I’m not sure why I didn’t make this topic years ago. While everyone has their share of horror stories about books they didn’t enjoy reading in school…what were some you did like?
For my part, Pride and Prejudice, Hamlet, Tom Sawyer, The Count of Monte Cristo, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Out of the Silent Planet/Perelandra, and Our Town are some of the books/plays I read for school that became particular favorites of mine.
Wow, @John_Smith, you’re the only other person I’ve ever heard of who had to read Out of The Silent Planet for school (I also enjoyed it quite a bit, though the rest of my class hated it). I’ve enjoyed Fahrenheit 451, Number of the Stars, The Great Divorce (another C. S. Lewis book), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Count of Monte Cristo was good too, but I don’t think I liked it as much as most people.
It didn’t happen with that book, but there were a lot of times when I loved a book everyone else hated lol. If you haven’t read Perelandra too, I highly recommend it! (Not as sure about That Hideous Strength, the third book in the series. It’s much longer than the others and is mostly set on Earth–I got about halfway through and got bored, though I think it picks up later.)
Gosh, I don’t remember too many of them, but I know there were some I really enjoyed.
Probably my favorite piece of literature we read in high school, especially because we got to act it out, in a way. I got to read for a few different characters, and I loved putting my roleplay experience into practice.
Sadly, I was the only one in my class who put any sort of effort or enjoyment into reading a character, so there were some awkward shifts from bored high-schooler voices to my fake flightly British accent.
In terms of the piece itself, it was outstandingly humorous, I was laughing the whole time. Definitely a must-read for anyone.
Another good play we got to read for. I wasn’t as “experienced” in acting then, though, but I do remember doing a cringey video project on it.
Both amazing books! Don’t really have anything much to say about them that hasn’t already been said, except that for me Fahrenheit was much better on a repeat read, and Mockingbird was much more investing than I thought it was going to be.
Another Shakespeare classic, though I admit I became less invested as our reading of it went on. Don’t think I’ll ever get to reading it again, but I do still appreciate it.
Some I read and enjoyed that I haven’t seen yet:
Tuesdays with Morrie, a very sad novel concerning Alzheimer’s.
A Child Called It, not one my whole class read, but one I read independently for school. Also very disturbing, deals with child abuse.
The Tale of Despereaux, one I read a very, very long time ago, probably junior high. Had a mediocre movie version made of it.
Go Set a Watchman, a postmortem and edited release of To Kill a Mockingbird’s original draft. Is apparently very controversial because of how the characters are so different, but I really enjoyed it.
The Crucible, a novel about the Salem Witch Trials in America in the 1600s. Very good if you want to feel paranoid about other peoples’ paranoia.
The Metamorphosis, a surreal dive into insanity with some Gothic horror elements. My class argued constantly over whether or not Gergor actually became a bug.
Anything by Edgar Allen Poe.
The Room with the Yellow Wallpaper, another good dive into insanity.
Straight Man, a hilarious fictionalization of a college professor’s true story that actually takes place in a fictional version of my own college campus.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane, a great urban fantasy book by the author of Coraline, has some very compelling story elements and characters.
The White Tiger, a rather vulgar yet deeply intriguing story concerning the economic and caste system in India. Is a lot more interesting than I just made it sound.
And probably a bunch more I can’t remember and don’t have any paperwork to remember them by.
If there’s any high schoolers in this thread right now (heck, even some college folks), do yourself a favor and READ! These required books will probably be many people’s only exposure to these great works, and you can learn so much of value from them!
The ones I remember enjoying were Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mocking Bird and Twelth night. I would also highly recommend Albert Camus’ L’etranger or The stranger, it’s a great book about the concept of absurdity and dealing with an uncaring universe.