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Friday, August 31, 2012

Reading List: September 2012

"Books are the perfect entertainment: no commercials, no batteries, and hours of enjoyment for each dollar spent. What I wonder is why everybody doesn't carry a book around for those inevitable dead spots in life." -Stephen King

Greetings, everybody! I can't believe that it's already September. Let's jump right in with another of our monthly reading lists! I felt really drawn to the classics when planning this....great to get you back into the studying habit, no?

Animal Farm by George Orwell: This was one of my favorite Lit reads from last year. Originally published in August of 1945, George Orwell had trouble initially finding a publisher. Animal Farm tells the story a group of farm animals who decide that they no longer want to be kept under human control. So, they organize a rebellion and attempt to govern themselves. The book goes on to to explore themes such as the dangers of a naive working class, and draw many parallels to the soviet and communist issues of the time. The book is definitely a fantastic read that really makes you think! If you'd like to try it, here's a free online copy that looks pretty good.

Remembered Death by Agatha Christie: Originally published under the name Sparkling Cyanide in 1947, this is my favorite Agatha Christie book yet! Obviously, Agatha Christie is a fantastic writer who always provides an exciting mystery....but this one was just brilliant! I seriously couldn't put it down. This is the perfect book when you need a break from the required-reading overload. Rosemary Barton, a British beauty, lives a seemingly happy life, but at her birthday party, she is discovered dead. At first the police say suicide, 'depression after influenza', but.....well, let's just say that apparently someone knows better. Now, a year later, a strangely similar event is about to take place. On a different note, another interesting feature of the book is the way that it's written. Each chapter or so, Agatha Christie goes over the events from the perspective of each suspect. Each knows something they they do not disclose, which really adds to the suspense. Definitely an exciting read! For more on Agatha Christie and all her works, visit her official site here.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis: The Screwtape Letters was yet another wonderful Lit read from last year. It was the first book I'd read from C.S. Lewis other than the Chronicles of Narnia, and I absolutely loved it! It is yet another book that really makes you think. The book is a collection of letters from a devil, Screwtape, to his nephew. Each explores different ways that Screwtape's nephew can push his 'patient', or human, towards sin and the devil. All of the temptations that he discusses are real and makes you wonder about the devil on our own shoulders. This book is certainly something out of the ordinary to brighten up your reading!
The Secret School by Avi: Sorry for the obvious connection, but I couldn't resist adding this to the list for back to school! Published by Sandpiper in 2003, The Secret School is a story about 14 year old Ida Bidson, a girl growing up in Elk Valley, Colorado, in 1925. Ida's dream is to attend the local high school, but to do so she must pass the Exit Exams at the end of the year. Family trouble forces her own teacher to leave, however, and since it is only a little while until summer, The Board decides to wait and not hire another teacher until next year. Ida and her friend, Tom, knows that there's only one thing to do so they, and all the other kids, can move into the next grade...but nobody else can know. 
Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw: This is the first play we've ever featured in our Reading List series! Pygmalion tells the story of Eliza Doolitle, a poor Cockney girl, and her training under phonetics professor Henry Higgins, as a result of a bet. I've always liked the story; I read it abridged when I was really little, and later read the actual version. In fact, I think that it was the first play I ever read. Anyhow, the play is wittily written with many memorable characters, but is perhaps best remembered for the musical and film version, My Fair Lady.  Nothing like reading the real thing, though! It certainly is a classic when it comes to British titles!
Well, this brings our September Reading List to a close! Hope you all enjoyed my suggestions. If you read any of them, or have any titles you'd recommend, please leave them in the comments! Can't wait to hear from you. :)

Thanks for reading! :)

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