Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a back to school freebie! I actually had this all lined up to go for the back to school freebie last year but totally forgot to post it 🙈 So I’ve been saving this as a draft in case another occasion came to use this topic and I’m in luck! Being a huge reader, you would think I loved reading the books assigned for homework. Not the case-I actually despised reading for school. However, there were a few books that have stuck with me and that I did actually enjoy (and do the assigned reading for).
1. THE ILLIAD by Homer
One of the most well known pieces of literature, and for good reason. I loved reading The Iliad not only for the fantastic stories, awesome characters, and non-stop action, but also because it’s so rich with Greek mythology and history. And now that I’ve read this, next I need to conquer The Odyssey.
2. THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien
I’ve actually had to read this three times. Once in high school, and twice for two different college courses. My opinion on the book has never changed-it’s amazing. It comes across as both a memoir and metafiction, and the reader never really knows which of the stories the author is being completely truthful about and which have been exaggerated for the point of storytelling. This book has stuck with me since I first read it at seventeen, and will continue to stay with me for a long time.
3. HAMLET by William Shakespeare
If we’re being completely honest, I never really enjoyed reading Shakespeare in high school. I found it too difficult to read and didn’t really put forth any effort into trying to understand both the language and the plots. Hamlet was probably the only story I somewhat enjoyed, and that was due to previously having read a Young Adult story told through the point of view of Ophelia. Thankfully, my opinion on Shakespeare has changed since then.
4. THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller
I think my obsession with the Salem Witch Trials is the cause for love of reading this play. But I still think it’s a great story that shows the effects of mass hysteria and fear on a town.
5. NUMBER THE STARS by Lois Lowry
I read this when I was like, eleven, and yet I still absolutely loving it. It became my favorite book and I begged my mom to buy it for me so I could read it again (she didn’t). To this day, I remember every detail about it and it’s a story that has stuck with me since.
6. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The first time I read The Great Gatsby for class, I hated it. I thought all the symbolism was completely stupid and I couldn’t stand the book. The second time I had to read it for a class I was more open about it, and I ended up liking a lot better. I also understood a lot more of what I read was reading, but that also could have been because I kept my copy from high school, which was full of my notes and explanations.
7. MACBETH by William Shakespeare
Like I said before, as I got older, I developed a better appreciation for Shakespeare. Macbeth is one of my favorites, partly because it’s so dark. I’ll also never forget that we had to memorize a monologue for an English class in high school and I chose the infamous “Double, double, toil and trouble” speech.
8. THE GOOD SOLDIERS by David Finkel
I love reading military memoirs, and this was perfect. For the most part, all of the soldiers in the 2-16 were only 18 to 22 years old, and it was incredibly heartbreaking and sobering to read about their experiences, hardships, and traumas. The numerous photos shown throughout made the reading experience feel almost personal, and all the more painful upon reaching the end of the book, where all the young men who died were listed.
9. THE OUTSIDERS by S. E. Hinton
Okay, I’ll be completely and admit I don’t remember much from this book anymore; to be fair, it’s been almost fifteen years since I had to read it for middle school. But what I do remember is really enjoying it at the time. Also: “Stay gold, Ponyboy.”
10. A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM by William Shakespeare
I don’t know why my younger self didn’t appreciate this play more. While it’s not my favorite, I still like it. From love triangles to fairies to talking donkeys, it’s pretty entertaining to say the least.