Tag Archive | Great American read

Great American Read 6-10

So I talked about the top 5 books in the Great American Read on Wednesday. Today I’ll talk about books 6-10. This is a short hot take on the books.

#10 Jane Eyre

I actually really loved this book. It has brilliant commentary on race, class, and gender. Is it in my top ten? No. I think this is another maybe people actually love it/maybe they just think they should entry on the list.

#9 The Chronicles of Narnia series

Loved them as a kid, they’ve been ruined for me as an adult because of how heavy handed the allegory is. WE GET IT. But while I will share The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe with the girls, I’m not going to push the rest of the series. That book seven ends with the Rapture, and that Susan is left out because she wears makeup is shit. I think it’s on the list because people have warm fuzzy memories of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

#8 Little Women

I actually took an entire grad school class on Little Women. It’s a good book, but I think it’s on the top ten because people think they’re supposed to like it, or have warm fuzzy memories of it from childhood.

#7 Charlotte’s Web

This is also a warm fuzzy from childhood. I have trouble believing that so many adults think of a kids book as the best book ever. That said, I blubbered when reading this with my daughter, who stayed dry eyed through Charlotte’s death scene.

#6 Gone With the Wind

I have a nostalgic relationship with Gone With the Wind because I first read it at eleven. I used to identify strongly with Scarlett when I was a young teen. But as I got older, I saw what a child she still was. But that was before I really started thinking about race and gender and history carefully. I now see it for all of it’s racist, problematic themes. But I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it helped form me. But like the other four books, I think there was a lot of I should like this book or I’ve heard of this book driving its place on the list.

 

Great American Read 1-5

The voting is over, and the Great American Read has been selected. Today I’ll give my hot take on the top five books, and I’m assuming you have at least a minimal understanding of the plot. Spoilers abound.

#5 The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

They’re overrated sausage fests with the occasional woman. But the women are all fucking problematic, especially Eowyn. Eowyn kills the witch king, in a pretty badass scene, and she does have the “I am no man” line BUT she’s only there because she’s following around a man who doesn’t love her in hopes that he will one day. Also, they’re so fucking long because Tolkien loved Norse mythology so a fucking death scene takes like twenty pages. I happen to hate the books, but tons of people love them. I believe that it genuinely earned its place in the top five.

#4 Pride and Prejudice

So I have a complicated relationship with Pride and Prejudice, because I read it instead of Sense and Sensibility or vice versa. Regardless, I read the wrong book in college, and had to read the correct book in a single night so I could do the assignment. I looked like an idiot in class, too, for bonus points. I love a lot of media based on P&P, though, and I think I need to give it another chance. But I’m not sure if this is here because people legit love P&P or if they think they’re supposed to.

#3 Harry Potter series

I totally buy this. It’s a complex, well written series that turned a generation of kids into readers and their adults (including me) into YA readers. It’s been twenty years and my daughter started a Harry Potter club, is going to be Hermione for Halloween, and is having her second Harry Potter themed birthday in a row. This isn’t just a book series, it’s a phenomenon that no one is ready to leave, because it’s for Always.

#2 Outlander series

My hot take is that it scored so high because of the tv show. I think it would always have scored high because the series is very popular. But #2? That’s inflation caused by the tv show (which, don’t get me, I watch and love). But I buy it a hell of a lot more than #1.

#1 To Kill a Mockingbird

Seriously? This won because people think they should love this book. I mean, it’s okay. I read it like three times in jr. high and high school (I moved a lot), and for a while it was even my “favorite book” when I was like fifteen. But even then, while I made the claim, there were books I liked way better but was embarrassed to admit that I did. With perspective–it’s an overrated book.

What’s your hot take? Thoughts, opinions?