Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Day 14- Book that should be on hs/college required reading list

I'm late in posting. There will be a post on why at a later date. Onwards.

I saw this topic on Sunday and spent the better part of the day thinking about it. I was drawing a complete blank on what I wanted to attach. About 10:30 at night, on Sunday, as I was winding down for sleep, it hit me. Yesterday, I found the books so I could photograph them.

Science fiction/fantasy is not covered on reading lists. That is a shame. Some places will have I, Robot by Isaac Asimov or Ray Bradbury and Martian Chronicles or Kurt Vonnegut and Fahrenheit 451 on their "supplemental" lists but I haven't seen a list where science fiction or fantasy was required. 

These are my Discworld books. I am missing The Colour of Magic and The Light Fantastic. I don't know where they are. Those are books one and two and I strongly recommend reading them first before jumping into any of the ones you see above.

What science fiction can do that a "regular" novel can't is deal with a subject such as religion (Small Gods) in a very pointed manner. Setting the theme on a fake planet distances the reader from the topic, adds what can be a necessary degree of separation to allow the reader to think about how the theme applies to them and their life.

The other thing sci-fi does is allow the writer to engage in what I consider the best "what if" scenarios. Carole's read them and I can't remember the name of the series, but there's a whole collection of books based on the premise that the South was given supreme weaponry and used it to win the Civil War. In this world, the author can stand convention on its head and look at huge "what if" scenarios.

A lot of parents and students feel the 'required' reading list is a chore and show be abolished. As I believe reading is supposed to expand the mind and jump-start the ability to think critically, I think a year 'round reading list should be given. I think Terry Pratchett's wry sense of humor would appeal to high school and college students. If you do pick up his novels, be prepared to have a few "oh yeah" moments; those moments when the humor hits very close to home.

Beverage:  Dr Pepper


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