We invited Nick Ripatrazone and Natasha Vargas-Cooper onto the program to discuss their difference of opinions on the traditional High School English reading list. Here in the Word of Mouth pod we have our own take on what those reading lists meant to us, and what we think the future public radio hosts and producers of tomorrow should be exposed to while sitting in High School English.
We all agreed that a good teacher can help create lasting memories of books often thought of as staid and not accessible to the average High School student. It also became apparent that required reading lists vary depending on where you went to High School. Zach, Logan & Virginia wish Catcher in the Rye had been required, and Taylor listed it as one of his favorites.
Virginia Prescott - Host Extraordinaire
Concord High - New Hampshire
- Favorite: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest
- Least favorite: The Pigman
- Should Have Been Required: Pride and Prejudice
Maureen McMurray - Senior Producer and lover of fiction
Leominster High - Massachusetts
- Favorite: Toss up between The Great Gatsby and A Tale of Two Cities
- Least Favorite: The Old Man and The Sea
- Should Have Been Required: Lonesome Dove
Taylor Quimby - Producer and Recovering Ne'er do well
Keene High School - New Hampshire
- Favorite: Catcher in the Rye & Nineteen Eighty-Four
- Least Favorite: [He declined to answer and said he usually just skipped the books he didn't like. He's such a rebel!]
- Should Have Been Required: World War Z or Catch-22
Zach Nugent - Arts & Culture Producer
Sacopee Valley High - Maine
- Favorite: Nineteen Eighty-Four
- Least favorite: Song of Solomon
- Should Have Been Required: Catcher in the Rye
[Sheesh! No wonder Zach and Taylor are such good pals.]
Logan Shannon - Producer and former Sweet Valley High addict
Theodore Roosevelt High School - Iowa
- Favorite: Tie Between - Waiting for Godot and As I Lay Dying
- Least Favorite: "Ozymandias" and really anything by Chaucer.
- Should Have Been Required: Invisible Man
Sarah Thomas - Top Notch Intern and recent English Major
Merrimack High School & The Arlington School - New Hampshire & Massachusetts
Where do you stand on the issue? Would you have preferred a steady diet of Non-Fiction over Fiction? What were your favorites and what book do you now think should have been assigned to you? We've started our own debate over at our Facebook page.