Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday: I’m Cheating (Sept. 29, 2015)

Yup! You read that right! I’m cheating this week because I am so far behind on books that I want to read that I wouldn’t even have a list to compile for all of you lovely people and that would just bore you to tears. So this week I am going to cheat. I’m making up my own theme entitled: ‘Grade School Required Reading: Good & Bad’.

Grade School Required Reading: Good & Bad

  1. Edgar Allen Poe
    So many works. So much time wasted on this man’s writing. I deeply detested his works when I was forced to read it in middle school and I still do. There was nothing in his writing that interested me. I was so loathsome to continue reading his books that I almost failed my class because of it. (Ironically, I have a tendency to write in the same dark, twisted fashion that is characterized in many of Poe’s works. Go figure.)
  2. William Shakespeare
    On the opposite end of the spectrum we have William Shakespeare, naturally. It’s required reading for high schools(at least in the US). Many people, even adults, don’t understand his language and the way he writes, which is understandable. First off, he created more than half the words he used. Second off, his form of English died centuries ago. Even so, I am one of those people who quite enjoys his works (for whatever reason).
  3. Wuthering Heights‘ by Emily Broente
    I have listed this book in past Top Ten Tuesdays, but I’m mentioning it again. While more contemporary than Shakespeare, it made even less sense to me. Not because of language, but simply because it existed. I never cared whether the characters got together or not, much less about their undying love for each, or what happened to them. Honestly, it never felt like a romance novel to me. Rather it felt like a bad soap opera where one character was spiraling further and further into depression. Woo. -.-
  4. A Clockwork Orange‘ by Anthony Burgess
    0.0 Um… yeah. This book was so twisted and grotesque that it gives Poe a run for his money and it was required literature for TEENS?! I just- no! It’s so inappropriate for teenagers even if the main characters are teenagers. I’m pretty sure that this book mentally scarred me and deterred from reading anything close to it for quite some time. Why a teacher would even think to have students read it, is beyond me.
  5. Animal Farm‘ by George Orwell
    Middle school! I was forced to read this highly grotesque and inappropriate book in middle school. Not only was I at an age where I couldn’t fathom what was going on and the social structure, but this book was so dark and twisted that I can’t think of anyone who enjoyed this.
  6. Catcher in the Rye‘ by J. D. Salinger
    Yeah, no. I don’t care at what age you read this, it makes no sense. The entire book was a teenage boy running around trying to ‘find himself’ in the most absurd ways possible only to come to the conclusion that he wants to catch kids from running off a cliff for the rest of his life… >.> Alright, maybe I just don’t get the underlying tones, or whatever the author was trying to say, but I still don’t like this book. I gained nothing from reading it.
  7. Of Mice and Men‘ by John Steinbeck
    This was another one of the books where I just went ‘um… what?’ The plot seemed… pointless. Nothing changed from the beginning of the book to the end of the book leaving me in a sense of confusion and bafflement when my class started trying to analyze it. What the point was, I’m not sure. I only remember the ending and even that left me wanting.
  8. Brave New World‘ by Aldous Huxley
    Dystopia for the win! Except not really. Honestly, I think my dislike for the book had a lot to do with the age at which I read (way too young) because I love dystopians. I love the framework of the society and the world built around it. Those are things that I can truly admire about this book, however, there are other things that I didn’t like about the book. So, while I don’t care much for the book itself, I respect the world in which it lives.
  9. Lord of the Flies‘ by William Golding
    Many a reader have declared their distaste for this novel, yet I quite enjoyed it. Perhaps it was the darkness of the plot, or the realism of what would happen in such a scenario. Whatever the case, I can say that I enjoyed reading this in school.
  10. The Canterbury Tales‘ by Geoffrey Chaucer
    I read this in my junior year of high school, a time at which I could actually comprehend some of the jokes and the witty comments. It’s for that reason that I actually quite enjoyed reading this book. Of course, my Brit Lit teacher helped with her enthusiasm. Still, it was interesting to read and one of the few books from school that I enjoyed.

I’m guessing you saw a pattern. Most books that I was forced to read in grade school were either just terrible, but were chosen because they were considered ‘classical literature’ or they were just inappropriate for the age at which I was forced to read them.

Now! Have any of you read these books, perhaps in school or after? What did you think of them? Did your perspective on the books changed if you read them again later in life? I’d love to hear from you! So, post in the comments below and tell me your thoughts.

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6 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: I’m Cheating (Sept. 29, 2015)”

  1. Wow your school curriculum sounds intense, I did not actually have that much required reading to do when I was in high school. It was only one book and year and primarily Shakespeare. Looking back, I wish I was forced to read more, as I do not really go for classics in my regular reading schedule and I feel like I am missing out. I love Brave New World, it and 1984 started my love for dystopia.

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    1. Haha! Yeah, my school was pretty intense. Actually, I read at least a dozen more books while I was in school, but most of them didn’t leave a lasting impression like the ones I listed. I do wish that I’d read more Shakespeare. Reading that type of literature in school is much easier because there’s someone guiding you through it and explaining all the colloquial terms. That’s probably the reason why I don’t read a lot of it now that I’m done with school, but you weren’t missing out on much. :p
      Ah! I love dystopians, too! I just finished The Giver and I’m hoping to buy a copy of 1984 on my next bookstore adventure so that I can educate myself in the ways of the dystopian world (since it’s my favorite genre to write in.) ^.^

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  2. OK, girl, we have to talk. I love Poe, but I can understand not liking him because he was an odd, dark writer. I like Wuthering Heights, too, but I can understand not liking it because it’s a bunch of horrible people doing horrible things to torture each other. (Which makes me sound weird for liking it, LOL.) I really want to point out, though, that as weird as A Clockwork Orange may be, it is a work of sheer linguistic genius!!!!!! The use of the Russian as slang is nothing short of brilliant and I remain convinced that you have to speak Russian and English fluently to appreciate it. Someday, I will teach you Russian and you will see the genius, LOL. 🙂

    I also hated Catcher in the Rye. It was a totally useless book, in my opinion. Canterbury Tales was just okay. I liked Lord of the Flies but can’t remember most of it, oddly enough. I have mixed feelings about Brave New World. It’s just… strange, if you ask me. I haven’t read Animal Farm. And OMG I love Shakespeare!

    Also, this Top Ten Tuesday thing looks fun. I may participate next week. 🙂

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    1. Bahaha! I’m so happy to hear your thoughts, especially given that most of them contradict with my own and, quite frankly, most people seem to enjoy Poe. Everything thinks I’m absolutely insane for detesting him in the manner that I do. Though, I account most of the loathing to my teacher that required me to read it. Perhaps if I were to read it now I would not carry such a disdain for his works as I did at the age of… what was it? 12? Ugh…
      Ah! Okay. I can now understand your interest in A Clockwork Orange. However, as I do not speak Russian, I did not find it interesting. I was also quite young when I read it. It was too much for my young brain to comprehend the intellectual nature and it’s quite grotesque for young minds.
      You should participate next week! It’s lots of fun! (Though, obviously I cheated this week. :p)

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