Faulkner, Wilson, O'Connor, Alcott, Lee, Steinbeck, Dickinson, Cather, Potok, Cisneros, Twain, Hemingway, Plath, Miller, Williams, Chopin, Wharton, Satrapi, Smith, Frost, Fitzgerald, Malamud, Foer, Whitman, Kingsolver, Quindlen, Schlosser, Krakauer, McCourt, Bronte(s), Ibsen, Tan, Longfellow, Austen, Wilde, Dickens, Hughes, Hurston, Stowe, Capote, Melville, Joyce, Shakespeare, Woolf, Bradbury, Eliot, Vonnegut, Heller, Kingston, Orwell, Bellow, Forster, Kerouac, Salinger, Stegner, London, Delillo, Burgess, Morrison, Angelou, Tolkien, Rand, Tolstoy, and even King.
I have obsessed over which novels and play to choose for my ENG201 class and as I teach my shorter pieces this semester and choose the longer works for next these authors have been popping up at every turn.
I wandered the library for a couple hours on Saturday. Asher was with me half that time and he helped a whole lot.
As I went from aisle to aisle I was met with all these names and more I can't easily recall right now. Authors from near and far as familiar as some of my family.
I never thought I was smart growing up because I could never focus or feel like learning was obtainable until I came to BYU-Hawaii and something clicked. Part of what clicked was a great English class with OBTAINABLE literature that made me realize I had been reading for fun my whole life and helped me draw from warm memories being read to as a child.
I still draw from that familiarity in literature now. I can't be too homesick with a captivating tale by my side or being animatedly narrated to my children now.
If I pass down only a few things to my children, I hope that a strong testimony and a love for learning and reading number among the top.
I think I've settled on my titles for next semester:
Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
I choose these for their varying lengths, themes, gender Protagonists, and criteria for fitting elements of the "Coming of Age" genre I want to focus on to guide our discussions.
It could change, but I think, I THINK this is it. Can't wait!