Reading round up

I should really be packing for vacation or at least thinking about packing, but I am not. I’m thinking about a story I read this morning about censorship of a high school short story class curriculum.

First of all, how lucky are those bitches to be able to take a short story class in high school?

But I’m being driven crazy by a couple of points in the story. For one, the story isn’t well written at all. There’s at least one glaring error in the titles of what, exactly, is being censored. But more importantly? The censorship itself and the mindless WHO WILL THINK OF THE CHILDREN-ing going on at this school. The stories being cut are by Stephen King, David Sedaris, Laura Lippman, and Ernest Hemingway.

Yeppers. Hemingway. I’m sorry, but if you are a senior in high school and “Hills Like White Elephants” isn’t “age-appropriate” for you according to your mommy, you are like five months away from needing to know all about what “Hills Like White Elephants” is really saying. I fear for you.

And the best part of the news story is the line where the reporter—a real genius who can’t even mask his slanted opinion—says: “At least one of the selections was in the curriculum for at least two years…”

You don’t say. And how did the students who took the class last year fare? Serial killers? All of them knocked up and dropped out by now? I’m guessing no, but when they get around to freaking out and messing up, I’m going to guess it’s not going to be from reading a freaking Stephen King story.


OK, I feel better. Now onto pro-reading, for a change of pace. Here are the books I’m taking on vacation:

The Women– T.C. Boyle
Indian Killer– Sherman Alexie
The Return of the Dancing Master– Henning Mankell
Sharp Objects– Gillian Flynn

I’m not sure what order will reign here. I might start with Flynn because she is my new author girlfriend and I’ll probably read Sharp Objects quickly. I just read her second book, Dark Places, and it is the awesome. The first chapter would make a good lesson in voice and in setting up a character for a novel, and the first few chapters would make a good lesson on how to set up a character that is anti-sympathy, but who becomes sympathetic. I’ve heard good things about Flynn’s first book. Can’t wait.

Indian Killer might be next. Literary mystery by my author boyfriend. Although I’ve heard that he doesn’t solve the mystery in the mystery, so I might need to kick his ass at the end.

You will learn a lot about how I read on vacation when I tell you that we are going to be gone for 7 days and I’m not sure if 4 books is enough. In fact, I’m quite sure that 4 books is not enough.

This might be it for 7 days, but I’ll come back with some book reviews.

By Published On: June 19, 2009Categories: Reading