Adult’s Perspective on Summer Reading Lists from Days Gone By…

Summer Reading is not like it use to be.. When I saw the book, Tess of the D’Urbervilles / by Thomas Hardy, returned at rear circ, I was transported back in time to St Mary’s High School, here in Waltham, where we had a required summer reading list. This was one of the books I HAD to read one summer…and I HATED it. The book returned was in “Book on CD format.”

So in the spirit of WPL’s summer reading for adults campaign that we tried out this summer, I decided to give it another try.
I was surprised, once I started listening, the book wasn’t that bad, the reader did a great job, it was almost like listening to poetry. So many words you just don’t hear or see in print these days, made me think. As a teen I didn’t appreciate this and found it tedious.

The subject was a bit risque as Tess was “taken advantage of”, I wondered why the nuns chose this book as back in the 60’s at Parochial Schools the thinking was a little strict when it came to boys and girls. I felt bad for Tess, in that she was ignorant to “life” and how young country maids could be abused. The attitude towards male and female relationships was different back then, women could never escape their past mistakes and they were judged harshly for it. Then again I guess it’s still a little like that now too!

Maybe I’ll try a few more of the books had difficulty enjoying when I HAD to read them. Too bad I didn’t save the lists!

posted by Jeanette

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