I’m reading two books this week and I haven’t finished either of them. The first I am already emotionally attached to and so I don’t want to rush through it. The other is a little hard to read because it is that stupid. And since I haven’t finished a book, I didn’t know what to blog about.
But with my sister going to college tomorrow, I’ve been thinking about my own college career. I studied English at UNC, and though I usually hate reading anything I’ve actually been assigned, there were a few I actually kinda liked. In no particular order…
- The Liar’s Club by Mary Karr. I took a couple of memoir classes and read Karr’s work in the first one. I also got to meet her. She’s an awesome person to talk to and her stories about her life are beautifully and hauntingly told.
- The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien. This isn’t usually my kind of book, but something about it just spoke to me. It doesn’t hurt that I read it with my favorite teacher of those four years, or that she had us read this other piece by O’Brien comparing war stories to life.
- The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. This is the book that made me really fall in love with Hemingway’s work. Between the descriptiveness and the dick jokes, what’s not to love?
- The Lost Colony by Paul Green. I don’t usually like to read plays, but I do enjoy reading the theories behind unsolved mysteries. (If anyone has a good book on Queen Nefertiti and her disappearance, please please share.)
- The Winter of our Discontent was actually the first John Steinbeck book I liked. I’m not even sure I can explain what it was. Maybe I was just finally ready for him. But his descriptions and his characters called to me, and the pessimism about the world, undercut by the narrative itself, fascinated me.
I miss a lot of things about college. Sometimes I want people to give me more recommendations. But mostly I just want someone else to be reading the same book so I can actually discuss it on a literary level. It’s why I turned to these posts in the first place: because, while I love reading books on a “basic” level, I missed being challenged to look deeper. And I miss reading out of the literary “canon” of society.
Maybe it’s time I read a classic again…