Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School || “Required Reading” I Loved

When I saw this was “Back to School”-themed I thought, 😮 I haven’t been in school in forever! (And by forever, I really been 5 years because that’s when I graduated college.) I do work for a school district (<3) so occasionally, I get to visit schools but not often.

I thought a really fun idea would be to pick books that were considered “required reading” in English classes, and pick the ones I really enjoyed. I think I can remember that far back… XD

Top Ten Tuesday topics are provided by The Broke and the Bookish. Don’t forget to leave your TTT and I’ll check it out! 🙂


The first book that always comes to mind is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I read it when I was a senior in high school, and I’ve come to believe that this is the book that ultimately made me fall in love with literature and make me want to become an English major. I’ve always been a reader. When I went through a very dark period in high school, reading was my one love (along with music). After reading the book, my class watched the 1995 BBC adaptation of the book, and hello, we all know how great that is.

purple hibiscus

I read this my junior (senior? I forget) year of college for a world literature class. I instantly fell in love with this book. If you haven’t read anything by Adichie, this would be a good book to start with, I think. It’s a coming-of-age story about 15-year-old Kambili. I can’t even describe it so I’ll take the synopsis from Goodreads and hope it entices you: “This is a book about the promise of freedom; about the blurred lines between childhood and adulthood; between love and hatred, between the old gods and the new.” After reading this, I devoured everything Adichie wrote and she’s one of my favorite contemporary authors.

jane eyre

I first read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë when I was in 9th grade. Little did I know how much I would fall in love this book when I grew older! I reread it when I was in college and wow, wow, wow! Of course, it has that lovely forbidden romance trope that I am a sucker for. But Jane is a strong-minded woman although she’s very mild-mannered. If you haven’t read this classic, please add it to your list. It’s a bit darker than say, Austen, but it’s beautiful all on its own.

When I took one of my final courses in college, my professor really liked the modernist/post-modernist movement so we read Woolf and James Joyce. Joyce was all right (too much stream of consciousness for me) but Woolf I fell in love with. I also read Mrs. Dalloway but the two books above were my favorite. Brilliant introspection, complex characters, subtle tension–so good!

brave new world

This is one of the first dystopian novels I read that I actually liked. I read 1984 by George Orwell when I was in high school and distinctly remember not liking it. I imagine if I reread it, I might actually enjoy it, but Brave New World I loved! I can’t even remember why. It was a quick and easy read but I also remember it being…creepy and oddly liberating. That’s a very poor description but if you like older dystopian novels, this is a good one to add to your list.

Travels with Charley

I took a writing class in college that specifically dealt with how to write “travel writing.” Does that even make sense? lol Anyways, this book was one of the required reading. I have never read anything by Steinbeck (:o Sue me!) so I went into this non-fiction book completely blind, and I’m glad I did. This book tells the story of Steinbeck on his travels across America with this dog, Charley. I remember very specifically that he writes the dog so well–almost like a human being! It was adorable.

The Giver

I actually read this book when I was in 6th grade (15+ years ago :o) and I remember not understanding it. When it became a movie a few years ago, I determined to read the book before watching the movie so I checked it out from the library and read it within a few days. This is a good book, it’s short, sweet, and while it may not have a lot of depth, the writing and concept are both very good. If you want something easy to read that fits the dystopian theme, this is another one!

So I’m afraid I have to stop at 8. A lot of the books I enjoy now stem from a lot of the books I loved in high school and college, i.e. I read a lot of classics, thanks to Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. There are a slew of plays I read in high school (thanks, Shakespeare) but it was difficult for me to get into them while I read them in my head.

Anyways, what’s your Back to School TTT? Or have you read any of these and really liked them?

5 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Back to School || “Required Reading” I Loved

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s