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Did you know books used to be made from trees? Dust off a seat and discuss your reading escapades here...you do read, right?

Books you read in school

4 months ago
So I just was discussing this elsewhere and wanted some more thoughts. School assigned books can be a very mixed experiences and some people think it's cringe forcing kids to read specific things at all. (Since if they get anything out of reading they're already doing it on their own.)

Did you have any especially memorable experiences with good or bad books, or the teachers who forced you to fumble your way through making up reports on them when you didn't bother? Did any of them lead you to any similar reading on your own time, or do you have strong feelings one way or another about the value of schools making kids do this at all?

It may also worth noting that a couple thousand novels have been banned in schools in the US in the last two years, so you may have enjoyed some rare contraband.

Books you read in school

4 months ago
And if you were a teacher compiling a list of mandatory novels for our tweens here, what's the top ten you would go with after you slapped the manga out of their hand?

What do you think that Ant in particular should have to read?
(The answer is the Bible.)

Books you read in school

4 months ago

A Song of Ice and Fire is absolutely amazing and should be required reading for every child over the age of twelve. (Anyone claiming it isn't "child appropriate" is a faggot.)

Books you read in school

4 months ago

Genre fantasy can be great but it's not mind expanding in the way that fleshy little shitlings need to be exposed to. Not teaching the high art / low art distinction at a younge age is how you get Marveltards 

Books you read in school

4 months ago

Probably at least one of the big four dystopian books. The first part of 1984 was always fun to read before it turned into a whole slogfest essay about the message of the story and language in general. Brave new world has the most interesting world building and I found Handmaid's tale's prose to be the easiest to read through. Fahrenheit, still haven't gone through it tho.

Also at least one of Lovecraft's short stories as an extra. Never gotten a lot of horror novels/stories sadly enough except for Poe.

(Gulliver's travels and Robinson Crusoe should be read as a pair of they are chosen at all. Though wouldnt advise to torture tweens with it. A whole crashcourse history lesson also needs to be done before you can really understand those two books)

Books you read in school

4 months ago
The only books that really stood out and were required reading in school are The Outsiders, To Kill a Mockingbird, and Touching Spirit Bear.

Books you read in school

4 months ago
  • Deptford Trilogy 
  • Moby-Dick 
  • A Farewell to Arms
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls 
  • Frankenstein + Dracula  
  • The Adventures of Tom Sawyer 
  • Iliad + Odyssey 

I think this list of ten is based and hard enough to instill a deep love of reading while also being educationally valuable. Kids are smarter than you think; they can either adapt and become good readers or fuck off and die. 

Of the books I was assigned as a teen, Fifth Business made the biggest impact, and its sequel The Manticore literally changed my view of reality. Profoundly based works. 

Books you read in school

4 months ago

We read The Painted Bird for 9th grade English class. Still my favorite book to this day.

Books you read in school

4 months ago

Even as someone who enjoys reading, I find that the books the school assigns are typically just annoying to read, and I think that it may even drive some kids away from reading. If they're forced to read a book they don't like and spend hours annalizing it even though it feels like there's nothing to annalize, that can make some kids who didn't really read much before grow an early disliking of reading. 

Personally, I really liked the way my 7th grade teacher did one unit last year. They had us choose between five books of what we wanted to read and then split us up into groups from what we chose. That way, people actually got to read a book that maybe sounded more interesting to them. Of course, it didn't actually work out that well, but it was a cool idea. 

Books you read in school

4 months ago
I read westing game in 5th grade. I think that's a decent book that should be assigned more. I don't recall it being an easy read

Books you read in school

4 months ago

I remember being read to in class, being given a choice from a list of books we could read, and just straight up given a book we were forced to read. Most of the books I had to read I enjoyed. I would've loved if I were forced to read more classics. I remember one time my class was forced to sit and listen to our teacher read us Unwind, which was some obscure dystopian YA novel about adult abortion. I was asleep in class most of the time during it, cause I could care less about the book, but I remember it began with the protagonist hijacking his abortion truck and ending with him starting a revolution with all the other teens in his concentration camp. 

Other than that, some books I remember reading in high school (and enjoying), were:

The Outsiders

Animal Farm

Frankenstein

Fahrenheit 451

Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Macbeth

The Jungle

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

Pride and Prejudice

The Scarlet Letter

Books you read in school

4 months ago
Whitefang is a great book to teach younger classes about empathy and abuse through the perspective of an animal.
Forget Catcher in the Rye. Absolute shit book and shittier character. Read the adventures of Tom Sawyer instead.
Agreed on Gulliver's Travels and Robinson Crusoe, could probably add treasure island to that list as well. Did not like 80 days around the world.

Edit: Having actually read the thread, apparently the other Dutch had a wrong opinion and you should definitely read these even without having any clue about any history whatsoever. Especially Robinson Crusoe is a great book about adventure, the mindset of overcoming hardship, craving social connection, and thriving even when alone and marooned. By the way, who doesn't like a good back-to-nature book?

