Top Ten Books I Was Forced to Read
A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly
I had to read this book during my American Literature class my second semester in college because my teacher had helped Jennifer Donnelly with her research of the Grace Brown murder case. They actually had an event on campus with Jennifer the year before I took the class but I didnít attend because I didnít know anything about her or the book. Now I really wish I had because this is one of my favorite books, and she is one of my favorite authors. Luckily, I was able to meet her in Fall 2010 at Oblong Books.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I canít remember exactly when I had to read To Kill A Mockingbird for school but I remember falling in love with it from the beginning. I also know that it is one of Aprilís favorite books too.
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
I remember being one of the few people in my advanced English class in high school that actually liked reading this book. I donít know what it is about it necessarily that drew me in but, I also remember being disappointed that we were doing a study guide with it instead of our usual picking quotes and writing about them exercise. Why? Because there are so many different quotes to pick from in this book!
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
I think this book is what propelled some of my interest in the Salem Witch Trials. Also, there was never a dull moment reading this book in advanced English class especially when we would have one of the only two males in the class take up one of my female roles. Classic!
America is the Heart: A Personal History by Carlos Bulosan
I had to read this for one of my first graduate classes, and I remember really enjoying it. Itís the autobiography of a well known Filipino poet who describes his childhood in the Philippines to his journey to America and his struggle of living here as a hard working immigrant. Itís not an easy book to stomach at times but itís filled with very interesting notions of what it really is be an immigrant amongst all the racism, oppression, and violence.
Desert Blood: The Juarez Murders by Alicia Gaspar
This is another book that I had to read during my graduate career, and it took my breath away. Based on the true story of the Juarez Murders in Mexico, where young working girls are randomly killed and their bodies dumped in the desert, this book opened my eyes in ways that I canít even explain. Again, this isnít necessarily an easy book to stomach but, itís filled with lessons on gender identity, the border culture, and globalization.
Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Out of all the books I had to read for my honors or advance English classes this was probably my second least favorite. I just could not handle this book. I really struggled getting through it which was awful because I had to read it during the summer time for class in September Ė not the way I wanted to spend my summer at all!
Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
This is the book that I would declare as my least favorite book I had to read during high school. I canít even remember what it was about but I know I disliked it, and I really disliked the way it was being taught to me. It was basically forced down my throat which may be one of my main reasons why I dislike it so much.
A Farewell To Arms by Ernest Hemingway
I wanted to like this one but again with a teacher who would read full page excerpts at a time and then expect us to analyze it to death I just couldnít get behind it. Maybe it was the fact that I was young and didnít have any real interest in the material. Or that I found the writing style to be tough and overbearing at that point in my life. Iím not sure but regardless it just didnít work for me.
Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller
I remember not being able to relate to the main character and finding him very depressing. I understood his struggles and the criticism of the American dream but, it was just hard to swallow. Again, I may have to blame my young age as it was required reading when I was in high school. Maybe if I were to pick it up again, I would have a different point of view.
Girls by Frederick Busch
I didnít hate this book but at the same time I didnít fall head over heels with it either. I think it was the combination of having to read it as part of my final project for advance English my senior year and just not being able to full engage myself in the story. Also, we had a debate in class that got ridiculously out of control if I remember correctly.
So, what are some of your favorite or least favorite books you were forced to read?
As always Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke And The Bookish.