Sunday, August 1, 2010

Spring Reading

So, I don't feel like writing up a whole big post about everything I read over the spring semester. It would bore you and wear me out and honestly I don't have time for a lot of introspection or cleverness.

We moved this summer - to a new apartment about 6 miles away. It's almost the same size as our old place, but it's only one bedroom. However, it has a garage, which is amazing. Now I don't have to worry about tripping over bikes on my way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Also, I took two summer classes and I am working full time. So I'm a little spent.

I did get to go to my baby sister's high school graduation a couple of weeks ago. It was nice to hang out with her and the rest of my family. She was really cute and I was very proud of her. Now she's going to have a nice relaxing summer and then she's off to Washington State University.

These are the books I read for my Law and Literature class. There are 12 total, but I'm only counting 8 toward my goal of 50 books this year, since some of them were short stories and plays that only took a couple of hours to read.

Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose

This was a fun read, but it was more fun to discuss in a class full of people planning to become attorneys. Also, it was the last book we read as a class, and so the conversations were really good, because we had gotten to know each other over the semester. It exposes the flaws in the jury system, but also points out that there isn't really any other way to ensure fairness.

Inherit the Wind by Jerome Lawrence

Great play about education versus religion, and why the two can't always go hand in hand. It's about ignorance and fear. And it's more about zealots (on both sides) being unable to open their mind to other possibilities.

The White Rose by B. Traven

As a class, we agreed that this was our least favorite novel. However, there are some interesting things about land usage in here: the debate over whether to use it or preserve it.

The Crucible by Arthur Miller

Probably everyone has read this or at least seen the movie. Professor Pritikin pointed out many evidence problems that I had never noticed before. Also, his thoughts on interrogation / questioning were very interesting as well.

Witness for the Prosecution by Agatha Christie

Woman loves her husband so much she was willing to lie and cheat the justice system. She does so handily. Well played, my friend.

The Trial by Franz Kafka

A puzzling, dream-like read. I have said this so many times that I feel like I'm repeating myself, but reading Kafka is like having a dream. While it's going on, things seem to make sense. When someone appears out of nowhere, or when a judge is saying something nonsensical, it seems ok while dreaming/reading. But when you come out of the fog and actually try to analyze this novel, nothing makes sense, and you can't quite figure out what the point of it all is. But I think that the lack of a point is the point. Kafka wants you to stop worrying about sensible things, and immerse yourself ina dream. Then you may be able to figure out the truth. Maybe.

Jury of Her Peers by Susan Glaspell

A woman takes things into her own hands and kills her abusive husband. Her neighbors know how awful her life must have been and they struggle with whether or not to expose evidence that would certainly condemn her.

Pudd'nhead Wilson by Mark Twain

I have a difficult time disliking Mark Twain - even though he thought that Jane Austen's novels were frivolous and not worth reading. He's just such a fun, quirky writer. His characters are dynamic and his use of language and plot are masterful. Please read this - or at lest something beyond Huckleberry Finn.

The Stranger by Albert Camus

This novel may have affected me the most out of all that we read for this class. This guy, Meursault, has no sense of self-preservation. He seems heartless and unfeeling. He seems to be so unlike everyone else. But maybe he just doesn't pretend like everyone else. He is alwyas completely honest - never hides anything. He is content with a mid-level job and doesn't want the responsibilities of a higher position. With Meursault, though, it's more than indifference - it's acceptance. Of himself, of others, and the hand he was dealt.

The Death of Ivan Ilych by Leo Tolstoy - see older post

Antigone by Sophocles - see older post

The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare - see older post

So this adds 8 books to my tally this year. Coming soon: a post with all the other books I've read this year. And it's not a lot. I better get crackin'!

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