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23 Books You Didn't Read In High School But Actually Should
BuzzFeed ^ | July 5, 2013 | Spencer Althouse

Posted on 05/30/2014 12:34:14 PM PDT by EveningStar

You probably SparkNoted these books before, but now's your chance to read them.

(Excerpt) Read more at buzzfeed.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Education
KEYWORDS: books; literature
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1 posted on 05/30/2014 12:34:14 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: Borges

ping


2 posted on 05/30/2014 12:34:33 PM PDT by EveningStar
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To: EveningStar

Could you post the list for those of us “Beyond the Firewall(s)”?


3 posted on 05/30/2014 12:38:31 PM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: EveningStar

Not so sure. I’ve read most to them, but I’m not sure I would have missed much if I didn’t.


4 posted on 05/30/2014 12:38:46 PM PDT by Lonesome in Massachussets (This is known as "bad luck". - Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: EveningStar

Public domain + e-reader = free.


5 posted on 05/30/2014 12:39:46 PM PDT by USFRIENDINVICTORIA
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To: EveningStar

Aside from 2-3 books, I can’t imagine another list being that bad.


6 posted on 05/30/2014 12:40:01 PM PDT by SeaHawkFan
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To: EveningStar

I’ve read most of those.
Two books I would add.... Anna Kerrenina by Tolstoy and Lolita by Nobokov. Both are page turners for sure.


7 posted on 05/30/2014 12:41:03 PM PDT by Bullish (You ever notice that liberalism really just amounts to anti-morality?)
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To: EveningStar

I’ve actually read a surprising number of these. More than half.


8 posted on 05/30/2014 12:42:04 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (All the love gone bad turned my world to black. Tattooed all I see. All that I am. All I'll be.)
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To: US Navy Vet

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Via en.wikipedia.org

A love story within a love story. It takes the American dream, amplifies it, and then tears it apart in every way possible.

2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Washington Post / Getty Images

It blends innocence and triumph in a way that makes you learn something without actually feeling like you’re learning. Also, you will fall in love with Atticus Finch.

3. Night by Elie Wiesel
Night by Elie Wiesel
Via amazon.com

The Jewish author was sent to Auschwitz at 15-years-old. This is his story of personal struggle, heartbreak, and passion. At barely 100 pages, you can’t afford to not read this book.

4. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Via amazon.com

Lord of the Flies reveals the true nature of humans and will even make you question your own morality.

5. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
Via amazon.com

This novel is the inspiration for Apocalypse Now. Need I say more? (The answer to that question is no.)

6. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
MANDEL NGAN / Getty Images

The protagonist’s fear for adulthood will make this one of the most relatable books you will ever read.

7. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Via thestudentroom.co.uk

It gives new meaning to the American dream, focusing on power and a friendship that will enrage you with jealousy (but in a good way).

8. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
Via behance.net

This novel will scare the crap out of you, and you will love it. Besides, Big Brother is watching, so it’s not like you even have a choice now…

9. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Via bannedbooks.world.edu

It incorporates time travel and porn stars. Enough said.

10. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Via amazon.com

Mary Shelley bet her husband that she could write a better horror story than him. She did.

11. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Via utc.iath.virginia.edu

Because everyone’s in need of a good cry.

12. Animal Farm by George Orwell
Animal Farm by George Orwell
Via trenchperspective.com

This book is basically a satirical puppet show about a revolution. If anything, you should read it for this quote: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.”

13. Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett
Via thenewdirectionoftime.com

It’s a play about two characters who wait for something that never comes, but it’s never dull, just thought-provoking.

14. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
Via slate.com

Virginia Woolf will show you how disconnected you are from society, and you will thank her for doing so.

15. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Via npr.org

Because you’ve always wondered what the world would be like without religion.

16. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
Via amazon.com

Everyone in this novel is pretty messed up, and that’s refreshing. Also, James Franco is releasing a film adaption of the book, so you have to read it before that comes out, too.

17. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Via heathcates.com

This is the only book that will make you feel OK about American politics. It’s basically a novel version of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

18. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
Via en.wikipedia.org

It uses literature’s greatest heroes and villains to make you question authority, freedom, and reality. And Ken Kesey is an LSD-tripping, counter-cultural genius.

19. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
Via thejanedough.com

Its bleak honesty and dark humor will teach you to not sweat the small stuff.

20. Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
Via en.wikipedia.org

Miller uncovers the reality of the American dream in a way that will make you question your own desire for success.

