Sunday, March 22, 2015

Speaking of High School Book Reports.

We started a conversation about books and required/ assigned reading.  I will glean the short list and I hope to keep it going with new additions in the comments of this blog.

 As many of you may know, my daughter has skipped out on the last two years of High School in order to attend college. I am very proud and her first semester is going great. However, I come to think that maybe there are some valuable reading assignment that she may miss out on. So I put this out there.
What books from High School where most helpful to you in life? A reading list for a young autodidact. I especially want to hear from the High School English teacher out there, what say you Jonathan Schwartz

  • Alan Blaustein, my brother and published historian, says  "'Autobiography of Malcolm X' as told to Alex Haley. If I were going to assign only one book on the Civil Rights Movement in America that would be it."
  • Stephanie Spino Wright Honestly, my favorite books in High School were (in no particular order) The Three Musketeers, The Great Gatsby, and Cyrano de Bergerac. As far as books that help me in life now, I like Tim Ferris' books.

  • Gerry Mac Yes, I REALLY like that book, and Jonathonn Livingston as well, but the movie of THAT is spectacular!
  • Wynn A Shafer Any book by Dostoyevsky. Crime and Punishment to begin with.

  • Gerry Mac Brother's Karamazov- torture!
  • Michael Blaustein What prompted this is that I am reading a book of Letters written by Vonnegut and I thought of course of Slaughterhouse 5 but so many of his great works. Also I found out this little tid bit. Vonnegut taught at the Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1966- 67 among his students...John Irving who knew and yes Gerry Mac Setting Free the Bears is one of my favorite books, but I completely forgot about Illusions, indeed.
  • Liz Pasha Hold on.... you mean the daughter with whom I share a birthday is in COLLEGE???
  • Gerry Mac Bokkononists rule! Cat's Cradle! How could I forget THAT one! Je t'adore!
  • Michael Blaustein Yes Liz Pasha at 16 she dropped out of high school and now attends Bard College at Simon's Rock

    Bard College at Simon's Rock: The Early College is the...
  • Wynn A Shafer Also, Animal Farm.
  • Michael Blaustein Desiree Mae the librarian, post something here not just useless thumbs up.
  • Desiree Mae Honest... because I am probably dyslexic or ADD or something that prevented me from being able to focus on reading in High School. The only book that I read in High School was "No one here gets out alive." Jim Morrison's Biography. Oh... I also read "Less then Zero" somewhere in there. Helpful? weeellllll.... no. I didn't start reading for enjoyment until years after I met you.
  • David Potter A Clockwork Orange (with the original last chapter that Anthony Burgess's American publisher wouldn't print) was one of my favorites when I was 17, but all of the classic dystopias are great -- 1984, Brave New World, Animal Farm -- all of them I read at that age. And Sam has loved everything by John Green, especially Looking for Alaska. --Jenn.
  • Glenn The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, R. Heinlein; Swarming: the Future of Warfare, RAND corporation; Pattern Recognition, W. Gibson; Outliers; Malcolm Gladwell; Steal This Book, Abby Hoffman; The Rise of the Royal Prerogative; anything by Dr. Helen Caldecott or Rachel Carson; Winning Modern Wars by Wesly Clark; China Inc.; The Wedge; ...
  • Benjamin Carlson Manufacturing Consent by Noam Chomsky and Dune. I bought her copies of both but damned if shed do anything I told her to do. :You try telling her.
  • Dan Cassidy Wow, that's the coolest! Is that school affiliated with Bard in NY? Does she, like, live on campus and the whole bit? Extraordinary!
    Here's my list: Stranger in a Strange Land (glad to see another Heinlein mention!), God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater (and t
    ...See More
  • Michael Blaustein Yes Dan Cassidy It is Bard College and she does live on campus. Thanks for the input.
  • Dan Cassidy Amazing! You must be awfully proud. You're welcome!
  • David Potter Machiavelli, The Prince; Marx & Engles, The Communist Manifesto; Heller, Catch 22; Abbott, Flatland; Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land. - David Potter
  • Glenn The Heinlein Juveniles as well, so much more fun to read them when young and then again later with the perspective of age... Rocket Ship Galileo; Red Planet (of which Stranger in a Strange Land "is a sequel"; Space Cadet; Have Space Suit -- Will Travel and Citizen of the Galaxy -- each of those books has something worth learning hidden in the story).
  • Michael Blaustein Wow these are great! I want to hear from the English teacher and the author, where are you Jonathan Schwartz and Vincent Czyz ?
  • Gerry Mac Yes, Stranger In A Strange Land had a HUGE impact on me and Flatland is just..well,. a really COOL perspective on math
  • Vincent Czyz The Things They Carried is disturbing but powerful. Les Miserables (if she can get through it), and I enjoyed Moby-Dick in high school ... though I read it again and enjoyed it more in college because of course I understood much more.
  • Michael Blaustein HA Les Miserables not only has she gotten through it (multiple times) but she has played Cosette and can hit the F over high C but that's a different story. Thanks, these are great suggestions .
  • Vincent Czyz It made a real impression on me ... the depictions of poverty in particular.
  • Karen Evangelista Self-Reliance by RWE, Atlas Shrugged, Fahrenheit 451...
  • Jonathan Schwartz that's 'reading assignments' don't end a sentence in a preposition 'miss out on.'
  •  I taught...and this is from memory off the top of my head...catcher in the rye....the great Gatsby...great expectations (yuck)...lord of the for Algernon....huck finn...the heart of darkness...excerpts from walden...into the wild (ehhh)....the pearl (ninth grade)... tell me about the rabbits George, uh...of mice and men ( I think I taught that one)...the giver (you could live without it)...animal farm...
  • personally, I like ...ask the dust ( John Fante)...anything by Faulkner ( I know. I'm weird )...o pioneers ( Willa cather)... anything by Zora Neale Hurston...anything by Renaldo Arenas...that's all that comes to mind
  •  thanks, mikey, for this... it felt good to be positive about being a teacher...weird stuff is happening right now at school...I guess I'll post about it...
  •  p.s. I think it's awesome you have a daughter, especially one who is interested in learning and smart
  • Michael Blaustein I love Faulkner. I read Sound and Fury and I think I still have your copy of Light in August.
     and Yes Jon please help me fill in the reading assignments she may have missed out on...Asshole! heh heh
  •  Also I have two daughters, the 16 yo who's mother you met when she was pregnant the time you came to visit San Francisco. Which may be that last time we saw each other. And a 15 month old with whom I have the pleasure to stay at home. She will be 16 months on my birthday, I will be 16 times 3 and Camille will be 16 years, so it goes.
  • Robert Langer The "classics" may be examples of fine literature, but all my reading lists were boring. These are sci fi fantasy, but well written & engaging. Dragons of pern series (Anne mccaffery), chronicles of Narnia, Tolkien, ring World Series (Larry Niven), piers Anthony (recommend "on a pale horse" as the first - he is a prolific writer), Isaac Azamov, Robert Heinlein,