Thursday, December 17, 2009

ALIS book help

Our team is interested in amending our independent reading selections for the coming semester so we are steering students toward choices that are appropriate to their interests and values in addition to being conducive to successful completion of the independent study work. With that in mind, I would love your feedback on the following questions so we have data to steer your selections next semester and also selections for future years. Please answer the questions below in a short paragraph.
1. Name and title of work.
2. To whom would you recommend this book and why?
3. What material, if any, might one find objectionable about this text?
4. To what extent did this novel selection help you experience ALIS success?


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  2. I read The House On Mango Street, by Sandra Cisneros. I would reccomend this book to people who like abstract stories more than to people who enjoy reading a story with a straight laced plot, kind of cut and dry. This story is filled with short stories, not chapters, and you have to connect the stories together to understand exactly what is going on. Sometimes, it is hard to decdie what the author is trying to say, it really takes a lot of extra effort, rather than a book that has a clear plot. The only objectionable material I can think of in this book was how the author mentioned abuse. Multiple times, she talks of friends who are black and blue, but refuse to say what is happening to them, and it is hard to stomach that these people refuse to admit they need help. This book actually really helped make my ALIS experience a success. It had plenty of examples of feminist literature, which made it easy for me to pick the best ones and write my essay on them. Although it was an odd story, I really felt like it was a good choice for the essay I was writing, and I would pick it again.

  3. 1. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

    2. I recommend this book to anyone focusing on a theme of individualism or power because it has strong connections to both

    3. There are some violent acts between children, as in fights and such, that seem very cruel, but other than that there is not very much questionable material

    4. I was able to connect this book very well to my summer reading ALIS book, Anthem by Ayn Rand, and there was a lot of symbolic material to choose from and analyze, I found it very well written and easy to understand and follow. It was also just an enjoyable book in general; it kept my attention.

  4. Ben Segura: The Kite Runner

    I would reccomend this book to anyone who is interested in examining the depths of the Afghan culture. It is also a great book for people who want to analyze a novel in new historic criticism which uses war to help portray a certain culture. I found the book to slow down massivley in thhe middle and it seemed to be hard to carry on and continue to read. It did pick up towards the end however. There are some disturbing scenes in it, including; torture, rape, killings, and fights, as well as deaths. I believe that I wasn't able to connect with this book, therefore, i did not experience the success i had hoped for as far as my alis essay.

    December 18, 2009 8:05 AM

  5. I read A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. I would not recommend this book to anyone because I thought the plot was boring and uneventful and I did not enjoy reading it. There is no objectable material in this text. The novel helped me be successful when writing my essay because I was easily able to connect the text to the feminist literary criticism.

  6. I read The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and Breakfast At Tiffany's by Truman Capote. I would recommend the Glass Castle to a Women's book club because it is something that seems more identifyable to them. It is a very heart wrenching story and one that I highly suggest. Because this book is controversial is why it makes a good book to read and discuss. This book was a very good ALIS book because it allowed me to easily connect motifs and themes throughout both texts. It had a lot of commonalities in relation to some of the other ALIS themes and motifs which allowed the successful experience.

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  8. I read Hiroshima by John Hersey but I would not recommend this book because it failed to capture my attention and really pull me into the story line. This book contains extreme amounts of detail into the pain and injuries from the dropping of the atom bomb. This book did the opposite of helping me experience ALIS success, it did not keep me interested which in turn made it hard for me to write about it in an essay.

  9. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
    I thought that this was a great book. It was interesting and was enjoyable to read, but it was also filled with different themes, motifs, etc to draw upon for an ALIS essay. It is definately a better book for girls to read. There were also a few scenes that were either very violent or dealt with very tough subjects and a little bit of language. When I began brainstorming for my ALIS essay I had countless options and choices available for things to write about. A Thousand Splendid Suns was not actually even on the list of suggested reads, but I would highly recommend it for future ALIS readings.

