Thursday, April 23, 2009

Required Reading

Bill Bennett has weighed in on an oft-debated topic: what books should every high school student be required to read? (hat tip: The Corner) Personally, I didn't tackle some of the titles on the list until college but certainly didn't read all of them.

Such lists are interesting because chances are you'll get a wide range of opinions of what should and should not be on such a list.

Interestingly enough, no book that has been published in the past 30 years was on the list.

I've actually read about a third of the books on the list and would probably only take issue with "Catcher in the Rye" and "The Great Gatsby". I didn't care for either one but might feel differently if I read them again.

"1984" seems to be worth re-reading as we seem to be morphing into the type of world Orwell envisioned.

I haven't read all of Shakespeare but both my daughters are devoted to his works (they each have their own copy of his complete works). For what's it worth, I have read "Macbeth" and "Hamlet" as well as "Romeo and Juliet".

I've read both Dickens novels and would agree they are his best and most important. But the others shouldn't be ignored, either.

I didn't try to tackle "Pride and Prejudice" until college. I didn't understand it then but probably would do better with it now. But I haven't read any other Austen though I've seen at least one film adaptation of each novel. Perhaps one day I'll get back to reading them.

I'm sure there are plenty others that are must reads although I can't think of any right now.

As for most of the rest on the list, I haven't read them but might one day.

What books would you suggest?

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