Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Was Forced to Read

Posted October 15, 2013 by Kara in Kara, Lyn, Top Ten Tuesday / 17 Comments

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a heme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic:Top Ten Books I Was Forced to Read (either by teachers, friends, other bloggers, reviews)

Isn’t there anything better than peer pressure book requests or scholastic-oriented assigned reading? Every walk of life has felt the pressure of required reading – either for pleasure or for a grade. 

However, sometimes it ends up in our favor.

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I can’t think of an awesome tagline, but I had to include this gif this week.

This week, Kara and Lyn reveal their top required reads! Enjoy!

Lyn’s Picks
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Angelfall by Susan Ee
Required by: Newly Acquired GR Friends
When the YA GR group took newbie Lyn under it’s wing, I quickly figured out that this book was hot in the community, and that I would gain some secret merit badge if I read it. Like a virus, I quickly pushed the book onto others in my real life. This book is made of awesome.
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Required by: High School AP English teacher
This book was one of the first novels that challenged the idea of organized religion and the dangers it poses for current victims.  The ending shocked me, and the culture study in the novel was highly fascinating.
Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
Required by: High School Freshman English Teacher
While everyone else in the class complained and grumbled, I fully embraced a chance to study Shakespeare and understand what the hell he was saying. MND is my favorite play by this author.  It helps that I love the character Puck from Disney’s 1993 cartoon Gargoyles
Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt
Required by: 5th Grade Teacher
This novel, printed in 1981, seemed to catch a strong following in my hometown 10 years later.  I recalled my fifth grade teacher praising the book, and picked it up the following year in 6th grade, when I spent my lunch time in the library (I was one of those kids). 
One by Kathryn Otoshi
Required by: Children’s Literature Teacher 
Picture books seem to get very little credit. To this day, One is at the top of my favorite picture book list.  The message and the artwork is nothing less than genius.
Kara’s Picks:
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Required by: Husband
I read this at work over about a week between room service orders when I lived in Orlando. It was one that Dan recommended as he thought due to my taste at the time that I might like it. It’s slow and a little dry but I actually really DID enjoying. Warning: this is a true story and it is incredibly disturbing but fascinating at the same time.
The Riverside Shakespeare by William Shakespeare
Required by: College Shakespeare Professor
I took an entire class on Shakespeare, and although I was just going to choose Macbeth (because it is my favorite Shakespeare play), I decided to choose the entire textbook that we used because that’s not really cheating right? Every play was in one book. Ha. I am nothing if not resourceful.
Inca Gold  by Clive Cussler
Required by: Dad
There was a time when my dad was a huge Clive Cussler fan. For the longest time he tried to get me to read his books, and I eventually caved. I think this one was the first one I read (I loved it) and then I went back and started reading the series from the beginning. At this point I have read them all except for his most recent, which I DNFed because they just aren’t good anymore. Sad.
Required by: African American Literature and Writing Professor
I actually remember a lot of the content in this one. It’s pretty much the ONLY thing I remember from this course except for my final paper on Malcolm X. I respect Frederick Douglass a lot for all the hardship he went through and the fact that he still fought to educate himself when it was practically impossible. He is an amazing and inspiring man. People like him come along once in a lifetime. Apparently a lot of readers have trouble with the narrative in this one but it was never an issue for me.
The Odyssey by Homer
Required by: Humanities Professor
This is still my favorite classic after all this time. This book is the reason I am such a huge fan of Greek mythology and I pretty much dislike all retellings of the Greek myths. You could call me a purist, I guess. Some readers find The Odyssey boring, but I was never one of them. I was fascinated by all of Odysseus’ adventures: his encounter with the Cyclops Polyphemus, Circe, Medusa, Scylla and Charybdis, etc. It captured my attention from first page to last. 
Thoughts on our picks? Do you have any of the same? Thing we have awful taste? Let us know! 🙂


17 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Books I Was Forced to Read

  1. Angelfall!! That book was so amazing. And that ending…definitely can’t wait for World After!
    I really should read The Odyssey. As in, the proper version. I only read a modified version for kids. While that was entertaining, it probably doesn’t hold a candle to the original haha.

  2. Great picks from both of you! I loved Angelfall, too, Lyn. And Kara, I am in love with Shakespeare. I’m doing a class next semester called Shakespeare in Performance, and we’re actually going to England to see three plays as part of the class *grin* I can hardly wait!

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

  3. I’ve only read The Odyssey and A Mid Night Summer’s Dream from your lists – Both were required in high school English classes. Don’t remember them that well, but I don’t recall liking them much. I have a feeling that had more to do with them being required and picking apart every single sentence for class. Maybe I’ll reread them someday 🙂 Great list!

  4. Ahhh I was pressured into reading Angelfall because of all the peer pressure too 😉 And I was SO GLAD that I did, it was completely awesome.

    I’ve always wanted to read In Cold Blood. I should fix that!

  5. I am so sad I missed the topic this week. 🙁 It would’ve been really fun–and hard–for me to put my own list together. But I love both of your lists. Yay, you both put Shakespeare!! Double Yay for Kara and the whole damn book! *fistpump* LOL.
    Also, have not read Angelfall yet, but I will sometime in the coming months and then I will tell others that Lyn was my reason for the reading. 😛

    Great post, ladies. =D


  6. hahaha I was totally forced to read Angelfall too. One of my GR friends actually loaned her Kindle copy to me thus forcing me to start it immediately.
    I’m totally intrigued by In Cold Blood and will read that someday. Glad to know you enjoyed it though! Great picks. 🙂

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