Your assignments are:
A) You will choose one book from the list below. Tell your teacher which book you have chosen. (Deadline: 16 Oct). You will then read the book.
B) You will prepare a short presentation about it. (December)
C) After you hear everybody's presentations you will choose another book from the list. Tell your teacher which book you have chosen. (Deadline: 23 Dec). You will then read the book.
D) You will share your favourite quotes from the book with the rest of the class. Add some explanations (March).
E) Finally, you will choose a book different from the ones on this list. Tell your teacher which book you have chosen. (Deadline: 31 March). Read it!
F) Convince the class that the book you have chosen should (not) be on the Reading List next year. (May)
Reading List 2009-2010
1. The Hours is a 1998 novel written by Michael Cunningham. It won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. It tells the stories of three women. The first is Virginia Woolf writing Mrs. Dalloway in 1923 and struggling with her own mental illness. The second is Mrs. Brown, wife of a World War II veteran, who is reading Mrs. Dalloway in 1949 as she plans her husband's birthday party. The third is Clarissa Vaughan, a lesbian, who plans a party in 1998 to celebrate a major literary award received by her good friend and former lover, the poet Richard, who is dying of AIDS.
2. Crossing to Safety is a 1987 novel written by Wallace Earle Stegner. It established itself as one of the greatest and most cherished American novels of the twentieth century. Tracing the lives, loves, and aspirations of two couples who move between Vermont and Wisconsin, it is a work of quiet majesty, deep compassion, and powerful insight into the alchemy of friendship and marriage.
3. The Brooklyn Follies is a 2005 novel by Paul Auster. The 60-year-old Nathan Glass returns to Brooklyn after his wife has left him. He is recovering from lung cancer and is looking for "a quiet place to die". In Brooklyn he meets his nephew, Tom, whom he has not seen in several years. Tom has seemingly given up on life and has resigned himself to a string of meaningless jobs as he waits for his life to change. They develop a close friendship, entertaining each other in their misery, as they both try to avoid taking part in life.
4. The World According to Garp is a 1978 novel by John Irving. The book was a bestseller for several years. Garp's world is filled with "lunacy and sorrow." His mother is a radically independent nurse who conceives him by taking advantage of a brain-damaged soldier. His best friend is a transsexual who was formerly an American football player for the Philadelphia Eagles. Garp struggles vainly to protect the people he loves. His life is both hilarious and ultimately tragic.
5. To Kill a Mockingbird is a 1960 novel by Harper Lee. It won the Pulitzer Prize. The story takes place during three years of the Great Depression in the fictional "tired old town" of Maycomb, Alabama. The narrator, six-year-old Scout Finch, lives with her older brother Jem and their widowed father Atticus, a middle-aged lawyer. Jem and Scout befriend a boy named Dill who visits Maycomb to stay with his aunt for the summer. The three children are terrified of, and fascinated with, their neighbor, the reclusive "Boo" Radley. The adults of Maycomb are hesitant to talk about Boo and for many years, few have seen him. The children feed each other's imaginations with rumors about his appearance and reasons for remaining hidden, and they fantasize about how to get him out of his house.
6. The Catcher in the Rye is a 1951 novel by J. D. Salinger. Holden shares encounters he has had with students and faculty of Pencey, whom he criticizes as being superficial. After being expelled from the school, Holden packs up and leaves the school in the middle of the night after an altercation with his roommate. He takes a train to New York, but does not want to return to his family's apartment immediately, and instead checks into the dilapidated Edmont Hotel. There, he spends an evening dancing with three tourist girls and has a clumsy encounter with a prostitute; he refuses to do anything with her and tells her to leave, although he pays her for her time. She demands more money than was originally agreed upon and when Holden refuses to pay he is beaten by her pimp.