Sunday, November 20, 2011
Last week, while leading a discussion, I made a reference to George Orwell's 1984. My class replied with a quizzical look. Wondering if this was a minority, I polled the class.
Only one person (out of 71) had read 1984. This is a senior class.
As an undergraduate, I read 1984 in three separate courses. There are a handful of books or authors -- Foucault, maybe, Jane Austen, Catch-22 -- that I simply assumed were part of the average college education. Granted, this is probably a reflection of my discipline, but am I so far off base?
First, what books do you think the average Senior can be expected to have read over the course of four or five years of college (and maybe even the last two years of high school)?
Second, what two books would you recommend to graduating seniors upon finding out that they are woefully under-read?