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School Books (from least favorite books)

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School Books (from least favorite books)

Postby Keesa » Fri Jan 30, 2004 10:43 pm

I'd be interested to hear what others have read in school and what they thought of the assigned books.


Well, my schooling is almost entirely reading. Science, history, biology-everything except math and writing are taught through reading. So everything I've read (and mentioned) is part of my schooling.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jan 31, 2004 11:34 am

I think quote is referring to fiction books, not to biology, science or history books :wink: .
The books we read at school were nearly all terrible except for maybe the ones we read in the first few years (children’s books).
Here's a list:

Woyzeck by Büchner: It's a very important drama, and way ahead of it's time. Maybe if I read it now I would understand it, but when I read it I had no idea whatsoever what it was all about. I really think the teacher should have told us that first and done all the analysis of it first before letting us read it :wink: . It was impossible for me to understand it, because I had no idea what the historical/political background was and who the author was. Maybe some of you do, then you'd be able to enjoy it. What I hated especially about it was one thing though, that doesn't really have anything much to do with the book. My teacher wanted to prove to us that you can only interpret a book in one way (his way) and every other interpretation is wrong. The thing was that that happened to be the case with this book, as its message was the same as his political flyer 'Der Hessische Landbote' in which Büchner calls to the people to revolt against the rich.

Effi Briest by Theodor Fontane: a waste of time reading about poor Effi's life. The book was so boring and full of stupid little symbolism you couldn't possibly understand without a teacher. My teacher thought it was a timeless book, but I heavily disagree there, it's a portrait of the society the book was written in, not timeless.

Tod in Venedig (death in Venice?) by Thomas Mann: argh... the language! Help! It was so bad that after reading the first chapter I confused a bystander the main character was remarking on with the main character. It was utterly confusing and I don't think there was a sentence in the book shorter than one page. In English you might be able to understand it, but in German... it was like: Die Zeit lief.....(ten thousand lines later)... ab. :? What is that 'ab' doing there??!?
I know it was actually making fun of books written in that style, but as people don't tend to do that anymore and Thomas Mann doesn't actually suggest how to do it better in that books I think it is quite possible to go through life not having read this book. (I never finished reading it. I read the first half and understood nothing, skipped through the rest and understood everything that followed. It's unreadable).

Ok, there are more books, but right now I'd like to have some breakfast :P
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Postby bingley » Sat Jan 31, 2004 1:19 pm

Have you seen the film, Emma? It's excellent. Very atmospheric.

Lessee now. We did Twelfth Night and The Tempest for Shakespeare.Very enjoyable plays both of them. An Inspector Calls by JB Priestly. Chaucer's Prologue. Goldsmith's She Stoops To Conquer. There must have been some novels but I've forgotten what they were. I probably remember the plays because I've so rarely read plays since.


For Greek A level we did Sophocles' Antigone and Aristophanes' The Frogs, and for Latin we did Tacitus' Agricola and some of Horace's poetry.
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Postby Keesa » Sat Jan 31, 2004 4:09 pm

Emma_85 wrote:I think quote is referring to fiction books, not to biology, science or history books :wink: .


That was my point. With the exception of my friend's English Literature books, I've never read a textbook.
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Postby Emma_85 » Sat Jan 31, 2004 5:31 pm

With the exception of my friend's English Literature books, I've never read a textbook.


How did you learn Maths and Chemistry with a fiction book? I certainly don't know of any fiction books on linear algebra and Quantum chemistry ...
If you do know of a one about Quantum chemistry please tell me, because I find it very hard to understand (but then again we don't even have a textbook either, just the notes we make in class).
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Postby ingrid70 » Sun Feb 01, 2004 8:26 pm

There is a fiction-maths book: Der Zahlenteufel by Hans Magnus Enzensberger (note his middle name for latin content :).

As to assigned books at school, we had a system where you had to read an assigned number of books, and that was about it. I had to read 20 Dutch books, 15 English and 15 German books (in about 2 years time). There were some guidelines as to the literary value of the books, the periods (for foreign languages about 4 before 1900 or something like that) and at least 2 plays. But you were relatively free in your choice of books. Even so, I hardly read a book for about a year after my exams, and then I started buying them by heaps :).

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Postby Emma_85 » Sun Feb 01, 2004 9:29 pm

Wow! So many! But I'd actually prefer that to what we do, because I often don't like the books we read, but worst of all I hate actually taking the book apart in class and talking about every stupid little aspect of it. No, actually worst of all is writing characterisations of all the people in the books! :evil:
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Postby ingrid70 » Mon Feb 02, 2004 7:55 pm

The number depended on your level, I did VWO (6 years of school, preparation for university), while my brother did MAVO (4 years, prepared for say, secretaries, service engineers, etc.) and had to read 5 Dutch books, and 2 or 3 for each foreign language. There were times that I envied him :).

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Postby Keesa » Tue Feb 03, 2004 1:15 pm

How did you learn Maths and Chemistry with a fiction book? I certainly don't know of any fiction books on linear algebra and Quantum chemistry ...
If you do know of a one about Quantum chemistry please tell me, because I find it very hard to understand (but then again we don't even have a textbook either, just the notes we make in class).


Mathematics I did use textbook for. As far as chemistry and Quantum chemistry...I don't know how I learned them!! I imagine I learned partly from Nova, on PBS, and partly (when I was younger) from Bill Nye the Science Guy; definitely from the Empyrean Saga, which is what got me interested in quantum to start with; the rest I just...picked up. I always do well on tests, but I have no idea why.
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