It’s time for another monthly recommendation! (Miss my August post?) In this series, I recommend five classics each month that remind me of that particular time of the year. Because I’ve been a student my entire life (wooo law school!) I always automatically associate September with the start of a shiny new school year. Everything is fresh and exciting, just before reality sets in (and the dizzying work loads…). Therefore, it’s no surprise that this month would also make me think of books I was assigned to read in school. A few school staples stand out in particular:
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
This was one of the first novels I was assigned to read in high school. I remember everyone in my class complaining about how much they hated it and how annoying Holden Caulfield was… but I secretly enjoyed it. Deep down, I genuinely believe we can all relate to Holden at some point in our lives, especially when we’re teenagers–to his uncertainty about his place in the world, to his anxiety about the future, to his desire to make sense of the past, or even to his rather naive sense that he is the center of his little universe. And who doesn’t love a #relatable book?
My review from a million years ago | Classic Couple: The Catcher in the Rye and The Perks of Being a Wallflower | Classic Couple: The Catcher in the Rye and Portnoy’s Complaint
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Another book I read in my freshman year English class as a high school student. This one has stuck with me for years due to its graphic violence and gore as well as its startling portrayal of people when left to their own devices in survival situations. I hope students still study this novel in high school English classes–I think it contains such an important, relevant message about the dangers of society and how quickly circumstances can get out of hand with mob mentality. Such a valuable reminder!
Apparently I’ve never reviewed this book on this blog?! Wild! I mentioned it in this Top Ten Tuesday list of my favorite classics back in 2014, so that should be an interesting trip down memory lane…
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Why yes, I did read this book in my freshman English class as a high school student–how did you guess? Apparently that one English class was pretty formative for my love of classic literature (even though I remember being really frustrated with the atmosphere of the class overall at the time). Anyways, To Kill a Mockingbird is such an important and influential novel when it comes to discussing race, equality, justice, and morality. It is an absolute must read, especially in today’s society.
I haven’t reviewed this book either? It is listed in that same Top Ten Tuesday post, though!
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
I wrote my very first college English essay about this novel, which I LOVED despite the fact that everyone else in my Introduction to Literature class HATED it (sense a theme here?). Is this book problematic in some ways? Of course–just look at that front cover. However, it is also a fascinating experiment in first person narration and the survival narrative genre (and the novel form itself!). This novel should be both celebrated and criticized–but first, it needs to be read.
My review | Classic Couple: Robinson Crusoe and The Martian
The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
Ah, I have saved the best for last: the confusing, bewildering, unsettling, endlessly fascinating novel that made me fall in love with narrative (and William Faulkner’s writing in general). I’m not going to lie: like with most of Faulkner’s novels, this book is a slog to get through. You will be confused. You will want to put it down and never pick it up again. But it is just so haunting, so please persevere! You will earn Holly brownie points if you do!
My review | 7 Reasons to Read The Sound and the Fury
I hope you’ve enjoyed this classics guide for the month of September!
With books do you associate with the month of September? What do you think of the books I’ve mentioned? Which books would you add? Let me know in the comments section below!
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