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Books I Actually Read in High School

I learned quickly in my high school career that you can get by in an English class without reading any of the assigned books. As a result of this, I found out I could get by taking the money your parents gave you to buy Huckleberry Finn and give it to a senior to get you nicotine. In doing this strategy, I quickly learned that the help of SparkNotes is more than enough to pass most reading checks your teacher is going to give you. Despite this, I didn’t always take the easy way out. Here are the books I actually read in high school.

Boy 21 by Matthew Quick

A great story about basketball, outer space, and friendship. If I remember correctly, there was a lot more going on in the plot, but I was fifteen so I don’t remember very well. This was a summer reading requirement early in my high school and for the life of me I don’t remember why I read it. I’m glad I did though. Good book.

I’m embarrassed to say I’ve racked my brain and realized I haven’t read a book cover to cover since I’ve learned to drive a car. As embarrassing as that is, I’m in too far to scratch this blog, and too far away from my minimum word count to bullshit my way through. Here are the lyrics to “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel. That counts as a book. 

Harry Truman, Doris Day, Red China, Johnnie Ray
South Pacific, Walter Winchell, Joe DiMaggio
Joe McCarthy, Richard Nixon, Studebaker, television
North Korea, South Korea, Marilyn Monroe

Rosenbergs, H-bomb, Sugar Ray, Panmunjom
Brando, “The King and I”, and “The Catcher in the Rye”
Eisenhower, Vaccine, England’s got a new queen
Marciano, Liberace, Santayana, goodbye

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning, since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

Joseph Stalin, Malenkov, Nasser and Prokofiev
Rockefeller, Campanella, Communist Bloc
Roy Cohn, Juan Peron, Toscanini, Dacron
Dien Bien Phu falls, “Rock Around the Clock”

Einstein, James Dean, Brooklyn’s got a winning team
Davy Crockett, Peter Pan, Elvis Presley, Disneyland
Bardot, Budapest, Alabama, Krushchev
Princess Grace, Peyton Place, Trouble in the Suez

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning, since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

Little Rock, Pasternak, Mickey Mantle, Kerouac
Sputnik, Chou En-Lai, “Bridge on the River Kwai”
Lebanon, Charles de Gaulle, California baseball
Starkweather homicide, children of thalidomide

Buddy Holly, Ben Hur, space monkey, mafia
Hula hoops, Castro, Edsel is a no-go
U2, Syngman Rhee, Payola and Kennedy
Chubby Checker, Psycho, Belgians in the Congo

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning, since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

Hemingway, Eichmann, “Stranger in a Strange Land”
Dylan, Berlin, Bay of Pigs invasion
“Lawrence of Arabia”, British Beatlemania
Ole Miss, John Glenn, Liston beats Patterson
Pope Paul, Malcolm X, British politician sex
JFK – blown away, what else do I have to say?

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning, since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

Birth control, Ho Chi Minh, Richard Nixon back again
Moonshot, Woodstock, Watergate, punk rock
Begin, Reagan, Palestine, terror on the airline
Ayatollah’s in Iran, Russians in Afghanistan

“Wheel of Fortune”, Sally Ride, heavy metal suicide
Foreign debts, homeless vets, AIDS, crack, Bernie Goetz
Hypodermics on the shore, China’s under martial law
Rock and roller, cola wars, I can’t take it anymore

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning, since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
But when we are gone
It will still burn on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on, and on

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning, since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning, since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

We didn’t start the fire
It was always burning, since the world’s been turning
We didn’t start the fire
No, we didn’t light it, but we tried to fight it

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Written by TFM

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