Since it's probably for English class, you have add some Shakespeare: I liked Macbeth and the Merchant of Venice the most.
Can't go wrong with Dumas either, whether it's Robin Hood, three musketeers, or Count of monte cristo.
All quiet on the western front is a great and heavy one. The recent movie didn't do it justice at all.

As for dystopias. Most are boring and proselytizing as shit and that's the last thing you're looking for during schooltime. Got enough of that at home. I did enjoy Hellstrom's Hive and Brave New World though.

That should be enough for a reading list. Then read whatever you like on your own time.

Books you read in school

4 months ago

The books are much better when you learn about the historical context behind it before reading. I initially didn't like Gulliver's travels that much until I read up about the reason of the story's existence and realised that the entire story was a huge satire on British Society and fake travel stories like Crusoe in general.

Robinson Crusoe, though not as deeply entrenched in its time period as Gulliver, really benefits from the reader knowing how literary significant it was at the time (it basically being considered as the first English novel). The fact that it was written and published around the enlightenment period really sheds a light how the book treats religion, colonialism and economic structures (to the point that you have a whole wikipedia page talking about these themes).

Plus the version of the gulliver I read had a ton of footnotes which made comprehending the random references and old timer words and phrases the author throws at you a lot easier, but still very much a chore to read. Still, a very rewarding experience. 

Well, then there's the question why we don't do this to every literary work and why these books are so special? Well, it's because they are old. Lots of what these people at the time consider as common sense or common knowledge are nowadays forgotten by/not taught to most school children. Heck, due to the cultural barriers, I recon that most kids from the US or the Netherlands won't even know who the whigs and Tories were, let alone Sir Robert Walpole. It would be a great disservice to the book to just see it as "a wacky adventure story" instead of a scathing misanthropic satire it actually was.

However, I really don't think that it's a book for middle schoolers. (It's not to say that the books aren't good, but I think that it would benefit older kids more) Twelve year olds barely have any motivation to read more modern books, let alone one that requires homework and footnotes to understand what's going on. It would be more suitable for older children and a great topic to cover for essays.

I consider good dystopian fiction as something that doesn't have to be fun to read, as long as it has something interesting to say. Most of these books are truly time capsules of the socio political zeitgeist and worries at the time. Brave new world was written around a time where you had tons of new technological inventions and discoveries, 1984 during the cold war and authoritarian governments, handmaid's tale around the rise of conservatism in north America. Most of the plot are either boring drivel or not really the point. Still, I think dystopian fiction provides valuable insights that couldnt simply be gained by reading a history book. Everyone needs to experience such stories at least once.

Btw. Completely agree with catcher in the rye. For a book that spurred on a murder, it sure is the most boring milk toast whiny emo garbage I've ever laid my hands on. I thought to myself all the time: really, this book got itself banned?

Books you read in school

4 months ago
Alright, first off I'm going to debunk this entire needing to know all the things to enjoy a particular book thing you've got going on. Because I'm not sure whether I got a completely skewed worldview, but I imagine everyone gets at least a basic concept of religion and how colonists treat natives, even be it through Hollywood.

I actually had to look up what you meant by economic structures in Crusoe, as I honestly don't understand how this can be the first theme that pops up in someone's head when reading about literal survival in the wilds. Well, I have looked it up and deemed it completely unnecessary to the story in exactly the same way you don't have to understand the theory behind sailing to enjoy Pirates of the Caribbean. Hell, that may be even more useful seeing this is just an economic thought experiment spawned off the story with no actual reference to it in the story itself.

It's the same with Gulliver's Travels, really. It's been a while since I've last read it, but I recall it starts off as a grand voyage of escapism and filled with wonder and excitement. When he eventually returns to England, all that wonder blinded his eyes so all he can see is man's animalistic cruelty, turning the entire prose scathingly misanthropic; a complete opposite of most adventure stories where the return to civilization is portrayed as the height of achievement and happiness. Even twelve-year-old Enter picked up on that and thought he was being a big dumb emo to hate on his own kind.

Anyway, to make it a bit broader, you don't have to understand 100% of what you're reading about when you read it. Reading isn't a test you gotta study for. Especially these books with a lot of depth can be read in a couple of different layers. It's got the basic plot and characters that are mostly accessible to anyone. A likable guy gets stuck alone. Then through that, it introduces deeper layers, like struggle, diligence, piety, and how humans treat each other. Then through those views, you get a deeper understanding of how those views evolved or devolved to what you're familiar with now. All that doesn't take away the possibility to start off with just the guy getting stuck, and exploring the book at your own pace.

If this doesn't make sense, imagine it's a made-up fantasy world: you don't have to get autistic history lessons on every little detail; you just have to let all the little details fill in the world and let you get acquainted with the mannerisms and the thoughts that inhabit it.

I disagree with your view on dystopian novels. I think if you're trying to encapsulate the socio-political zeitgeist and so express your worries at the time, you could just straight-up write a manifesto. If you don't, and try and disguise it in a story, the story should be able to stand up on its own merit. It doesn't deserve that pass just like speculative science fiction doesn't deserve it either.

