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Redwood Bark

Photo Essay: Boys’ varsity tennis sweeps Archie Williams in MCAL semifinals
Photo Essay: Boys’ varsity tennis sweeps Archie Williams in MCAL semifinals
Molly Gallagher April 18, 2024

On Wednesday, April 17, the boys’ varsity tennis team dominated their match against Archie Williams in the semi-finals of the Marin County...

Photo Essay: Girls’ varsity lacrosse dominates Branson in a sentimental senior day matchup
Photo Essay: Girls’ varsity lacrosse dominates Branson in a sentimental senior day matchup
Emma Rosenberg and Penelope Trott April 18, 2024

On April 18, the girls’ varsity lacrosse team battled against the Branson Bulls in a blowout senior day matchup. Prior to the start of...

 embracing his coach senior Auden Braden celebrates his final MCAL regular season game
Boys’ volleyball dominates Marin Catholic on Senior Night
Richard Byrne April 18, 2024

On April 17th, the boys’ varsity volleyball team faced off against Marin Catholic (MC) in a Marin County Athletic League (MCAL) game. The...

Classic books that are actually worth your time

Illustration by Lauren Olsen

Classic books are typically categorized as boring and incomprehensible, with language that makes you question your fluency in English. Most people avoid them for the same reason they avoid running marathons: they are not masochistic. However, like running ungodly distances, there are some real upsides to giving classics a chance, along with notable bragging rights. They are considered timeless for a reason. In order of length (roughly), here are some classic books I read and highly recommend. 


“Animal Farm” by George Orwell

In this allegorical novel, Orwell tells Russian history through the lens of a revolution on a farm, where the animals take over and institute their own government, which then slowly starts to morph into exactly what they had originally revolted against. All of the leaders of the original Soviet Party and their relationship to Marxism are represented by different farm animals. My favorite thing about this book is that it doesn’t have the usual stuffiness found in books of this genre and uses its simplicity to convey a complex message. What is that message? Communism is not a feasible system of government, as its core ideals are inherently oppositional to human nature. However, this is not a conservative diatribe on why anything but capitalism is evil, so don’t go into it expecting a dissertation by Sean Hannity. 

“Catch-22” by Joseph Heller

Yes, it is a WWII story. No, it is not wildly depressing. The main character’s name is Yossarian, a pilot fighting for the US who deals with increasingly absurd circumstances with difficult decisions. It’s a book about internal and external conflict, but Heller finds a way to inject levity into the story constantly. It is a sincerely enjoyable book that questions the point of war and the moral dilemmas that spawn from participating. Yes, this is where the phrase “Catch-22” comes from!

“Pillars of the Earth” by Ken Follet

“Pillars of the Earth” is everything you ask for in a novel about the Middle Ages. It is a fairly easy read because of its modern and simple style. The story is about the construction of a cathedral and the people who built it, whose stories weave together over the generations that the book spans. It is obscenely good. It’s got castles. It’s got knights. It’s got some Catholic guys up to no good. It’s got a character who is essentially Friar Tuck. What more could you want? I have a signed copy of this book and would like it to be buried with me, Egyptian style.

“The Count of Monte Cristo” by Alexandre Dumas 

The love I have for this book is hard to describe. Three hundred pages in (not even 25 percent through) I was ready to quit. However, a friend of mine had gotten to 350, and an extremely competitive fire burned within me, so I stuck with it. The first half of the 1300-page novel is essentially one man getting screwed over at every turn and stuck in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The second half is the best revenge story I have ever read, a cathartic release for all of the frustration built up over the course of the book. It is approximately 700 pages of pure joy, perfectly set up by the first half. It is dense; unfortunately, there is no way around that. But it is so, so worth it. 


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About the Contributor
Mia Ginsburg
Mia Ginsburg, Copy Editor
Mia is a senior at Redwood High School and she is a copy editor of the Bark.  In her free time she enjoys hiking, climbing and spending time with her friends.