By Kristina Drendel
It’s the beginning of March. This means we are a third of the way through the year, and for some of us, a third of the way through our New Year’s Resolutions. This year, I decided I wanted to get into the habit of reading more as it is something I have always loved, but found myself struggling to put aside time to do. So far, I’ve done pretty well at making sure to set time aside to get some reading done, and it’s proven to be very productive. In celebration of making it this far in my resolution, I decided to rank everything I have read so far this year.
6. A Long Day’s Journey into Night by Eugene O’Neill: While the overarching plot of this classic play was intriguing, I personally found it to just be too slow paced for my liking. Mary’s tragic descent into her addiction is fascinating, but so much filler is placed into the script, that I quickly became bored while reading this.
5. A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry: I thought the characters and plot of this classic fascinating, but I decided to rank this lower as I did not find it as memorable compared to the others higher on my list. Hansberry’s depiction of everyday life for the Youngers is interesting as well as important. I felt, however, it just didn’t stand out enough.
4. In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks: I’ve always been a huge fan of Suzan-Lori Parks, so I was not at all surprised by how much I enjoyed her first “Red Letter Play.” The plot is captivating, but the shocking tragedy was devastating after I had grown attached to her characters. This work is absolutely deserving of being read, but be warned: you will not anticipate how it ends.
3. Sweat by Lynn Nottage: It was a close call between this and In the Blood, but I felt this one took the cake because I thought the characters were slightly more fleshed out. I also ranked this one higher as Nottage based these characters off of real people from Reading, Pennsylvania, which just makes for a more compelling narrative.
2. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt: In full disclosure, the only reason this one is not ranked number one is that I am still currently in the process of reading it. I felt like it would be unfair to rank it as my highest when it is the only one I have yet to fully finish. However, the novel is so intriguing that I just couldn’t place it any lower on my list. I would not be surprised if, after I finish it, it ranks number one.
1. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemmingway: It’s 2020, so what’s a better way to end my list than with a book from the ‘20s? This was somewhat inspired by Hemmingway’s own travels across Europe as an expatriate, and not only is the plot entertaining, the writing style is very eloquent which really made it stand out in my mind. I also found it to be an interesting commentary on unfulfilled love and feel like many people can relate to the idea that sometimes the people we put on pedestals turn out to be different in reality.
Edited by Emily Chance