Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What Books? Favorite Assigned High School Reading

What is the What Books? Feature?

It's time for another edition of my periodic What Books feature! It's been awhile. I have so many book memories from my childhood. Different books touched me in different ways and had came to me at important times. So with this feature, I'm highlighting books that affected me for various reasons.

See prior editions of What Books? here:

Favorite Not-Super-Popular Book Series
Favorite Ghost/Scary Stories
The Movie Is Better Than The Book - Check out this post for lots of fabulous comments
Favorite Obscure Childhood Book
Favorite Books to Re-Read
Favorite Books That You Didn't Love At First
Favorite Cry Your Eyes Out Books
Favorite Books That Totally Freaked You Out

What Books? Favorite Assigned High School Reading

Required reading is a big staple of high school. The books that you're forced to read in English class often stay with you long after all memories of algebra and chemistry have disappeared. You'll look back and think about how much you loved a book or perhaps hated a book.

My high school reading list was pretty much the standard American and Western European works that every American high schooler reads. A little Shakespeare, a little Dickens, a little Twain, etc. I definitely liked some more than others. Here are a few of my favorites:

Ninth Grade




Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte


To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
*I'd read this when I was 11. I understood it much better when I was 14.

I also remember reading Macbeth by Shakespeare, The Odyssey by Homer, The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan (this might not have been 9th grade), Cry the Beloved Company by Alan Paton

Tenth Grade




Les Miserables (abridged) by Victor Hugo


David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
*We had to choose a Victorian-era novel for a big project in 10th grade. I chose David Copperfield - the longest option.

We also read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. It's one of my favorite books now, but I wasn't a big fan in tenth grade. Other reads include A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

Eleventh Grade




The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain


Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

We also read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I think I'd like it better now. Other books include The Crucible by Arthur Miller, Billy Budd by Herman Melville, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros, The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, The Jungle by Upton Sinclair, Walden by Henry David Thoreau

Twelfth Grade




The Iliad by Homer


Night by Elie Wiesel


Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
*I read this for Academic Decathlon.

We also read The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer, Hamlet by Shakespeare, Beowulf.

****We read other books during high school, but I can't remember them right now. I may have mixed up the grades on a few of the books, but I think most of them are correct****

Books I Hated: Only two: Walden by Henry David Thoreau and Billy Budd by Herman Melville

What were your favorite assigned reading in high school? What books did you hate?


I'm especially interested to see what non-Americans read

63 comments:

  1. I share your same feelings for Walden. That felt like punishment to read! For me, Edgar Allan Poe and William Shakespeare's works were my favorite assigned reading. I really loved them! I also really enjoyed A Rose for Emily and other short stories of the same nature.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Funny, most of those I didn't read until I was out of school, for which I'm grateful. There's a lot of things I read for school that, because they were so tied to work and deeper-than-could-ever-be-normal analysis, all the joy of reading was stripped out of them... So I'm glad I saved works like Jane Eyre, Les Mis, and To Kill a Mockingbird until I could simply enjoy them.

    Probably the one exception to that was Pride and Prejudice... even with all the work involved, I always liked that one. My husband does not feel the same way. :)

    Jo
    In Which We Start Anew

    ReplyDelete
  3. We had to read some of the same books in high school too! My favourite was Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta

    ReplyDelete
  4. I had a very unique set-up for high school required reading. Firstly, as I was in honors/AP all 4 years, we had a different curriculum as compared to the standard curriculum, so we got to read a lot more contemporary novels. Secondly, they decided to get all experimental with our class and scheduled our English classes out of order. Thus, I never took a Brit Lit or a World Lit in High School. Because of this, they tried to cram as much of this into AP Literature as possible, but I still missed a lot of the "classic high school reads."

    I have always loved reading, but I hated getting to high school and having to read on a schedule. And because I hated it so much, I just didn't read the books (I know, I was one of those AP kids haha).

    But the books that I finished and loved: To Kill a Mockingbird, A Separate Peace, Ethan Frome, The Great Gatsby, Heart of Darkness, Siddhartha, All the King's Men, The Secret Life of Bees, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The House on Mango Street, Brave New World

    Absolutely hated: Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, The Unvanquished, Huckleberry Finn

    What I was assigned, didn't finish, but appreciate now: Great Expectations (whoever decided it was a smart idea to assign this as a freshman reading is silly) and Life of Pi (I was assigned this twice in high school and couldn't finish it either time, but did finally finish it in college and loved it!)

    ReplyDelete
  5. As much as I love to read, I always hated the books I had to read for school. I disliked The Scarlet Letter, Great Expectations, Animal Farm...

