Thursday, August 29, 2013

{} School Assigned Reading

Thursday, August 29, 2013 with 3 comments

It seems that I only sporadically participate in book chats, as my last one was so long ago, but here I am again! This week's chat is about school reading assignments, so I'm going to break it into three parts:

- Favorite Assigned Books
- Assigned Books I Never Finished
- Books I Think Should Be Required Reading

Looking back, I really am grateful for assigned reading, because I discovered some great books that I would have probably never read otherwise. Here are some of the ones I am most grateful to have read:

Favorite Assigned Books

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I was assigned this book during 12th grade for AP English, and again during a college British Lit. class. I absolutely LOVE this story, and will probably be reading it again in the near future.
The Cobra Event by Richard Preston
I had a really cool English teacher in 10th grade, and he decided to assign us this cool medical thriller since we were part of a medical magnet program.
Amazonia by James Rollins
This was assigned as extra-credit from one of my favorite teachers - I had her for both Geography and Psychology, so I don't remember 100% what class the credit was for, but I'm thinking it was Geography. It was very cool, with mutated creatures and a guy that got beheaded.


Hamlet by William Shakespeare
My 12th grade teacher was the one to introduce me to Shakespeare, and even took us to see a performance of A Midsummer Night's Dream. I enjoyed reading Hamlet so much, I purchased a ticket to see it performed by David Tennant during a study-abroad trip to London! 
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
I will forever be grateful for my 8th grade teacher for converting our entire class into Tolkien fans - she wanted to be 100% certain we actually read this book, so she had us read along with an audiobook version of it during class-time. Then, she showed us the 1st LOTR film in class, and took us on a field trip to see the 2nd one in theaters. She rocked!
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Now my favorite book - my 12th grade English teacher was amazing! Thank you Ms. Ross!

Wow, so many great assigned reading books! I really had some cool teachers over the years....I think that part of why I enjoyed these books so much was that we got some really cool field trips or class discussions because of them. It's great to be able to connect with your peers because of what you're reading!

Assigned Books I Never Finished

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I lost interest somewhere down the line, but I still have my copy and I plan on trying it again.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
I honestly never even started this one. I think I had too much work at the time (it was senior year), so I just never got around to it. I must have BS'd the assignments for it...

I really can't think of any others at the moment, but I'm sure there are others that I either didn't finish, or didn't start in the first place. I'm not proud of it, but I have been making a mental note to try reading these books again. There's a reason they're considered classics. Maybe they'll go on my list for next year, as I'm hoping to join a classic literature-related year-long reading challenge in January. 

Books That Should Be Required

Looking For Alaska by John Green
Because it gets you truly gets you thinking about both life and loss.
feed by M.T. Anderson
I feel this sends a strong message about environmentalism, as well as consumerism, and really gets you thinking about the path that this planet is taking.
Openly Straight by Bill Konigsberg
This isn't just about LGBT acceptance, but also about learning to be true to yourself and embrace what makes you different, which is something every student faces.

There are a lot of great books out there that should probably be read by students everywhere, but this is what I narrowed it down to, as the above three books can be considered relate-able to almost anyone. What do you think?

If you're interested in participating in this week's book chat, feel free to link-up with Jessica @ Sweet Green Tangerine. I'm curious to see your choices!


  1. I've read The Scarlet Letter when I was younger (for fun, I like classics) but I didn't really appreciate it until the end. I think I was too young then to understand how complicated classical sentence construction works. But it has become one of my "oh my God that was beautiful" in the end.

    I haven't read Great Expectations!! It's...long. And Dickens is really not for everyone :/

    1. Haha - well, I read A Tale of Two Cities and Oliver Twist by Dickens and loved them, which is why I hope to give Great Expectations another shot someday...

  2. WOW! I was never assigned any of those and have only read one (Scarlet Letter). I'm going to have to check out several of these!


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