Tag Archives: required reading

My Top 10 Books I Was “Forced” to Read

Top Ten Tuesday topic is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Books I Was “Forced” to Read, whether it is from required reading, a book club, or just an extreme amount of peer pressure! This week’s list is no particular order.

Required for School

Crime and Punishment

crime&punish2When I saw that Crime and Punishment was part of my required SUMMER reading for AP English my senior year of high school I’m sure I was thinking, really?! What surprised me though was how much I really liked it. Sure, nearly half of the book could have been omitted (especially the subplot with his sister’s drama) but the story of redemption in it is powerful to me. I even did a video project in college based on this book.

The Picture of Dorian Gray

dorian grayI read The Picture of Dorian Gray the same summer as C&P, and enjoyed it as well. Oscar Wilde’s commentary of his society is filled with wit and it was easy to understand, even if I didn’t know much about the time period and place. Also, the ending’s a kicker.

The Crucible

the-crucibleI read The Crucible my junior year in high school and it really made an impact on me how the characters stood up for themselves, disregarding what others said of them and even disregarding that they could be put to death.


rebecca-by-daphne-du-maurierI read Rebecca my sophomore year of high school and found it so much more intriguing and suspenseful than many of the other books I had to read for school! And you know it has to be good when Alfred Hitchcock, master of suspense himself, adapted it to film. Let’s just say that the film I made off this book for my English class was no where near as good…

To Kill a Mockingbird

Mockingbird2I’m pretty sure I read To Kill a Mockingbird my sophomore year in high school as well, but unfortunately I have a little more book amnesia with it. Of course I remember the main themes and that I did enjoy it, but I definitely need to revist it sometime, especially now that I am older and can look at it with new eyes.

The Importance of Being Earnest

being-earnestI read this play my senior year of high school and again, I just loved Oscar Wilde’s wit. If you need a light read that feels intellectual at the same time, this is a perfect fit.


nightI read Night my junior year of high school and found this story of a Jewish Holocaust survivor powerful. I had read The Hiding Place previous to this, so I was not unaware of concentration camp horrors (I would highly recommend it as well, by the way), but I always like hearing someone else’s story about what happened to them during WWII. It’s an important reminder of a dark time in history.

The Hobbit

the-hobbitI read The Hobbit in eighth grade I believe, and admittedly, I actually remember very little of it (let’s say when I saw all those dwarves in the movie adaptation I was completely surprised). However, I think this book was unknowingly a turning point for me. I didn’t think there was any way I could like this book, but I did, and I think that it might have helped me down the road be more open to different genres than what I had been reading.

Due to A Movie, Multiple Recommendations, and the Whole World Reading It

The Hunger Games


Thanks to some junior high aged girls at church, two friends, and Lionsgate, my interest in The Hunger Games got picqued to the point where it could not be ignored. FINE, I’LL READ IT! Clearly, I’m glad I did. Not only did I love it and the entire trilogy, but it got me back into reading after quite a hiatus, and it re-introduced me to the YA market, which was booming with some great content.

Book Club

What’s Left Of Me

hybrid-chroniclesI am in a blogger’s book club and we have read one book so far, What’s Left of Me. As mentioned in previous posts, I had the chance to get my book signed by Kat Zhang and get the sequel Once We Were early as well, so I felt compelled to buy and read it as well. Thankfully, I enjoyed both!

What books were you “forced” to read but ended up really enjoying? 

The Top 10 Books I Wish I Had Read for School

Top Ten Tuesday topic is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic was Top 10 Contemporary Books That Would Be Great Paired With A Required Reading Book OR Top Ten Books That You Wish Were Taught In Schools. Even though these are both great topics, I struggled with coming up with ten, and decided to focus on the books I wish I had read in school. Some people have read these for school, but every curriculum is different, and these are ones I wish I had been assigned to read (especially in place of some of my least favorites). This week’s list is separated by category.

The Classics That I Still Haven’t Gotten Around to Reading


Brave New World, The Bell Jar, The Screwtape Letters, Fahrenheit 451

Classics are intimidating, which is why they make us read them in school, right? Because otherwise, we might not pick them up. Or are we intimidated by them because they were required reading in school? Hmmm… Regardless, they can’t make us read them all, because there are so many of them! But some I kind of wanted to read, or want to read now, but I might be intimidated for one reason or another, or just haven’t gotten around to it for one reason or another.

(Somewhat) Classic Books I Enjoyed After Graduating


Anthem, Ender’s Game, The Giver

I’m noticing that there was a severe lack of dystopia reading in my school curriculum, which makes me sad. I missed out the poignant The Giver and the interesting Anthem, both which are nice short reads might I add. And while I don’t really consider Ender’s Game dystopia as much as sci-fi, I think it would still be a good school read that can get kids to thinking about the future.

Published After Graduating High School (or College), but Would Have Been Awesome to Read for School!


Cinder, The Book Thief, The Hunger Games

These were published in 2012, 2006, and 2008 respectively, all after I finished high school and Cinder after college, so I never would have really had the chance to read these in the classroom. But how great it would have been! You could read the original story of Cinderella before Cinder and then compare the two! The Book Thief offers a unique perspective on WWII you’re not going to find in history books, plus the prose is lovely. And then The Hunger Games is a true dystopia (much more so than many other YA “dystopias” that have emerged since), but is more interesting and friendly to read than, say, 1984. I think these more contemporary books would be great required reads.

What do you think? What books do you wish you had read for school?