Books you read in school

4 months ago

Reading for school is different from reading things at your own leisure. You read books in school to broaden your worldview and read stuff you wouldn't otherwise read on your own. No matter how much you try to make stuff interesting and exciting, children will hate it if you force them to read books. If you have to force them to read, then you better extract the most value out of each book.

Sure, you can read those books like Gulliver's travels without knowing the full political context behind it, but in the same vein you can read Mein Kampf without knowing who Hitler is. Plus, I think you forget how naive, stupid and sheltered some kids can be. Eleven year old me had no idea what the KKK was for example or that there were things like sundown towns and things like the noble savage and the "noble white savior saving them savages from themselves" genuinely would fly over my head. 

What you said about Gulliver's travels is only the very top of the iceberg really, pretty much surface level. If that's the baseline requirement of what a kid should take away from the story, then I would find it very disappointing. The most disheartening thing is that this particular story was also for a time marketed as a children's adventure book and there was also a very silly movie adaptation. So there were clearly many people who took all these things as surface level over the course of centuries. It's quite a pity since the book itself had lots of interesting things to say about philosophy and politics. 

Well, the thing about manifestos is, who the fuck reads them? I bet an average layman can sum up more ideologically driven books than manifestos of authors. Aside from 1984 and Animal Farm, Orwell has written plenty of manifestos. Can you recall any of them? Have you read them and analysed their contents? Probably not and neither do I just like about the majority of the English speaking world.

The only reason why I know about the views of that hag Ayn Rand was because of Atlus Shrugged and Fountainhead. Really, it was way easier for me to recall those books than whatever stuff was drilled in my head about some Greek philosopher I had to study from a textbook. The reason why writers put their views in story format is so that their ideas are made more accessible and more memorable. You know what's more boring than reading a boring story, it's reading a textbook about politics and economy.

Plus these boring stories help people get more tools to express their own feelings about socio economic and political issues and can serve as easy anchor points to convey very complex ideas. How many times have you seen someone say: "this is just like 1984." (Though it also shocks me that there are plenty of misinterpretations of people who havent even read the novel). Yes, I still don't recommend most dystopian novels as things to read for fun, but reading them just gives children good toolsets to use in the future.

Books you read in school

3 months ago
"Reading for school is different from reading things at your own leisure. You read books in school to broaden your worldview and read stuff you wouldn't otherwise read on your own. No matter how much you try to make stuff interesting and exciting, children will hate it if you force them to read books. If you have to force them to read, then you better extract the most value out of each book."

There are so many assumptions in there I don't even know where to start... Well, I lied. For starters, reading for school is exactly the same as reading for your own interest. Learning how to read more challenging literature is what helps you continue on your own journey in just the same manner as how learning how to read at all helped you start it during elementary. Making the horizon seems interesting and exciting is a much better promotor of that intrinsic motivation for that journey than dragging them through the mud-pits and SCREAMING WHY ARE YOU NOT ENJOYING DOING THIS ON YOUR OWN in their faces.

So I just don't agree with the statement that forcing kids to read makes them hate it, whatever the book might be. I was forced to read good books and enjoyed them, perhaps just a bit less than if the choice were totally free, and I was forced to read bad ones and hated those. It did not put me off reading in its entirety in just the same way that being forced to watch a movie during class did not put anyone off watching movies for their entire lifetimes. It's just a dumb blanket statement.

With that in mind, this mentality you seem to have of schooltime being prison-like, a race against the clock during which kids need to be fed more information than they are able to digest before they become adults and never learn another thing, is completely undefendable.

"Sure, you can read those books like Gulliver's travels without knowing the full political context behind it, but in the same vein you can read Mein Kampf without knowing who Hitler is."

Bro you just liked Gulliver's travels to Mein Kampf. This is how hard you're reaching. Stop.

"What you said about Gulliver's travels is only the very top of the iceberg really, pretty much surface level. If that's the baseline requirement of what a kid should take away from the story, then I would find it very disappointing. The most disheartening thing is that this particular story was also for a time marketed as a children's adventure book and there was also a very silly movie adaptation. So there were clearly many people who took all these things as surface level over the course of centuries. It's quite a pity since the book itself had lots of interesting things to say about philosophy and politics."

You keep referencing these hidden depths beyond the book reflecting and highlighting certain characteristics of human nature in every society Gulliver visits, ending up with him having a skewed view of it and turning him emo, and I'm actually looking forward to seeing them written out. And no Wikipedia articles that aren't even relevant to understanding the book itself this time.

Also, you seem to forget a bonus of being in school, there's a proper adult educated on these topics in the room. If the kid fails to see the deeper layers, gently nudging them towards them helps a ton with an 'o wow' moment. Hell, sharing and learning insights that you haven't gleaned from a text is the loft goal of most book clubs that full-grown adults join.

"Well, the thing about manifestos is, who the fuck reads them? I bet an average layman can sum up more ideologically driven books than manifestos of authors. Aside from 1984 and Animal Farm, Orwell has written plenty of manifestos. Can you recall any of them? Have you read them and analysed their contents? Probably not and neither do I just like about the majority of the English-speaking world."

