Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was Forced to Read

top ten covers

All of mine are from school except Harry Potter. I am usually more of a pusher than a pushee. I couldn’t think of 10 books I was forced to read that I really loved, so I had to twist this one. There are 4 I loved, 3 I didn’t, and 3 books other people read in school that I didn’t and kind of wanted to. Aaaand I was too lazy to add the pics of the books I didn’t like, oops.

Books I loved

1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – This was my summer homework between my freshman and sophomore year. I was in pre-AP classes, and I’ve always been a reader, but I hated so much of what I had to read for class. So, when I had to read this book IN THE SUMMER, I wasn’t happy. I waited until the last week. And then? It was magic. It was about something that meant a lot to me, and situations that were painful for me to imagine. I was just amazed and touched. I actually don’t own a copy of this and need to remedy that like crazy, but I did convince my sister to buy one!

2. The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K LeGuin – I actually wrote a post about this book in September. I had to read it for a college lit class with a teacher that was kind of horrible. But Le Guin’s writing is pretty and it made me think a lot.

3. Night by Elie Wiesel – I have always been interested in Holocaust and WWII stories. I’m not sure when that started, but I read any survivor accounts my elementary school library had, and I still have some I got from book orders. Night is touching and amazing, and I remember my whole class being affected by it.

4. The Harry Potter series by JK Rowling – I wasn’t really forced to read this one, but I definitely got faces when people heard I’d never read them. When I did read them, I loved them!

Books I wish I would have been assigned:

5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitsgerald – Everyone in regular English at my school read this junior year, and I didn’t get to for my AP class. I wanted drama and parties in the time of flappers, too! I read it off my computer on Gutenberg before eReaders were really a thing, and it didn’t really hit me. I think it’s a book that benefits from discussion and probably more focus than I gave it!

6. Brave New World by Alduous Huxley/1984 by George Orwell – I had to read The Anthem by Ayn Rand and other utopia books, but I think a lot of people enjoyed Brave New World. They both sounded interesting to me. I still haven’t read either one, and I should remedy that!

7. The Illiad and The Odyssey by Homer – I think I had to read excerpts but never read the whole of either. I think I’m reading part of The Illiad soon for a class, I need to pick them both up!

Books I didn’t like

8. Lord of the Flies by William Golding – I had to read this in 9th grade and I just didn’t care. Sure, people suck. Get them lost, without rules, and they suck even more.

9. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – I read this one in 9th grade, too. I think that a lot of the books I read in high school, I might have liked if I had read them when I was older. However, 9th grade Katy wasn’t enjoying all the deep messages involved.

10. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain – GASP! I know. I know. Another freshman read. I read maybe a fourth of this book and couldn’t hack it. I actually hassled a guy into giving me the answers for the AR test. 9th grade Katy was a real brat, and I feel bad about that now.

What about you? What books did have to read that you loved? Any you hated? Books you got to college and realized everyone else had read, but you were out of the loop? Feelings on the books I listed? I also want to see your lists, leave your links!

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21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was Forced to Read

  1. Oh my goodness! I am soooo happy to find someone who didn’t care for Lord of the Flies, too!! I read it in probably 9th or 10th grade and it just didn’t hit me the way it hit others. I think boys who don’t care to read it enjoyed it for the chaos, but overall it just didn’t sink in for me.

    I agree that The Great Gatsby is a book that is best read in a discussion setting, I don’t know that I would have been as in love with it without the commentary of my teachers/professors (I read it in high school and twice in college). My high school teacher was pretty in love with Gatsby, she cried every period that she read the end which was pretty melodramatic but her appreciation did affect how much I love the book today.

    Definitely read Brave New World! It’s on my re-read list for next year!

    And if you enjoy Holocaust memoirs and haven’t read Aranka Siegal’s Upon the Head of a Goat, I highly recommend reading that one (and its sequel about her post-Holocaust experience). The book was written for middle school through high school so it’s not graphic, but very powerful.

    Wow, this was long and I haven’t even said, “YAY! HARRY POTTER” yet! 😉 hahah! I enjoyed your spin on the Top 10 this week!! 🙂

    • Ahaha yes, it was so awful! And I agree, the boys in my class seemed to like the chaos and general violence, but it was blah for me.

      I’m glad to see so much love for Brand New Year!!

      I haven’t read that memoir, I will definitely add it to my list! Thank you! I need to start reading more of them, I used to read a lot then kind of got off track with them!

      YES, HARRY POTTER! Haha, so much love! Thanks for your amazing (as always) comment!

  2. Some of these books are on my TBR list, but haven’t read most of them. A few of the ‘classics’ that I had to read in high school didn’t sit well with me. Such as the Great Gatsby. However, like you, I think if I would reread them now that I’m older, I might enjoy them more.

    • I definitely think I was a lot more closed minded in high school, too. I grew up in a really conservative town and I had views that I thought were set in stone. I’ve grown up and changed enormously, and I think my opinions on some of the books might be a lot different. But some I think I still wouldn’t exactly enjoy. Who knows!

  3. I am so happy I had to read Night in Grade 12 — such a powerful book! And Brave New World made me love dystopians in Grade 11. I wasn’t forced to read Harry Potter or The Great Gatsby, but I’m so glad I did. Particularly Harry Potter.

    • Night is amazing! I need to read Brand New World, it seems like everyone likes that one a lot! I wasn’t really forced to read HP, but it felt like people thought I was extremely odd when I said I hadn’t read it, and when I said I planned on it everyone was like “YOU MUST” haha.

  4. Oh, Harry Potter <333 Actually, my family was so surprised that I wanted to read these books, because I wasn't a big reader when I was little.

    I'm with you on Lord of the Flies. I've never read the book, but I watched the movie a few months ago and it was horrible. Fine, they're kids, but they murder someone and get away with it? No. Just no.

    • My Harry Potter story is super ridiculous, but I’m so incredibly glad I read them!

      Lord of the Flies was so awful. I don’t really think it helped me learn the important themes they expected it to, it just horrified me a bit.

  5. If you don’t Brave New World and Nineteen Eighty-Four as soon as possible i will be very unimpressed. They are both brilliant, brilliant books.

    Fahrenheit 451 is high on my ‘to read’ list, i can’t wait. (I need to acquire the book first, though…)

    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Lord of the Flies or Of Mice and Men. The latter i did read at school, the form i wanted to read at school! But i really liked them both!

    • I will try to get to them soooon! =) Fahrenheit is awesome! I need to read more of Bradbury’s work!

      I think I would have had a better chance of liking them if I’d read them when I was older. I was pretty closed-minded when I was in 9th grade and I liked what I liked. I can see how ridiculous I was now, and I’m really glad I’ve opened up!

  6. I did not like Lord of the Flies either! It seemed really preachy without any entertaining aspects. Great post! I was forced to read the Harry Potter series too and it was one of the best things that ever happened to me!

  7. Pingback: Goodbye October! [recap] | a blighted one

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