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Help me choose a couple peices of literature for my english class?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by NickSo, Sep 24, 2002.

  1. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    okay, for my english class, i gotta read three peices of literature for the year, and also with a response journal and an essay.
    it cant be TOO easy, but not too hard.. im thinking about a 4-5 out of 10 on the difficulty scale (10 being hardest)
    its gotta be interesting... uhm, im interested in like weird technology gory guts stuff. I've already chosen to read 1984, coz it sounds really really cool. I've also planned on doing A WALK TO REMEMBER for last term, coz its a frickin easy book, and i read it already, so itll be smooth sailing for the last semester of the year.
    Just as a background to what i read, i've read many MICHAEL CHRICHTON books (My fav was SPHERE, and enjoyed TRAVELS), as well has Black Hawk Down, Pearl Harbour, A bunch of NICHOLAS SPARKS books... All of them are pretty easy reads though. But along the lines of that kind of situations.
    heres the list for the english portion of it (The ones ive crossed out i cant do because i did them in earlier years):
    http://www3.telus.net/sonick/stuff/englist1.jpg
    http://www3.telus.net/sonick/stuff/englist2.jpg
    Im also in the AP portion of the class, and it requires me to do more reading. One peice of literature form a period of time, three all together.
    heres the list for the AP portion of it:
    http://www3.telus.net/sonick/stuff/aplist.jpg
    So i need one book from each list (list A, B, and C) for each term
    Any suggestions? Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Since a lot of the books for the regular portion of your class have been made into movies, I would pick books from movies you have seen. That way, you already know the basic plot and have a good idea of the story appeals to you or not. If you enjoy the story, it will make the reading much more pleasurable.
    From the AP books:
    A: I found Hardy (both books listed) to be very easy reads. I enjoyed the stories and the books went quickly. I also really enjoyed Gulliver's Travels. I have read almost all of the books on that list and found Hawthorne and Dickens to be the most wordy and difficult to follow.
    B: I haven't read most of those books (even though I should have cause I took a college class last year with a lot of those books). If you're curious why some of Steinbeck's works have been banned, check 'em out. Same with Twain. I don't care for books from this period too much, so sadly I don't really have any advice.
    C: From the list, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is my favorite. Catch 22 should also be interesting. I have also read Song of Solomon but didn't care too much for it. The others I don't know much about.
    You should find at least some of the earlier works on Project Gutenberg if you want to check them out without leaving your computer and/or spending money. [​IMG]
    http://sharat.co.il/pg/
     
  3. JohnE

    JohnE Supporting Actor

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    Try Alexander Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo & The Three Musketeers are both great fun and pretty easy reads. I'd also second One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. Amazing book!!!

    Of course J.D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye is a wonderful book, and I'd also say Harper Lee's To Kill a Mocking Bird.

    These are all great books that won't send you're brain into meltdown. Have fun, and experiment. There's lots of good stuff out there.
     
  4. John Thomas

    John Thomas Screenwriter

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    I recommend Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. It's the basis for Apocalypse Now and having read it will come in handy later on in college, especially if you take any philosophy courses.
     
  5. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    Catch 22 is a fabulous novel. Catcher in the Rye is a classic novel, and you should read it anyway. I found it sad and a bit depressing. I'm glad I didn't relate to it very well (unlike some of my friends!)

    Jane Austen is very funny, but all the other boys will call you a sissy (I'd risk it...)

    I like the Great Gatsby a lot, in retrospect. I didn't like it very much when I read, fwiw (I was about your age, at the time.) Huck Finn is a MUCH better book than Tom Sawyer, well 95% of it is.

    And read 1984 from the other list, it's great, but chilling. Finally... It's a shame there are none of the A-list Vonnegut novels to choose from...
     
  6. Neil M

    Neil M Stunt Coordinator

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    There are so many great novels in those lists. No book is too difficult if you are willing to put the time into it. I've found that the most difficult books I've read turned out to be my favorites. And also, very simple reads are sometimes more involving. Modern authors make you look for meaning while older ones hint towards a meaning or flat out tell you. I recommend Kesey, Steinbeck, and Hemingway. As for Heart of Darkness, read it only if you have seen Apocalypse Now. Most people I know who read it did not like it. A lot of people find it very boring but not me. 1984 is a very interesting book to read. Nick-I would just read whatever interests you the most. Find out a little about the books and go from there. I would suggest asking us about the books instead of us telling you what to read.

     
  7. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Screenwriter

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    I thought Krakauer's "Into Thin Air" was compelling, mainly because it's true. And, I read it right after it happened.

    What? No Ayn Rand?

    When I was in high school, I HATED reading ANYTHING that wasn't sci-fi/fantasy. HATED it. So much so, that I have virtually no recall of any of the books that I (think?) I read.
    Now, I'd like to read more, but can't seem to find the time. Go figure.

    Todd
     
  8. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Vonnegut? Which ones? Coz the teacher said i can like choose my own books if they were 'literature' enough.
     
  9. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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  10. Neil M

    Neil M Stunt Coordinator

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  11. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Is BLINDNESS, by Jose Saramago any good? I heard my acting teacher say it was a very disturbing book...

    Just also to say, i find books that describe war to be very interesting too (I loved Black hawk down, but i dont htink thats really similar to any of the books here), and i hear that ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT was a good book.

    So far im planning on these ones:

    Normal List - Count of Monte Cristo, Catcher in the Rye, Frankenstein

    AP list - Pride and Prejudice (Are you sure Jane Austen's funny? i dont mind being called a sissy :p) ), Heart of Darkness, and One flew over the cuckoo's nest.
     