21. Beowulf by Anonymous
Beowulf by Anonymous
Via blog.enotes.com

Action, adventure, monsters, dragons, heroism, fame.

22. Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
Via eastwing.co.uk

It will single-handedly change the way you treat people.

23. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Via schlowlibrary.org

It will make you rethink everything you thought you knew about love.


9 posted on 05/30/2014 12:42:17 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: EveningStar

I love to read and read a lot of history as well as classics....
I’ve read most of these and hardly consider them essential...my opinion.
Most written in the twentieth century? Hmmm....


10 posted on 05/30/2014 12:43:27 PM PDT by matginzac
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To: EveningStar

Crap like this is the basis of our declining education IMO. Orwell and most of the books are appropriate, but it’s amazing how much time is wasted on crap like Catcher in the Rye, Death of a Salesman, and Catch 22. Kids don’t need to learn liberal-psychotic crap, which is exactly what it is. I had to suffer through all of that, when if properly motivated I could have easily had a bachelor’s degree in a useful science by the time I was 18. I wasn’t old enough to know that was when I was forced to waste my precious life reading it and answering stupid questions, etc. Notice Victor Hugo or Winston Churchill isn’t on the list? Same old recycled crap!


11 posted on 05/30/2014 12:43:34 PM PDT by gr8eman (A good rant should have the word "crap" in it at least 4 times!)
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To: EveningStar

Read eight of those in high school (as part of the curriculum) and one in college. Read about three of those independently.


12 posted on 05/30/2014 12:44:17 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: SeaHawkFan
Aside from 2-3 books, I can’t imagine another list being that bad.

While some I question, most I have read and agree with the premise. Though I believe the list should have contained a few others, like "Farenheit 451" and "The Illustrated Man" and "Something Wicked, This Way comes".

13 posted on 05/30/2014 12:44:50 PM PDT by rjsimmon (The Tree of Liberty Thirsts)
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To: EveningStar

I did have to read Beowulf in high school and I don’t remember it now at all. I do remember disliking it at the time, but then, I didn’t like yogurt then, either.


14 posted on 05/30/2014 12:45:00 PM PDT by econjack (I'm not bossy...I just know what you should be doing.)
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To: EveningStar
I never read the bell jar. Read all the rest.

Bad list. Animal Farm and 1984 are must reads. We are living Atlas Shrugged, not on the list

15 posted on 05/30/2014 12:45:09 PM PDT by FatherofFive (Islam is evil and must be eradicated)
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To: EveningStar

I’ve read more than half of these. Didn’t enjoy most of them, but I’ve read them.


16 posted on 05/30/2014 12:45:21 PM PDT by Hoffer Rand (Bear His image. Bring His message. Be the Church.)
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To: gr8eman

The three tomes you noted as liberal-psychotic were part of high school English curriculum in the 80s. Says a lot, doesn’t it?


17 posted on 05/30/2014 12:45:26 PM PDT by Olog-hai
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To: EveningStar

To Kill a Mockingbird and 1984 were good. The rest...bleah!


18 posted on 05/30/2014 12:46:19 PM PDT by Mr Rogers (I sooooo miss America!)
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5% Of Free Republics Community Donates.
What Is There To Say To Those Who CAN Donate But Won't?
Nothing.
There Is No Graphic Or Plea That Will Make Those Posters Take Up The Slack.
So 5% Supports The Rest.
How Conservative Is A Free Ride?



19 posted on 05/30/2014 12:47:18 PM PDT by DJ MacWoW (The Fed Gov is not one ring to rule them all)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Gatsby was a stupid book, as was of Mice and Men.


20 posted on 05/30/2014 12:48:54 PM PDT by GeronL (Vote for Conservatives not for Republicans)
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To: gr8eman

Catch 22 is an operating manual for today’s government.


21 posted on 05/30/2014 12:50:13 PM PDT by mountainlion (Live well for those that did not make it back.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

What about Orwell’s ‘1984’?

Oh wait. Forgot. We’re living that one.


22 posted on 05/30/2014 12:50:22 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I was assigned most of those in high school, and some of them are good reading. The list is biased towards the new stuff. Shakespeare and Dickens don’t make the list?

They included two from Orwell and “Brave New World” (Huxley’s only decent book), so that helps.

However, two I did read, “The Bell Jar” and “Waiting for Godot” promote despair and nihilism, respectively.

I hope Plath’s poetry is better than her awful book. In “The Bell Jar”, Plath stated that during her depression she liked to pick up those little saddle-stitched (stapled) pocket books at the grocery store check-out (often of the self-help variety). If you followed her advice, you’d likely have a better read than “The Bell Jar”.

