So, below I've put together a list of books I think are important. I will probably stray from the topic, (I apologize in advance, Rich) but I will give it my best.
I can't remember how old I was when I read this book, but I was definitely in my 20's, (I think) and I was blown away, by not just the writing, but the idea. For a length of time in my life, I was obsessed with Utopian society books. Huxley seemed to capture something not as dark as Orwell's 1984 or Rand's Anthem, but it still carries a heavy warning sign. I remember thinking, "What it would be like to be satisfied?" then I shook my head and snapped out it. I like that it made me question.
I've read this book three different times and each time I read I learned something new. I know it is a political book. Some readers snub their noses at Ayn Rand. In literary circles, I don't dare mention her name because I will inevitably get a look, but this book was important for me. At the baser levels, the way I chose to read it, is the story of someone who wouldn't compromise their beliefs/morals for their happiness. Selfishness has a horrible connotation, but isn't a certain level of selfishness okay?
So, there is a pattern. As I go through my list of books, I'm snagging the ones that I remember (yes, there are some I don't. at all) and there is an apparent theme. This is a quick read though. I think something that scares me is the people's inactivity.
Okay, I'm not sure this fits the category, but I found this book incredibly interesting. It definitely changes the idea of a single story that many have of Native Americans. It's a wonderful balance of a range of emotions a family/community goes through. Erdrich is a masterful story teller.
I recently read this, but I want to include, because it brings up a lot of interesting questions about identity and the duality of culture. There are some beautiful essays in it. Although there were a couple that lagged in comparison, I enjoyed it very much.
As I write this, I keep arguing with myself about what books to include. There are others, many others that pop into my head that I loved, but not sure why or if I'm just starting a conversation with myself about books. So here are some authors who have short stories I like to teach:
August 2026 - Ray Bradbury
Popular Mechanics -Raymond Carver
Girl - Jamaica Kincaid
Greasy Lake - T.C. Boyle
Hills Like White Elephants - Ernest Hemingway
Sonny's Blues - James Baldwin
The Lottery - Shirley Jackson
The White Girl - Luis Alberto Urrea
The Falling Girl - Dino Buzzati
Okay, I think that's it. Now I have dandelion titles and pieces of stories floating around in my brain, and they are getting all mixed up. I hope that anyone who reads this finds at least one thing on this list they didn't know about and like. If there are two? Then I made a good list.
Comments on readings are welcome below!