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Surprisingly Good

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary | 7 comments If you have ever been a part of a book club or had assigned reading for a class, then you have undoubtedly been faced with reading a book you might not have chosen for yourself. What book have you read that you did not expect to enjoy as much as you did?

message 2: by Mark (new)

Mark Hall (libraryogre) | 105 comments Mod
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I try, every so often, to read books I did not during schooling, which means hitting some classics. I grabbed an audiobook of Pride and Prejudice just before the 'Rona hit, and really enjoyed Austen's use of language... the plot was not my thing, but the way she spoke, and turns of phrase, especially from her heroines, were enchanting to me. Great fun to follow along with, especially with a good reader on the audiobook.

message 3: by Beverly (new)

Beverly (bjbixlerhotmailcom) | 67 comments I do not remember enjoying ANY of the assigned reading in high school. I had to read Silas Marner/Eliot; Great Expectations/Dickens; Hard Times/Dickens; The Brothers Karamazov/Dostoevsky; and Julius Caesar/Shakespeare.

message 4: by Mark (new)

Mark Hall (libraryogre) | 105 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: "I do not remember enjoying ANY of the assigned reading in high school. I had to read Silas Marner/Eliot; Great Expectations/Dickens; Hard Times/Dickens; The Brothers Karamazov/Dostoevsky; and Juliu..."

My 10th grade English class went into revolt over Don Quixote. I think only one person in the class read the assigned sections, and we all riffed off her.

While I think the canon and such is important... and my own enjoyment of genres has been enhanced by going back and reading the classics that formed it... I think approaching the teaching of literature by showing examples of classics is a bit of a problem. It doesn't make people love good literature, it drags them through stuff for which they have little context.

message 5: by Shannan (new)

Shannan (shannan_prukop) | 97 comments Mod
Honestly, Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf. Dickens is actually really sarcastic and hilarious! And Woolf is just so...intense. Orlando is still one of my favorite books.

message 6: by Gina (new)

Gina Garcia | 11 comments As a senior in high school I was assigned to read Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison. I remember not looking forward toward the assigned reading and I had put it off until one day I starting reading the book and not wanting to stop. That was probably the best novel I read that year.

Later in college, on two separate occasions I had become overwhelmed with all of my assignments. I had too much work plus a lot of assigned books to read, my fault for staggering too many English classes in one semester. I did not expect to LOVE both the Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton and Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Both novels captivated me and I remember being thrilled to discuss each book in class.

message 7: by Terry (new)

Terry Verner | 36 comments I ended up enjoying all the required readings. Maybe it's the eclectic part of me that seems to enjoy most everything, though some more than others.
Lately I read The Book Woman of Troublesome Creekby Kim Michelle Richardson. It's about a real life heroine who is the last of her kind, with skin as blue as a blueberry! She delivers used reading materials to folks in the Kentucky back hills on an old mule. A really great read!

message 8: by Cris (new)

Cris (crism) | 78 comments Mod
I don't think I would have picked up Anathem by Neal Stephenson on my own. I'm sure I wouldn't have stuck with it. At over 900 pages it just looked intimidating. But my book group chose the book, so I read it.

This is the most intellectual, theoretical story I had read for quite some time. I had to stop and reread and think about the ideas raised by the main character and others. While the characters are pretty well-developed, the emphasis of the story is intellectual rather than emotional.

Be prepared to *think* about things before starting this story. Ironically, I was the only person in my group to finish the book. :-)

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