It’s time for s #6degrees hosted by Kate at booksaremybestandfavourite.
“The Outsiders,” by SE Hinton is one of those books people read in English class. Is that right? Not me. I read it long, long ago because I wanted to, not because I had to.
The first book I remember being ‘set’ for English was Alan Marshall’s autobiography “I Can Jump Puddles.” At least it was Australian but as a 12-year-old girl, I don’t think I related to it much. Particularly, not the notion of a polio epidemic or any epidemic.
All that would change as the decade rolled an end with the HIV/AIDS epidemic. My kids don’t get how it was on our minds any more than I understand how polio invaded a previous generation. But then there are devastating memoirs like “Holding the Man,” by Timothy Conigave for current generations to wonder over.
That a disease might wipe out civilization is a frightening prospect and my favourite book on this theme is “Oryx and Crake” by Margaret Atwood. I do love a bit of spine-tingling dystopia. Why does it appeal to me so? Maybe it is growing up in the Cold War and reading “Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley.
What sort of name is Aldous? According to Auntie Google, in 2016, five US babies per million were given the name Aldous. Twelve girls were named Katniss in 2012. Is that really true? Can I believe everything I read online? I can imagine true fans of Suzanne Collins the “Hunger Games” naming their daughters Katniss. Brave and revolutionary Katniss Everdeen is fictional namesake one could be proud to be named after.
Of course, Sodapop and Ponyboy are the real names, not nicknames for the Curtis brothers in The Outsiders. Understandably they did not take off in the real world. As a child, Elizabeth was my favourite name for no other reason than Elizabeth Allen the main character in my favourite book, Enid Blyton’s “Naughtiest Girl in School.” A character I did try to emulate about the time I was reading I Can Jump Puddles.