Monday, October 17, 2011

Required reading

One great thing about being in a book club is that it forces me to read great books I wouldn't read otherwise. Sort of like school.

This gets me thinking about all the books I was forced to read for school that turned out to be actually REALLY good. Here's a list of my favorite...

Books I Was Forced to Read But Actually Really Liked

1. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
2. Jane Eyre
3. To Kill a Mockingbird
4. Brave New World
5. Lord of the Flies
6. Lolita
7. The Chosen
8. Of Mice and Men

Books I Was Forced to Read For School But HATED

1. Frankenstein
2. Tom Sawyer (first scene great, everything else boring)
3. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
4. The Scarlet Letter
5. Siddhartha

I guess there were a bunch of other books I feel pretty neutral about. Although amazingly, I wasn't forced to read that many books in school. Maybe I should have been. I might have discovered some good stuff.

How about you? What was the best book you were ever forced to read?


  1. The Sound and the Fury. For some reason I really liked that book. Oh, and The Stranger.

  2. Hmmm....this has me thinking. It's been so long since I was forced to read a book...does Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine count? I do really love it.

    I've got it! Bridge to Terabithia in elementary school. Even though it's a kid's book, I still think it's one of the best novels I've ever read.

  3. I really liked Brave New World.

    Hated Moby Dick. A lot.

  4. Books I had to read but loved: Crime and Punishment, 100 Years of Solitude, The Metamorphasis

    Books I had to read and hated: The Iliad, A Handmaidens Tale.

  5. I loved: Where the Red Fern Grows, My Brother Sam is Dead, Hamlet and McBeth. Oh, and I really really liked Beowulf!

    I read, and hated: Romeo and Juliet, (no offense haha) To Kill a Mockingbird and probably a couple others that escape me at the moment. I'm blocking them for my sanity.

  6. Native Son by Richard Wright, first book I read for school that made me cry...and I rarely, if ever, cry when reading. Also good is The Great Gatsby!

  7. My english teacher forced my class to read an incredible number of books. Fortunately, all of them were excellent. Among them, the most memorable were:

    - Of mice and men
    - Death of a salesman
    - Nineteen Eighty-Four
    - Lies of silence

    The first three are quite known. I'm not sure Lies of Silence was such a great hit outside europe as it was here, it is a romance where the main character is inadvertently caught in a web of political movements in norther Ireland, namely the IRA terrorists. Lovely masterpiece, very easy to read, friendly size, I recomend it to you all.

  8. It was Lord of the Flies in 8th grade. There was this other book I cam't seem to think of the name for it, I think it was called The Giver. I enjoyed reading when I was younger and was a book worm. It's just that these two books were not my genres I would have read as The Giver seemed to be something that went against my religious beliefs from my teacher's description, but it became the best book I ever read. Also a favorite was Pride and Prejudice, I absolutely LOVED that book and wish the story never ended. It was o good I read it twice, I don't read books twice because I can't seem to get the end out of my head while reading it.

  9. The best book I ever had to read for a class was One Day in the Life of Ivan Dennisovich. I also enjoyed Waiting for Godot, Ionesco's Rhinoceros, and Anouihl's Antigone. Oddly, for all the Existentialism that I had to read it was The Stranger that really got my ire. That, and anything by Dickens.

  10. The Phantom Tollbooth. Quirky, but still one of my favorites!

  11. You know how I feel about Zen and the Art. Crap crap crap pretentious crap. AND LONG. At least Old Man and the Sea and Siddhartha (also hated) were short.

    Lord of the Flies makes me fear having a boy. Didn't like.

    Also remember detesting something called Black Boy.

    As far as stuff I read and loved... all of Salinger. All of Shakespeare (though some is overrated) and a lot of other British drama and classical poetry. Most Faulkner I read (I loved how it was like a puzzle to figure out). Toni Morrison generally. Eudora Welty generally. (I had some great Southern Lit profs). I once had to read Beloved in THREE CLASSES IN A ROW and it is a tribute to the profs that I didn't wind up hating it. And everyone likes To Kill a Mockingbird! It's just a likeable book, lots of neat stuff in it, great characters, engaging, and pretty easy to read.

  12. I enjoyed pretty much every singly book I read in high school (and there were many). The one major exception that still stands out to me was Beloved, which I absolutely hated with a passion. I still remember my teacher being surprised when I told her because I loved everything else.

  13. Brave New World
    To Kill a Mocking Bird

  14. Loved:
    Catcher in the Rye
    100 Years of Solitude
    Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter
    To Kill a Mockingbird
    Slaughterhouse Five
    Shakespeare - everything
    Of Mice and Men
    One Day in the Life of Ivan Dennisovich

    Lord of the Flies
    House of Spirits
    Nectar in a Sieve
    The Great Gatsby - well didn't hate it, but just thought it was really overrated.
    Old Man and the Sea (though it was my parents who forced me to read this, not school)

    In general I love reading and for the most part really enjoyed the books I read in school. I also loved a lot of the poetry, which I didn't expect.

  15. Haroun and the Sea of Stories. Awesome book!

  16. Loved: 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, Pride and Prejudice, Tess of the d'Urbervilles, Heart of Darkness, Merchant of Venice, All the King's Men, Grapes of Wrath, Bleak House, An Enemy of the People, Pygmalion,Lord of the Flies, 100 Years of Solitude, Night

    Hated: Huck Finn, Tom Sawyer, A Tale of Two Cities

    Hated Hated Hated: Scarlet Letter, As I Lay Dying, Jane Eyre

  17. Really loved Cannery Row by John Steinbeck. There were lots of quotes from there that hit with me.

    Hated: A Tale of Two Cities, 1984, Silence to name a few.

  18. Loved To Kill a Mockingbird.

    HATED Lord of the Flies.

    Wonder if today's students will grow up answering this same question, "Well, i really liked the Twilight series, but The Hunger Games, not so much." That would be very sad.

  19. I guess the moral is that different people may like or hate the same book :)

  20. The Cay our teacher read it to us in 5th grade. We all cried at the end, even the boys. Years later my nephew had to read it, he loved it. I was a bonding moment for us.
    Book I hated and would NEVER read again an would also write a note to my kids teacher so they wouldn't have to read it either? The Scarlett Letter. OMG in never ended, it just went on and on.... much like this post.

  21. Loved All Quiet on the Western Front. Hated (so much I actually complained to the school about it,) Angela's Ashes. A depressing book about guilt and wanking. And thanks to my year 10 English teacher for introducing me to Shakespeare!

  22. I read (200+ books a year) but shockingly never have completed one required book from high school on, between cliffs notes, the internet and my brain I kept my 4.0 and no one had a clue. Classics are lame. In college I was required to read Nickled and Dimed and I wrote the Dean and boycotted...what a lump of crap!