Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Book Projects

In most of my high school literature classes, at some point we would be called on to do what was called a book project. This involved choosing one of the books we'd read during the class, or sometimes more than one book, and creating something that somehow was inspired by or embodied that book. A drawing, a painting, maybe a series of photographs, sculpture, food, something sewn, that sort of thing. It was a sort of antidote to the idea of writing book reports. The teacher (a generally fabulous person) had a story about her son, writing book reports in high school, where he'd told her that the key to writing one was to pass your hand across the cover, read the blurb on the back, and if it was for an honors class read the first page, and then write the report. Consequentially, I never had to write one.

To be honest, I can't actually think of many examples of book projects I did. I did a couple of drawings to go with Susan Cooper's Over Sea, Under Stone, and we once all brought in food to represent various Jane Austen characters, but that's all I can remember. Now, though, I'm contemplating taking up the practice of doing book projects. Probably not to be continued beyond this summer, and maybe not for every book, but it would be nice to do this to cement what I've read in my brain.

Most of the projects that suggest themselves to me for books I've read recently involve food. Diary of a Provincial Lady would get something weird and English. For Marking Time I'm contemplating making some kind of dessert, maybe a tart or something similar, the kind of thing they learn to make in cooking classes. I've been wanting to bake lately, anyway. Bloodhound could be represented by clothing, or perhaps jewellery, either way brightly coloured and with orange tones, as it's really a very vivid book.

Who knows if I actually go through with this plan, but it's definitely something I'll be thinking about.

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