The Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish
by Sue Monk Kidd. I played mental tug of war with the inclusion of this book on my list. Frankly, I hated it. If I was presented it in school, I probably wouldn’t have read it–simply gone to the cliffs notes and gone from there. However, it’s a coming of age book set in the South that’s beginning to break segregation. It’s an interesting culture clash read and it features not one, but four strong female lead characters. Those characters are what put this on my list.
by Paula McLain. I originally read this as part of a library reading program, and I fell in love with it. I dislike Hemingway (trust me, it’s a known fact. Don’t get me started on Steinbeck either). This story though makes him human, and it’s really interesting to see the devolution of this powerful young man into the bitter, whining, overly descriptive author that all high school English teachers salivate over. [I warned you. I really dislike Hemingway]. What’s really fun for me as a reader is to see other influential authors of the era come to life in the pages of this story.
by C.S. Lewis. While religious in context and tones, so a lot of schools would out right not teach it, I think it’s an interesting take on Man V. Man, Man V. Nature themes in literature. The setting itself lends to both the temptation and salvation of the man that’s the focus of this story. Plus, I really love C.S. Lewis’ work and I think The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe overshadow some really amazing books. The Screwtape Letters being one of them.
by Aldous Huxley. This book was taught in my high school. The 11th grade English classes, both honors and standard classes, were told to read this. This is one of the required books that I simply fell in love with. It’s a dystopian universe and there’s just so much going on. I wish this was taught to more schools, because when I mention it I tend to get blank stares.
by Kay Redfield Jamison. I read this as extra credit for my Abnormal Psychology course when I was in college, and I adored it. I’ve heard it compared to Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, and while I haven’t read that in completion (yet), I can see the similarities between that and An Unquiet Mind. This book is an incredible piece of non fiction describing in detail the episodic nature of manic-depressive illness. It’s at times really hard to read, but I think it’s something that would lead really interesting discussions in class.
by Koushun Takami. This book, this book, this book. This mammoth piece of literature. All I can say is read it. It is visceral and beautiful and has a strange poetic grace amongst all of the death and horrible things that go on within this book. You go into this knowing the out come, knowing that only one person survives and it manages to surprise you. It is not an easy book to read- in any sense of the word.I think books that we’re assigned to read for school should challenge us on some level, and this book certainly does that.
by Madeleine L’Engle. Again, this is on here really just because I wanted to put it on here. I have reasons for the other books, but I think that A Wrinkle In Time is such a great blend of genres and an amazing story that everyone should read it. It’s got great themes and I really love it.
by Laurie Halse. I read this on my own, after wandering through a book store. It’s the story of a girl who survived a sexual assault by one of the most popular boys in school, and the backlash from the community and her schoolmates. This book is a must read for me. I’ll gladly toss it at anyone with while shrieking, “READ THIS”. It’s a coming of age story that feels real and one worth reading.
This was a really fun one for me to do. Some of these books are taught in schools, and a couple of them I read while I was in high school/college–but when I mention them to friends who didn’t go to school with me I get blank looks. So this is my Top Ten Books I wish they taught in school. Let me know your thoughts on my list, and go ahead and link your Top Ten post in the comments below.