I was browsing through my Goodreads list for a #fbf post and it got me thinking about some of the books I read when I was younger. There’s a pattern there, typically books that were part of the education canon because I was either a) in school, and the only thing that mattered to me was the clarinet attached to my mouth; or b) teaching school, which killed all enjoyment because of NCLB and testing and more testing. Oh, and teenagers being spawns of the devil.
This winning combination of required reading (something about that phrase kills my joy) and a lack of maturity certainly colored my view on some of literature’s perceived greatest works. One such book is Beloved by Toni Morrison. *ducks flying produce*
Forgive me but, I was 18/19 and all I really wanted to do was hang out in South Beach and Coconut Grove all the time, when I wasn’t at the Orange Bowl cheering on my Hurricanes. Clarinet still attached. Not the best mindset to take on this book.
I hated it. In fact, it was a DNF (did not finish). Then I tried watching the movie…
And I’ve yet to pick it up again. At that point in my life, there was no way I could’ve appreciated this book. But, I think it’s time to give it another try. It’s obviously much different from the lighter fare I prefer to read. Real life is tough enough; I don’t want it in my fiction. One can only hope that age and maturity can be positive influences this time around.
Beloved isn’t the only DNF I should re-read, but it sticks out because it’s Toni Morrison. Pulitzer and Nobel Prize-winning Toni Morrison. I feel like I’ve somehow betrayed my English Lit degree.
So, what’s the one book from your youth that you’d give or have given a second chance? Do you feel any different now that you’re an adult? Any other classics that are universally loved but you secretly detest? Award-winners that you found boring and pretentious (yeah, that’s a personal opinion about a specific book)? Oh, do tell. In the comments.