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At the bottom of one of Chris's links was a question asking if I was as well-read as a 10th grader. So I took the quiz. My score said I am moderately well-read and could probably hold my own in a literary discussion. I'm not sure how they came to that conclusion as the most frequent answer I gave was not that I hadn't read the book in question but that I'd never even heard of it.

If anyone is wishing to be either demoralized, or wondering why the panel suggests all our 10th graders should be taking the time to read all this stuff, here's the link to the quiz.

http://www.csmonitor...dyssey-by-Homer

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Your results

You might be well read, but not according to these standards

It's certainly possible to be a well-read person without having cracked a single one of these books, and to be fair, these novels might not have placed on your tenth-grade reading list back in the day.

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I question some of these so called "classics" on that list. I'll go as far as to say there's a lot of politically correct bullshit on it.

Well read is well read. It doesn't matter if you are 15 or 50. Any list without Marcus Aurelius's, Meditations, Plato's Republic, Rousseau's On the Social Contract, Walt Whitman or Henry David Thoreau isn't very impressive.

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Well read is well read. It doesn't matter if you are 15 or 50. Any list without Marcus Aurelius's, Meditations, Plato's Republic, Rousseau's On the Social Contract, Walt Whitman or Henry David Thoreau isn't very impressive.

I'm waiting for the movie versions!

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James, I would have to include Plato's The Symposium, along with the trial, 'apology' and death of Socrates. I agree with the others in your selection but I would include Hadrian's and Claudius' works as well.

My results say I am "sort of well read." But a 15 year old would be better.

I wonder why they didn't have any of Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchen's books in the quiz. /sarcasm/

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I'm another

You might be well read, but not according to these standards

But to be honest a fair proportion are American books, not much read in the UK. Although, I thought I was on to a winner when Voltaires 'Candide' appeared early on as I've not just read it, I bought a copy and have read it several times. One, just one "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West," by Dee Brown aroused my interest, and I might have a look sometime for it.

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There wasn't any Dickens, was there? Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield belong there. And what about Faulkner? At least they did have one Steinbeck. But no Twain.

I agree. They were trying to introduce political correctness more than diverse and compelling literature. Should theirs be the purpose of a 10th grade reading list? Not for me. I would have as my aim for such a list the introduction of books that will make these kids avid readers for the rest of their lives.

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There wasn't any Dickens, was there? Tale of Two Cities and David Copperfield belong there. And what about Faulkner? At least they did have one Steinbeck. But no Twain.

I'm such a big fan of Charles Dickens, I've thrown in a mention of his work in every novel I've ever written! Nobody's ever picked up on it, though.

As a 10-year-old kid, I read all the major Charles Dickens novels several times, and I think read all the Conan-Doyle Sherlock Holmes stories at least 20 times. I also read most of Poe, but man, that guy is such a downer...

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I don't think it much matters which of these writers a kid gets hooked on. What matters is that the kid gets hooked on reading. Hopefully it is on something written well by a writer who knows what he or she is doing, so kid standards will evolve and kid tastes will develop for more good writing.

These lists all seem to feature dead, mostly male white writers writing or translated into English. So be it; that's the literary landscape where most of us draw our traditions and our insights from, and unfortunately it ignores a much wider world filled with a great array of fine writings.

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