le plus loin le plus serré

le plus loin le plus serré
mourning art

in memoriam

"yet I tell you, from the sad knowledge of my older experience, that to every one of you a day will most likely come when sunshine, hope, presents and pleasure will be worth nothing to you in comparison with the unattainable gift of your mother's kiss." (Christina Rossetti, "Speaking Likenesses," 1873)

Thursday, December 03, 2009

choose your own adventure books

My book order for spring is almost complete, only a month late!!

I need to fill two more weeks - four classes total. the theme - a vague, broad theme - is adventure. I have books like Treasure Island, The Magic City, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Un Lun Dun, The Lightning Thief. For a surprise (even to myself) twist I have The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

But I need two more weeks' worth - two novels, probably. but which ones?

I could do the horrible and assign an actual Choose Your Own Adventure book. I'm not sure any of us could actually handle reading one of those, though - but then again, from a narrational/structural point of view (not to mention the reader-response point of view), it could be AWESOME.  Those are the ultimate in reader-response. I'd have to brush up on reader-response criticism, but that might be a good thing - it could help with my dissertation. Stanley Fish just waits for me, lurking in my critical theory textbooks.....

but what else?
I've kicked around The Westing Game, The 21 Balloons, Larklight, The Amulet of Samarkand. There's also Mary Poppins, or The Wind in the Willows, if I want to go canonical. I have several fairly contemporary dystopias on the list, so I won't add in anything like The Giver, and A Wrinkle in Time is just kind of a crummy irritating book after awhile, so I'd like to avoid that as well.
The Book of Three is really tempting, especially now that I know about the Mabinogi.  Or something by E.L. Konigsberg - The Mixed-Up Files, or Up From Jericho Tel.

In my tireless yet perpetually fruitless efforts to please everyone, I'm dithering way too much over these last couple of titles. I've only ever had one class - one - that went mostly cheerfully along with me on every book on the syllabus, and that was an extraordinary class that I hope I never forget (they gave me a card on the last day! who does that in college? only truly awesome students, which I had).

decisions, decisions! what two books will I pick??????

1 comment:

Library Diva said...

Don't subject them to The Westing Game unless you're trying to reduce your own workload by garnering a large number of drops! Ugh, I hated that book!

I vote for Book of Three and Up From Jericho Tel. The first is one of my personal favorites. I know the second is yours, because if there was such a thing as Library Police, they would have come to our house to make you give them that book back. "We know it's here, you've checked it out ten times in the past four months. Either the book is leaving with us, or you are, your choice."