August 01, 2011


(My titles henceforth will act as a countdown of days until my senior year. Wait. Who says 'henceforth'? Apparently I do...)

I wanted to share my thoughts on the books I read this past year for AICE English Language. When I made a video previewing these books last summer, I didn’t quite know what the class was all about. Now I know that we read these American classics chronologically, in order to analyze “the author’s use of language,” a skill we then use while sitting our AICE exam in May. (My results are due back in the next week or so.)

The Scarlet Letter was a necessary evil. I talked more about in the first video.

The Crucible was fine. I have a new understanding of the Salem Witch craft trials/the McCarthy trials at least. We watched the 1970s movie version and thanks to that, I had an enjoyable two-day infatuation with Daniel Day Lewis.

The Red Badge of Courage? One word: unbearable.

Their Eyes Were Watching God was one of my least favorites. I could appreciate the language/use of dialect, but was overall unimpressed with the story. We didn’t technically finish it and instead watched the movie for it. Frankly, I learned more about the author Zora Neale Hurston.

The Awakening was a delicious read. The author, Kate Chopin, often used the word delicious to describe something pleasant, not just food, and I loved that. Also, I can still remember a few quotes and some specific imagery that I genuinely feel impacted me. In the least pretentious way possible, I want to say this book changed me and my disposition.

The Great Gatsby was absolutely stellar. I am happy that Nerdfighters are reading it along with John Green. It’s well worth your time.

Even though I had trouble passing quizzes we had on Invisible Man, I did like it. It’s easily one of the most complex novels I’ve read to date. The symbolism was so prevalent that almost every item had another meaning.

Since it was the last book we read for class, As I Lay Dying and its English-class analysis is freshest in my mind. I listened to the audio book -- which helped me tremendously -- and, tedious though it was, I would highlight certain phrases often repeated. I would also cringe at the dark humor and yeah, that’s about it. Faulkner does not intrigue me.

I had to read The Glass Menagerie and Death of a Salesman earlier this summer and I had read A Raisin in the Sun the previous summer. We did not have time, nor have I made time to read Catch-22.


  1. The only book that I honestly enjoyed reading this past year in English class was the Great Gatsby. In my class we focused a lot on the short stories of authors (we did about 4-5 every 6 weeks along with a novel or play), and I really enjoyed reading Kate Chopin's work.

    In Academic Decathlon we analyzed work by Zora Neale Hurston, and her short story The Gilded Six Bits pretty much made me NOT want to read anything else by her.

    William Faulkner is not a favorite of mine either, for more reasons than what I'd care to list.

    Anyways, I find it extremely crazy that you're already starting school! I don't go back until the 23rd, and the idea of having to go back SOONER just boggles my mind.

  2. Everyone says henceforth.


  3. My gosh! You o back to school in nine days?!

    I always forget hot early high school starts...
    College is nice. Long summers :)


  4. Nine days til school sounds rough, man. I don't go back until the 30th, luckily. Someone decided to make this summer (my last high school summer!) the longest ever, and I thank them...

    Confession: I never read the Scarlett Letter, but I knew enough about the plot (apparently) to get 100% on my English final essay on it...

    I couldn't stand The Crucible. Invisible Man was an option on the self selected AP English reading list, but I couldn't get past the first page...

    The Great Gatsby, however, I absolutely loved. We're reading it in AP English eventually this coming year, and if John ever gets the rest of the videos up I am going to be so ahead of the game. ;)