THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3RD, 2020
Nothing quite describes the dismay of signing up for a seemingly interesting English elective, only to be dismayed when the required reading fails to meet your expectations.

The books that an English class focus on largely define how interesting the class is. Logically, one of the best ways to choose what classes to sign up for is to find classes that read books that are interesting, transforming dull fishbowls into compelling discussions.

Here is some of the best literature that Paly’s English department has to offer:

“The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde” – Comedy Lit

This play perfectly fits the class’s description, and delivers both in terms of plot and in terms of comedy.

The wordplay throughout the book is fantastic, and although some of the innuendos are well hidden, the ones that click add a new level of humor to the book.

At 64 pages, it’s one of the shortest reads you will find and the reading speeds by since the language is easy to understand.

Although it does require some effort to experience the full effect of the book, it is definitely one of the better reads in the Paly English department and is considerably less dull than the average required reading book.

“Siddhartha” by Hermann Hesse – Humanities

“Siddhartha” is everything that Paly students who sign up for Humanities are looking for – profound claims, paradoxical thinking and a change of pace.

Exploring a young man’s journey of self discovery, the book explores themes of knowledge, hedonism and various philosophies.

It’s certainly an enlightening read, and it is quite short as well, clocking in at only 160 pages.

While it needs to be read more slowly than other books to fully grasp the multitude of philosophical underpinnings, it keeps the reader immersed throughout the journey.

“Dune” by Frank Herbert – Escape Lit

Set in a futuristic galactic society, “Dune” is a refreshing change of pace from books set in the past or in characteristically dystopian futures such as “Brave New World” and “Fahrenheit 451.”

“We are always learning about the hero’s journey and tragic heroes in our other English classes,” senior Christina Park said. “Dune is a refreshing and interesting way to explore that theme, unlike other books like Sophocles’ ‘Oedipus’ and Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’.”

While the book is rather long, at 896 pages, the riveting plot and the interesting setting keep the reading constantly interesting.

In fact, its length is an advantage, since it will take up a larger chunk of the course that might have been spent on a less interesting book that is a not only a chore to read, but also a waste of time.

Of course, if books in general are to be avoided, the decision is easy: go ahead and watch some exciting films in the Film Composition and Literature class.

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