I am woefully, laughably behind on my 50 book goal for 2012. I have just completed book number 3, and I found it to be painful. No hope for anyone, not so much as a glimmer of anything but misery. Must choose a happier book next. Perhaps some plays.
You find all sorts of weird stuff in your classroom when you are a teacher. This is my favorite thing ever “left” for me when I taught my high school kids in Oak Cliff. The students were all pretty interested in our David / Marat lesson. Some chose to express their interest in a visual way. I have this framed on my wall now and will keep it forever. Someday I will write an essay on why this is one of my favorite works of art ever made.
As I move on to Book 2 of my 50 book challenge, I have decided this is a good opportunity for early reflection. I’ve read The Great Gatsby before, as many people have. It’s pretty standard public school book list material. But I wanted to put F. Scott Fitzgerald on my list of ten authors, as I’ve never read any of his other works, and it was tough curating five works of his without including this one. Plus, they are making a movie version of it, and I thought it might be nice to have a little refresher before Carey Mulligan has a crack at Daisy Buchanan.
More than any of that, though, I realized when making my list that I remember almost nothing about this book, because I read it my sophomore year of high school, a whopping eighteen years ago (shudder). I remember liking the book. I remember thinking it was full of pathetic, hopelessly flawed characters, my favorite kind. I remember thinking the writing was sexy. But I was 15 and what did I know? Now I reread it at 33 and find out if it can still light a spark in me.