5. “Frankenstein” by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

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Your beatnik English teacher wanted you to read this to introduce you to Gothic and Romantic Era literature. You spent the whole time wondering why it was nothing like the film (where the hell is the big, green monster?). Revisit this novel f

and really delve into the Romantic themes: the power of nature, the flaws of unrestrained knowledge, and the monster in us all (seriously – the Doctor is far worse than the Monster). Enjoy the novel even more knowing that Shelley wrote it as part of a writing challenge while on vacation with literary greats Percy Shelley (her hubby) and Lord Byron. In terms of longevity, I’d say she won.

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“the Scarlet Letter” by Nathaniel Hawthorne
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