Books I Was Supposed to Read in High School, but Didn't
Deepest apologies to Dr. Driscoll, Mrs. Wasserman, Mrs. MacCallum, Mrs. DeMaio, and Mr. Bassell. At least I used an Oxford comma.
- •The Return of the Native, by Thomas HardyChapter 1- description of Egdon Heath as "Ishmaelitish thing," was enough to wing it without torturing myself by reading that guff. I listened to the audiobook a few years back. Eustacia could have done so much better than Clym Yeobright, in any event.
- •Sons and Lovers, by DH LawrenceI remember nothing about this book, except that I didn't read it in 12th grade and it isn't Lady Chatterley's Lover (which I probably would have read). Modern Library ranked it #9 out of the best 100 novels written in the 20th Century, so it probably doesn't suck.
- •The Odyssey, by HomerKind of wordy. I got the gist without all the verse getting in the way.
- •The Entire Freshman CurriculumMy teacher was seconds away from retirement and PISSED that he was saddled with freshmen after teaching upperclassmen for 15 years, so he taught us the Junior curriculum. The Rated R version, at that. As a result, I never read Silas Marner, Lord of the Flies, or Romeo & Juliet. I read Animal Farm and The Great Gatsby on my own.
- •MacBeth, the second time aroundSince I learned the Junior curriculum in my freshman year and our teacher taught the Rated "R" version, I didn't bother reading it again when I was a junior and my teacher was the local Presbyterian minister's wife.
- •Final thoughts on high school reading...I did read Brave New World. Remember the whipping scene at the end? Well everyone who used Cliff Notes outed themselves by calling it a "flagellation." Huxley called it "whipping." Also, in Senior year, when we read Hamlet, my bestie had the Presbyterian minister's wife and I had the new guy from Brooklyn. Believe me, the definitions of "country matters," could not have been more different between our two classes.