Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, which allows bloggers to share lists of some of our favorite (and not-so favorite) things. This week we’ll be highlighting the top ten books we've been forced to read over the years! I know that usually when a teacher, parent or someone else tells you that you MUST read a certain book, all it really does is make you want to avoid it and drops your interest level to zero. I can't wait to see what books pleasantly surprised you and share my own required reading favorites! Happy Tuesday and have fun everyone! Without further adieu, the books! :)
Top Ten Books I Was Forced to Read
As someone who was bullied a lot as a kid (because of how 'different', i.e. poor and uncool, I was) this book meant so much to me. Somehow even with the depressing ending, it was still a pretty large beacon of hope and I'll always be grateful to my 7th grad English teacher for having this as required reading! Not sure if it entirely counts though, as I had first read it 2 years previously on my own...
This is a book that I initially did NOT want to read. And while I may have hated the teacher's tendencies for over-analyzing and the obsession she held with symbolism, I ended up truly being made to think by this book. What would the world be like without books? Knowledge is not easy and firemen burn instead of stopping the burn. It is a truly scary book! Especially for a spoiled high-school kid.
This is one that a lot of people read as seniors in high school. I actually didn't read this one until my second year of college! I took a Comp 2 course and the teacher was obsessed with Shakespeare. I had heard plenty of things about Hamlet and while I respect Shakespeare immensely, it just wasn't my thing. Until I actually read it. Now I can't keep my hands off of re-tellings and satires. I also loved the teacher's enthusiasm and took two more classes just to be taught by him! :)
So much unnecessary angst and torturous feeling in one doomed relationship! I wasn't into it at first, but this is yet another one that had me completely hooked by the end. I am now addicted to it in it's various forms and have read a couple retellings. I also somehow own THREE DIFFERENT film versions of it and really want about three or four others still for my collection. I have issues and yes, Heathcliff is a deranged asshole. But somehow it still moved (moves) me anyway!
Even if only for the fact that it got me to Catching Fire, one of the best second series books I've ever read, I will always be grateful for my BFF Elizabeth. She book talked me till she was blue in the face and I finally decided to give it another chance. Second time was a charm!
Thank you to Mrs. Locke, my 3rd Grade teacher. This is still one of the best books about friendship, love, death, life and imagination that I have ever (or probably will ever) read. Reading books about real kids, in real situations is ALWAYS an awesome thing. Some of the best required reading I actually read! :)
Do we want a perfect life, with no pain and suffering - but no love, joy or friendship either? Black and white is okay, but where are all the colors and the music? The idea of conformity for the greater good and the loss of something even greater through it definitely strikes at you when you're a kid. Individuality is important and so is choosing for yourself. My teacher definitely had us imagining with horror what it would be like to have nothing just your own. This is definitely a model for a lot of current YA dystopian novels.
A novel about the excess of America, the truths of heartbreak and the dangers of living in the past. Not one that I was initially impressed with in the 10th grade, but recently I reread it and Fitzgerald's prose if gorgeous. Plus you can feels the emotions in it and this is the kind of book that can leave your stomach with a melancholy pit in it for days. Those are my favorite kinds of books!
I feel like I was guilt-tripped and forced into reading this series by the ENTIRE FREAKING WORLD. This was at the height of LOTR fever when the movies were in theaters. I didn't get into them until Two Towers was on DVD and ROTK was almost in theaters. I felt guilty about seeing the movies before reading the books, so I backtracked. Thank you world population! The series is great (but hard to read if you already know what's going to happen via movie- the detail becomes kind of tedious) but I am most thankful for the second one. Lots of people don't like it, but I was enchanted by Rohan and it's tough, strong people. Eowyn was my pre-teen idol - I was a geek in training then. So thanks for the guilt-trip!
As someone who generally reads YA, I was very reluctant to pick this book up. I was eighteen, but avoiding those 'depressing' adult books like the plague! But my librarian guilted me into it, along with all the hype surrounding the series. I am grateful I read this, because I learned that I do like thrillers and I don't mind government espionage, etc. It just has to be well-written and interesting. Also, it's made me more willing to try reading foreign authors. Before I wouldn't have done that either. This was a turning point in my adult reading life and I'm grateful it happened!