For my post today I bring you a topic many have struggled with in their lives: the required (or suggested) reading for honors, AP and IB classes. When I get my list of books to buy every quarter, I always look at it excitedly – and then sigh, because it’s titled “American Lit Books.” One, what a stupid name, and two, another ‘great classics of Amurrica’ reading list? Some of the books on this list are good, most of them actually, but are we so arrogant that we won’t teach anything but American literature and Shakespeare in high schools? Because that’s ridiculous. There are people and stories from all over the world, and even if you don’t live in ‘the chosen land,’ you can still be a writer. This coming from a girl who just wanted to read Anna Karenina this semester.

Also, none of the books we’re supposed to read have been published even close to recently. I mean, yes, The Scarlet Letter is an awesome book, but it is not the most modern book out there, and doesn’t really deal with issues particularly close to (most) teenager’s hearts. We could take school reading as an opportunity to show students how others of the same age are feeling, by reading books like Hold Still by Nina LaCour or Metamorphosis: Junior Year by the Francos. Or we could even entertain people and make reading a fun activity for people who don’t like it much. In short, just because these old books are good doesn’t instantly make them the ones most worth our time, and school would be much more fun if teachers revised their reading lists a bit. So today I bring you the suggested reading list for the Bookmarks School of Important Knowledge. Read on.

Looking For Alaska by John Green

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Seriously… I’m Kidding by Ellen Degeneres

Perhaps I’ll add onto this list, but for now, turn to page 495 in your textbook and let’s begin.

Happy Wednesday,