Thursday, August 13, 2009

Random Thursday - Freshman College Reading

Reading Group Guides has accumulated a list of Freshman Reading that various universities have given their incoming students.

This is an incredible list of over 100 titles. (No, not every school recommended every title! Thank heavens!)

I read a lot - a whole lot! The scary thing is I don't even recognize many of these titles, let alone have read them.

Here are some titles from the list that I've never read, that I wish had been on MY freshman reading list:

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie was here at the library several months ago. He's a very funny, thought provoking and interesting speaker. His movie, Smoke Signals , is amazing. When I saw him for the first time, I was astonished by how young he is.

Cod: A Biography of the Fish that Changed the World by Mark Kurlansky
I'm currently reading Kurlansky's Salt. How can a book about salt be fascinating? But it is! I've heard that Cod is similarly engrossing. Salt is a lovely book that you can just read a bit of at odd moments. It's satisfying and relaxing. I'm betting Cod is similar!

Ishmael by Daniel Quinn
When I was researching animal books for Pet Month, I came across this title. Then I was researching "Green" books for Earth Month, and came across it again. I've been intrigued ever since. A man answers an ad in the Classifieds for a teacher looking for students. When he arrives at the address, it's a warehouse, and the person inside is a Gorilla. ??? OK, this is just a bizarre concept, but Ishmeal is often called a "classic".

Once Upon a Quinceanera: Coming of Age in the USA byJulia Alvarez
Julia Alvarez was here at the library last year, and I'm really sorry that I missed her. As a non-Latino, the whole concept of a Quinceanera seems so odd to me. But I've seen Quinces depicted in television shows, and they look fascinating. I'd love to learn more about this cultural event that's so important to such a large part of our population. Plus, the title is alluring!

Slumdog Millionaire by Vikas Swarup
What can I say? Academy Award? I plead guilty, I haven't seen the movie. Slumdog is based on another culture about which I don't know enough, and I'd love to learn more. Besides, I love puzzles!

I randomly selected twenty-five of the titles. I have read exactly one of them. They all look tremendously interesting. Which of these have you never read? Never heard of? Which do you wish had been on your freshman reading list.

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