November 26, 2015

Reading for School

Both my spring semester and my fall semester this year involved a lot more reading. So I wanted to devote this post to all the books I had to read for various classes.


Lit and Culture
This was one of my classes last semester.

First we started off with Einstein's Dreams, a novel I had never heard of before I had to order it for my class.
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It was all about different worlds where time ran differently, with interludes about Einstein himself as he tried to work out his theory of time. It wasn't terrible; it just dragged at times.

Next was Shakespeare's The Tempest.
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I've read some of Shakespeare's other plays, and this was definitely one of my least favorites. I can't entirely explain why; I just know that I really didn't like it.

Our next unit focused solely on Persuasion by Jane Austen.
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I've read two retellings of this one, so I knew the gist of the story, but this was one of the Austen novels I had never actually read before. (I'm very partial to Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, and Emma.) It was pretty dull and dreary to me, which I thought was sad. I really want to love all of Jane Austen's novels.

The final unit was devoted to two novels, the first of which was Notes of Underground, which I abhored. Clearly, Russian literature is not for me.
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And the second one was One Hundred Years of Solitude.
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This one was so weird, and that was a bit off-putting. It did introduce me to the genre of magical realism, which made me appreciate The Weight of Feathers.

Western Civ II
Another of my classes last semester. Technically, we had to read three(?) books for the tests, but I may have only read one and Shmooped the others...

The one I did read was...
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It's safe to say I didn't like it. I've never enjoyed reading for class, but I had high hopes for this one since it's one of the first dystopian novels.

Modern Novel
My main literature class this semester! It's taught by the same prof that I had for Lit and Culture, so once again, we read five novels. This class was all about the modernist period in literature.

We started off with Howards End.
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When we first read this one, I wasn't a big fan. I'm still not, really, but in comparison to some of the others we've read, this one stands above them.

Then we read one of Virginia Woolf's novels.
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I liked the parts with Septimus and Rezia, but that was about it.

Then we read a Faulkner novel.
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I think I would've liked this one better, were it not for the nontraditional narration. It was too confusing for me.

The Good Soldier was fourth.
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My abhorrence for The Good Soldier knows no end. It was so pointless and ridiculous and ugh.

So, as of writing this post, I haven't actually read this one yet...
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But I hope I'm enjoying it! Our final reading from this one is due next Thursday.
Edit: We've started reading this one and so far, it's the easiest to understand, based on narration and word choice.

Revolutionary Europe
For my history minor. That prof had us read two small books for class discussions and one GIANT book (it's over 1,000 pages) for three book reviews. Needless to say, I enjoyed none of these.

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This was the first book discussion read. I'm not ashamed to say I mostly skimmed it.

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Second book discussion read. As of writing this post, I haven't started it, but I will be soon, I'm sure.
Edit: Started it, and it's pretty boring but at least easier to comprehend than Reflections.


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This is the book review one. I haven't finished it yet; the final book review is due on Wednesday so I should be done soon.

So, in conclusion, I hate reading for class. I rarely find new favorites (To Kill a Mockingbird is the one exception). I rarely skim books, I promise, especially for Dr. Penner's classes. She requires us to turn in "reading responses" (which are quotes we like from the books, passages we want to respond to, and parts we're confused about) so that makes it very hard to skim or Shmoop for her class.
What have you had to read for school? Do you generally hate the books you've had to read, or have you enjoyed them? 

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