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Old 07-16-2017, 01:45 AM   #1
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What books did you have to study at school?

My Western Australian school days are long past― over 50 years ago― but I can still recall many of them.

Prose Fiction:
Lorna Doone (an abridged edition; I still have the actual school book, for some reason)
The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)
Tale of Two Cities (Dickens); and we were shown the b+w movie with Dirk Bogarde at school.
Great Expectations (Dickens).
Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck)
―and (I think) Tom Sawyer (Twain)
Various short stories, only two of which I can remember:
"The Truth About Pyecraft", by H G Wells (which is a fantasy story, and funny)
"The Loaded Dog," by Henry Lawson. (also funny)
A collection of literary short stories by Australian literary author now almost entirely forgotten, Vance Palmer: The Rainbow Bird and other stories. Forgettable, except for one unforgettably bad simile: "A cold wind ran down the street like a yellow dog." (That's the only thing I can recall of any of his writing).

Drama:
Shakespeare―
Othello
Merchant of Venice
Julius Caesar
Macbeth
―and just possibly, The Importance of Being Earnest (Oscar Wilde)

Radio Plays: Plays for Radio and Television was the book we had, and I recall one about a ship called, I think, The San Demetrio, something to do with convoys in WW2; I can't remember any others, although possibly another one was about Scott of the Anarctic and the ill-fated polar expedition.

Poetry
Tricky, this one, poems being shorter than novels, but one year the text book was Poems of Spirit and Action, which included one of the few I now recall, "The Highwayman", by Alfred Noyes. I can even recall the opening verse.

THE wind was a torrent of darkness upon the gusty trees,
The moon was a ghostly galleon tossed upon cloudy seas,
The road was a ribbon of moonlight looping the purple moor,
And the highwayman came riding--
Riding--riding--
The highwayman came riding, up to the old inn door.

(I just checked that on-line; my memory of line 3 was wrong; I had "crossing the purple moor" embedded in my memory.

Australian icons like "The Man from Snowy River" and "The Man from Ironbark" (Banjo Patterson).

I am sure there were a number of other worthy poems, but they are lost to my memory.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:08 AM   #2
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Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, The Diary of Anne Frank, Pride & Prejudice, The Mill on the Floss, The Harp in the South, The Getting of Wisdom, As I Lay Dying, at least one Euripedes play (maybe more?), and a bunch more I can't remember, including more modern books (which are muddled up in my head with the stuff I read by choice). For poetry, a big range from Banjo Patterson, Robert Frost, John Donne, e. e. cummings, Paul Simon, and many more.
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:03 AM   #3
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Horrible, boring books by Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Maugham, etc. It really turned me off of reading. I hated going to English class because of it.

I wanted to read sci-fi and adventure books, but my teachers said no. In my senior year of high school, I rebelled and refused to do book reports. Getting zeros instead of F's didn't do my GPA any good.

But it's now a long forgotten nightmare and I've been reading my sci-fi and adventure books for many a decade now.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:41 AM   #4
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I grew up in east germany, so our reading list in school was somewhat different:

Dieter Noll: Die Abenteuer des Werner Holt (The Adventures of Werner Holt)
Bruno Apitz: Nackt unter Wölfen (Naked among wolfes)
Nikolai Ostrovsky: Wie der Stahl gehärtet wurde (How the steel was tempered)
Anna Seghers: Das siebte Kreuz (The Seventh cross)
Georg Büchner: Woyzeck
Chinghiz Aitmatov: Jamila
Goethe: Faust I
Friedrich Schiller: Kabale und Liebe (Intrigue and Love)
Sophocles: Antigone
Gotthold Ephraim Lessing: Nathan der Weise (Nathan the Wise)
Theodor Fontane: Effi Briest
Heinrich Mann: Der Untertan (The Loyal Subject)
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Old 07-16-2017, 09:42 AM   #5
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I remember more short-stories than books, but I do remember having to read Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables in High School. I don't remember any feelings about it one way or another. I do remember Shakespeare being a welcome relief from the typical literary fare we were fed, though.

I was a voracious reader of fiction during my years in school, so I was able to easily separate my personal reading from my "school" reading. Perhaps that's why I can't really remember very many specific titles from my academic youth. I merely absorbed enough to get a decent grade on the tests/reports and then hurried back to the reading I was invested in. No harm, no foul.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:54 AM   #6
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In high school we used to be assigned four books to read over the summer. One summer three of the four were "Anna" books: Anna and the King of Siam, Annapurna, and Anna Karenina; I never did finish reading Anna Karenina.
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Old 07-16-2017, 10:55 AM   #7
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Gosh, I had an old school education, so I studied quite a few classics in school. I was actually quite fond of Moby Dick when we read it in the 7th grade. We also did a different Shakespeare play each year, all the way through high school. Some of the ones that I remember off the top of my head were Moby Dick, Of Mice and Men, To Kill A Mockingbird, Tom Sawyer. Among the short stories, The Lady and the Tiger sticks in my mind.
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Old 07-16-2017, 03:11 PM   #8
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Copy and pasting my answer from a really old thread on a similar subject...
Quote:
There were more, but off the top of my head these were books I had to read for various classes in High School...

Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
The Martian Chronicles - Ray Bradbury
All Quiet On The Western Front - Erich Maria Remarque
Pride & Prejudice - Jane Austen
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
Last of the Mohicans - James Fenimore Cooper
The Red Badge of Courage - Steven Crane
The Iliad - Homer
The Odyssey - Homer
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Ken Kesey
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
Macbeth - William Shakespeare
A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway
The Old Man and the Sea - Ernest Hemingway
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:08 PM   #9
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I don't remember that many...The Pearl for sure, gave me a deep abiding hate of all things Steinbeck. Fahrenheit 451, which I reread not too long ago.

The Red Badge of Courage which I really liked. Of Mice and Men which cemented my opinion of JS.

My junior year I had a 9 week class called "Something Strange" that was short stories of a macabre nature. I remember one story about a women who killed her husband with a frozen leg of lamb, who then cooked the lamb, and fed it to the police who showed up at her house after she reported finding her dead husband.
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Old 07-16-2017, 06:00 PM   #10
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I remember having to read The Stone Angel by Margaret Lawrence and feeling much too young to properly appreciate a book featuring the indignities of old age and the misery of looking back on a life full of wasted opportunities.

It was typical of the sort of CanLit (Canadian Literature) assigned in highschool where I lived in the eighties or at least I have the distinct impression that a lot of CanLit books featured the dreariness of lives endured rather then enjoyed, of blocked potential and lost opportunities. Surviving not thriving. (they also tended to have either dreary or disturbing sex scenes)
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Old 07-16-2017, 07:30 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Deskisamess View Post
My junior year I had a 9 week class called "Something Strange" that was short stories of a macabre nature. I remember one story about a women who killed her husband with a frozen leg of lamb, who then cooked the lamb, and fed it to the police who showed up at her house after she reported finding her dead husband.
That's "Lamb to the Slaughter," by Roald Dahl; the story was made into one of the most memorable episodes of TV's Alfred Hitchock Presents in the 1950s. The episode, one of only a handful Hitchcock himself directed for the series, starred Barbara Bel Geddes as the murderous wife.
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:22 PM   #12
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Horrible, boring books by Hemingway, Faulkner, Fitzgerald, Steinbeck, Maugham, etc. It really turned me off of reading. I hated going to English class because of it.
I've read one Hemingway book, not in school, and one Fitzgerald book, also not in school. I enjoyed both. Neither were boring. In fact the Hemingway book I read, "The Old Man and the Sea" is a book I've re-read every few years ever since.

I haven't read anything by Faulkner that I can recall. But I've read and enjoyed practically everything by Maugham and Steinbeck. I re-read Steinbeck's books over and over every few years and I do the same with a couple of Maugham's books. These are just fun reading.

I'm not sure I can name a real favorite author but if I had to pick one Steinbeck is probably the most likely candidate. Maugham would certainly be on the list to choose from.

I read for the fun of it, not to learn or to become wise or more cultured or anything like that. I read what I feel like reading and those are good choices.

Barry
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:47 PM   #13
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Nothing memorable.
Everything was in a textbook.
Most book reports was 7 over one weekend to prove I was reading all the books I checked out.
That got me unlimited borrowing privledges.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
...I never did finish reading Anna Karenina.
Nobody has.

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
1984
Animal Farm
The Great Gatsby
Watership Down
The Grapes of Wrath
The Pearl
Alas Babylon
Johnny Tremain
The Canterbury Tales
Lucky Jim
The Old Man and the Sea
Lord of the Flies
To Kill a Mockingbird
The Brothers Karamazov
The Metamorphosis
The Trial
The Scarlet Letter
The Crucible
Siddhartha
Flowers for Algernon
The Wealth of Nations
Capital (Das Kapital)
The Jungle

I also read a lot of Shakespeare, but I like Shakespeare and can't remember which ones were assigned and which I read on my own.
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Old 07-17-2017, 04:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Catlady View Post
...I never did finish reading Anna Karenina.
Nobody has.
The test to see if someone has actually finished AK:

Spoiler:
They think the book ends with Anna's throwing herself in front of the train.


It doesn't.
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