The Classics Revisited – 2014 New Year’s Book Resolution

One of my favorite things about my best friends is that they motivate me. They push me to be smarter, stronger, and kinder than I previously thought possible.

Every year Jess tackles a new year’s book resolution, and every year I think, “Wow, that’s really an accomplishment, I should do something like that.” This year is no exception with her anti-procrastination challenge, aka read the books that have been sitting on your shelf for far too long! Her efforts inspired me to look at the books I’ve had sitting on my shelf for many years, the first books I bought, and spent hours pouring over, the first pieces of literature I was exposed to … Yes, you guessed it, the classics! Never mind that they were more or less shoved down my throat by honors English class in high school.

I looked over all of my classics that I supposedly “read” and realized a few things. Firstly the books I enjoyed are still some of my favorite novels but I feel like I am letting them down, or tarnishing their memory because I’ve forgotten so many details of the stories. I also recognized that I can’t remember hardly any of the novels I disliked, in place I simply get this gut-wrenching memory of the hours I wasted attempting to read them and then another of the hours I wasted writing half-assed papers on the novel I couldn’t bare to read in the first place. How did I manage to pass honors English anyways?

Regardless of my high school grades, I have since found a much greater appreciation for literature. This past year was a big one for me, I graduated college, found some amazing jobs, moved into my own place, and before the year is up I will be training for a new adventure in Alaska! The point is, I’m not the same person I was in high school. I have new experiences, priorities and emotions. I never reread novels. I know a lot of people love to, but I always missed the point of it. I would much rather experience something new than watch re-runs. For 2014 however, I will take a different approach to rereading novels. I will read the same books I did in high school but as a new person. And I think I will experience something new and different from when I first read them.

In 2014, I will revisit twelve classics from my high school assignments. Six of my favorites that I still think fondly of today, and six that … I don’t, but I feel they deserve a second chance

The Favorites

  1. Frankenstein By Mary Shelly
  2. Brave New World By Aldous Huxley
  3. The Scarlet Letter By Nathaniel Hawthorn
  4. The Catcher In The Rye By J. D. Salinger
  5. Lord Of The Flies By William Golding
  6. The Old Man And The Sea By Ernest Hemingway

Second Chances

  1. The Great Gatsby By F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. To Kill A Mockingbird By Harper Lee
  3. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest By Ken Kesey
  4. Catch-22 By Joseph Heller
  5. A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Man By James Joyce
  6. The Fountainhead By Ayn Rand

Over 2014 I will read each one of these books, alternating from Favorites to Second Chances each month, and review them before and after the reread. I hope to rekindle my love for the favorites, befriend some of the second chances, and appreciate these novels as an adult reader for the first time.

Here’s to a new year, a new job, and a new look on some very noteworthy novels!                                                     If my English teacher could see me now, she’d be so proud.

Cheers to 2014! Sincerely,

The Sea Worthy Book Worm

The Seaworthy Book Worm

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