Oct 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday (54)

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature meme created by The Broke and the Bookish.

This Tuesday's theme is...

Top Ten Books I Was Forced To Read

Required reading. Not always my favorite two words, even though I love to read. My problem with that was that I wasn't reading by choice, and I pretty much always wanted to be reading something else instead. That said, there were actually quite a few books that I read in school and really liked (and loved!). So here are some books I read in high school for school and liked!

I thought it had something to do with mockingbirds and killing them. 
But in actuality, that's not what it's about. In actuality, To Kill a Mockingbird is a fantastic and amazing book. It's simplistic with a message, and is told from the POV of a young girl named Scout. Her (white) father speaks for a black man in court, and it shows the hardships racism (and avoidance, when it comes to shut-in Boo Radley) of being black in the south. It also has a court scene that just had me completely engrossed. And it's one of my favorite books.

"To be or not to be--that is the question." That is the line Hamlet is probably most well-known for, and if you're asking yourself "to read or not to read," the answer is "to read." I've read a handful of Shakespeare sans SparkNotes (Hamlet, Othello, A Midsummer Night's Dream) and so far Hamlet is most definitely my favorite. Despite Hamlet's psychoticness, there's something kind of swoony about him. Add to that a grand story that, for the most part, fails to bore, and I love this book.

I did not expect to love this book. I really don't think I did. I chose to read this off a reading list for a book report, and bam, I fell in love. It's a wonderful story about a girl working as a servant for famed painter Johannes Vermeer (actual painter of "Girl With a Pearl Earring") and falling for him. In short, Cavalier creates a story about who the girl with a pearl earring is and why she was painted. It's not a YA book, but the MC is sixteen. Either way, I'd highly recommend it.

Big Brother is watching. Always. He's always watching. You're never really alone or free, for Big Brother is always watching you. Did you know that George Orwell actually predicted some things in this book that would happen in real life? Crazy, right? And what's so interesting about 1984 is that it shows what the world could be like if the government had too much control. When I read this in class, we also watched V for Vendetta, which is a great companion to 1984.

The original messed-up book about kids. Seriously, if you're a fan of Michael Grant's Gone series or The Hunger Games, you should totally read Lord of the Flies. It's about a bunch of young boys (not teenagers) getting stranded on an island. It's not Lost, but it's not quite Swiss Family Robinson either. There's blood. Death. A pig's head on a stick. And Piggy, who has "ass-mar." But it's also a really, really good book.

The first dystopian--er, utopian? The Giver is fantastic. Set in a world where everything is meant to be perfect--no war, no fear, no pain--The Giver explores what it's like to live there when you don't think in the way of perfection. I know my description of this book stinks (I read several years ago), but you should totally read it. And it's going to be a movie! (And Taylor Swift has a role in. Let's hope that she goes all Charlie Hunman on us and bails. Otherwise, we're just going to pretend she's not there.)

A book I'd heard about it and looked like my kinda book, and a classic with romance! Not that classics don't have romance, but they don't always have a lot. That said, I believe I quite liked The Great Gatsby. It was a love story, yet not. And it had two somewhat and debatedly messed up characters. I'm still not sure what I think of the movie (the most recent one, by Baz Luhrman), but if that's stopping you from reading this classic, please don't let it.

Of all the books I was required to read in school, I think was the one with the most current setting. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is about a fifteen-year-old boy with Asperger syndrome who tries to solve the murder of his neighbor's dog. What makes this book so interesting is that it's told from his POV: we get to try and understand what it may be like to have Asperger syndrome. So much of this book was meticulously done to fit the way the MC thinks, even with how the chapters were numbered. If you're looking YA literature that's serious yet light, I'd highly recommend it.

The book I knew of because of Twilight. I believe it was in Eclipse that Wuthering Heights was mentioned a few times, which intrigued me to read it when it was on a list of books I could read for a report. Going into it, I think I was expecting more of a love story. Instead, I found a love story that was full of broken, possibly crazy people. This was one of the first books I'd read where the writing sounded ancient, so I think it would greatly benefit from being read twice. Also, I think I love Heathcliff. And Cathy is crazy.

The simple yet heartbreaking book. Of Mice and Men certainly isn't my favorite classic, but there's something about this book that I like. It features two friends, one of which is handicapped. It follows their adventure as a woman is accidentally killed and they try to save themselves. And the end...Well, I'll let you read that for yourself.

Some Nonfiction Picks
(Note: I didn't read all of the last two, but what I did read I liked and would someday like to read the whole thing.)


  1. 1984 and Lord of the Flies were school books that I ended up liking too. I was not a fan of Gatsby. Too sexist for my liking :( Night made my list too and I would like to read The Giver someday... I've heard so much about it, but it just looks so thin!

    My TTT

  2. Oh noooo how did I forget about the Curious Incident?! I love that book. :L Lame.
    I haven't read any of these, minus the dog, but I need to get to the classics. I never finished Gatsby though.
    Happy reading!

    My TTT

  3. To Kill a Mockingbird is one of my very all time favorites!
    My TTT

  4. Great list! Gatsy is on my list as well!


  5. I really loved The Great Gatsby and The Giver when I read them. If I had thought longer about this I would have found more books I'd loved that I read because of English class at school. But I struggled at the time! I had to read Lord of the Flies for English and really enjoyed it, as well as an abundance of Shakespeare plays that I really enjoyed as well.My TTT


I've been having s-to-the-pam issues, and I wasn't thrilled with Disqus, so sorry about the CAPTCHA!