Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Triumphant Return

Ladies and, well, according to Insight, you're pretty much all ladies, I am back!  If any of you are gentlemen (or gentleboys), I am back for you too, I promise.  I missed you.  How's your aunt doing?  Is that a new haircut?  You look good.  SOrry I went on an unannounced hiatus, but I have returned!  Let's talk books.

This semester, I am taking a course entitled "Adolescent Literature."  I was psyched about the course.  I mean, it is pretty much being graded for what I do every day.  Much to my dismay, the class does not contain much of what I would consider current YA novels.  The most recent book on the syllabus is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (not complaining about getting to analyze HP, by the way).  The more I get into the class and the books, though, the more I like our reading material.  While I'm not sure that every book in the literary canon fully deserves to keep its spot and many contemporary novels deserve a lot more recognition, some classics are classics for a reason.

We started out the year reading Grimm's Fairy Tales.  Now, if you think you know your fairy tales and you haven't read this collection, I urge you to do so.  The version above even has other versions of the tales in the back of the book.  Did you know that, in one version of the story, Red Riding Hood strips for the wolf?  There's way more gore in Cinderella than you might think, and the Virgin Mary is apparently a kidnapper in her spare time.  Enjoy!

Speaking of fantasy tales you thought we read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass next.  I love these books because, while we were reading them, I was going through a particularly stressful time.  One of my favourite things about these books is that it's nearly impossible to worry about real life while reading them.  These topsy-turvy, completely illogical adventures are a form of pure escapism.

The most recent novel we finished was Treasure Island, a high seas adventure story.  I have mixed feelings about the book, but if you like pirate stories, this book is mandatory.  I remember a girl in the class complaining that the pirates in Treasure Island were too stereotypical.  What she didn't realize was that this book is where the stereotypes come from.  It's interesting, it's action- and gore-filled, and it's worth a read.

I hope you enjoy these, and I'll talk to you all next time!

Happy Reading!

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