  10. I read For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway. If someone likes war books about the time around WWII. It has a lot of historical aspects to it, but it is more war oriented. I think that if you don't like to read a book about war then this might not be the book for you, although it does have a romantic aspect through parts of the story. I liked this book and I think it was a text that I could connect one of the literary theory's to.

  11. The ALIS book that I read was We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates. I loved the book so I would recommend it to those who love the real life drama. In a way this novel was a soap opera and I love reading about the trials and tribulations one must go through in order to maintain the order of life. In this case it was the order of the family. The material that may be controversial is the fact that a girl gets rapped, leading her parents to disown her. Other than that I felt that the novel was very good and SHOULD MOST DEFINITLY be kept on the list. It is easy to criticize with many of the criticisms so that students will in fact be able to succeed on the ALIS paper. This novel did a fantastic job of allowing me to succeed with the ALIS process. However, i do think that overall it is a very difficult grading process so I do try my best to take the novel and work with it. We Were the Mulvaneys is a great novel and should be kept on the ALIS list.

  12. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I would recommend this book to those who want to learn more about the culture and customs of Afghanastan, as this is explored from 1975 through 2001. Material that some may find objectionable in this book is the sexual assault and brief strong language. I thought this helped my ALIS experience because there were many good literary facets to write about.

  13. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
    I would recommend this book to people who have patience. It goes through the same months with almost every character, doing the same events over and over again, but from different perspectives.
    This isnt the most politically correct book, so some people could take offense. There is stuff about native americans, germans, italians, and some others.
    It helped alot because there were multiple schools of criticism i could choose from (historical, new historicist, psychoanalytic) so i could do whichever i liked or was easiest etc.

  14. 1. All Quiet on the Western Front, by Remarque.

    2. I would recommend this book to others that are interested in looking at historical war books or someone who is interested in reading a book about conflict.

    3. Not too much. There is a little bit of language and sometimes the scenes might get a little intense for some people.

    4. I think this book really helped me in my ALIS experience, it allowed me to connect other texts to it.

  15. Kailyn Witonsky: Poisonwood Bible

    2. I did actually like this book, however I would not reccomend it to any future student due solely on its length. This book is a wonderful read, but with such a lengthy book it is impossible to analize it on a very deep level.

    I loved that this book exposed me to such a different history and culture, but the sheer length would be the reason that I would not advise doing a indepth analysis on it.

  16. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
    - I would recommend this book to someone who really wants to delve into Feminist Criticism. I feel like this book was written specifically for that!
    - This book as a little bit of controversial material though. References to domestic violence, discrimination, and homosexuality are present within the text. Also, the actual style of writing is difficult to interpret. Alice Walker writes from a poor, under educated girl's perspective, so grammar is inacurrate on purpose. This can be a set back.
    - This novel was great for me because it connected to feminist criticism perfectly. It was chock full of arguments and evidence specifically for this area of literary analysis.

  17. This semeter for my ALIS book, I read The Color of Water, by James McBride. I would recommend this book to those who have an interest in a novel about racial prejudice. My book focuses strongly on the effects of how racial injustice can affect a man, and how he learns to overcome his struggles that are caused by his society.The material in this book shows the reader what its like to be on the other side of injustice. So commonly today, we see things in the perspective of white people, but The Color of Water shows us the other side of the spectrum. Its content is not objectionable to the reader, but it gives them something else to think about. This novel selection, and the literary theories that one can take out of it are effective because the story does not point out the message and key parts, but rather leaves the reader to think about the point the author is trying to make, and interpret it in their own words.

  18. For my ALIS studies, I read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. This book appeals to our younger generation because it is contemporary and very modern in style and theme. However, I would not recommend it as a subject of critical literary study. For an entertaining, free-time read, it is enjoyable but I found it difficult to delve in to a more shallow work.
    What I found objectionable with the text was as I have said, its lack of literary complexity. I also question its appropriateness and use of profanity.
    Overall, I feel I did experience ALIS success to some extent. The text challenged me to think deeply and overcome my difficulty to produce an eloquent essay. I would have enjoyed, however, a more classical work.

  19. 1. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
    2. Anyone who is interested in war stories, the psychological and physical effects of war, Vietnam, the mentality of a soldier, or anything related to such topics. This book deals with all of these subjects, especially the mental effects of the war.
    3. There is a lot of bad language, vivid imagery of the horrors of war, writing where he states our country was wrong to go to war.
    4. It was a great novel with muuch to offer and it was very beneficial to my experiencing ALIS success.

  20. John Steinbeck, The Pearl.
    I would reccomend this book to any 10th grade honors student who is going to persue a formalist critical lens. It contains many symbols, motifs, themes, and literary elements that contribute to the overall effect of the story. On very, very few occasions the main character curses; and one might find that objectionable. But, I do not think it should be removed from the list simply because of that. To a certain extent this book helped me experience ALIS success. It was more technical errors in my writing, rather than the ideas in the book itself that led to my grade. I would definetely keep this book on the ALIS list.

  21. The Invisable Man,
    I wonuld recomend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction or looking at the psychological aspects of power and fear.
    There wasn't much objectionalble matrial other than the death of a few people and the invisable man. Overall,it is not graphic and does not have poor language.
    This novel worked well for me. I was able to find a couple of really good themes that related to our class work. The Invisable man was a great novel and was fairly easy to work with.

  22. Melissa Chang: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

    I would recommend this to any future American Literature students, as there is so much room for analysis with various literary elements and themes to explore. Although there was a slight lack of enjoyment while reading the novel, it is a great, memorable piece of literature that I found myself enjoying very much afterwards.

    The only thing that is controversial/objectionable in The Grapes of Wrath is the ending in which Rose of Sharon (who just gave birth to a stillborn baby) breast feeds a starving man whom she as only just met.

    Like I said before, this book really gave me a lot of insight and plenty of material to indulge in for ALIS. I believe it really helped me be successful with ALIS this semester.

  23. I read Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut. I would recomend this book to anyone who likes satire and is not offended by some vulgar humor. Some materical might not be ideal for someone who is feminist or a little prudent. There are some sexual jokes in here that some people may object to. This novel, however, explores into every depth of the psychoanalytical realm. Also a feminist lens could be used, so it provided many ways to be creative in that sense. It was a unique book with very creative ideas throughout.

  24. Paige Ledesma's Feedback:
    My ALIS was centered around the novel "The Time Traveler's Wife" by Audrey Niffenger. I would recommend this book for girls probably sophomore year or higher or higher due to the mature themes. I think this book would be great for someone who enjoys reading books that are in sort of a journal format, this book would be difficult to keep up with for readers who do not enjoy when authors go from past to present to future in no particular order. This book kept me interested for the most part but following all the different time periods was difficult at times. Intimacy is discussed often in this book which could be objectionable to some readers. Readers should be advised that there is lots of mature elements. This novel was a little difficult to use for my ALIS essay since it was hard to determine what type of critical analysis would be applicable.

  25. 1. Amanda Martinez -- Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl

    2. I would recommend this book to all who enjoy seeing a strong woman push through her hard times and would be interested by her adventures of becoming free from slavery. This is because the author does a great job of describing what the main character goes through and how she feels during the whole process.

    3. They might find some of the things the author describes to be unbelievable and might think that she exaggerated a lot to make her tale more interesting.

    4. This novel helped my ALIS success a lot because it was easy to read and it let me make connections with it to feminism and my theory. It had a lot of factors that I could relate to my world and surroundings now.

  26. I read The Pearl, by John Steinbeck. This is a short book so I would reccomend it to slow readers. However, this is vey heavy and deep novel. The dynamics in this book illustratre great social tension. It is a story of choices and consequence. This book does have some relegious references. However, the majority of the material is not contraversial. I throughouly enjoyed this book and did well with it in my paper. It offers opportunity for effective annalysis through many different lenses.

  27. 1. A Raisin in the Sun
    2. I would recomend it to anyone who likes reading plays and have a intrest in history. The book is set in the 60's and in the home of a african american family. It is a play so it doesnt involve to much action, but focuses more on relationships.
    3.There are some racical elements, like use of words.
    4. This book helped me understand feminist critism because of the oppression the women of the family deal with.

  28. For my ALIS book I read The Sun Also Rises by Ernst Hemmingway. I would recomend this book to people who enjoy working with the New Historic Criticism Lense. One of Hemmingway's major points is that the lost generation has become obsessed with sex and alcolhol, so there is a lot of that in The Sun Also Rises. I personally did not enjoy this book very much, but I do think that it is a great starting point if you are intrested in reading some of Hemmingway's stuff of learning more about the lost generation.

  29. I read The Time Traveler's Wife, by Audrey Niffenegger. I would recommend this book to people who like confusing romanticism with lots of drama, but not to anyone younger than 14. I would say this because it would not really be appropriate for anyone younger than 14. It was very confusing and hard to keep up with, which added to the romanticism part of it. There was always an exciting event going on, and it was interesting to see what happened next. The psychoanalysis litery elements were really strong in it, and so the Freudian perspective would most nearly fit with this book. Because the book was so confusing, it was hard to discuss only one topic or theme. There were a lot to choose from and it was hard to focus on one topic. I was not so successful, but I would read the book again!

  30. 1. The Color of Water, by James McBride.

    2. I would recommend this book to someone who is interested in how people progress in society.

    3. It was fairly sexual, but it made the story flow and it wasn't blatant.

    4. This book did not really help me with my ALIS expericance, it was hard to follow and was not very well written. The message of the book was unclear.

  31. 1. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

    2. I would recommend this book to people who are looking for a book that is hard to understand until the end, but once you get there it's worth it. Also, I would recommend this to someone who is looking for a feminist book.

    3. The things in this book that people would find objectionable would be the talk of abuse, but it is not talked about very often.

    4.I think this book could have been a really good book if I would have put the time into it. It is a book that will take quite a bit of time, but could really make a good essay.

  32. I read One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. I would definitely recommend this text to anyone who is interested in reading a complex and interesting text. It was a fascinating story that presented many interesting ideas in all sorts of literary contexts and is one of the most well written books I have read. It was filled with literary elements, which made it easy and interesting analyze. There were so many interesting ideas and quotes presented which made it easy to react to and write a strong ALIS essay. It does contain a large amount of inappropriate and objectionable content but I think as long as the reader approaches with maturity this will not impact their experience with the text.

  33. 1. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenerger
    2. I would recomend this book to anyone!!! I loved it, there was an interesting plot and the characters had interesting intraction with the fact that Henry time traveled.
    3. I would first warn the reader that there is some sexual content, so then the reader does not go into this book shocked. This book was written for adult women, so the reader going in to this book need to expect that coming.
    4. This book made the writting process for ALIS much easier. Since I liked my book and the theme that I chose it was very easy for me to write my paper and to enojoy writting my paper instead of despising the fact that this was such an arduous task. This book helped me become open to everything about feministic critism, and to see both sides of the argument.

  34. The books I chose to read for my ALIS studies were The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd and The Color Purple by Alice Walker. Both of these books are wonderful empowering stories about over coming adversity and self acceptance. I would recommend The Secret Life of Bees to everyone over the age of 14 because the main character of the story, Lily is 14 and also the themes more mature and I do not think younger readers would understand most of them. And there are some instances of foul language and an African American women is beaten, but the beating is not graphically described. I would recommend The Color Purple to all young adults because many of the conflicts and events in the book are inappropriate for younger readers. The language is also difficult to understand because it is written in Southern dialect. Of the two, this book definitely contains more objectionably material. The main character is raped as a girl and then is given away to a man many years older than her. Also, she grows up to be a lesbian which some find inappropriate. I think both of these books helped me with my ALIS success because they were filled with themes and motifs that are very controversial and gave me a lot of topics that I could write about.