Exactly. Because nobody is actually interested in manifestos, least of all I. Which is if you want to put it into book form, you gotta wrap that turd up real nice.

"Really, it was way easier for me to recall those books than whatever stuff was drilled in my head about some Greek philosopher I had to study from a textbook."

Speak for yourself. Those ancient philosophers had a way with words that was way beyond the likes of Orwell. The candle metaphor to life and death alone has had more impact on my view of the world than any dystopian novel ever had.

"How many times have you seen someone say: "this is just like 1984."

Probably not as much as you have since I'm neither a socialist nor a Redditor. If your takeaway from these dystopian books is being able to point at a grey reality and make some inane comparison to a over-highlighted black-and-white book, you know you're wasting everyone's time. Kids would be better off getting taught actual arguments on modern political views.

Books you read in school

3 months ago

Ok

Books you read in school

4 months ago
Commended by Sherbet on 6/5/2023 3:03:48 AM

Part 1: Elementary School

Didn’t really get assigned any books to read other than the various short stories from the designated reading book we got in class. I remember the “beginner” books were mostly a red color. Off We Go, Who Can?, Lost and Found, Hats and Bears, were the first four I remember going through in first grade. They all had soft covers and were long ways rectangular books rather than the standard style of book.

Later books were hard cover and were more like a standard book. Had different set of colors too. I believe yellow was one section and blue was another. Secrets and Surprises and Full Circle were a couple names of the blue books.

The short stories in these books were as you might expect a mixed bag. Some were funny, some were boring, some were weird, some were interesting, etc. Wide range topics and genres. A few of them were in several parts or even plays. I remember bits and pieces of some of the stuff.

One of those stories that stands out was one I read in first grade that involved a kid that was looking for something he lost. His buddy tries to help and they retrace his steps, but still no luck. His buddy then suggests that why doesn’t he ask the various people in the areas that he was at since maybe they saw it. (A storekeep, some old lady, his mom, etc)

The kid however says he doesn’t want to ask anyone, because if he does, inevitably that person is going to ask him to do something for them and he doesn’t want to. Though I’m not sure how he came to that conclusion.

However, he comes up with a plan to ask all these people anyway and then run really fast before they can ask him to do anything. So he does just that and the plan works, though the whole story is a bit of a shaggy dog story since he ends up finding the object he lost completely independent of asking anyone. He just sort of stumbles upon it towards the end.

Why this story stood out to me is due to the teacher saying the boy was lazy since he didn’t want to help anyone. Though even at the time I didn’t see why he was lazy just because he didn’t want to help a bunch of strangers potentially asking him to do shit when he was busy with his search mission. A little paranoid perhaps given that there was no indication they would have demanded that he help them, however it turned out that his mom WAS going to ask him to do some chore, but he ran too fast. It's not paranoia if it's true I suppose.

Only other major thing that I remember standing out was one of the few times we had to pull a book out of the school library in second grade to do a book report on and I really didn’t want to do the assignment since I was already showing my rebellious attitude of not wanting to be told to read something.

I ended up finding this book which I can’t remember the plot exactly, except it was about a friendly alligator that ends up helping this family after some initial hesitation from the father of the family. It was a fun story.

Well it’s not like the rule said the book had to have actual text. It was told all in pictures. So that’s what I did my report on. Fuck you, I’m not reading shit.

I beat the system.

(More to come, stay tuned!)

Books you read in school

4 months ago

Love Island of the Blue Dolphins
Love Shiloh
Love Mouse and the Motorcycle
Love Maus
Love To Kill a Mockingbird
Love Shakespeare
Love Where the Red Fern Grows
Love Huckleberry Finn
Love the Crucible
Love The Invisible Man (The Black guy, not the 1920s scientist)
Love Johnny Tremaine

Myeh Great Gatsby

Hate Grapes of Wrath
Hate H.G. Wells (Not bad stories, I just don't like the way he words things. I remember the narration itself at the ending of The Invisible Man making me be like "oh fuck off" for some reason)
Hate Stone Fox
Hate Moby Dick
Hate Animal Farm
Hate Raisin In The Sun
Hate The Awakening
Hate that one book about the magic lemonade powder that makes you good.
Hate Winn Dixie (Liked parts of it but the book itself felt longer than any book I have ever read which caused me pain by the end. And also they fuckin knew what they were doing making the dog mysteriously disappear at the end of a kids' chapter book those sick fucks.)
Hate Johnny Tremaine

Simple as.

Books you read in school

8 days ago

Shit fucking opinions 

Books you read in school

4 months ago
I had some specific books I had to read and some books where I just had to read SOMETHING.

Some books I believe should be mandatory school reading are as follows:
The Bible - I've noticed conversation elsewhere that quality suffers when too many of those who have not read the Bible are involved
Julius Caesar - Underrated play. The well-known historical context makes it very easy to follow along with, it's exciting, and it's very quotable.
Little Women - A classic that is a good read for both little kids and older ones.
Great Expectations - Some level of Dickens is mandatory. Both endings should be read.
Moby Dick - For pride month.
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer - Twain is also mandatory.
An Austen novel I have no strong opinion which, but they were funny and influential and historically interesting.