“Waiting for Godot” is a great high school book because you can figure out the whole thing if you haven’t read it yet in about 30 seconds of class discussion. Absurdism is best written by someone who isn’t so self-indulgent as a writer.
Recommended only for those who want to pick up a 60s vibe. It is already quite dated even as Dickens enjoys a renaissance.


23 posted on 05/30/2014 12:51:41 PM PDT by Dr. Sivana ("I'm a Contra" -- President Ronald Reagan)
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To: mountainlion

Really? I’d say 1984 is the new standard.


24 posted on 05/30/2014 12:51:44 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: Responsibility2nd

Ooops.

1984 is # 8 on the list.


25 posted on 05/30/2014 12:52:59 PM PDT by Responsibility2nd (NO LIBS. This Means Liberals and (L)libertarians! Same Thing. NO LIBS!!)
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To: EveningStar

Read all by age 22 except for Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Mrs Dalloway, As I lay Dying (teacher slapped a Faulkner paperback out of my hand and said Don’t ever bring that trash near me!), and Their Eyes Were Watching God.

Don’t I get a prize for participating?

R2z


26 posted on 05/30/2014 12:53:16 PM PDT by Resettozero
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To: EveningStar

Not Catcher in the Rye again!


27 posted on 05/30/2014 12:53:39 PM PDT by Ted Grant
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To: Olog-hai

I had to suffer through it, and with hindsight I realize the teachers thought it was great, for whatever reason! Those books have no business in a school, IMO! We also did read Orwell, Huxley, etc...great stuff...but I am convinced that those crap books were just a money making scheme between the publishers and the school unions. Seriously...The Good Earth? I had to endure that crap for a whole semester. This dumb teacher woman I had actually thought that has some redeeming value.


28 posted on 05/30/2014 12:55:43 PM PDT by gr8eman (A good rant should have the word "crap" in it at least 4 times!)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I’ve read 13 from that list.


29 posted on 05/30/2014 12:55:46 PM PDT by trisham (Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkis.)
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To: Bullish
and Lolita by Nobokov.

It certainly would have helped for me to understand what the hell Sting was singing about in "Don't Stand So Close to Me."

30 posted on 05/30/2014 12:56:00 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I read 14 of those in high school.


31 posted on 05/30/2014 12:56:11 PM PDT by kabar
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To: Ted Grant

Unfathomable how much precious life is wasted on that stupid book! there should be a law!


32 posted on 05/30/2014 12:57:52 PM PDT by gr8eman (A good rant should have the word "crap" in it at least 4 times!)
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To: EveningStar

I read all but two of these in high school or college. I don’t think this list is trying to be the only books to read; I certainly read a number of Shakespearean plays/poetry, and my high school aged son is reading them, now. Some of these books were enjoyable, but many were not.


33 posted on 05/30/2014 12:58:27 PM PDT by Rutabega (If you don't want me in your personal affairs, don't stick your hand out for my help.)
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To: Olog-hai; gr8eman
The three tomes you noted as liberal-psychotic were part of high school English curriculum in the 80s. Says a lot, doesn’t it?

Part of my HS curriculum and I graduated in 78 -- from Catholic school.

34 posted on 05/30/2014 12:58:33 PM PDT by Gabz (Democrats for Voldemort.)
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To: gr8eman

Vonnegut was/is a Marxist. Nothing more.

Arthur Miller clearly hated capitalism and resented the blacklist(s) so he thought he’d have an elitist pop at the working class.

Catcher is an entertaining tale as far as it goes and somewhat unique in the age/perspective of the narrator but it’s also very much of its age and badly dated.

Beowulf is in an archaic form of our language. Whoopee. A 1927 Ford is archaic but I don’t want to drive one every day. Set archetype for heroic saga etc. etc. It’s still tedious.

Night - one of those testimonies that deserves to be heard but Wiesel was highly annoying in subsequent interviews and appearances.

Gatsby - overhyped. Another not-so-veiled attack on capitalism with self-aggrandizement of academics thrown in. Can we assume Fitzgerald thought the Depression was an improvement over the Roaring 20s?

Mockingbird - finally, a solid story and characters. However, most kids never have a chance to read it and instead are beat over the head with the book in order to fully grasp its ‘message.’ Lefties can’t resist the dignified black/white trash cliches.


35 posted on 05/30/2014 12:58:34 PM PDT by relictele (Principiis obsta & Finem respice - Resist The Beginnings & Consider The End)
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To: GeronL
... a stupid book, as was of Mice and Men.