    It was rare for me to find a book that was *required* reading that I loved (what can I say? I'm a rebel).

    Jane Eyre was not required; it was on a summer reading list. I *adored* it. I also really enjoyed The Crucible and Brave New World. And while I tend to dislike reading Shakespeare (but not seeing it performed), I did actually fall in love with Hamlet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You read some great books in High School. I just remember falling in love with Jane Austen in 10th grade. I hated Walden too, I just could not get into that book!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I read East of Eden and loved it ...loved reading shakespeare in High school too.

    ReplyDelete
  8. My favorites were The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Othello by Shakespeare, anything by Edgar Allen Poe, The Odyssey by Homer, Things Fall Apart, I could probably go on as that is mostly just one grade of high school.

    The books I hated.... As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner. Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre (presumably everything written by the Bronte's!)

    ReplyDelete
  9. I'm really surprised you like LES MIS. But maybe because you read the abridged version? The regular one is over 1,000 pages! o_0 It's...horrific IMHO. But yay for THE ILIAD! Such a great read! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. To Kill a Mockingbird was my favorite. Also, The Outsiders by S E Hinton.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I used to HATE assigned readings. Even if it was a good book, forcing me to read it made me bitter haha.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have to agree with Giselle, I HATED assigned reading. I read To Kill a Mockingbird on my own and loved it. I read Tom Sawyer on my own, LOVED it. But in school? I hated them.

    In fact, I got to a point where I told my teachers I'd read the book already so I could read a different book (of my own choosing...) I was lucky that our school worked that way. For the most part, I picked good books (The Outsiders, etc) - but occasionally? I would pick something bizarre like a Janis Joplin Biography *lol*


    -Jac @ For Love and Books

    ReplyDelete
  13. FUN! I remember loving To Kill a Mockingbird as well. I also enjoyed The Great Gatsby and Fahrenheit 451 and Brave New World. I did NOT enjoy Moby Dick or Crime and Punishment, those were both super painful reads for me!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm English and a lot of the books we had to read are similar. I did Death of a Salesman and The Merchant's Tale by Chaucer too (which I hated. Didn't help I was the only student taking English at that point so I had no chance to daydream). My favourite assigned books were probably North and South, A Streetcar Named Desire and A Christmas Carol, whilst along with Chaucer, my least favourite was The Winter's Tale by Shakespeare. That is one weird play.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Ahh! I love required reading in school, it gives me a chance to see how good books that I normally wouldn't give a chance are. My teachers have also been balancing out the classics with newer books. For example my freshman year we got to read The Hobbit, Enders Game, The Hunger Games, To Kill a Mockingbird. It was great. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. Some great picks. I am guessing you read the abridged version of Les Miserables. The full version is horredously long. I read everything on your list but the last two. for me I would add Tuck Everlasting, Tale of Two Cities, Catcher in the Rye and Count of Monte Cristo.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I had a similar reading list for high school. The only thing I wish is that we read books that were outside of the American and European literature. I usually branched out on my own for my independent reading portion. The only book that I truly hated is "The Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad. I was punished 3x by having it assigned for reading- 1x for high school and 2x for college.

    ReplyDelete
  18. i had to read the book called a separate peace -- it was weird and depressing and i'm not sure i get it til this day.

    i loved jane eyre. i just got back from visiting her home in england -- it was so lovely and we got to see where she would write her books.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have to say that my favorite books that I read in high school was assigned to my mom when she was going to college. She had to read Dante's Infero for her English class, so I read it with her. I fell in love with the story building and amazing description.

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm scared, now that I'm probably going to have to read these books when I get into high school! I think I might be interested in a few of the books they assign to me, but I'm still really scared now! Oh well, I'll jump that hurdle to get there. :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Wow ... it's been quite awhile since high school, but I do remember really enjoying Snow Falling on Cedars. I don't actually remember any other books we read, so I suppose they didn't make much of an impression on me. Oops!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I actually didn't read most of the books assigned to me in high school. I either got really bad grades in my English classes or I watched the movie/read Cliff Notes to help me get through. (I still got really bad grades, lol.)

    But, I did read two books specifically that I loved. I read Dune for my Science Fiction class and I adore that book. It's one of my all-time favorites. And, I read The Scarlet Letter for my American Literature class and I really enjoyed it, although I did employ the help of Cliff Notes to understand the language and finer parts of the story.

