Growing up, I often bristled at the assigned reading in school. Part of it was probably that I was in the midst of another book that I was reading from pleasure and regretted the time I had to spend reading the stuff for school.
This week’s Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by the Broke and the Bookish) is a back-to-school theme. So, I decided to look back at the books that were assigned reading and that I might want to visit again now that I’m a bit older.
- The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzergald. A good friend with a deep background in literature told me that she feels that Gatsby is “wasted” on many of us in high school. She said she didn’t love it when it was assigned (I didn’t either) and that it benefited a great deal from reading it again later in life. I’m curious about this. And reading John Grisham’s Camino Island this summer, which centers on several Fitzgerald manuscripts being stolen, has piqued my interested to visit or re-visit Fitzgerald and Gatsby.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain. This is one that I didn’t mind reading in high school, but I’d still like to visit it again to see if it holds up to my memories of it.
- Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Reading it in school, I was always fascinated by how it translated to the screen and how the pop culture images we have of the Frankenstein creation differ from the novel. As a fan of sci-fi, I sometimes feel like I should re-read it since it’s one of the original sci-fi novels.
- A Separate Peace by John Knowles. After enduring Lord of the Flies as a high school freshman, our next assigned novel as A Separate Peace. I recall enjoying this one a great deal but looking back I wonder if it because A Separate Peace was so good or that I’d really didn’t like Lord of the Flies and anything else seemed great by comparison.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. This was part of a literature course in college and it’s come back onto my radar lately with the highly acclaimed Hulu adaptation. I don’t recall much about the book from the course, but I feel like I’d have a different reaction to it if I read it now.
- Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls. In elementary school, I had several teachers who would read to the class each day. One of the more memorable books as Where the Red Fern Grows. I went on to re-read it multiple times growing up, but I’ve not read it in close to two decades. I still have vivid memories of certain parts of the story, especially the ending. I’m curious to see how it would hold up if I re-read it now.
- The Light in August by William Faulkner. My sophomore English teacher wanted me to challenge myself as a reader, so she assigned me this book by Faulkner to read. I will admit that a lot of it was lost on me at the time and I’m curious to visit it again and see if I enjoy it more now that I’m older.
That’s about all I can think of for now.
So, what about you? Any great works that you want to visit again?