Top Ten Tuesday (TTT) brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish.
August 22: Back To School Freebie: anything “back to school” related like 10 favorite books I read in school, books I think should be required reading, Required Reading For All Fantasy Fans, required reading for every college freshman, Books to Pair With Classics or Books To Complement A History Lesson, books that would be on my classroom shelf if I were a teacher, etc.
My boys went back to school about 10 days ago. Last week we went to their respective back to school nights. We found out my eighth grader will be reading George Orwell’s Animal Farm this fall, and Orson Well’s 1984 in the spring. I remember reading these books in school, but not too much about them. I’m thinking of picking up copies and re-reading them along with my son.
Anyway, this got me to thinking – What books did I read (or was forced to read) in school that made an impression on me? Which books – for better or for worse – have stuck with me 20+ years later?
School-Assigned Reading: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly.
Favorite (Assigned) Classics
- The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
- Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Eh – I Just Wasn’t Feeling It
- Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
- Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
- Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Fun fact. Le Petit Prince was assigned reading in my French class. Let’s just say it was a struggle. I ended up buying a copy translated to English to help myself along. Wasn’t a fan in either language.
Did Not Finish
Did Not Finish (*gasp*! Huge shout out to Cliffs Notes here!) It’s not that I didn’t want to finish these books. I. just. could. not. get. through. these. I’m exhausted just thinking about the effort it took for me to read one page.
- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
Never Had to Read (Hallelujah! But I know this would be a DNF if it was ever assigned):
- Moby-Dick by Herman Mellville
I know, I know. Everyone is going to crucify me on the Jane Austen title. I’m sorry! She’s just not my thing. What required school reading has stuck with you over the years? What topic did you tackle for today’s open-ended back to school discussion? Sound off below, and link up to your own TTT if you’ve got one!
6 thoughts on “TTT: School Assigned Reading. For Better, or For Worse.”
I’ve never read The Great Gatsby, which feels kind of weird. I’ve never read Austen either, although I did try to read Sense and Sensibility a few years ago, since I liked the movie. It was just too dry. I may try again though… someday. 🙂
There’s a lot on this list that I have not read. For some reason we didn’t have a lot of assigned reading in my classes. However, one of the dystopian classics I love is Fahrenheit 451 and I’m really curious what I would have thought about it back then.
I totally agree about Great Expectations but I did later get a better explanation of what was so great about it. Still wish I hadn’t had to read it for the class that I did since none of the discussion made sense. I’ll abstain from negative Jane Austin comments and just say that my favorite is actually the adaptation of Emma that Clueless. So much more fun to think of them as high schoolers than people getting married and possibly stuck for the rest of their lives in bad matches. I was always glad to not have to read Moby Dick, also and have been told that only the first page is worth reading. Even then, it’s only if you’re the type (like me and my dad who first told me this) that loves the ocean in every way.
I reread Gatsby before the movie came out – I still had my annotated copy from when I was in high school. I still loved it. Even as an English major, I still haven’t managed to read Heart of Darkness. I was supposed to read it as a sophomore in high school, and again as a senior in college. Didn’t happen. Sometimes I wonder if I reread some of these classics with a historical lens, if I’d find them more interesting. Happy reading!
eli @ the (book) supplier
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I’ve never read any of these! Different Dickens, but I also did not finish a Dickens book when I was at school, in my case it was Oliver Twist.
My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2017/08/22/top-ten-tuesday-121/
So, the ones that really stuck with me are in the same vein as Jane Austen, we read Wuthering Heights, Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina, as well as others, but those three really stuck with me. I loved them. Especially Wuthering Heights. I don’t know what it is about that book because the behavior of the characters could most closely be likened to that of a soap opera, but I just loved it. I’ll have to do a re-read and see if I still feel the same way.