Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Reading Envy 074: The Books We Didn't Love in High School

I visited a new podcast guest and we recorded this episode, talking about the books we did read (or should have read) in high school, books that have been made into movies and tv shows, and a few more surprises. Listen to the entire episode to find out who the dog is named after!

Download or listen via this link: Reading Envy 074: The Books We Didn't Love in High School.

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Books discussed:

The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens
Travels with Charley in Search of America by John Steinbeck
Epitaph for a Spy by Eric Ambler
Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile
In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume
Voices in the Night: Stories by Steven Millhauser

Other mentions:
Anthony Trollope
R.F. Delderfield
Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
The Muppet Christmas Carol (film)
A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
John Dos Passos
East of Eden by John Steinbeck
The Mask of Dimitrios (film)
A Coffin for Dimitrios by Eric Ambler
Topkapi (film)
North by Northwest (film)
The Man Who Knew too Much (film)
The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
The 39 Steps by John Buchan
Queen Sugar (tv show) 
Island of Sheep by John Buchan
Mister Standfast by John Buchan
Sugar in the Blood by Andrea Stuart
The Honk and Holler Opening Soon by Billie Letts
The Librarian is In (NYPL) podcast
T.C. Boyle
LitWit podcast 
The Able McLaughlins by Margaret Wilson
Empire Falls by Richard Russo
Empire Falls (film)
Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
Arrowsmith by Sinclair Lewis
Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis
Here Lies the Librarian by Richard Peck
Alexander McCall Smith
Stamped from the Beginning: the Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America by Ibram X. Kendi
Paulina Chiziane

Related Episodes:
Episode 049 - The Legendary Cheese with Holly and Caroline
Episode 055 - Too Late for an Autopsy with Julie Davis

Stalk us online:
Jenny at Goodreads
Jenny on Twitter


  1. I am am listening to the podcast. It's an interesting subject. I read a lot of wonderful books in high school, but am finding it necessary to read any noteworthy book again as an adult. It is an entirely different reading experience.

    1. I agree. Re-reading Edith Wharton in particular was really a significant difference to me.

  2. As a high school English teacher, it is always interesting to hear an adult speaking about their reading experience in high school. I have taught Ethan Frome, The Grapes of Wrath, Catcher in the Rye, The Scarlet Letter and others. These are books that I love and fully embrace and try to convey that love to my students. Does it always work? Surely not, but I love teaching them just the same.

    Thanks for the discussion and the perspective.

    1. There is something about that stage of your life that really solidifies memories of reading. I have such clear memories of The Scarlet Letter, essays by Emerson (which, oh man, I HATED back then), the Federalist papers, and Thomas Hardy. My senior english teacher loooooved Thomas Hardy.

  3. My senior English teacher loved The Heart of Darkness. She even showed us Apocalypse Now (without parental permission!). Now that I am a teacher, I know that was a huge risk on her part, but she felt we needed to see the interpretation for the sake of art.


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