Friday, July 27, 2012

LitSoup: Best/worst of required reading

This month's LitSoup question:
Best/worst of required reading: What was your favorite thing you had to read for school? Least favorite?

Some responses from The News-Herald newsroom:

Rhonda Colvin:
I think I had to read Melville’s Billy Budd in high school and I can’t say it was among my favorites at the time. Perhaps I should try it again and see if I have a different opinion.
I have a three-way tie for my favorite required reading - Fahrenheit 451, The Scarlet Letter and To Kill a Mockingbird.

Jean Bonchak:
Loved anything Shakespearian, esp. Romeo and Juliet (for the romance, of course). Each line was a delight.
Fond memories of “Hedda Gabler” by Ibsen for its one line: “People generally get used to the inevitable” which I’ve used multiple times throughout life.
Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey both in high school and college was painful.

Nicole Franz
The worst thing I had to read was probably “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith. I was 12 and didn’t relate to the characters at all and found it terribly dull. My favorite was Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” which I read for several different classes. The back-and-forth squabbling between Beatrice and Benedick is still hilarious more than 400 years after it debuted, and I find something new to enjoy every time I read it or go see it performed.

Cheryl Sadler:
"Great Expectations" was the worst summer reading project for a 13-going-on-14-year-old. I'd like to revisit it sometime, because I've heard from Tricia Ambrose and others that it's actually good. I didn't care much for "Winesburg, Ohio," until my classmates and I made a "Saturday Night Live"-style video based on some of the stories in the book. That's another one I might reread someday.
I loved "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" and "The Great Gatsby." Both were books I couldn't wait to read every night, and both still grace my bookshelves today.

Matt Skrajner:
My favorite books surely were all of the books I read as part of my baseball literature class that I had the pleasure of taking while at St. Ignatius High School, but I couldn’t choose one in particular. One specifically does come to mind as my least favorite, though: “All Creatures Great and Small” by James Herriot. Apparently it’s considered a classic, but I have no clue as to why. To this day, I still have no idea why people enjoyed reading about a veterinarian delivering a calf and all of the other supposed adventures he had. I’ll admit that maybe trying to make a high school kid read this book over the summer increased my dislike for this book, but I don’t intend to reread it any time soon to find out.

Other responses from the Twitterverse:

This post is part of a LitSoup, a monthly feature on The Book Club compiled of contributions from the newsroom. Send an email or tweet with your suggestions for future LitSoup topics.

-- Cheryl Sadler | | @nhcheryl



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