    ReplyDelete
  23. I really liked Fahrenheit 451, Othello, Night, and A Lesson Before Dying. On the other hand, I could not stand The Scarlet Letter or Heart of Darkness. Those books were absolute torture to read! In addition, I don't think I would have enjoyed The Crucible that much if it weren't for the fact that my school had a play of it going on at the same time as my class was reading it, so I understood the book better after watching the play.

    ReplyDelete
  24. I remember Doña Bárbara by Rómulo Gallegos, The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros and The Story of a Shipwrecked Sailor(Relato de un Naufrago) by Gabriel García Márquez . I read a lot but these three I really liked.

    ReplyDelete
  25. Oh, Walden is dreadful. Not long, but slow to get through, for sure.

    I much preferred reading Shakespeare. :]

    ReplyDelete
  26. I loved The Great Gatsby, Huckleberry Finn, Great Expectations, Romeo and Juliet, The Crucible, Animal Farm, The Mouse That Roared (a favorite). I don't even remember disliking anything all that much. Some material was just a bit over my head, but not unlikable.

    From what I had to read in college, I'm more inclined to say what I didn't like reading.

    Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  27. (I'm in Canada) ... Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger, The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence are what I can remember ... and then there were some short stories, of which I can remember the ones I liked ~ Tell Tale Heart and The Necklace.

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can't believe you read David Copperfield in year 10, wowza! This is such a great idea, I might do a post about it too :)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Wow. You read awesome stuff in high school. We didn't even read To Kill a Mockingbird until 12th grade!

    ReplyDelete
  30. I hated most of my required reading.

    Anything that I was forced to read during freshman year of high school made me want to cry-- Allegory of a Cave and Beowulf especially.

    I loved all the plays I had to read in 10th grade. The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, The Glass Menagerie, and A Raisin in the Sun. Excellent. Most excellent. Then there were the selection of Shakespeare plays I had to read in 12th grade for my Shakespeare class. Well, we only read two plays, but A Midsummer Night's Dream and Hamlet were good reads none-the-less.

    Then I was required to read the Great Gatsby twice. Once in 10th grade and again in 12th grade. I moved right before my senior year. Anyway, I enjoyed the book so much that I actually read it all the way through both times it was assigned!

    - Jackie

    ReplyDelete
  31. Yeah, To Kill a Mockingbird, it took me several attempts to appreciate it's value.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I know it's absolutely horrible but I don't remember what books I read in high school! I mean, I know I read the books you listed and they were probably read in HS...*sigh* Faulty memory. Sucks.

    ReplyDelete
  33. I really appreciated getting to read and analyze some classics in school. Because you know I have never found the time to do so now that I no longer take any English classes. I don't think I would get as much out of a classic now that I'm not being forced to analyze every single detail. I loved To Kill a Mockingbird, Lord of the Flies, and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

    ReplyDelete
  34. I'm in ninth grade in Switzerland, studying for IGCSEs and I'm studying Nervous Conditions and Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard.

    ReplyDelete
  35. TKAM is one of my most favorite books of all time. I didn't read JE until I was in my late 20's and loved it!

    ReplyDelete
  36. 'Fahrenheit 451' was my absolute favorite, followed closely by Frankenstein (both read during my Senior AP English class).

    Others that I loved were: 'The Cobra Event' by Richard Preston (which was about an outbreak of a disease which caused people to start biting their own flesh off before they died), 'Amazonia' by James Rollins (which involved scary mutated creatures and a journey through the amazon), as well as 'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath and 'The Stranger' by Albert Camus.

    I had some really cool teachers.

    ReplyDelete
  37. I remember reading The Good Earth back in 6th grade. I wound up enjoying it so much that I made my parents go out and buy the sequels so I could continue reading about the characters.

    ReplyDelete
  38. I absolutely love the sound of Roger, it's always nice when the guy feels real, like he could be someone you run into at the store or at work or something. I've heard nothing but good things about this one, I really need to make time for it!


    MicroDisk memory

    ReplyDelete
  39. Hey! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a lot of folks that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Cheers
    pizza vitacura

    ReplyDelete
  40. Wow, now this is cool. I retweeted this and put a note up on Facebook. Sorry I didn't see this on Sunday. I was a convention and then driving home. Thanks a lot for offering this prize!


    betting tips

    ReplyDelete
  41. Well, I was harvested, your post is very special, you will always on my new post, sharing is a kind of happiness, I am at home drinking coffee and smoking a cigar is waiting for your new post
    baseball picks

    ReplyDelete
  42. so good that teams who drop to the championship from the premiership literally fights for relegation in the championship and my predictions for the championship has been really poor, we see teams being the promotion spot when usually their main focus is surviving(which are the teams who got promoted from league



    tipster competition

    ReplyDelete
  43. Nice information, valuable and excellent design, as share good stuff with good ideas and concepts, lots of great information and inspiration, both of which we all need, thanks for all the enthusiasm to offer such helpful information here.

    best seo services

    ReplyDelete
  44. In case you might concept me personally along with any kind of suggestions on how you’ve made your blog website appear this great, I’d enjoy it.



