Top Ten Tuesday

Required Reading

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, Top Ten Tuesday invites bookish bloggers to share lists based on a given topic. This week is all about books I read in school for homework and actually adored!

The List

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier – I remember my teacher who assigned my class this book warning us that masturbation is mentioned in the story! LOL! I actually think it was a banned book at one time [sorry, I’m too lazy to look it up and check my facts]. Anyhow, I remember really enjoying the tale, although I don’t recall everything about it!

The Grass Harp by Truman Capote – My sophomore English class was assigned this book and I absolutely adored it! It is such a sweet, quirky book and I highly recommend it, especially to those who like Capote’s writing in general. I’m so glad I had to read The Grass Harp and it inspired me to read Capote’s true crime novel, In Cold Blood, which I also adored.

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton – I had to read The Outsiders in middle school and absolutely fell in love with the story and its characters, whose names I found very appealing, especially Soda Pop and Ponyboy! Tragic yet heartwarming, this is one of my favorite books ever and is totally worthy of a reread!

Silas Marner by George Eliot – This book is another one I was assigned in middle school and I really surprised myself by loving it! Honestly, I think I was the only kid in my class who actually liked the story!

King Lear, Macbeth, and Hamlet by William Shakespeare – These three Shakespearean plays are definitely my favorites. I had to read them for senior AP English and we dissected the hell out of each play, so I had a deep understanding of not only the plots, but the symbolism included within the plays as well.

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde – This is another book I adored that features amazing symbolism. I love this story and actually reread it via a buddy read in August and fell in love with it all over again.

The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe – Poe is one of my favorite authors; his works are intriguing to me. Yet another tale featuring intense symbolism and foreshadowing, this gothic tale is definitely an all-time favorite.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger – Once again, I think I was one of very few of my classmates that loved and actually understood The Catcher in the Rye. It’s another book filled with symbolism, which I discovered I really enjoy. I remember having an assignment to create a collage based on the book’s themes and it’s still one of the pieces of homework I’m most proud of. I wish I had a picture of the collage to post here!

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald – Symbolism and foreshadowing were heavy themes in books throughout my high school reading career and The Great Gatsby is full of both. However, I refuse to see the movie featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, as I cannot stand him and I don’t want his part to taint my love for the book in any way.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – I’ve written about my love for Steinbeck’s short novel in at least one previous post. I can identify with George, who is Lennie’s best friend and protector. The book reminds me of my autistic brother, as Steinbeck describes Lennie as ‘simple-minded’ and I can actually see myself in the role of George.

Love, Maggie

20 Comments

  1. Holly @ Nut Free Nerd

    I’ve never read anything by Steinbeck, but I really want to! I’ve heard great things. Everyone is always so surprised that I didn’t have to read Of Mice and Men in high school.

    26 . 08 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Yes! Steinbeck was a beautiful writer! I really want to read The Grapes of Wrath and East of Eden soon too!

      28 . 08 . 2017
  2. lucybird

    I quite liked The Gatsby film, I tend to like Baz Lurmann films, but tbh I didn’t really understand the hype around the book, it was decent but I didn’t think it was amazing

    23 . 08 . 2017
    • Maggie

      I have never seen the movie! The book is great – full of symbolism and all that. I think if I hadn’t read it in school and had to study it so extensively, I may not have really understood it! But, it’s really good! 😀

      28 . 08 . 2017
  3. mICHAEL

    I LOVE SEEING WHAT OTHER PEOPLE WERE REQUIRED TO READ IN SCHOOL! nOT JUST THE BOOKS WE ALL READ BUT THE ONES THE DIFFERENCES. I READ gATSBY BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL BUT DIDN’T LOVE IT THEN. I BELIEVE I MIGHT ENJOY IT MORE NOW.

    aND I NEVER WAS ASSIGNED THE OUTSIDERS OR THE CHOCOLATE WAR. rEAD THEM BOTH AS AN ADULT. i WONDER IF MY TEENAGE SELF WOULD HAVE ENJOYED THEM.