  12. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    "Into Thin Air", Jon Krakauer - (I own it. Fascinating and very interesting book. You can then write about the perils of human pride or the challenge of objective reporting. I loved it!)
    "Catcher in the Rye", J. D. Salinger - I read this in High School, chosen from a book list also. I read it because it is one of those controversial books. I thought it was boring and the main character tedious. But hey, I read a "controversial book" [​IMG]
    "The Grapes of Wrath", John Steinbeck - Very long, vulgar and stupendously depressing: it is an incredible book. I just read this a few years ago. It blew me away. It would be a substantial challenge for a high-school student (I think), especially someone who's not an avid reader. But worth the effort.
    "1984", George Orwell - I only read this a few years ago, as well. A great book! I consider this a classic of the sci-fi genre [​IMG] It's easy to read, exciting, disturbing, and enlightening. It's also highly relevant to current events and social concerns arising from new technology. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
    "Catch 22", Joseph Heller - Like The Holy Grail (the movie) the best part is talking about it with a friend. If you read this, make sure to have a friend read it too so you can talk about it. A decent read, but a great conversation.
    If you want suggestions of non-list books, let us know. I've got some great books that aren't listed there.
     
  13. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Yeah for sure, as long as its up to par with the quality of literature witht hose books, its fine [​IMG]
    I gotta get it quick thouhg, the report is due Oct 29 for normal english, and Nov7 for the AP book.
     
  14. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    It was a selection from a high-school reading list that sparked my love of children's literature. Particularly, my favorite book,
    "Bridge to Terabithia", Katharine Paterson - This is a fantastic book, a Newbery Award winner, and while a "kid's book" it's really ageless. Highly recommended.
    "The Hobbit", J.R.R. Tolkien - Read this. Then the trilogy.
    "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", C.S. Lewis - I love Lewis and recommend the entire "Chronicles and Narnia" (my favorite is "Voyage of the Dawn Treader"). Good companion literature to Tolkien.
    "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH", Robert C. O'Brien - Another one of my long-time favorite "kid's" books.
    Those are a few sitting on my bookshelf that I really like. Hope you find books you love!
     
  15. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    First Nick, since this is a post about English, I feel it's my civic duty to inform you that it is "pieces" not peices and since you did it twice in the title and in the body [​IMG] Tsk Tsk! Of course, I once spelled A Separate Peace by John Knowles, a good read if it's on your list, BTW, A Seperate Peace right smack dab in 25 pt font on a title paper once and got a full grade deducted from it!
    Out of your first list, Into Thin Air by Krakaeur is a real good interesting read, even if you're not into mountaineering and stuff, it's like watching "Alive" without the cannibalism [​IMG] But if you read that, I also see that you have Boukreev's The Climb in there. There are ways in which I think that book is even better than Krakaeur because Anatoli was up there while Krakeaur was busy filming and in one of the lower camps. Plus, Anatoli was an unbelievable mountaineer who had some amazing feats amongst himself. Much like Reinhold Meisner and the late Alex Lowe.
    Anyway, I'm also a big fan of Steinbeck, loved The Grapes of Wrath and most of his other major works. I even found Grapes to be a quick read even though it looks like a thick book, especially when I was in high school.
    If you can read stuff outside that list, and you like weird stuff, Albert Camus has some weird books which interested me, especially The Plague but then again, I'm weird and like that kind of stuff.
    I've never read The Outsider though that I see that is on your AP list.
    If you like technology and stuff, Neal Stephenson has a book called "Snow Crash" which I had to read in college. Don't expect literary genius material or anything but it has to deal with the future and technology and stuff. I started to read another book by him but that was garbage and didn't ever finish it, but Snow Crash was OK.
    Of course, you can't really go wrong with Catcher in the Rye I think everybody reads this sometime in high school or college in AP English.
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Definitly Catcher in the Rye and The World According to Garp. Actually I cant believe that Garp is on a HS reading list, thats some pretty mature reading.

    Cant go wrong with Alice either!

    Sam
     
  17. Bill Slack

    Bill Slack Supporting Actor

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    I would suggest, for Vonnegut:

    'Mother Night', and if you were allowed to read a collection of short stories, 'Welcome to the Monkey House' -- There are some amazing stories in there ('Reprot on the Barnhouse Effect', 'Harrison Bergeron', 'The Portfolio', 'A Long Walk to Forever', being my favorites [forgive me if they're not the exact titles, my copy is boxed up right now!])

    I also love 'Slaughterhouse Five' and 'Cat's Cradle' (the latter is what introduced me to Vonnegut, when I was in high school.) BOC is very highly regarded, but I didn't like it all that much.

    If you've never read any Vonnegut, choose one of these. His stories are fantastic, but his prose is amazing. It's simple, and poetic. I've never read anything else like it.

    I would also suggest 'Anthem' my Ayn Rand (or 'The Fountainhead' or, better yet, 'Atlas Shrugged', but they are ~700, and ~1100 pages, respectively, which I can understand as a turn off when it requires reading within a certain time frame.) -- 'Anthem' is very short, on the other hand, and a good introduction to Ayn Rand.
     
  18. NickSo

    NickSo Producer

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    Cool, i found SLAUGHTERHOUSE 5, (i was lucky, none of the other ones i wanted were in at the library), and my english teacher also was very enthusiastic about the book, so [​IMG]
     
  19. Darren Lewis

    Darren Lewis Supporting Actor

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    "The Count of Monte Cristo" or "A Tale of Two Cities" are regarded as good reads.

    Darren.
     
  20. Janna S

    Janna S Second Unit

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    "The Once and Future King" by T. H. White meets all your criteria and more . . . . It's my desert island book, the one I am never without.
     

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