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17 December 2018 @ 03:29 pm
Reading List  
I don’t remember who was talking recently about reading lists, but I was reminded of a booklet that our library system (or, possibly, some county office) sent out the summer before either my junior or senior year of high school. It claimed to be a list of books that colleges would expect all incoming students to have read.

Naively, I believed them and set out to read a lot of the books listed in the booklet. I don’t remember most of them, but Sartre’s No Exit stands out as a play that is entirely inappropriate to inflict on teenagers unless one wants to give them a head start on major depression. Sartre was wrong. Hell is not other people. It is reading existentialist plays.

I think I read about half the books listed and the omissions had pretty much no impact on my college career. Admittedly, I majored in mechanical engineering, but I did do my humanities concentration in literature.

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