30 Days of Books: Day #15
A book that changed your opinion on something…
Okay, so I really like this topic today! Ready… start tangent!
I’m choosing a couple books that changed my opinion on school-assigned books and/or classic-type novels.
All thoughout my academic reading career, I never liked the books they chose for us to read. Summer reading was particularly DULL. I chose to take Honors English my freshman and sophomore year of high school and the books I got to choose from just weren’t my cup of tea…. Lord of the Flies, Frankenstein, The Scarlet Letter… All great classics with great messages – But for some reason, I just wasn’t getting it. I always loved reading so it wasn’t like I’d rather be outside playing or something. I just couldn’t comprehend with the writing style most of the time. It was old. It was dull. But most of all, it just wasn’t for me.
I know I may get criticized for “hating” on classic books, but I’ve just always felt like a contemporary kind of person. The only classics I’ve really found I’ve liked so far were Sherlock Holmes (and I think that’s because they’re mysteries!), so I did what I had to do in school to get by, but I rarely enjoyed our reading assignments.
That was, until my senior year (go figure, the last year of school I finally found something I liked!), my sister suggested I take 20th Century British Writers as my English elective course in hopes that I got her favorite teacher in all of high school. Well, I didn’t. I got one of the hardest and (rumored) kind of meanest teachers there was.
And then I started his class – Mr. Waddington was not mean. He just wanted his students to try hard, focus, and do their best to really get into the books. He was actually pretty fun! He chose some really nice books for the curriculum which actually enlightened me that 1) Not all the books Glenbard South chooses for their students to read are boring and 2) Hey, classic books can be fun too! So here are my top 3 choices (and yes, I picked three, because it was the combination that really opened my eyes to what kind of literature is out there):
1. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad: This is definitely the book that stands out the most to me. It’s historical fiction, it’s creepy, it’s mysterious, and for the first time, I found myself readingaheadof the assigned chapters instead of just what I had to read. I was finally interested in something! I also think having my teacher as a guide definitely helped us all get through the book – We got further explanations and breakdowns, but for once, it kept my interest and I was actually looking forward to reading more.
2. Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers: Now, I can’t actually remember if this was from my class or if I read it because we had it on our shelves still from my sister’s class, but this is what actually spurred my love for mysteries. Of course I’d read some here and there, but it wasn’t until high school and college that I actually started going to the library in search of a mystery series to latch onto, so I give this book partial credit for that!
3. Decline and Fall by Evelyn Waugh: This is a satire that actually got me laughing out loud. What? They never give you funny books in school! It was nice to have something to break up all the seriousness (maybe that’s why I love cozy mysteries so much…) and it was nice to see that some great classic books don’t always have to have such a serious tone!