“Children, I said to her. For the first little while, they not exactly human, you don't find?”
Nalo Hopkinson

Friday, October 22, 2010

College Bound Reading List--From Arrowhead Library System

There are certain books that those educated in English are expected to read.  You may ask how many have I read?

I would answer, "Uhhh. not enough.  I've got some reading to do". 

I bolded the ones I have read and left a few stunted comments here and there.

American Literature

Agee, James
A Death in the Family
Story of loss and heartbreak felt when a young father dies.

Anderson, Sherwood
Winesburg, Ohio
A collection of short stories lays bare the life of a small town in the Midwest.

Baldwin, James
Go Tell It On the Mountain
Semi-autobiographical novel about a 14-year-old black youth's religious conversion.

Bellamy, Edward
Looking Backward: 2000-1887
Written in 1887 about a young man who travels in time to a utopian year 2000, where economic security and a healthy moral environment have reduced crime.

Bellow, Saul
Seize the Day
A son grapples with his love and hate for an unworthy father.

Bradbury, Ray
Fahrenheit 451
Reading is a crime and firemen burn books in this futuristic society. Disturbing, couldn't finish.

Cather, Willa
My Antonia
Immigrant pioneers strive to adapt to the Nebraska prairies.

Chopin, Kate
The Awakening
The story of a New Orleans woman who abandons her husband and children to search for love and self-understanding. Controversial Ending.

Clark, Walter Van Tilburg
The Ox-Bow Incident
When a group of citizens discovers one of their members has been murdered by cattle rustlers, they form an illegal posse, pursue the murderers, and lynch them.

Cormier, Robert
The Chocolate War
Jerry Renault challenges the power structure of his school when he refuses to sell chocolates for the annual fundraiser.

Crane, Stephen
The Red Badge of Courage
During the Civil War, Henry Fleming joins the army full of romantic visions of battle which are shattered by combat.

Dorris, Michael
A Yellow Raft in Blue Water
Three generations of Native American women recount their searches for identity and love.

Ellison, Ralph
Invisible Man
A black man's search for himself as an individual and as a member of his race and his society.

Faulkner, William
As I Lay Dying
The Bundren family takes the ripening corpse of Addie, wife and mother, on a gruesomely comic journey.

Fitzgerald, F. Scott
The Great Gatsby
A young man corrupts himself and the American Dream to regain a lost love.  Prose to die for.

Gaines, Ernest
The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
In her 100 years, Miss Jane Pittman experiences it all, from slavery to the civil rights movement.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel
The Scarlet Letter
An adulterous Puritan woman keeps secret the identity of the father of her illegitimate child.   Hawthorne may become one of my favorite writers.

Heller, Joseph
A broad comedy about a WWII bombardier based in Italy and his efforts to avoid bombing missions.

Hemingway, Ernest
A Farewell to Arms
During World War I, an American lieutenant runs away with the woman who nurses him back to health.

Hurston, Zora Neale
Their Eyes Were Watching God
Janie repudiates many roles in her quest for self-fulfillment.  Unforgettable.

Kesey, Ken
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
A novel about a power struggle between the head nurse and one of the male patients in a mental institution.

Lee, Harper
To Kill a Mockingbird
At great peril to himself and his children, lawyer Atticus Finch defends an African-American man accused of raping a white woman in a small Alabama town.

Lewis, Sinclair
Main Street
A young doctor's wife tries to change the ugliness, dullness and ignorance which prevail in Gopher Prairie, Minn.

London, Jack
Call of the Wild
Buck is a loyal pet dog until cruel men make him a pawn in their search for Klondike gold.

McCullers, Carson
The Member of the Wedding
A young southern girl is determined to be the third party on a honeymoon, despite all the advice against it from friends and family.

Melville, Herman
A complex novel about a mad sea captain's pursuit of the White Whale.   I need to read this one again. 

Morrison, Toni
The lifelong friendship of two women becomes strained when one causes the other's husband to abandon her.  A favorite.

O'Connor, Flannery
A Good Man is Hard to Find
Social awareness, the grotesque, and the need for faith characterize these stories of the contemporary South.

Parks, Gordon
The Learning Tree
A fictional study of a black family in a small Kansas town in the 1920s.

Plath, Sylvia
The Bell Jar
The heartbreaking story of a talented young woman's descent into madness.  Depressing. 

Poe, Edgar Allan
Great Tales and Poems
Poe is considered the father of detective stories and a master of supernatural tales.  Creepy and disturbing, also one of my favorite writers.

Potok, Chaim
The Chosen
Friendship between two Jewish boys, one Hasidic and the other Orthodox, begins at a baseball game and flourishes despite their different backgrounds and beliefs.

Salinger, J.D.
The Catcher in the Rye
A prep school dropout rejects the "phoniness" he sees all about him.

Sinclair, Upton
The Jungle
The deplorable conditions of the Chicago stockyards are exposed in this turn-of-the-century novel. Novel available in graphic form.

Steinbeck, John
The Grapes of Wrath
The desperate flight of tenant farmers from Oklahoma during the Depression.

Stowe, Harriet Beecher
Uncle Tom's Cabin
The classic tale that awakened a nation about the slave system.

Tan, Amy
The Joy Luck Club
After her mother's death, a young Chinese-American woman learns of her mother's tragic early life in China.  Heartwarming.

Twain, Mark
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Huck and Jim, a runaway slave, travel down the Mississippi in search of freedom.

Vonnegut, Kurt
Billy Pilgrim, an optometrist from Ilium, New York, shuttles between World War II Dresden and a luxurious zoo on the planet Tralfamadore.

Walker, Alice
The Color Purple
A young woman sees herself as property until another woman teaches her to value herself.  Favorite.

Welty, Eudora
Thirteen Stories
A collection of short stories about people and life in the deep South.

Wolfe, Thomas
Look Homeward, Angel
A novel depicting the coming of age of Eugene Gant and his passion to experience life.

Wright, Richard
Native Son
Bigger Thomas, a young man from the Chicago slums, lashes out against a hostile society by committing two murders.

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