Critical Linking: Are You As Well-Read As A 16-Year-Old?

Mr Gove had called for more British works to be studied.

Of the new plans, a Department for Education spokesperson said: “It does ensure pupils will learn about a wide range of literature, including at least one Shakespeare play, a 19th century novel written anywhere and post-1914 fiction or drama written in the British Isles.”

I love seeing what required reading is in other English-speaking countries, so it’s interesting to compare what we typically read in the US in high school with what the typical 16-year-old in England reads. I’ve read most — what about you?


R-STORE, one of Japan’s premiere real estate websites, is launching a hybrid hostel and bookstore to cater to the needs of book lovers and travelers alike. Targeted to overseas tourists visiting Tokyo, every bed is located behind the bookshelves, meaning a quiet and cozy experience away from the public eye. The hostel will also offer day time service as well, if you need a place to grab a quick nap or just spend some downtime.

I’m ready to go to Japan to check this out.


Before her literary fame, her stormy relationship with Ted Hughes and her crippling battles with depression, Sylvia Plath was an enthusiastic student at Smith College. “The world is splitting open at my feet like a ripe, juicy watermelon,” she wrote to her mother. “If only I can work, work, work to justify all of my opportunities.”

During her junior year, she broke her leg on a skiing trip in upstate New York. The accident landed her briefly in the hospital and she wound up with a cast on her leg. Her mood darkened.

Psyching herself out for her return to college, she wrote in her diary a pair of lists.

I love this little peek inside the mind of Plath and more specifically, her “back to school” list. Sure, #10 is kind of bleak, but look at the positive attitude in #9.


Sign up to Today In Books to receive daily news and miscellany from the world of books
By signing up you agree to our Terms of Service
Do you like podcasts like This American Life, RadioLab, or Planet Money? Annotated is kinda like those, but for books. Go here to find out more, or click the image below: