Any reviews on The Bell Jar by Slyvia Plath

carla17(Z7 NC)August 24, 2008

Trying to pick out books for my daughter. Can anyone recommend this one?

Thanks,

Carla

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vics_gardenkeeper(7b AL)

How old is she? The Bell Jar is largely autobiographical and tells a story of a successful young woman and her hidden depression, including suicide attempt. Considering that she actually managed to kill herself a little over a decade later, it can be a bit disturbing to impressionable teenagers (in other words, she writes of what she knows). Better actually to read Plath's poetry than her prose. My mother lived in the same town and then went to the same college the same year so I'm pretty well-steeped in Plath. What are some other titles?

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 3:02PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Kate, thank you so much. That is a book I think I'll avoid. We dealt personally with a double suicide last summer and we don't need to read about it.
The ones I'm considering are:
The Great Gatsby
To Kill A Mockingbird
well, there you go, forgot the other ones.
I'll remember them later.

Carla

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 8:33PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

Does it have to be fiction?
There's lots of great non-fiction out there.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 9:16AM
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vics_gardenkeeper(7b AL)

Um,
as a transplanted Alabamian I'd recommend To Kill a Mockingbird, though please remember that has a self-defense killing and attempted murder. The Great Gatsby has a murder too.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 9:32AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Ann, I'm trying for classic American lit. It's for school. But it doesn't have to be fiction, just want some good books. I have a book of short stories by William Faulkner that can work too.
Kate, she's 15, almost 16. I refuse to make her read Moby Dick, I detested that book when we HAD to read it.
Have either of you read Lord Of The Flies?

Thanks,
Carla

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 9:46AM
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erasmus_gw

Carla, I was wondering if it was for your homeschool. I too think The Bell Jar is too gloomy. By itself that might not be bad, but I don't remember anything learned in it. I was thinking Lord of the Flies but that is certainly disturbing. But I would not avoid reading something because it's disturbing! Great books often have something disturbing to say. How about Les Miserables, or The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Or Huckleberry Fin. Huckleberry Fin is not just a bumpkin story. Has she read Jane Eyre or Wuthering Heights? 1984? Portrait of the ARtist as a Young Man?
You may know that you can get reviews of books at amazon.com.
Linda

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 10:18AM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Linda, The Adventures Of Huckleberry Finn, that's the one I couldn't remember. I did find a review site so I quickly passed through The Bell Jar, although I remember she was disturbed. I'll check out what you've suggested.

Thanks,
Carla

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 10:23AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

I read a lot as a teen. And I remember Lord o t F and Bell Jar and remember them both, not for the masterful content, but for the jarring visions that were not a good thing.
Go to Google books and see some of the other Mark Twain books.
There are even books on there by Davy Crockett. He WAS real. The one I've linked to below is too long for a one book read, but three chapters might give her a sense of place and time.

The one thing I wish my education had done was put history and literature together. It didn't and I'm only just beginning to put roses into history and literature. (This week: the beginning of noisettes against a background of the war of 1812, Michaux (explorer or spy) and what WAS Napoleon doing those years?

Here is a link that might be useful: In his own words

    Bookmark   August 26, 2008 at 12:47PM
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cecily(7 VA)

Okay, I'm late to the party here. DD has been on a Ray Bradbury kick reading 'Something Wicked' and 'Martian Chronicles', I need to find 'Fahrenheit' for her. She REALLY liked 'Killer Angels' and needed to read the other two companion books but that doesn't fall under classic lit. The Washington Post just published a couple of articles/letters regarding 'lit' for teens: according to several high school teachers the most popular books are 'Gatsby' and 'Catcher in the Rye' because kids identify with the characters. Coincidentally those are both rather slim volumes, could that have something to do with their popularity?

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 12:04PM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

I'll bet Old Man and the Sea was on that list unless it's been classified as a Novella rather than as a novel.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 12:13PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

Thank you Cecily. I plan to include The Great Gatsby.

Carla

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 4:37PM
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Elise(9b BayArea CA)

I really liked The Great Gatsby and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and I remember them both vividly to this day.

Other books that I read as a teenager and enjoyed were: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller, Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut, Call of the Wild by Jack London, and Collected Short Stories by Edgar Allan Poe.

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 5:51PM
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carla17(Z7 NC)

elise, those sound like what I read in school plus George Orwell's 1984.

Carla

    Bookmark   August 28, 2008 at 6:03PM
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hemlady(z7NC)

Pride and Prejudice.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2008 at 3:07PM
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