    Seo London

    ReplyDelete
  45. Simply want to say your article is as astounding. The clarity in your post is simply great and i can assume you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission allow me to grab your RSS feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please keep up the enjoyable work.
    seo company

    ReplyDelete
  46. Thanks for sharing this information. I really like your way of expressing the opinions and sharing the information. It is good to move as chance bring new things in life, paves the way for advancement,


    seo services india

    ReplyDelete
  47. An attention-grabbing dialogue is value comment. I feel that it is best to write more on this topic, it may not be a taboo topic however usually people are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

    seo services

    ReplyDelete
  48. Hello there, simply turned into aware of your blog thru Google, and found that it is really informative. I?m gonna watch out for brussels. I will appreciate if you continue this in future. A lot of other folks will be benefited from your writing. Cheers!
    best seo services

    ReplyDelete
  49. The carpet cleaners have denied responsibility but we have been told by an independant source it may have been the chemicals. The landlord will charge us to replace the carpet and we need to claim our money backOne day after our white woolen carpet was professionally cleaned we noticed pink spots everywhere.

    Time Management Software

    ReplyDelete
  50. I have an online business and would like to get it recognised by the large search engines, google, yahoo, etc.. How do I go about it, by myself, rather than paying someone huge amounts of cash before you know what they can do for you? MSN have it at no.4 yet the others don't want to know

    Accounting Software

    ReplyDelete
  51. I remember reading The Good Earth back in 6th grade. I wound up enjoying it so much that I made my parents go out and buy the sequels so I could continue reading about the characters.



    blackjack regler

    ReplyDelete
  52. I have an online business and would like to get it recognised by the large search engines, google, yahoo, etc.. How do I go about it, by myself, rather than paying someone huge amounts of cash before you know what they can do for you? MSN have it at no.4 yet the others don't want to know


    CRM Software

    ReplyDelete
  53. It is fundamental issues that are often allowed to cloud certain matters, which in turn can drain confidence from individuals, but most people who commit to personal development training find that they become more able to see past awkward obstacles,

    Homes for Purchase in Edmonton

    ReplyDelete
  54. I remember reading The Good Earth back in 6th grade. I wound up enjoying it so much that I made my parents go out and buy the sequels so I could continue reading about the characters.



    Comida a domicilio

    ReplyDelete
  55. Interesting post and thanks for sharing. Some things in here I have not thought about before.Thanks for making such a cool post which is really very well written.will be referring a lot of friends about this.Keep blogging.


    sushi delivery

    ReplyDelete
  56. It is fundamental issues that are often allowed to cloud certain matters, which in turn can drain confidence from individuals, but most people who commit to personal development training find that they become more able to see past awkward obstacles,

    remax edmonton

    ReplyDelete
  57. Right now, when they talk about global warming, they're still talking about staying the same bowl as we are in now, the ice age bowl.
    free spins

    ReplyDelete
  58. There’s no doubt that your blog could possibly be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic site!


    roulette regler

    ReplyDelete
  59. I was seriously considering buying this tonight on Amazon, so winning a signed copy would be amazing. Thanks for the chance! :-)



    seo services

    ReplyDelete
  60. There’s no doubt that your blog could possibly be having web browser compatibility issues. When I look at your site in Safari, it looks fine however, when opening in I.E., it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, fantastic site!

    Reputation Management

    ReplyDelete
  61. I dont know what to say. This blog is fantastic. Thats not really a really huge statement, but its all I could come up with after reading this. You know so much about this subject. So much so that you made me want to learn more about it. Your blog is my stepping stone, my friend. Thanks for the heads up on this subject. clipping path

    ReplyDelete
  62. This article is very satisfying and helpful. This article has identical time to the blog topic exclusive and perfect. This is exactly what I was needed for. Thanks for your article.Clipping Path


    ReplyDelete
  63. Just want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is just excellent and i could assume you are an expert on this
    subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please continue
    the rewarding work.
    Clipping Path service

    ReplyDelete

I love comments. I appreciate every one! Thank you in advance.

This blog is now an award free zone. I just don't have time to pass on the awards as they deserve.

 
Template: Blog Designs by Sheila