Today’s topic: Books we’ve read in school!
I’ve got quite a big pool to pick from today, as I also studied English Literature at A-Level! During my student years, I read through the usual Shakespeare – Romeo and Juliet being the most memorable – a little Margaret Atwood – The Handmaiden’s Tale and Cat’s Eye – countless bits and pieces of World War fiction and poetry, and of course, Holes by Louis Sachar, of which I can’t quite recall much more than the basic plot. Look, it was a while ago, ok?
The novel that I absolutely loved, and is still one of my favourites to this day, is Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck. It was the first novel I’d read with such a tragic ending, as far as I can recall, and that feeling of sadness and heartbreak still haunts me. If you haven’t yet read it, all I’ll say is, pick up a copy as soon as possible. And then when you’re done, check out Gary Sinise’s 1992 film adaptation.
Here’s what our bookish friends had to say!
Jo Linsdell at Jo Linsdell
One book that comes to mind is The Caucasian Chalk Circle by Bertolt Brecht. We later went on to perform it for theatre studies. I remember it being a book that brought up a lot of moral questions.
Danielle at Snatched Words
The only book I remember reading at school is To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Even though we read it painstakingly slowly, I knew it was something special. I’ve read it twice since and I’ve still got the copy from my school days with my notes in the margins.
Erica Robyn at Erica Robyn Reads
One of my favorite books that I read in highschool was The Power Of One by Bryce Courtenay. To this day, it is still one of my all time favorites. It’s about a young boy named Peekay who struggles with humiliation and abandonment, but still stays positive and keeps his sights on his dreams. It’s such a powerful read! There’s also a film adaptation this is really great as well! The book is 544 pages, and I read through it over the course of a weekend back in school because I loved it so much!
Leslie Conzatti at Upstream Writer
Haha! Tricky question, because, as a homeschooler, there were a lot of books I had to read according to the various curricula my parents used–but none of them were very “standard” as far as “reading what kids in school are reading” is concerned.
I read Tales from Shakespeare by Charles and Mary Lamb, which was basically a selection of The Bard’s plays, transcribed into narrative form. (side note: this often meant that Dear Willie’s fondness for subplots that either add or merely coexist alongside the main plot were dropped entirely… I loved Twelfth Night and read the adapted version dozens of times before I’d even heard of the character of Feste!) I read The Complete and Unabridged Adventures of Sherlock Holmes cover-to-cover, even though technically the only portion that was “required reading” was The Hound of The Baskervilles. Even in college, I took a course on Jane Austen: Her Life And Works and thus I “had” to read 3 of her romance novels for school!
There were also some assigned readings I didn’t enjoy much: Brave New World I read at probably far too early an age (just browsing the family bookshelf one day in a fit of boredom) and it freaked me out badly. I had to read The Scarlet Letter for my American Literature college course, and I didn’t enjoy it very much at all, either!
Valerie, at Cats Luv Coffee
I hated when we read books in school. I’m such a fast reader that if we were reading aloud, I would have finished the book long before they got to the third chapter! I remember reading Where the Red Fern Grows in elementary school, and Lord of the Flies in middle school. I detest both of those books! I honestly can’t recall any that I actually enjoyed, other than Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories.
Kim at Writer Side of Life
We read Lord of the Flies and it made such an impression on me. I wouldn’t say I loved it but it sort of crept under my skin and stayed there. It was so eye-opening to read something so brutal, done by a bunch of kids.
We also read Tess of the D’Urbervilles, which I absolutely hated at the time. It was so depressing and foreboding.
I sincerely hope the books they study at high school now are better than these. It was disappointing to me because I loved reading but I didn’t feel like I saw myself in these books, just a sort of nameless fear of what humanity was capable of.
Come back here tomorrow for another topic!