Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Summer Reading: Or How to Stay Pale All Summer

Summer is here, apparently, and as the temperature rises, so does my boredom level. I start out each summer break with quite the joi de virve, excited at the prospect of no papers, exams, or long classes. Then as the season wears on, the very lack of the same begins to drive me mad. Am I really so nerdy and lame that I enjoy the papers, exams, and long classes? Yes, a little. Mostly it's the fact that I am occupied during the school year that keeps me happy.

I have decided that if I cannot pay academics to give me things to read and think about this summer (I suppose I could take a summer class, but this involves large sums of money) I can assign reading to myself! I am an academic after all, sort of. I could even pay myself to make me read, but that seems a little pointless. I have made up a list of things that I want to get read this summer, with explanations, below. Golly, I love commas.

I am rapidly approaching graduation, and my personal canon is seriously wanting. In the Fall semester I will be taking an Elizabethan/Jacobean drama class excluding Shakespeare. I have never taken any course in Billy Shakes, besides learning his sonnets, and have only read Romeo and Juliet - in high school. This is a problem! Especially because my “track” or specific course of study in English is Renaissance literature. I am determined to make up for this deficiency by reading:

-A Midsummer Night's Dream
-Titus Adronicus

*I actually managed to read Hamlet already, and so I'm already on the ball. Gold star for me!

Apart from the Bard, I also wish to read some so-called “classics” that I have missed out on. I will be searching through reading lists in Renaissance literature (for obvious reasons) science fiction, and Victorian literature. Here's what I have so far:

-Jack of Newbury, Thomas Deloney*
-The Inferno, Dante Alighieri
-The Tragical History of Doctor Faustus, Christopher Marlowe
-Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Loius Stevenson
-The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Alan Moore, Kevin O'Neill**
-Stardust, Neil Gamain

*This was assigned last semester by one of my professors. I did not read it, oops. I hope the poor professor whom I have slighted is not reading this, because I am VERY SORRY, YES INDEED. I am trying to make up for being a bum by reading it this summer.
**Yes, it's a comic. Shut up, it's literature.

You may be saying, well, what are you going to be reading for fun? Um, this is fun! I'm super duper excited about this list! I don't want to hear anything about these texts being boring because without Jack of Newbury, there would not be your goddamn Twilight! I don't expect to read every single book on the list, and I will not force myself to rush, as of course that will suck the enjoyment out of reading. That's kind of why reading for school gets us all constipated. I'm going to try to get a little Billy Shakes read first, and then move on from them. Hey, maybe there will even be a review or too! Done in iambic pentameter. No.

Feel free to post suggestions, comments, or opinions! And thank you for suffering through my sad descent into complete nerdiness.