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Summer Reading 2013

posted Jun 14, 2013, 2:32 PM by Mr Lundberg   [ updated Sep 15, 2014, 9:18 AM ]
Not to be redundant, but here is the Summer reading for IB English IV. Please remember that these must be read in their entirety when you come back in August. Expect a test and an essay to defend your reader-ly honor! Please note that the covers below probably won't match yours: I just like old book covers.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Straight out of the tradition of Chaucer (read: The Canterbury Tales), Atwood has written a shocking and somewhat grim novel about a (not-too??) probable future. I don't want to spoil it for you, but strap yourselves in because it gets pretty intense. That said, this little novel brings up excellent questions that we need to be thinking about right now. In a time when gender and sexual politics are (arguably) raging harder than they have since the 80s, the class systems, religious hegemony, and privileges painted in this book may not all that surprising to think about in a modern contextor maybe they will be. I hope your eyes are opened to the injustices of systematic inequality and the ways the oppressed can gain agency in spite of their needless subjugation...even if you don't yet know that's what such things are called. Don't worry: we'll get there soon enough.

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
In a series of semi-autobiographical tales about the Vietnam War, O'Brien gives us snapshots of not only what it looks like to be in a war, but also what it feels like. He puts us inside his head and forces us to decide whether we take that as a good thing or a bad thing. This series of snapshots will have us questioning how humans can possibly survive and cope with extreme stress and grave loss (no pun intended). Expect to talk about fallout of wartime thinking, the weight of guilt, and the nature of reality. If you like NPR, Talk of the Nation, or maybe just listening to people's thoughts on something you're supposed to be thinking about, I'd check out this broadcast (and if you don't like listening...there's a transcript following).

Enjoy your Summer! I look forward to seeing you all again in August.

- Mr. Lundberg