in English 101 in college, Sweat. The short story was much better for me. I'm not sure if the length made it easier to read or the maturity and experience.
    Aw, one of my favorite novels of all time! I do agree that the dialect in the beginning is tough. I hope you'll give it a try now as an adult. Since you liked Shakespeare aloud, try reading the dialect aloud. It makes it so much easier to understand! Maybe audio book?! (I know, I'm pushing hard here, lol!). The book is such a rare one in that it follows the life path of a black female. The book shows the character using her lack of societal recognition to her advantage in interesting ways (* spoiler *: for example, it enables her to up and leave her husband since no courts really care about her legal status, and since she can't own property anyway, there's not worry about leaving everything behind). It also is an exploration of male-female dynamics in the quest for love. Anyway, I could go on and on about this book.

    I'm one of those folks who loved all the classics I had to read in school and in college. I don't mind sad or upsetting endings. I don't mind a good ambiguous ending, either. I am much more frustrated when everything works out to be rainbows and puppies in the end (The Secret Garden) because my life has never been that way.

    Flowers for Algernon is a book I read in the 7th grade. Although I can't remember a time I didn't love reading, this book took my emotional involvement with characters to a whole new level. It also sparked research in areas I had never considered before (what is intelligence? what do we know and not know about the human brain? can we really find ways to help people with mental disabilities overcome their limitations? when ethics and scientific progress are at odds, what is the right response? ) This book is probably why I was a double major in college--English and psychology.

    I was a bit of a "book snob" in college until I read The World According to Garp for a contemporary fiction class. This book opened me up to considering books besides the tested and true classics. I love the shocking, unsettling aspects of characters and the dark humor.

    Invisible Man and Native Son both taught me more about racism and its destructive nature than any documentary or history book ever could. I didn't get to these books until late in my college career. I'm hoping my kids are ready for them before then.
    ~Homeschooling 3 (DD 12, DD 10, DS 10) one day at time.

  10. #19


    I am getting more classics back on my to read list now. I'm going to check out more Hurston books soon, and revist Their Eyes Were Watching God too.

    I read another book for a diversity credit in a college class, can't remember the name of the class but I loved the book Love Medicine. I'm on a diverse books kick right now. I'm trying to find some for my daughter but I keep adding to my to read list. We both really like fantasy right now, but I'm looking for age appropriate and available in audio book.
    Teemie - 11 years old, 6th grade with an ecclectic mix

    Blog : Tumblr : Instagram : Facebook

  11. #20


    I rather like discovering books by authors who are known for one (or more) novels but not for others they wrote. An example is Charlotte Bronte's Villette, of which most people have not heard. TBH, most people will say, "Oh yeah, she wrote Jane Eyre" but not be able to name anything else she wrote. When I was about 15/16 and discovered Villette in the school library, I tried it out and really liked it. Not as much as Jane Eyre, but it was still a book I couldn't easily put down.

    One book I will never, EVER read again is Wuthering Heights. Too damned depressing for me. The whole book is dark, too dark. I like some levity LOL.

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