Books you read in school

4 months ago
Commended by Sherbet on 6/5/2023 3:04:09 AM

Part 2: Middle School

Okay so Middle School also didn’t have much in the way of assigning proper novels/books to read. Again we mostly read the assigned reading books that had various short stories in them. I don’t remember these books as much since they less colorful covers with boring shit on them and equally dull names. (Nothing like say a picture of bears wearing hats for example). I don’t even remember many of the stories from these books.

Like I could mention the wacky short stories from the elementary school books like the one about the Jewish kids desperately trying to save their “pet” carp that was living in the bathtub from getting made into dinner later (Gefilte Fish) or the weird story about this little girl who called her dad by his real name and how that’s just how her and her dad rolled and they didn’t care what the world thought.

None of the shit I read in middle school really made an memorable impact, well other than the one story about Hitler called “HE IS NOT DEAD” since I obviously remember it.

It was all about some teens literally getting into the Kool Kids Klub. Naturally there was one guy who felt like following the teachings of a dead genocidal dictator to be a bad idea and told his parents and tried to talk his buddy out of it.

As I remember there was no real resolution to it. The buddy was still worshipping the swastika and there was no FBI take down of a white separatist compound. It was sort of one of those stories I guess you were supposed to do some critical inner thinking on though I don’t think we actually did that in class. In fact, I think the reading assignment was just busy work to keep us occupied for awhile.

Now there were two times I do remember getting book report assignments and once again we had to take a book out of the school library and do a report on said book. Unlike elementary school though, I couldn’t cleverly find a book with no text.

So for one of these assignments I remember picking up a purple book to do a report on. That’s almost all I remember about this damn book, because I barely even read it. I don’t even remember the title. In fact, the book didn’t even have a title on the cover. It had to have one on the spine, though again don’t remember what it was. (Hell it was probably faded anyway)

What l do remember is reading some of the beginning, getting bored, reading some of the middle, then reading some of the end. Thanks to this lazy technique, I managed to cobble together a report and did alright on it. Probably because even the teacher hadn’t read this book before either since I was just guessing at the plot.

What was the plot? Fuck if I know. I just remember there was some scene in the beginning where one kid was telling the protagonist that he should go ahead and puke because he’ll feel better. There was some dream shit, psychic powers, and I think a ghost girl? Though I think it turned out in the end that the girl wasn’t a ghost and she was real. Like I said, I dunno. Didn’t hold my interest.

You might ask why the hell I picked it at all then, well that’s due to not being enthused about having to do this shit in the first place and wasting so much time that I just sort of had to pick something before time ran out and I guess a nameless purple book caught my attention more than most.

Now the second time we had to do this shit, I managed to strike gold and found Lord of the Rings. I instantly picked this book which surprised the hell out of the English teacher that I would pick such a book. She of course didn’t realize my pick of this literature was due to my already excessive basic nerd knowledge of the story thanks to the cartoons and role playing games. I mean it’s a simple premise at its core anyway.

So I easily did a report on the book based on my knowledge of the tale and did alright on it.

Didn’t read shit and I beat the system once again.

(More to come, stay tuned!)

Books you read in school

4 months ago
As far as books for younger kids go, I really wish someone had introduced me to The Little Prince at a younger age. Would’ve probably been better than whatever I was reading then anyway.

Here’s a short list of books I read (mostly in high school) that I don’t regret.

1.) Captains Courageous

2.) Uncle Tom’s Cabin

3.) The Count of Monte Cristo

4.) Brave New World

5.) Moby Dick

6.) The Brothers Karamazov

7.) The Man Who Was Thursday

Not a novel, but I loved Flowers for Algernon

I also learned that I don’t like reading William Faulkner or Ayn Rand.

Books you read in school

4 months ago
Commended by Sherbet on 6/5/2023 3:04:18 AM

Part 3: High School

Well by this time, there was no more beating the system. You had to read the assigned shit and no short cut or trick was going to work. In fact, before I even started high school, I was already getting assigned reading from it so I’d be prepared for what was to come in English class.

Four books were assigned for me to read over the summer. These were actual novels and I was dreading every minute of it.

The four books were Diary of Anne Frank, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Learning Tree, and Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry.

The only one I ended up liking out of those was The Learning Tree. Within the first few pages, the teenage protagonist loses his virginity to a prostitute old enough that it would probably be considered statutory RAEP (He doesn’t even pay, she just sort of surprises him with the secks), someone gets crushed by a tree and the old racist sheriff shoots some black guy.

Well, that kept my interest. I think by the end of it 13 people died and there was another rape in there. Quality stuff.

As for the rest, Roll was the only one I really disliked. The other two were meh. Pretty sure I skipped pages on all of them.

When school actually started, turned out I didn’t even need to read all of those books since we only went over two of them and not even for very long. All that reading for nothing.

