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Added by transparentworld on 14 Jun 2013 02:06
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School-Approved Literature

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People who added this item 567 Average listal rating (431 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
Lord of the Flies - William Golding
I technically wasn't assigned this novel, but after hearing the reviews, I decided to take a look. It wasn't too bad, in terms of content, though seeing humans stripped down to their base instincts was quite frightening. It's too bad that throughout the entire thing, there was an overwhelming sense of "ENGLISH CLASS" that kept coming at me.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 9.3 IMDB Rating 0
A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
I read (reread) this one in grade 12 as part of my independent study unit, and thoroughly enjoyed it the second time. Mariam and Laila are such powerful characters and seeing them go through their lives - so different, and yet brought together by the same horrible man - was really inspiring. Well-worth it.
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People who added this item 26 Average listal rating (17 ratings) 6.8 IMDB Rating 0
Twelfth Night - William Shakespeare
Compared to the other Shakespeare I've read, TN was quite boring. It's supposed to be a comedy, yes, and I probably sound like a depressed glutton for violence, but I liked Macbeth and Hamlet more (R&J is a different story). Perhaps I didn't enjoy it as much as the others because most of the jokes are not very funny.
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People who added this item 63 Average listal rating (39 ratings) 7.5 IMDB Rating 0
Macbeth - William Shakespeare
So much bloodshed in this, and I probably would have been as partial to it as Hamlet if the characters weren't so irrational. Hamlet at least had reason to go mad (or did he?) but Macbeth was just ambitious - I didn't find that part quite believable. And Lady Macbeth was something else - maybe even crazier than he was!
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People who added this item 407 Average listal rating (319 ratings) 7.6 IMDB Rating 0
Romeo and Juliet - William Shakespeare
ERG

Please excuse my written expression of frustration, but Romeo and Juliet are two of the most irritating characters I have ever had the displeasure of meeting. First, they 'fall in love' in an hour, are ready to kill themselves (and do) in a matter of days, and basically destroy their entire families because of their selfish "love" (read: lust). Not to mention the fact that Juliet is a little girl while Romeo is likely in university. That, my friends, is called statutory rape (sadly not illegal back then).
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People who added this item 393 Average listal rating (251 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Hamlet - William Shakespeare
The latest Shakespeare I've read - Hamlet is apparently one of the most difficult (or the most difficult) characters to play because he is so complicated. I can understand why. I'm still not sure if he truly went mad or if he simply put on an 'antic disposition.' There are some good lines in that one, though. To be, or not to be...
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I read this one a while ago but it's still one of my favourites. (Maybe I should pick it up again) Edmund and Lucy bothered me the most though - Lucy was far too inquisitive and Edmund was just easy to manipulate. And the fact that they couldn't find Narnia at the back of the wardrobe at the end was ridiculous and frustrating.
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People who added this item 301 Average listal rating (153 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
I would give this book a 10 if I liked the main character, but seeing as the entire novel was in his point of view, in first person, you understand why I can't do that. Amir is a despicable character who receives all the comforts of the world after his downfalls while others around him suffer for no reason. I cannot stand to see that kind of injustice and that is why I did not enjoy this book as much as A Thousand Splendid Suns.
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 4.5 IMDB Rating 0
A Complicated Kindness - Miriam Toews
I couldn't finish this book. Once I realized that it was primarily character-driven (yes, I'm quite immature and impatient in that respect) I had to put it down. I would have liked to read more about the culture and religion surrounding the characters, but once it became drawn-out and boring, I couldn't deal with it anymore.
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People who added this item 814 Average listal rating (643 ratings) 7.8 IMDB Rating 0
The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
Holden Caulfield. What can I say about the boy? He's certainly cynical. Quirky. Hypocritical. Protective. He's multifaceted, and from what I've heard of others who have read this book, you either love him passionately (because you see yourself in him) or you hate him with a burning vengeance that makes you wish you could enter books just to murder him. I leaned more to the love-him side of things, though I thought the plot was quite boring.
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People who added this item 94 Average listal rating (47 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer
I couldn't get into this one. I didn't have any sympathy at all for the main character, mostly because he threw a surefire future away to hike through the wilderness. The least he could have done was perhaps donate that money to someone who needed it. The whole disappointing-the-parents bit isn't what bothers me so much as that.
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People who added this item 21 Average listal rating (8 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
I know there has been speculation as to whether or not the events of this novel are entirely true, but whether or not they are, you have to have sympathy for the main character. Both her parents ought to have been thrown in jail for the kind of neglect and abuse they bestowed on their children. Honestly! I couldn't decide whether I despised Jeannette's mother or father more.
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I wasn't expecting to like this one. My grade 10 teacher's tastes skewed more to blood and gore, so I assumed The Curious Incident would be the same. I was wrong though - Christopher is a very memorable character, in both good and bad ways.
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People who added this item 812 Average listal rating (619 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
Standard grade 9 fare - TKAM would have been a good book by itself, without all the analyzing and symbolism required of an English class, which was what I liked about it. I read the entire book in one sitting - the whole trial really made me angry, especially with the rampant racism that affected the entirety of it. Great novel.
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Seamus Heaney does an excellent job (I assume) at translating the words of Sophocles into a play with modern connotations, and it makes for an interesting read. Creon and Antigone are both multi-layered characters, and I can't say that I took any one side when reading. This book is great for lengthy discussion (if that's your schtick).
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People who added this item 69 Average listal rating (33 ratings) 7.4 IMDB Rating 0
A Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens is a frustrating man.

