Monday, May 10, 2010
The Hunger Games
I teach for Kansas State University, which, despite being in Kansas, is an incredible institution. Since I also teach for the University of Missouri - a school which is struggling economically right now - I have some basis for comparison. I can say without hesitation that K-State has become a model institution for research and teaching, that the calibur of its faculty (me not withstanding) is incredible, that it's financial and institutional support for both students and faculty is strong - in short I cannot say enough good about K-State.
Today I received an announcement that all incoming freshmen would be reading a particular book, and that the remainder of the institution's students, faculty and yes, even the staff, are encouraged to read the same book. Over the course of the year, events and discussions around the topic of the book have been planned, etc, etc, etc.
What could this book - deemed important enough to encourage an entire institution to take it up - possibly be?
IMAGINE my surprise to find out that the book is "The Hunger Games," by Suzanne Collins. This is a book about a futuristic state that holds a once-a-year roman-like arena competition that pits 24 kids against each other. Winner gets a life of ease. The rest get killed. The only "unspoken rule": you can't eat fellow contestants.
I should also note that it's a coming-of-age book, and there is a love triangle among the heroine and two of the contestants.
This book sounds so outside of anything I would normally read, but because K-State has deemed this book important enough for the ENTIRE INSTITUTION to read, I have decided to read it, and am proposing it to all of you too. Perhaps we'll have some discussion here on the book in future posts. Here is a review:
If you've read this book, please let me know what you think of it!