When I do read…

 

  1. Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • English
  • Required school reading
  • 3 things in common: He thought he could educate himself inside and outside of the classroom, he often referenced his own life experiences in his writings, he loved baseball
  • 3 things that are different: He goes by a different name than his birth name, he was born in Missouri, he has six siblings
  • “Your newspapers call you a brave people so much that you think you are braver than any other people – whereas you’re just as brave, and no braver.”

2. The Awakening by Kate Chopin

  • English
  • Required school reading
  • 3 things in common: Chopin attended an all girls school, her father is Irish, she used writing as an outlet to express her feelings and emotions
  • 3 things that are different: Chopin was arrested, she grew up in a household dominated by women, she knows how to speak french
  • “She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.”
  • “The bird that would soar above the level plain of tradition and prejudice must have strong wings.”

3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • English
  • Required school reading
  • 3 things in common: Fitzgerald was a very bad speller, he was American, his father was Irish
  • 3 things that are different: He lived in New York City, he had 4 sisters, he was friends with Ernest Hemingway
  • “There are only the pursued, the pursuing, the busy and the tired.”
  • “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”

4. Never Let me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

  • English
  • Required school reading
  • 3 things in common: He wrote from his personal experiences, he took a gap year (I was thinking about taking a gap year), he is a creative writer
  • 3 things that are different: Ishiguro was born in Japan, he is british, he has sisters
  • “Memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. But I don’t go along with that. The memories I value most, I don’t ever see them fading.”
  • “Sometimes I get so immersed in my own company, if I unexpectedly run into someone I know, it’s a bit of a shock and takes me a while to adjust.”
  • “Your life must now run the course that’s been set for it.”

5. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

  • English
  • Required school reading
  • 3 things in common: Gaiman has a writing shed, I have a place where I write, sushi is his favorite food, he likes to make omelets
  • 3 things that are different: Gaiman believes books have genders, he is a beekeeper, he is a great cook
  • “Books were safer than other people anyway.”
  • “Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”
  • “I went away in my head, into a book. That was where I went whenever real life was too hard or too inflexible.”

6. Bossypants by Tina Fey

  • English
  • My 11th grade english teacher told me I should read it
  • 3 things in common: She loves comedy, one of her teachers encouraged her to be a writer, she is German
  • 3 things that are different: Fey is a big “Star Wars” fan, she was born in Pennsylvania, she moved to Chicago
  • “If you retain nothing else, always remember the most important rule of beauty, which is: who cares?”
  • “Don’t waste your energy trying to educate or change opinions; go over, under, through, and opinions will change organically when you’re the boss. Or they won’t. Who cares? Do your thing, and don’t care if they like it.”
  • “Whatever the problem, be part of the solution. Don’t just sit around raising questions and pointing out obstacles.”

7. Peter Pan by J.M Barrie

  • English
  • Required school reading
  • 3 things in common: Barrie often updated and edited his work, went to a private school, had a brother
  • 3 things that are different: Barrie is Scottish, he attended Edinburgh University, he had 10 siblings
  • “To die will be an awfully big adventure.”
  • “It is not in doing what you like, but in liking what you do that is the secret of happiness.”

8. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through The Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

  • English
  • Required school reading
  • 3 things in common: Carroll wrote many letters, he was a photographer, he was shy and quiet
  • 3 things that are different: He was a mathematician, he was born in England, he uses a different name than his birth name
  • “It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”
  • “Curiouser and curiouser!”

9. Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

  • English
  • I chose to read it
  • 3 things in common: She writes about introverts, she is American, she thinks that introverts are undervalued in today’s world
  • 3 things that are different: She was a lawyer, she went to Princeton University, she attended Harvard Law School  
  • “There’s zero correlation between being the best talker and having the best ideas.”
  • “Don’t think of introversion as something that needs to be cured.”
  • “We have two ears and one mouth and we should use them proportionally.”

10.You Learn by Living by Eleanor Roosevelt

  • English  
  • My father gave me this book
  • 3 things in common: She had brothers, she found joy in helping others (social activist), private education
  • 3 things that are different: she was very outspoken, she was the First lady, born in New York
  • “It’s your life-but only if you make it so.”
  • “There is not human being from whom we cannot learn something if we are interested enough to dig deep.”

 

I determine if a book is good kind of by reading the first few chapters and seeing what my initial interest is. If I want to keep reading after a couple chapters, that’s a sign to me that I am enjoying it. I also determine books to be “good” if I learn something new or gain new perspectives after finishing it.

I am 18 years old. Yes, I have read one book each year of my life.

 

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