ICYMI: Childhood Book Lists for a New Milennium

Vampires, werewolves and dystopian worlds, oh my! Back in my day, we read the classics, the stories about characters in the distant past, about teenage angst, about adultresses who would later be personified in a popular movie with Emma Stone.

And just like Emma Stone’s hit movie, it was based on a classic, like how the Anne of Green Gables novels were turned into a Canadian TV show….

Anne Of Green Gables 2013

Let’s talk about Canadian television. I lived in a border city for 3 years, and spent some quality time with Canadian TV. It’s mostly made up of American shows, hockey, people talking about hockey, Tim Hortons commercials, snow – just, like, programming about snow, because Canada has so damn much of it, and people who generally look all healthy and financially secure and smug because they all have health care. Every once in a while, you get a Degrassi in there. The piece de resistance of Canadian television is the 1985 CBC adaptation of Anne of Green Gables.

As a dramatic, bookish redheaded child, I was more or less obligated to love Anne of Green Gables. If you loved her, too, you will remember a few things about her. She was an orphan who always had her head in the clouds, she was outspoken but always meant well, and — oh yeah, she lived in the 18-fucking-hundreds or something. So when I heard that Canadian TV was adapting Anne of Green Gables to a modern setting, I was a little confused. None of the plotlines even make sense in 2013. Clearly, a couple tweaks are in order. Frankly, I don’t think Tim Hortons will even sponsor this mess.


But what about the other books you read in your youth? No need to freak out, there isn’t a quiz, but JIC you find yourself facing a literature pop quiz, we’re here to help you out.


Retitled: What High School Required Reading Books Should Have Been Called, According To My 17-Year-Old Self

Wakefield High School Summer Reading

If you reach into the shadowy recesses of your memory, brush off the cobwebs, and are over the age of 22 or so, you probably remember taking class notes longhand. If so, you are lucky, because there’s a good chance that some of your high school musings have made it into this millennium. Unless you are one of those people who actually backs up all of their work on a flash drive or has had the same computer for a very long time, your electronic files probably haven’t survived so long.

I recently came across a notebook I kept in high school English. I was preparing for the AP Lit exam, and made a list of books I’d read that I could discuss in the essays. In brackets, I wrote a short summary (maybe 5-10 words) to jog my memory of the book. I can’t help but think that these would make excellent alternate titles.

I got a 5 on that AP, making this the best study method ever.

Here are some of my favorites:

The Great Gatsby: [Good Parties and Car Crashes]

The Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man: [Run-On Sentences That Don’t Make Sense (Irish)]

The Once And Future King: [Probably Interesting If You’re Into D&D]

The Catcher In The Rye: [Whiney Bitch Gets Kicked Out Of School]

The Bell Jar: [Mad Electroshock]

Something Wicked This Way Comes: [Watched The Movie Instead]

The Crucible: [I Saw Goody __ With The Devil! (POPPETS)]

Great Expectations: [Cobwebbed Wedding Cake & Unrequited Love]

Wuthering Heights: [Moors (Geographic)]

Othello: [Moors (Ethnic)]

The Scarlet Letter: [Mores (Social)]

Death Of A Salesman: [Salesman Totally Dies]

One Day In The Life of Ivan Denisovich: [Reading It Felt Like 10 Years In The Life Of Me]


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