My schedule at college is pretty reading-heavy (I'm taking three English classes, a gender studies class, a Spanish class, and a philosophy class), so I'm sure that this list will be different by the end of the year! I am planning on being an English major, so I'm not doing any science or math heavy classes anytime soon.
Nevertheless, here are my top nine books I've had to read for school!
9) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I thought this book was..fine. There wasn't anything that I really liked about it, but not anything I minded either. It was a solid three star read, and I completely understand why it's a required reading in a lot of schools. The symbolism of the green light, the morally gray characters, the American dream, all of it!
8) The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
Now this is a required reading that I really liked, but probably shouldn't have read at such a young age. I read this in seventh grade (when I was 12) and though I liked it, I think I was too young to really grasp the importance of everything that was happening. Plus, I was spoiled. So when characters died, I wasn't all that fazed by it.
7) Macbeth by Shakespeare
This is by far my favorite of Shakespeare's plays that I have read. I halfway read Hamlet, read Romeo and Juliet as a freshman, and read Midsummer's Nights Dream when I was 13 (but barely remember it). I actually really liked reading this one! I think it helped that my class read it together and out loud. While not everyone's reading was great, I was able to really comprehend the play better because of it. When you look at it, Macbeth is basically a fantasy novel (witches, prophecies, warring kingdoms, messed up families), you got it all there! No wonder I enjoyed it so much!
6) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This is yet another book I don't think I read at the right time. I read this as a freshman in high school (14 years old) and as a 14 year old, I really didn't understand racism. Even now, four years later, there is still so much that I have to learn. As an adult, and just a less naive person, I would love to read this again.
5) 1984 by George Orwell
Like Macbeth, I read this dystopian for my senior year of high school. I have always been curious about 1984, because so many people talk about about it. Though I didn't like it as much as another dystopian novel I had to read, this was still pretty good. The writing itself was pretty dense, and though stuff happened I never felt like they were until the last fourth of the book. I do like how the book ended though!
4) The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
I read The Devil's Arithmetic in fifth grade for a school project. It wasn't strictly required (I had options), but I'm so glad I chose this one. I still think about this book 10 years later, which is saying a lot for how impactful and moving it is. I for sure need to reread this one!
3) Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
I had to read this for my senior year in high school, and was surprised at how much I liked this. At first, I had a really hard time trying to get into the story and understanding everything, but once I did really enjoyed the book. For me, all the characters are unlikable in the best way possible. I didn't empathize with them, but I always wanted to know what would happen. I think a reread of this is in the future, and I would definitely comprehend it better!
2) Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
My number two pick is Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I didn't LOVE this, but I really enjoyed it. I knew the twist before reading the book, but it was interesting to see how everything all played out. Much like Brave New World, it took some time getting oriented and understanding everything. Once I did I really liked it! The book is pretty short too, which is always a plus when it comes to required reading. :)
1) The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
This is definitely my favorite book I have read that was required for me to read. The Glass Castle is a memoir about Jeannette Walls' crazy childhood. Her parents are nomadic and free spirits. They travel a lot, and Jeannette never is in one place for too long. It doesn't help that her father, Rex, is an alcoholic that can't hold down a job or that her mother doesn't provide for them at all. As someone who has had an amazing childhood and upbringing, it was really interesting to see someone who lived in the complete opposite way. This did get a movie adaption, but I don't know if I want to see it...
So, those are all my favorite required readings! Do we share any picks?
Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!
Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!