A friend recently asked for some suggested reading lists. So I thought that first I would share a couple of book combinations that I have been working on for awhile. The idea came up when I was visiting a former high school English teachers classroom. I was looking at some of the unused booksets around his classroom and realized there were a few books that with a couple others would make distinct themes. In my mind, I lived out this fantasy where I had the opportunity to teach high school English and construct my own syllabus and reading list. The first theme I felt was important was Discovery of Self – mostly focus around emotions.
The Great Gatsby by Fitzgerald – This book is not just The American Classic, it is a book about a man who is so vulnerable to and controlled by another, that he lets his desire run – and eventually ruin – his life.
The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham – A British tale of the importance of the choices we make and the complications of relationships.
Looking For Alaska by John Green – A coming of age story about dealing with loss. So often, it is hard to understand or deal with loss, to make sense of it in any meaningful way. Green’s narrative excellence stuns and dazzles in his breakout title.
A Mid-summers Night Dream by William Shakespeare – Of course a classic is on this list! What else did you expect? This story deals with love, individual identity and what it all means.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson – in this coming of age story, the protagonist deals with severe trauma from a sexual assault. Through the story, she develops an internal voice and the ability to speak out about the incident.