Whoa there Lenny! You need to repeat the 11th grade! Steinbeck book stupid!? Stop, read, repeat. (Not that thick a paperback either.)
36 posted on 05/30/2014 12:58:50 PM PDT by Resettozero
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To: EveningStar

How things have changed. We read 4, 8, 12, & 15 in high school. Advanced Placement (what they call it now. It was “Enriched” when I was in school) read 1 & 18. at least IIRC & probably 2, 17, & 20 also.

I read Slaughterhouse Five (& other Vonnegut novels) in high school & saw the movie several times to glean as much as I could from it, & Frankenstein because my senior term paper in english was on Percy Bysshe Shelley. We read Godot (which I detested) & Beowulf in college.

One book that (imho) didn’t make the list (that we read in high school) was Cry,
The Beloved Country. I had used Cliff’s Notes in school, but my co-worker, a couple of years later, was reading it & liked it, so I finally read it. It was really, really good. Probably my first “marathon” read.


37 posted on 05/30/2014 12:58:59 PM PDT by KGeorge (Till we're together again, Gypsy girl. May 28, 1998- June 3, 2013)
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To: Responsibility2nd

It’s in the list.


38 posted on 05/30/2014 12:59:01 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

Well, I’ve read every one of them, except “My Eyes were Watching God.” They were all certainly significant books, and worth reading.

But if I had to recommend a list of books that probably aren’t read in school any longer, I’d start first with Homer, Virgil, Sophocles, Dante, Chaucer, Milton, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky, Racine, Goethe, and that sort of thing.

And Jane Austen.


39 posted on 05/30/2014 12:59:36 PM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Olog-hai

Had to read in the late 60’s too


40 posted on 05/30/2014 12:59:47 PM PDT by goodnesswins (R.I.P. Doherty, Smith, Stevens, Woods)
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To: Bullish

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand ought to be required reading for every high school student.


41 posted on 05/30/2014 1:00:21 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: EveningStar

Teachers have a hard time getting many students to read one book, much less 23.


42 posted on 05/30/2014 1:01:29 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Haven't you lost enough freedoms? Support an end to the WOD now.)
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To: GeronL

On second thought, perhaps I should be the one to read those again. My politics were in line with Steinbeck’s back then. Things have changed.


43 posted on 05/30/2014 1:01:40 PM PDT by Resettozero
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To: EveningStar
23 Books You Didn't Read In High School

I don't get the title - it's basically a standard high school reading list. I read the majority of them.

44 posted on 05/30/2014 1:02:14 PM PDT by dead (I've got my eye out for Mullah Omar.)
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To: EveningStar; rjsimmon

I’ve read most of them, some were impossible for me to relate to in any way, others I liked and read twice and more-like “1984”, “Lord of the Flies”, “Slaughterhouse Five”.

I have to say that “Atlas Shrugged”, “The Illustrated Man” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes”, “Farenheit 451” need to be on the list-maybe also “The Fountainhead”.

I’ll also nominate Ira Levin’s “This Perfect Day”-a 1984-like novel, only more relevant to these times and-to me at least-more hair-raising. I’m reading it again right now, and have turned all my friends on to it...


45 posted on 05/30/2014 1:03:06 PM PDT by Texan5 ("You've got to saddle up your boys, you've got to draw a hard line"...)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

I read most of those in high school. I wonder what students today are reading instead if not those classics?


46 posted on 05/30/2014 1:03:25 PM PDT by Scutter
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To: relictele

self correction: salesman predated the blacklists but Miller was a leftie through and through.


47 posted on 05/30/2014 1:03:41 PM PDT by relictele (Principiis obsta & Finem respice - Resist The Beginnings & Consider The End)
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To: EveningStar
Not sure why Catcher in the Rye gets such a bad rap; I remember liking it better than a lot of things I had to read. I'll have to re-read it and see if my opinion's changed. Best one on this list is Animal Farm.
48 posted on 05/30/2014 1:03:51 PM PDT by workerbee (The President of the United States is DOMESTIC ENEMY #1!)
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To: KGeorge
I read Slaughterhouse Five (& other Vonnegut novels) in high school

"... and *another* thing, Vonnegut! I'm gonna stop payment on the check!"

49 posted on 05/30/2014 1:04:01 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Sister Mary Katherine is most displeased. You will read them all again. ;p


50 posted on 05/30/2014 1:04:05 PM PDT by BuckeyeTexan (There are those that break and bend. I'm the other kind. ~Steve Earle)
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