Non-Required Summer Reading

I hated required reading as a kid and college student–generally, would try to read anything other than what was assigned, although I finally capitulated. Now, looking at the Boston Public Library’s lists of required summer reading for the city’s school kids makes me paradoxically nostalgic. In the first case, I didn’t go to school in Boston, and summer time reading, like reading any time for me, was a journey, often whimsical, jumping from book to book, not a forced march down a list.

Still many choices on the Latin School Grade 12 list appeal; the fun of scanning enhanced by the one-line synopses by somebody clever (although somewhat spoiler happy.) To wit: “Beckett, Samuel Waiting for Godot Despite Godot’s failure to appear, Vladimir and Estragon endlessly hope for direction.” –A nice sentence, and easy to imagine coming from the mind of somebody who teaches high schoolers!

If you want to be daunted, check out the Latin Academy reading list of what is required to prepare for the AP Latin exam. How many students take it, I wonder? I’ll stick to my next pick from the first list, Oscar Hijuelos’s, The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love.

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