Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Most Memorable Books I Was Forced to Read





The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Junior high English. First assigned reading.
Took my breath away at how good it was.
EXPECTATION: Bad    END RESULT: Good

Heart of Darkness
High school English.
Loathed. Collectively.
We all hated it.
EXPECTATION: Bad    END RESULT: Bad

Don Quixote
High school English.
Taught by a teacher who loved it more than any other book.
We ended up feeling the same about it.
EXPECTATION: Bad    END RESULT: Good

Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
High school Western Thought class.
One of the most mysterious books I've ever read.
EXPECTATION: Bad    END RESULT: Good

Walden
High school English.
During the early 70's.
I wanted to go live in a little house in the country.
Sometimes I still do.
EXPECTATION: Bad    END RESULT: Good

Animal Farm
High school English.
First time I realized how difficult it is to change things.
EXPECTATION: Bad    END RESULT: Good

The Odyssey
College English.
What a ride!
EXPECTATION: Bad    END RESULT: Good

The Canterbury Tales
High school English.
I had to memorize the Prologue.
How is it that I still know the Prologue some forty years later?!
EXPECTATION: Bad    END RESULT: Good

The Glass Bead Game
High school Western Thought class.
Assigned for Western Thought,
but this book is about as Un-Western Thought as it gets.
EXPECTATION: Bad    END RESULT: Good

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
College Educational Philosophy class.
The only book assigned in the class.
The class didn't make,
but I'd already read the first chapter and I was hooked.
I often tell people this is my favorite book.
Pretty good for assigned reading
for a class that didn't even make.
EXPECTATION: Bad    END RESULT: Good


What are some assigned reading books that you won't forget?


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25 comments:

  1. I loved The Odyssey as a teen and I ended up helping out at a community theatre adaptation of it. It literally had it all in terms of romance, action, adventure, comedy etc. I couldn't get into the Virgil rip-off The Aeneid though.

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  2. The Odyssey has it all. I agree. And it had these first.

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  3. Oh, I haven't read any of these books but I have heard of some of them.
    here's our TTT

    Janhvi @ The Readdicts

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  4. Heart of Darkness was a horrible school read for me too. Such bad memories and then I had to watch Apocolypse Now as well and hated that too. Blech.

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  5. I ended up reading Animal Farm on my own, which was a treat because at that point I was specialising in Russian history and could see the analogies and parallels to it.

    Been meaning to read The Canterbury Tales; maybe I should've taken a course on it in uni...

    My TTT

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  6. Oh, the Odyssey was fun, and Animal Farm was chilling.

    You read some good books in high school then. There are some on your list that I haven't read but would like to: Tom Sawyer, Don Quixote, Metamorphosis, Walden, and Canterbury Tales... Especially Canterbury Tales.

    I was also assigned Heart of Darkness but don't remember much of it, except for where it's similar to Apocalypse Now. xD

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  7. Oh man, I truly, truly hated Heart of Darkness! The only book I think I hated more was Thomas Beckett's play, Waiting For Godot. BIGGEST WASTE OF MY LIFE EVER.

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  8. Assigned, but enjoyed, books--high school, college, other titles too far back to remember anymore :)

    To Kill A Mockingbird
    Animal Farm
    1984
    The Handmaids Tale
    A Tale of Two Cities
    A Midsummer Night's Dream
    A Doll House by Ibsen (Doll's?)
    Great Expectations
    etc.

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  9. The book I've never forgot is I am a Star, which I guess is good but boy was that hard going as a 10 year old.

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  10. Hahaha Heart of Darkness. We all hated it too. I haven't met anyone that highly recommends it. I'm sure those people exist, but I haven't met one yet.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books
    My TTT

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  11. Ugh. Metamorphosis was not a school book I enjoyed reading. *shudders* I really liked The Odyssey and Canterbury Tales, though. Great list!

    Mary @ Mary Had a Little Book Blog
    My TTT

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  12. I've never gotten all the way through Walden, but I adored Fahrenheit 451 in freshman English!

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  13. I don't think anyone in my class liked Heart of Darkness. Not even our teacher!

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  14. I was crazy about Animal Farm. It was a book I encouraged (forced?) both my sons to read.

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  15. I loved Tom Sawyer from the get-go. Tom seemed clever and I liked that.

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  16. Thanks, Elizabeth, for your thoughts on Godot. I will cross it off my Maybe Someday list right now.

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  17. I don't know I Am a Star. Off to see what I can find out about it.

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  18. Oh dear. I am a Star is a Holocaust story. Yes, very difficult for a ten-year-old, I think.

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  19. Haha, I'm teaching Heart of Darkness is a few months to my seniors. I already know I'm going to have a battle, but I'm up for the challenge.

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  20. Good for you, Christine! And when you finish battling with them, come and convert me!

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  21. A friend of mine did Classics at university, and had to read The Odyssey in Greek and do her own translation of it. Oy...

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  22. I'm imagining how much one would learn dorm doing that.

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  23. What a great post.

    If not exactly forced we were encouraged to read Jekyll and Hyde by our drama teacher who thought it was the best book ever written. Not able to live up to all his hype I found the book very disappointing.
    Julius Caesar I was forced to read in that it was one of the books we studied for O'level English lit. A dreadful book, it put me off Shakespeare for more years than I care to remember.

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  24. The Canterbury Tales was tough! Anne Frank was pretty good assigned reading.

    http://www.thecuecard.com/

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  25. I am so with you on Heart of Darkness. Smarty friends of my husband always like to recommend books to me because I read and one of them raved about this one. I ended up being confused and not even caring.

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