Throughout my schooling, I have been required to read many books. There have definitely been some I loved, and certainly there were more than a few that I absolutely hated. To name a few, I hated Huckleberry Finn, Macbeth, and Siddhartha. I also wasn’t a fan of Sula, The Handmaid’s Tale, or The Chocolate War. To push it further, I felt lukewarm about A Separate Peace, Killing Mr. Griffin, and Julius Caesar. Yup, there were definitely required readings that I was not a fan of.
To counter that, though, there were books that I actually really enjoyed and that still remain lovingly on my bookshelf today. Even though they were required (and who likes required reading, anyway?), they were still great reads and I grew to truly appreciate the fact that I was directed to them, even if it was for a grade and forcefully.
Here are my favorite-ever required readings:
1. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town – this was a different but really interesting book that made me think about what it means to “fit in” and friendship. A great coming of age story.
2. The Lottery Rose – I still remember the morning I read this book. I literally didn’t get out of bed until I was finished with it! It was that good. Given, it was an easy read, it was still very good, despite how heartbreaking it was at the end.
3. The Glass Castle – This is a great memoir that tells a truly inspiring story. I loved reading about the author’s life and the entire tough, touching, and eccentric experiences she has gone through. This is a story that reminds you to be thankful for your own life and I think it was so brave of her to share her story.
4. Oedipus – it is totally surprising that I enjoyed this book. But I actually did. I mean, what’s not to love about it!? There is family, scandal, marriage, and babies – all rolled into one.
5. Where the Red Fern Grows – okay, so I didn’t have to read this myself, and this dates all the way back to third grade. This was one of my class’ read alouds, but I still remember it so vividly today. This was such a touching novel that I still think of nostalgically when I see it at the bookstore. Definitely a classic that I will never forget. I think it was also the first ever book to bring me to tears.
Maybe it’s kind of embarrassing that I’m admitting I liked doing reading for school (at times) but it’s who I am! At this point, it really shouldn’t surprise you!
What were the best and worst books you ever had to read for school?