I absolutely love the plots that he weaves and the stories that he tells, but honestly, his writing is far too complicated. I sound idiotic, yes, especially when considering that A Tale of Two Cities is considered a classic, but this happened also with Great Expectations, another novel with a fantastic plot and unnecessarily descriptive writing. I really wanted to like this one, but I couldn't.
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Sir Gawain was very noble, though the way he was treated frustrated me a little - I mean really? How many times was he fooled? The description was excellent, I must say. It really felt like I was shivering in the cold (maybe that's because the heat was off).
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People who added this item 99 Average listal rating (59 ratings) 7.3 IMDB Rating 0
Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
Crusoe is a lot like Holden, so that alone should tell you how much I liked this book. There are moments where his contradictory behaviour was so overwhelming that I felt compelled to throw the book away. Sadly, this isn't self-approved literature.
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Many jokes have floated around claiming that Carroll was a bit logically unavailable because of the stark weirdness that happens in this, which is one of the reasons why I deeply disliked it. Children would certainly enjoy this book because the unevenness works, but I found it alternatively boring and irritating.
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People who added this item 5 Average listal rating (3 ratings) 4.7 IMDB Rating 0
Measure for Measure - William Shakespeare
For a Shakespeare play, M for M was actually understandable. There was obviously beautiful prose, poignant speeches, and a central good vs. evil/virtue vs. sin thing going on, and lots of hypocrisy which thankfully was resolved in the end.
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People who added this item 721 Average listal rating (439 ratings) 8.1 IMDB Rating 0
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
A startling prediction of our society's future, where class structures and classical conditioning are central to 'stability,' supposedly. Of course there are champions for freedom and liberalism, which add spice and conflict to this otherwise utopian world. Not too bad, for an assigned novel. I liked the narrative style.
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*coming soon*
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Kant's views as depicted in this work are quite reasonable, I think, and theoretically possible, but it's unfortunate that many do not apply the concepts in real life - with specific reference to means and ends (and the categories in which people are placed).
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People who added this item 4 Average listal rating (2 ratings) 8 IMDB Rating 0
Why Evolution Is True - Jerry A. Coyne
Lovely book. Everything is broken down into sizeable chunks, perfect for the average, non-Biology-educated reader, and I love my professor even more for assigning this instead of a thousand-page textbook.
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