Besides the usual class assigned books with all the short stories in them, getting assigned actual novels to read became more of the norm. 10th grade especially since that particular teacher really felt that was important. I don’t think we actually ever did anything else except read and analyze shit in them. Never even did any grammar shit, which another teacher (Later my 12th) felt was just as important, if not more so. She had some severe disagreements with what subject matter should be prioritized. Probably because she taught illiterate retards at a community college who wrote worse than some of the 12 year olds here. I know this since I used to aide for my 12th grade English teacher and one time she was grading these college people and I saw the papers and couldn’t stop laughing.

In any case in those 4 years, I read a bunch of shit I didn’t really want to read. Dig through old threads and you can probably find me ranting about my great hatred of boring ass Charles Dickens starting in high school. I won’t bother going into it again.

Shakespeare was another major one we read a few things from. I never hated him, but I never was too thrilled about reading his shit either. He at least got to the fucking point quicker than Dickens.

Since this was primarily a black high school, it isn’t surprising that I also read a lot of shit that was black focused. Black Boy and Native Son by Richard Wright were probably two of the better ones in addition to the Learning Tree. A lot of these books mostly focused on the plight of being black in white racist America. Of course growing up as a poor black child myself, I completely identified with such a thing more than some old dead boring white dude like Charles fucking Dickhead.

Read the Autobiography of Malcolm X. That was alright. Go Tell It on the Mountain was boring though. You’d think a tale involving a alcoholic womanizing preacher who beat his family would be more interesting, but there was too much religious shit in it for me I guess.

I remember Glass Menagerie by that old pillow biter Tennessee Williams being alright. I sort of liked reading about this shitty delusional family that went from a bad situation to an even worse one.

A couple of short stories by Steinbeck were fine. One of those was The Pearl which was gleefully more violent than expected so that was cool. A baby even got mashed. (Okay, it just got its brains blown out rather than mashed, but the baby mashers got killed and went to hell anyway)  Another of his stories was about some Indian (feather) kid going out and hunting for the first time. Was sort of a dull tale about him prepping and going on his hunt, but it ultimately ended with him getting eaten by a bear which made up for it.

There were a few other things we read that were part of that usual suspects grouping of high school assignments. Pretty sure stuff like Animal Farm, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451 were all in there. Though I think Animal Farm was assigned in a different class than mine and I only remember reading part of 1984 for JROTC class rather than English class.

And Fahrenheit 451 was an extra credit assignment book. The 10th grade teacher would give this optional assignment and give you a test on a certain day where upon you got extra points based on how much you got right. Of course since the test was extra credit anyway, you could easily just take the test and not read shit, relying on the age old strategy of choosing “B” when in doubt. You got free points anyway, just depended on how many based on how much you actually wanted to read (Or how good you were at guessing, I suppose this was the closest thing to "beating the system")

Nothing else memorable comes to mind of what was read in high school other than a couple of short stories which we were reading out loud in class. One of these was a story about a man dying and going before judgment. I happily got to read the part of Death. (The 12th grade teacher already knew to assign me that part since I was all about that life)

The other story was set in England and revolved around some loser that lived with his overbearing mom and was scared to talk to girls. (Probably due to his mom fucking him up) In any case, a couple of his buddies convince him to go to a party with them and he reluctantly goes though not before getting into a guilt ridden argument with his mom first. She tries to get him to stay home, but he leaves anyway.

Later he goes to the party and predictably he’s all awkward and shit. Eventually he’s somehow talking with a girl and things are going somewhat alright and then in a scene when he gets her alone away from the party (I think he’s walking her to her home) he goes from awkward autist to rapey incel. I forget what she even says that triggers him to do suddenly do this since they were getting along.

He slams her agains the wall and threatens to hurt her. He starts going on this rant about feeling powerful and liking her fear, etc. Naturally she’s terrified and begging for him not to hurt her. He actually doesn’t do more than big talk though. Apparently this was enough to get him off and he just leaves.

The story ends with him coming back home to his mom who waited up for him, but she doesn’t yell at him and just says she was worried about him. She goes on to say what a good boy he is and he just replies meekly with a “Yes mom.”

Like I said, this was one of those stories we were reading out loud in class. The future serial killer’s part was not in fact read by me I got assigned the part of one of his friends who was falling all over the floor with some black chick. (Since the teacher once again knew I was all about that life) it was read by the class Christian zealot who was an ex-Satanist. He got all into character and did the English voice and everything.

Well that’s a wrap for high school and Charles still sucks big Dickens.

(More to come, stay tuned!)

Books you read in school

4 months ago
I'm glad the baby mashers died and went to hell

Books you read in school

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 6/5/2023 5:10:27 AM

Part 4: College

Alright, final chapter.

I only had to take a couple of English classes as part of the college degree requirement. I had more science related classes in general so I wasn’t taking any more than I needed to. Though the couple I had were alright.

So the English 102 class was one of the first classes I took when I first got to college. It was run by some commie teaching assistant who actually told us all to go home the first day since there was a teacher’s strike going on at the time. Technically the TAs weren’t unionized but apparently she was busily attempting to get them unionized hence why she told us to go home.

By the next week, the strike had been settled and we returned to our regularly schedule class.

