callmemadam (callmemadam) wrote,

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Back To School Reading

I always feel sorry for people who say they ‘can’t read’ anything by Jane Austen, Dickens, To Kill a Mockingbird or whatever because the books were ruined for them by exam study. I’m very lucky in that respect. I don’t dislike anything I read at school and I’m eternally grateful for the good teaching I had at A-Level, which consisted of very little teaching and a great deal of making us do all the work.

Today, my indefatigable correspondents at Abe Books have pointed me at Required Reading Worldwide, lists of commonly studied books. The author, Beth Carswell, writes: Until my coworkers and I started talking, I didn't realize how many of the books I've loved best were originally assigned to me as a high school student. I wondered - are the same books assigned to high school students worldwide? So you can have a look at set books from the USA to the Philippines, to Germany and Russia. Intriguing. Very few books there I’ve never heard of and one of them is from the UK!

This is what I’m most pleased to have been introduced to at school; Hopkins is a contender for Top Poet for me. How about you? Love those set texts or hate them?
Tags: abe books, gerard manley hopkins, set texts
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