Top Five Wednesday: Required Reading

I hated very few books I had to read for school, but I didn’t love very many either. Most I just slogged through, but wound up feeling some sort of appreciation for them when I was done. But most of the books I did love, I still consider to be some of my very favorite books of all time. So extra special thanks to the English teachers/profs who chose/taught these so well:

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To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

An answer I suspect will be a common one. I read this in 9th grade English and loved it. I reread some or all of it every year or so and it’s been interesting to see how my reading of it has changed over time. P.S. — I still haven’t finished Go Set A Watchman, so let’s not talk about that yet.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

This was actually the last book I was ever required to read–in my junior year of college. Really beautiful, and interesting and it was evident it was a favorite of the professor’s as well. It was engrossing, but at the same time challenging, in the best possible sense. Not difficult to read, necessarily, but this twisted reality in a way that really made me think deeply about it.

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The Chosen by Chaim Potok

So this is almost cheating, because I read this in a book club I participated in in high school as an extra-curricular, but I would never have picked this book up without it being on the list for that group, so I’m counting it. The Chosen is one of those books I can’t quite entirely explain my love for. Maybe it’s the simple, striking prose, or the shattered innocence arc of the plot or something, but it’s been an absolute favorite of mine ever since I first read it nearly 10 years ago.

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I was reading another Fitzgerald recently–The Beautiful and Damned–and I was reminded why I loved The Great Gatsby so much. Fitzgerald makes you stop and go back and reread what you just read, just for the aesthetic of his sentence. The last couple of sentences make up one of the best quotes ever. “Gatsby believed in the green light…”

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The Kite Runner by Kahled Hosseini

Another extra curricular book club choice, but it was also assigned over the summer for AP English Lit and I put it off for awhile, knowing what was coming. A really haunting story about friendship and forgiveness, set in modern Afghanistan, an eye-opening look at that country for me.


Top Five Wednesday was created by GingerreadsLainey. To view the complete list of participants (and add your name to the list!) click here for the Goodreads group.

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3 thoughts on “Top Five Wednesday: Required Reading

  1. I didn’t enjoy Gatsby that much, I still need to read To Kill A Mockingbird and the KIte Runner. We didn’t really have required reading in my school (I lived in the UK) we were just given books to read for exams and even then we would read them as a class.

  2. I read TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD, THE KITE RUNNER but didn’t read any of these for required reading. I did read a different book by Chaim Potok that was interesting called ASHER LEV. Unfortunately I let someone borrow it and never got it back.

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