ichinichinemasu: (Librarian)
[personal profile] ichinichinemasu
We had to walk to school up hill both ways in the snow. Well no, not really. What we had to do was much worse. We had to read "The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair as summer reading. I distinctly remember sitting by the pool being absolutely traumatized by images of children cutting themselves and/or falling into vats of food and dying, or the so very many gratuitous rat details in the book. It was the worst. I understand it was also an important book about a terrible moment in american history, but, I have an active imagination and don't do well with those sorts of things.

I am compiling a summer reading list now for my job. Do you know what high schoolers today get to read? The Lord of the Rings. Seriously! Never once in a million years would I have been able to read a cool book like that for assigned reading. Kids today have it so much better. I also noticed that the reading list for Catholic girls school is like ten times better than the list for public school, but then I would get into lamenting the decline of public education and I really am still too upset to go there right now.

Another thing this list has got me nostalgic about: the amazing epic fantasy I immersed myself in as a teen. When I think about Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings I can still feel the magic. I can feel the thrill that reading those books gave me. I lived and breathed those books for a long time. I'm a little sad, because I can't think of any books these days that affect me in the same way. Sure, I read the first two George R.R. Martin novels. But they didn't feel like epic fantasy to me, I think mostly because the magic isn't there...or, even more than that, the idealism of the other two series. I felt more like I was reading about some crazy historical family and all the terrible things they did to one another. Which, hey, is valid entertainment. But it's not the same feeling.

I really wish I could find a book like that again. Maybe that's part of becoming an adult, losing some of that fascination with literature.

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ichinichinemasu

April 2015

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