For assigned reading, as I remember we had a book with a collection of short stories, a novel called “Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line” which was a book written by a guy who…(Surprise!) worked on a car factory assembly line. And finally Beloved by Toni Morrison.

Okay, going to just go ahead and say this now. If there was one book I hated reading more than anything by that longwinded asshole Dickens, it was goddamn Beloved. Fucking shit was so boring it even made slavery and degenerate bestality dull. I was skipping so many pages I probably missed what the fuck the over all plot was supposed to be.

Fortunately, we had group projects on the writing assignments on this book and this was one of the few times I sort of let others do the heavy lifting on, because fucking hell I hated the damn book.

With that out of the way, Rivethead I was actually surprised about not being bored by. The author going on about amusing stories that happened at the factory, like a guy taking an axe to a vending machine that stole his dollar to him having a heart attack as he’s driving home with the Beach Boys playing on the radio. This all contributed to at least an entertaining read even if I ultimately didn’t give a shit about the plight of the factory workers, since the TA as I said was a huge commie.

This was taking place all in Flint Michigan so I was aware of some of the history anyway. Flint always sucked with their high crime, high unemployment, and poisonous water. Say what you want about Detroit, but we had drinkable water.

Other shit we read that I remember were a couple of the short stories. One was by Kurt Vonnegut and another by Kafka. I don’t remember the name of the Vonnegut one (Gower probably knows), though I do remember he went into graphic descriptions of women giving blowjobs and part of the story having huge text saying “FREE BEAVERS INSIDE”

Actually I remember more than that. The whole piece was doing some critique of an uncaring world and people profiting off rampant degeneracy. While the ones buying said degeneracy were just spiraling into further madness. Well, he wasn’t wrong.

The Kafka one wasn’t in fact the one about the dude turning into a giant roach, it was the penal colony one where they execute you by carving your crime into your skin over and over until you died. I liked that one.

While there’s other memorable shit about that particular English class, that’s about the only memorable shit I read in it. I could go on about some of the classmates, the commie teacher and my independent writing assignments (Which I naturally enjoyed way more than reading anything of course) but those aren’t the focus of this thread.

So moving on to the next English class I took since I needed to take another one. This one was the only one available in my schedule so I took English 302 (Or whatever the number was, I remember it was a 300 number)

This one I enjoyed a bit more as far as the reading content went and I think it’s due to the fact that all of it was short stories. I can’t even think of a novel we actually got assigned. We had one book with a lot of short stories and even those mostly had movies that had been based on them. I think this English class might have even been exploring the whole “movie vs book” thing. I never did pay much attention to the detailed descriptions of classes at times.

So the two that stood out for me were Don’t Look Now and Spurs. I’d actually sort of already knew the story of Don’t Look Now having seen the movie of the same name with Donald Sutherland. Or at least saw enough of the movie to know the premise. It wasn’t even a movie I particularly liked (Sort of slow and plodding) but it has a great ending of a malignant midget serial killer murdering the shit out of the psychic protagonist. (He keeps seeing this little figure in a red coat and thinks its his long dead daughter)

The short story pretty much follows the same plot, so if you’ve seen the old movie, the short story is about the same. The kill scene is probably a little more graphic in the book so there’s that.

Spurs was interesting since this was the original story that the old movie Freaks was based on. Same premise that a dwarf falls in love with a beautiful normal girl and she just goes with him for his money. Though that’s about where similarities end.

In the movie, it’s a bit more black and white (Or Hollywoodized) in that the dwarf is just sort of smitten with the normal woman and she’s a complete asshole to him to the point of even trying to kill him with poison to get the money quicker. Her (and her strongman lover) get their comeuppance in the end. The dwarf protagonist even says something about how he tried to stop the other freaks from taking such brutal vengeance, just to make him look even more like the “good guy.”

In the story, she’s still sort of a gold digging asshole, however she just sort of figures the dwarf being a dwarf won’t live very long so she’s playing the waiting game. However, she mocks the dwarf on the wedding day stating she could carry him on her back from one end to France to the other. Well…

A year passes and she shows up on her old lover’s doorstep pleading with him to save her from this malignant midget who in true dwarf fashion doesn’t let go of an insult and is actually making her carry him from one end of France to the other on her goddamn back. Lol.

So her old lover simps for her and tries to defend her against the dwarf who has tracked her down, but the old lover dies because the dwarf has come prepared for battle riding a fucking wolfhound with a sword in hand.

After dispatching the old lover, he takes his wife back and puts the saddle back on her and digs his spurs into her side as she continues her long trek to the other side of France as he laughs about it. The end!

As you can see, this version makes the dwarf look a little more like a sadistic little fucker that’s just as bad as she is (maybe even worse). However, I say this is more of a case of play stupid games, win stupid prizes. She still deserved what she got.

Hm, just realized I remembered and liked all the stories with killer dwarves in them. That sounds about right.

Anyway that was it for all the English classes and all that mandatory reading. I was done with it all.

And I never read anything ever again.

Fin.

Books you read in school

4 months ago
That is a lot of killer dwarfs.