    23 . 08 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Yes, I totally agree – I love comparing the books I had to read to others’! I’d like to reread The Great Gatsby soon; I’m hoping I’ll still enjoy it! I can’t believe you didn’t have to read The Outsiders in school – I figured it would be on everybody’s list! I think I was in 8th grade when we read it! 😀

      28 . 08 . 2017
  4. Cholla

    Poe is one of my all-time favorites. I love his stories and poems with an unnatural devotion. 😀 Also, Of Mice and Men makes me cry. :/ but it was such a good book!

    Here is our TTT.

    22 . 08 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Yes! I love Poe so much – his gothic elements are amazing! I adore Of Mice and Men; I need to reread it soon! 😀

      22 . 08 . 2017
  5. Anne@Headfullofbooks

    I re-Read Great Gatsby as an adult and was shocked at how much I liked it. I Guess I didn’t really apply myself in in high school and would try to just B.S. My way through. I’m Sure that there were other assigned books but i don’t remember them. Sigh. As an adult I have read many of the classics which are on most required reading lists and usually I like them and have come to understand why teachers want to use them in class. Books with memorable school scenes

    22 . 08 . 2017
    • Maggie

      I totally agree! The Great Gatsby was one of my favorites in school and I’m so glad we had to read it! I want to reread it soon and see if I still like it now as much as I did then. I loved analyzing books – something I never dreamed I’d actually enjoy!

      22 . 08 . 2017
  6. Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads

    I actually really enjoyed The Catcher in the Rye as well! and I can’t believe I haven’t read The Outsiders yet, must get to that! 🙂

    22 . 08 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Yay! Another Catcher in the Rye fan! 😀 The Outsiders is SO good! I highly recommend it for sure!

      22 . 08 . 2017
  7. Kristin

    How is it possible NOT to like Poe, Shakespeare and Wilde? 😛 Yeah, I’m an English major, so I know I’m a bit “weird”.

    Btw, here’s my TTT if you’re interested; http://luktenavtrykksverte.blogspot.no/2017/08/topp-ti-tirsdag-bker-jeg-leste-som.html

    22 . 08 . 2017
    • Maggie

      You’re so not weird! Sometimes I wish I could go back and have at least an English minor – it’s my favorite subject ever! 😀

      22 . 08 . 2017
  8. Leslie

    Hi! I read almost all of these, too! I loved the Outsiders and the Great Gatsby. I didn’t really like The chocolate War or Of mice and men. That one kind of ruined Steinbeck for me. i read The Grapes of wrath recently and feel in love with it! Great list 🙂
    My TTT
    Leslie

    22 . 08 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Thanks so much, Leslie! I’m looking forward to reading The Grapes of Wrath – I’ve heard so many excellent things about it! I think I liked The Chocolate War because it was so different from anything else we were assigned to read + the teacher warned us about the content, which made me even more curious! 😀

      22 . 08 . 2017
  9. Elena @ ElenaSquareEyes

    I ended up studying MacBeth a lot during my school life and think it’s one of the plays I still know a lot about.
    My Top Ten Books I read for school.

    22 . 08 . 2017
    • Maggie

      Yes! MacBeth is one of my absolute favorites! I really want to listen to the full-cast audio version sometime soon!

      22 . 08 . 2017
  10. Brona

    I think it’s such a shame that shakespeare is taught in all schools now. Most people I know came to love his plays thanks to studying them in school. At the time it might feel like a bore, but as you get older you become soooooooooo grateful that you’ve been shown how to enjoy his work.

    22 . 08 . 2017
    • Maggie

      I completely agree! I loved analyzing his plays – doing so really helped me understand them and all the symbolism Shakespeare included. While the dialogue was a little tough to understand at the time, I really enjoyed getting to know his work; I was intimidated by him for a long time, until I HAD to read him. I want to listen to the audio performances soon!

      22 . 08 . 2017

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