It’s time for my monthly roundup of the books I’ve read! You’ll likely notice a theme in this list: books I’ve assigned to my students! I’m reading for work a lot lately. (Best job ever?) Here’s what I finished in March:
The Great Gatsby
I read this book for the first time last summer, and I read it again with my junior class this semester. In the course of prepping, teaching, and reviewing the book, I’ve probably read it three times in a month, but it has something new and fresh for me every time, often because of my students’ questions and observations.
Some literary theorists believe that each time we approach a book, the text appears differently to us. This book is a stunning example of that to me. I’m so lucky to be in a profession where I get to reread and discuss a masterpiece like Gatsby over and over.
I read this book alongside my honors freshmen. It was my second reading of this book as well–I wrote a paper on it in grad school, and now I want to go back and rewrite the whole thing because this book is just as rich, if not more, on the second reading.
The depths of emotion, the beautiful descriptions, and the ideas of family and identity and cultural expectations are powerful. When I first read this book, I was a bit dissatisfied by its lack of a “happy” ending, but I discovered upon my second reading that everything resolves beautifully, and it is one of my favorite books.
Romeo and Juliet
I read this Shakespearean classic with my freshmen for the first time since high school (at which point I don’t think I really read it). Watching them act it out and seeing which parts they liked most was so much fun.
One of the most worthwhile endeavors of my college career was taking a Shakespeare class and truly learning to understand his prose; not only do I appreciate the rampant dirty jokes, but the metaphors and themes are clear to me as well. Shakespeare is a master, and his writing is always rich.
Ready Player One
This was my “fun” read this month. When my boyfriend insisted that we buy tickets weeks in advance for this new Spielberg movie, I decided I should read the book and figure out what this crazy sci-fi movie was going to be about.
The book was so, so fun. The narration by Wil Wheaton was flawless, and Ernest Cline writes a movie that plays out in your head. The movie doesn’t follow the book too closely, but I so enjoyed the adventure of the book that I almost didn’t care. Though I’m not a huge sci-fi/adventure reader, this book was a quirky, nerdy, fun little adventure and I am glad I read it!
What was on your list this month?