Books you read in school

4 months ago

I was one of the most voracious readers in my schools up through high school, tearing through assigned books and anything that looked vaguely interesting in the library.  Most of these books were interesting and contributed to my writing and comprehension ability, although most did not make a big enough impression to be worth calling out.

Early on Lovecraft, C.S. Lewis and Zelasny were favorites as I found both had particularly intriguing writing styles and were very evocative of imagination for me. There was one particular book that I read in middle school that has always struck with me, but I've never been able to find again to remember what the title was.  The book was focused on a group of people that were all designated as recipients in an extremely wealthy person's will if they were able to success in a contest to "earn it".  The twist ending is that the wealthy guy isn't actually dead, and one of the contestants figures out that not only is he not dead, but the only way to win his contest is to follow his example in life, investing aggressively but wisely.  The end of the book is them playing chess and discussing the twist in the contest.  

As far as assigned books go, there were many although the only one that really sticks with me still is Kafka's Metamorphosis (the roach one).  The reason this one is fixed in my mind was that it was the first time I have ever had an english teacher tell me straight to my face that my interpretation of a book was just flat wrong.  Her lesson was pushing the use of metaphor and analogy in the story to express the oppressive nature of industrial/capitalistic society.  That the protagonist did not actually transform, but was merely acting out a severe mental break. The point I made was that it was a work of fiction and the transformation could be totally real within the context of the story, and trying to force an interpretation that the events of the book could not be as described because it wasn't 'realistic' was dumb.  Ms. Evans would not acknowledge that 'fiction' was a valid interpretation.  Very frustrating and I'm still a little irritated at the grade I received.

In college my reading became for selective due to lack of time, but I also started reading less fiction and more real life things that I needed to read for various classes. Very little that I read during this time really stuck with me, other than the dozens of RPG books I read over this as I started playing.

Books you read in school

4 months ago

There was one particular book that I read in middle school that has always struck with me, but I've never been able to find again to remember what the title was.  The book was focused on a group of people that were all designated as recipients in an extremely wealthy person's will if they were able to success in a contest to "earn it".  The twist ending is that the wealthy guy isn't actually dead, and one of the contestants figures out that not only is he not dead, but the only way to win his contest is to follow his example in life, investing aggressively but wisely.  The end of the book is them playing chess and discussing the twist in the contest.

The Westing Game?

Books you read in school

4 months ago

I don't remember that as the title.  The synopsis does sound surprisingly similar and it is old enough to have been in my school library in the late eighties.  i'll have to get a copy and see.  Thanks for the lead.

Books you read in school

4 months ago

As it is a Newbury winner finding a copy was easier than I expected.  I haven't reread the whole thing but the ending is very very similiar to what was in my memory.  I think that this is probably the one.  Thanks.

Books you read in school

22 days ago
I am from Poland, so my experience with school assigned books are very different than American one. Altough I can tell that I was reading all of them nicely, until I had to read Goethe's "Sorrows of young Werter". Hated every page of it and was not able to finish it. From this point I read only those compulsory books which I was interested in, in other case I was reading only summaries.

Books you read in school

10 days ago
I remember my teach used to try to make the whole class read Harry potter for the AR points. As I was the only person who did it, she did not receive her bonus.

Books you read in school

10 days ago

AR points?

Books you read in school

10 days ago
AR points. Every book had an amount of "points" based on length and reading level. It was either the class or person who had the most points that would get a prize of sorts.

Books you read in school

9 days ago
Oh yeah we had a bunch of those marked in the library and I read a shit ton of them and had a billion points saved up by the end of the year to basically buy out the prize booth. I gave the 400 point skateboard to one of my cousins for his birthday.

Books you read in school

9 days ago

That would be so much fun. I want that :(

Books you read in school

9 days ago
It was removed a few years back where I am sadly, no clue why. I think most schools stopped it.

Books you read in school

8 days ago

Maybe we could implement an idea like that on CYS. Reading storygames with higher difficulty levels/ word counts will grant more points, and in the end, it can be spent on things like art and games and any other prizes. But that's pretty much exp points with added layers lol. 

Books you read in school

8 days ago
That still sounds like a good idea. An incentive to read longer stories.

Books you read in school

9 days ago
Lol, we had AR points, and I loved reading from an early age, but I could never be bothered to go ahead and take the test. This used to irritate my mother to no end, because I would only take enough tests to hit the minimum of 25 points (essentially nothing). She used to tell me, "You know this makes your teachers think you can't read, right?" I've been a disappointment to her for a long time, lol

Books you read in school

9 days ago

I always had the mist AR points because I was an ass kisser and a suck up

Books you read in school

8 days ago
We didn't have that but we did have the person with the most ar points got their name on the library. Like a sign that'd read "John Doe Library." In 5th grade (this way because I read a shit ton of warrior cats books that year) I was second and only got beat by like 20 points by this other kid in my grade.

A few years later I got to know that other kid and now he's my best friend :)

Books you read in school

8 days ago

You get points for reading? Whenever I read books in middle school classes, my teacher would just confiscate them :(

Books you read in school

8 days ago
Reading books during class is different you delinquent