01 March 2006

Books To Read Before You Leave School

The Royal Society of Literature (England) asked seven authors what ten books they would recommend that everyone read before they graduated from high school. The authors (including J.K. Rowling and Ben Okri) came up with a variety of books, ranging from The Tale of Two Bad Mice (Beatrix Potter) to Ulysses (James Joyce). You can see all the lists here. What a task! I'm not sure I could distill essential reading down to 10 books. Ben Okri obviously thought so too. Excerpts from his list (titled 10 ½ Inclinations) are as follows: "Don’t read what everyone else is reading. Check them out later, cautiously. Read what you’re not supposed to read." I love lists, and this is a fascinating question. Here, unasked for by anyone, is my list: · The Witch of Blackbird Pond (Elizabeth George Speare) · Kim (Rudyard Kipling) · all the Little House books (Laura Ingalls Wilder) · all the Harry Potter books (J.K. Rowling) · To Kill a Mockingbird (Harper Lee) · at least one Shakespearean play (Hamlet, Julius Caesar, or Macbeth would be my top choices) · the King James Bible (not for religious reasons, but because the stories and the phrases are so much a part of Western life—and because the language is beautiful) · at least one other major religious work in a faith not your own · several collections of a variety of the world's mythologies (e.g. Greek, Roman, Norse, First Nations) · several good anthologies of poetry, including English language poets and those who write in other languages—ranging from ancient times to very recent works I know that I'll want to revise this list in a few days, as more ideas come to me. Via Rebecca's Pocket.


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home