Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Tiara Talk: Required Reading

Let's talk about required reading lists.

We've all had to tackle them at some point or another, handed to us on a crisp new syllabus the first day of school or passed around on the last day to be dealt with over our precious summer vacations. Personally I've only ever received a summer reading list once and that was the summer before my AP English class my junior year of high school, the rest were all handed out the first day of school and outlined what we would be reading that semester.

I'll be honest, I always got a little bit excited the day that those lists would be passed out; curious to see what books the teacher believed were required for our betterment...or what the state dictated we read in most cases. In honor of that same honesty I'll admit I didn't always read the books on the list [Don Quixote and Moby Dick I'm looking at you!], I've written some pretty amazing essays on books that I only read a couple pages of.

On that same note there were some books that I read but can barely remember, they simply didn't resonate with me. Most surprising of all perhaps is the number of books I read that I absolutely loved and still treasure to this day. Such as:

- A Wrinkle In Time by Madeline L‘Engle [8th Grade]
- The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver [HS Sophomore]
- Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte [HS Sophomore]
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley [HS Senior]
- Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson [Adolescent Lit Course - College]
- Realm of Possibility by David Levithan [Adolescent Lit Course - College]
- Tracks by Louise Erdrich [Multi-Ethnic Lit Course - College]
- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card [Analysis of Fiction Course - College]

And those are just a few of the books that really stood out to me that have been required reading. [And yes, I know I’ve been blessed by some awesome English/Literature teachers/professors.]

What books do you remember as required reading? Did you like any of them? How many were you unable to get through? Are there any books that you think should be required reading but aren’t? Or maybe just books that are that shouldn’t be? Tell me what you guys think about required reading lists. :]


  1. I had to read Speak the summer before 10th grade I think, I loved that book so much! I also had to read The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold, which was a great read. I wasn't a big fan of Catch-22 which I had to read in English of 12th grade, but that was just because it was too confusing. I haven't read a lot of the books on your list, but I think I want to get more into some required reading type books

    Jess @ The Midnight Bookworm
    New Follower :)

  2. Wow, you got to read it in high school? That's pretty impressive considering how many schools have tried to ban it. I love Speak too. :]

    I've heard a lot of good things about The Lovely Bones, I even have a copy, but it was never required reading.

    I haven't read Catch-22 either. But I know of a lot of people that had to. Most of whom complained it was confusing.

    Thank you for following and taking the time to comment!