Saturday, June 12, 2010

Books books books

Hello again. It's been summer for around two weeks and I'm already starting on my (not entirely school-required) summer reading (hoo-ha NERDFIGHTERS!). If I remember both of you have talked about Pride and Prejudice, so I'm reading that/will probably discuss/gush about when I finish it.* Other books I plan on reading (because I feel the need to make another pointless list):

Cat's Cradle-- Kurt Vonnegut (blurb about satirical future involving midgets and calypso... it interests me.)
Brave New World-- Aldous Huxley (another satirical future involving sex and fetuses in bottles. I realize that sounds weird, but I'm going to read it BECAUSE it sounds weird.)
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim-- David Sedaris (I've read some of his other books, which are funny, short nonfiction essays. To balance out all the dystopian sex and oddness.)
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo-- Steig Larsson (It's also a movie. About computer hackers.)

Basically all the books on the list (there's a lot more I haven't listed/do not want to read/have already read) are either:

--Dystopian sex and oddness (redundant list is redundant)
--Foreign and/or poor people overcoming adversity (fiction and nonfiction). I know this is going to make me sound like a horrible human being but I do not care. Inevitable Holocaust memoir, memoir about basketball in the ghetto, memoir about being homeless with an alcoholic father yet growing up to be a Harvard professor, memoir about land mines in Afghanistan and moving to the US, book about being the only Indian kid in a prep school, book about a Hispanic girl being the only one in her family to finish high school, the list goes on.

These types of books just depress me and then bore me to tears (actually, most nonfiction does. At least the latter. Save Freakonomics and David Sedaris). The only thing that can be felt for these characters is a kind of pity, I don't understand what the administration thinks we should get from these books. Maybe I'm dense. Maybe I'm coldhearted. They don't affect me in the way they "should" (or in the way it is presumed they will...) and that makes me feel a bit guilty. But I'd rather the books I read be a sort of fantastic escapism--be it to seventeenth century English romance or the crazy midget-run future--not things I have to think about. Annnnd again that sounds awful. I understand the subjects of these books are important, they have an audience that I'm sure will be profoundly moved by them, they're just not my cup of tea.

Am I right or am I dense?**

* Which, if it keeps raining like this, should be soon. P&P is a good book to read while it's raining.

** I encourage you to think of a third option.


Vita said...

I've never read Pride and Prejudice. I saw the movie (the Keira Knightley version) but I don't think that quite counts. ;)

MOST BORING BOOK EVER Award has to go to Little Women, though. I got halfway through at least three times and then had to give up because I wanted to shoot myself in the leg just to add some excitement. Admittedly, the last time I gave it a good effort was at least three years ago, but I have flipped through it recently and - yep - still boring. Why is this a "beloved American classic?" I believe people when they say it's good/a masterpiece/touching/whatever, but the point is IT IS SO BORING. F'ing hell.

Anyhoo, good luck wiff yo summer reading. Agreed, nonfiction is largely dull, but I suppose it makes you smarter... somehow. You have a huge reading list compared to mine, though. We only ever have to read one English book over the summer and then do work related to it. This year it's Song of Solomon for me & the other IB 11th graders. We do have to write commentaries and shit, but still. Y'alls in Illinois are overachievers. ;)

Rena said...

We don't have to do work for it, (some introduction "discussion"/getting-to-know other persons in the class type thing possibly) and I enjoy the excuse to stay inside. Only one is required, I'm just being a nerd. A nerd who like air conditioning.