Saturday, July 19, 2008

Ashley's Best Books of the Year

One of the many great things of being an English major is that you get to take classes and you get to read read and read (and it’s fun!). Over my junior year in college I took three literature classes: Children’s Lit, Shakespeare, and American Literature—the Realism through Modern literary movements. In these three classes, I read 75 books and plays. Here are best from these classes.

The winner of the Children’s Literature category is… Tale of Despereaux!
If I had to describe this book in one word it would be charming. I loved this book. The premise is of a mouse named Desperaux who lives in a castle and he’s different from everyone else. He loves to read and wants to become a knight from a book he reads. He falls in love with a real princess. I think the themes of this book are excellent and Katrina Elizabeth DiCamillo, who also wrote Because of Wynn Dixie, did and excellent job of creating twists to a fairy tale.

The winner of the play category is…Macbeth!!!
Here is a shift from a warm and fuzzy children’s book to a play that contains witchcraft, people killing each other, lies, lust for power, and a woman who literally sells her soul to evil spirits. The thing is that I have never been so uplifted in all of my life. Shakespeare illuminates how a virtuous man can become corrupt and wicked when they are weak and can’t contain their utmost desires. Shakespeare displays how lack of self-restraint can lead to unhappiness. A man, who was noble and looked as if he would eventually become King. But the capitulation of the natural man and immersing one’s self into evil things led Macbeth and his wife as well to damnation. I saw that if I gave in to my weaknesses I could go down a path that would lead me to where I don’t want to go. Anyway, good play to read and it’s short, so if you don’t have much time to read that’s a good one.

The winner of the American Literature is…The Catcher in the Rye!
I enjoyed this book. I think that there is real power in it, and I think it’s sad that people who think this book should be banned or censored—what a vacuous analysis. I wish I could go into this more why this is an amazing book, but I have to go to work. But if anyone is interested in what I thought were some good books I read this year I would be more than happy to enlighten.


The Lighthearts said...

I love the Tale of Despereaux. I'm excited that Pixar is doing the movie. I hope it doesn't disappoint. Please post some of your other favorites. I'm always looking for a good book to read.

Ashley said...

Oh my goodness there is a lot. You have to read "The Princess Bride" (it should be in italics but who cares). Also, "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweile" if you like mysteries. Brandt really likes "Fablehaven." If you want something that's more "literary artistic" Mark Twain's "Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court" is hilarious.

The Lighthearts said...

Thanks, Ash! I'll have to make a trip to the library. Reading helps me pass the time, in the evenings, while Kurtis is gone. There is only so much cleaning I can do. :)