Anyone who’s been checking on by “Books Read in 2008” list (see the link on the sidebar) knows that I recently read two books for my English class: The Catcher In The Rye by JD Salinger and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

As much as I love to read, I hate required reading. I can count on my fingers the number of required books I’ve liked in school, since Kindergarten! (These being: The Giver, Number the Stars, Holes, Esperanza Rising, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Princess Bride, Johnny Tremain, Tom Sawyer, The House of the Scorpion, and The Ear, The Eye, And The Arm. See? Ten.)

These two books were no exception. Also reading Huck Finn made me hate Tom Sawyer. So, that was double points against it. Also, it just sucked. The pacing was really weird, the characters were really flat, the book itself rather pointless, and, well, I don’t understand in the least why it is considered great American literature. Maybe I missed the point. Because if I didn’t miss the point, there wasn’t one. And I don’t like Huck anymore. Loved him in Tom Sawyer. Now I think he’s annoying.

Same goes for Catcher; I just thought Holden was whiny and wished that he would go ahead and shut up already, because it was obvious from page one that he was annoying, self-centered, and nuts. I wished that his depression would have caused him to kill himself, because then at least his incessant whining would be stopped (and I think I may have written that somewhere in one of my assignments; what can I say, I was sleep-deprived). And how superior he thought he was to everyone else! He is probably one of my least favorite book characters, ever. Yet I know people who love him! Why? Anyone care to enlighten me? And was there a plot in this book? Or was it just, Holden is a whiny loser, because that’s all I got?

I will never be an English major. I like to understand what I’m reading without huge amounts of over-analyzing everything. And I like to choose what I’m reading. I hate English class. People are amazed; they think loving books means loving English class. It doesn’t.

Anyone care to enlighten me (about the mysteries of JD Salinger and Mark Twain), or at least share your own tales of English class misery?

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