Junior AP Book Reviews

Dillon Marx, Jr. Staff Writer

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Alas, summer, our favorite time of the year, has ended; an epoch filled with sport practices, swimming, and warm summer nights spent with friends. We will truly miss the time where we just sat on the couch, and exclaimed: ” I’m glad I don’t have any homework!”… Or did you? This summer, the class of 2014 who chose to take AP Language with Mr. Boscheff were given instruction to read four very alluring books. Regardless of the school consensus, continue to read and discover if these books might be worth your while.

The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch and Jeffrey Zaslow: This novel follows Randy Pausch, a 47 year old man who has everything a person could ever want: a beautiful spouse, children, a nice home, and a dream job he loves. One day, everything changes. Randy was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, a cancer that is currently untreatable, and was given a maximum of six months to live. With the help of Zaslow, Randy creates a remarkable story with the allotment of time he has left, and for the most part, explain how to live life to the fullest. Yes, there will be some definite tears shed here and there, but this book will lead the reader to believe that he/she can accomplish all of one’s dreams. It’s a truly inspiring novel, so consider this a must-read.

Narrative of The Life of Frederick Douglas, by Fredrick Douglas: For those who search the library shelves for a historical, yet entertaining piece of literature, this may be the next best read. This memoir is written by one of the most famous abolitionists of the pre- Emancipation Proclamation Era. He dialogues some of the most exciting, and often brutal, parts of his life before escaping the clutches of slavery. Take a journey with Douglas to discover that there is no better feeling than changing the lives of others and using one’s courage to stand up for something he/she believes in. Although dry in sections, this autobiography provides quite an adventure within its pages.

The Plug-in Drug, by Marie Winn: The third, and often most uncelebrated book read this summer covers the topic of television/media and the effect it has on children and the family. The book includes several personal accounts, experiments, and opinions which scrutinize whether television has made a good impact on society. Although it is clear that Winn made an attempt to appeal to both views, one will most likely discover that she is indecisive, and often repetitive. Keeping readers in mind, I would only recommend this book to someone who enjoys technology with a twist of psychology.

Thank You for Arguing: What Aristotle, Lincoln, and Homer Simpson Can Teach Us about the Art of Persuasion, by Jay Heinrichs: Many would say that the most discussed and helpful book read this summer was written by Jay Heinrichs, a master of rhetoric (the ability to use language effectively). Heinrichs gives an abundant amount of information to help one win his/her next argument and achieve whatever he/she wants. He hopes to revive a dying art that was once used by one of the greatest philosophers of all times.

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