Wednesday, September 5, 2012

RTW: The Things They Made Me Read

Welcome to our 146th Road Trip Wednesday!

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question that begs to be answered. In the comments, you can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

We'd love for you to participate! Just answer the prompt on your own blog and leave a link - or, if you prefer, you can include your answer in the comments.

Back to school time! What's your favorite book that you had to read for a class?

For this post I'm going to break things down into two groups. The first being high school and the second being college. Since I'm currently in college and can actually remember most of the books I've read, I feel like that will be the hardest group in which to pick just one novel. 

High School
This one is a no brainer. My favorite book from those turbulent years is East of Eden by John Steinbeck. I love that book so much I even used it in a few essays I wrote my freshman and sophomore years of college. I wasn't a huge fan of Steinbeck's other most popular work, The Grapes of Wrath, when I was in high school and I can't say that I am today. It's a great novel but just doesn't appeal to me. East of Eden, however, did and still does. I love(d) how Steinbeck took the Cain and Abel story and applied it to westward expansion and the American tale of growth. Even just writing about it makes me want to go pick it up again. The whole book is simply dynamic and littered with allusion, morality, and the dirty politics of family. 

Last semester I took a class that compared the works of Ernest Hemingway and Willa Cather. I'd read All Quiet on the Western Front in high school and hadn't loved it. Turns out I still don't like it. But I'd never read anything by Cather prior to taking that course. Fortunately, Cather seemed to be my cup of tea. Her novel My Ántonia completely won me over. I think I even wrote a post about it...*runs off to check past posts*...guess not. Maybe that was a dream. Anyway, I seem to have a thing for American turn-of-the-century, coming-of-age novels. I'm actually really surprised since my focus is on Southern literature not on midwest or western American literature. But I digress.

So that's it. My two favorite required readings. I'm gonna go now. Things to do. Questions to answer in the lab. Sandwiches to eat. Stuff.

Until next time...

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