Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Was “Forced” To Read

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(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The above photo was taken and altered by me*)

We’ve all been “forced” to read books. In high school we had to read the classics. In college we had to read even more classics.  And in our book groups/circles we’re still “forced” to read books. Being forced to read any book isn’t necessarily a bad thing. I’ve read a lot of books because friends/family/teachers urged me to read. And you know what, some of those books I loved!

1. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – when I was a high school freshman my English teacher had assigned us to read a book. Any book so long as it wasn’t, as he termed it trash. He said if we couldn’t find a book he would give us one. At that point in time there wasn’t much in the way as “YA”, and I didn’t really want to read a boring classic. So I asked him, and from deep within a book closet he pulled out what would become my most favorite book – To Kill A Mockingbird.

2. The Crucible by Arthur Miller – Yet another book I had to read during my freshman English Class. I knew before the actually reading of this, that I would love, love, love this book. Why? Because I love everything and anything to do with the Salem Witch Trials.

3.  Liar by Justine Larbelestier – back when I had more time on my hands I participated in Miss Print’s Online Book Club.  One month Miss Print chose Liar to be discussed. It was a book I had on my shelf, one I was definitely curious about, but one I wasn’t one hundred percent certain I would enjoy. Miss Print definitely did not “force” me to read Liar, but she gave me the boost I needed to pick it up, and read it. I’m glad she did because in the end it was a book I really did enjoy.

4. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – This is a book I was definitely FORCED to read. Once again I was in high school (I think I was a sophomore).  This was a book I had never had a real interest in reading, and when I did read I really did not enjoy.

5.  Hamlet by William Shakespeare – Every year in high school we focused on a specific Shakespearian work. My senior year we focused on Hamlet. We read the text. We watched the film – the Mel Gibson version of course. We wrote essays, took tests, and discussed passages over and over again. And as if all that wasn’t enough we had to memorize Hamlet’s third soliloquy and recite it to our teacher.

6.  Animal Farm by George Orwell – I was “forced” to read this in my freshman English class. This was one of those books that I really wanted to enjoy, but I didn’t. Why? Because I just didn’t get it. I thought it was a bunch of talking animals just running about the farm. I took it as silly instead of serious.

7. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys – I was “forced” to read this for my women’s literature class in college. At the time I hadn’t a clue as to what the book was about. I wouldn’t say that this book became my most favorite book. But I didn’t hate it. In fact, at the time I really enjoyed it, and was glad that I was “forced” to read it.

8. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult –  I read this while I was in grad school. I didn’t read it because a movie was about to be released.  I read it because I was doing my part in a group project. I honestly didn’t want to read this book, and as much as I resisted, I have to admit it wasn’t a terrible read.

9. One Evil Summer by R. L. Stine – every year when I was in grammar school we had to read one book as a whole class in “library”. Every year from about fourth grade onward my class always wanted to read a R.L. Stine book. And not just any book but a Fear Street book. But because we were young, and our school librarian (which looking back I’m not one hundred percent sure if she was an actual librarian – I don’t mean that as an insult, just putting it out there as an observation) wouldn’t let us read any. That is, until we were in seventh or eighth grade. As a class we chose One Evil Summer, and I LOVED it! To this very day, it’s still one of my most fave books. I even have it signed by R.L. Stine himself!

10. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – I wasn’t necessarily “forced” to read Twilight by any one person or class. Instead, because I was studying to become a librarian, and because of all the hype and media buzz surround it, I felt like I had no choice but to cave and find out what this book was all about.

(* The above photo was taken and altered by me. Please do not take it!)

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