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"Best and Worst of Required Reading", 9th Feb 2018, 8:01 PM #1
swamp
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Most of us had to read the classics, so what ones really stuck with you? Which do you wish you'd never seen?
Crime & Punishment was literally life altering for me. I also liked Lord of the Flies and was a huge Jane Austen fan.
On the other hand, I could not slog through My Antonia, got heebie jeebies from Love in the Time of Cholera. The Crucible was good but I was annoyed with the ending, and honestly I am 100% down to fight Hemmingway. I know I'd lose, but that's okay.
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9th Feb 2018, 8:17 PM #2
Nyomi
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All of my required readings in 5th grade (wow, goes to show how much those stuck with me) were pretty great: The Giver and Where the Red Fern Grows were both pretty amazing books. Um... I took a "Literature" class in 7th grade and I enjoyed all of those too, but those were "The Hunger Games" and some book I cannot figure out what the title was that had a kid with anger issues and a smart, cocky kid with a heart condition. I really want to find that second book again. It was great. I also had "The Outsiders" for required reading in 8th grade english, and that's arguably my favorite book I've had to read for class.

I haven't really enjoyed most of the things I've been forced to read since High School started, though. Or at least, I've been pretty indifferent. Reading Shakesphere is actually pain. The Odyssey was alright- wasn't my favorite thing to read but I thought the story was interesting at least. The Crucible... exists. Pretty indifferent about that. Of Mice and Men is probably the biggest exception- I enjoyed that read minus the insane amount of classwork we had to do with it. To Kill a Mockingbird was pretty good, but again, I had an insane amount of classwork to go with it and that kind of killed the book for me. (Also, I couldn't stop comparing it to "A Time to Kill" and I thought A Time to Kill was better.)

It's Feb and I haven't read a single required book since Junior year started. :C
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9th Feb 2018, 8:44 PM #3
JammyTheBirb
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I can remember two, of Mice and Men (which was okay, but I enjoyed the Robert Burns poem it was named after more than the story itself heh. man, we did SO MUCH school work on that story) and An Inspector Calls which was bloody boring. It's just a family and a detective sitting at a table talking for two acts, everyone is unlikeable, and it feels like a bland version of A Christmas Carol without the interesting bits. It's just doom and gloom all the way through.
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9th Feb 2018, 8:48 PM #4
swamp
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I wanted to add a middle school read I loved: The Body of Christopher Creed
One of my main characters is actually named for it.
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9th Feb 2018, 8:52 PM #5
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Due to some wacky shenanigans, I ended up having to read Macbeth twice in highschool. I was okay with it the first time, but you can’t read it twice and have to write four analysis essays about it without the whole thing being at least a little ruined at that point.

Other than that, I don’t remember most of the required reading I had to do, with the main exception being 1984. The ending really shook me.
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9th Feb 2018, 8:55 PM #6
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I loved "The Lord of the Flies", I went to school in Norway but it was required read also there, as "foreign literature". I read the whole book in one go, the teacher not at all happy about that, he wanted us to read only the first chapters and then have us guess, speculate or discuss what would happen next xD
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9th Feb 2018, 9:04 PM #7
swamp
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That's... such bad teaching IMO. If you want kids to love reading, you can't punish them for enjoying it too much.
(I personally also think students would get more out of school reading if they were allowed to talk about where they thought books went wrong, not just how great they were. A student will get a lot more from explaining exactly why a book bored them then digging through a book they hated to talk about how wheat was a metaphor for death)
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9th Feb 2018, 9:27 PM #8
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in Louisiana my teacher spoke about the revolutionary war like this to try and teach it "so this guy George Washington was like nuh-uh. not happenin. and the king was like, oh yeah we are!"

okay you get the gist. I found that annoying. she punished us by making us bring home a blank sheet to get signed which also really annoyed me.


it was a magnet school for art and this teacher taught me a range of subjects including English. I don't remember the name of the book we had to read but it gave me nightmares. it was about a hidden society of people who wore human flesh over their bodies. I don't remember if it was due to a disease they had, wether or not they were murdering victims to aquire the flesh, or anything because I blocked it from my memory.

the point of the book was that they were misunderstood and the main character became one of them.

really freakin disturbing.

that also annoyed me.

everything about that course annoyed me.

Merged Doublepost:

econdon:in Louisiana my teacher spoke about the revolutionary war like this to try and teach it "so this guy George Washington was like nuh-uh. not happenin. and the king was like, oh yeah we are!"

okay you get the gist. I found that annoying. she punished us by making us bring home a blank sheet to get signed which also really annoyed me.


it was a magnet school for art and this teacher taught me a range of subjects including English. I don't remember the name of the book we had to read but it gave me nightmares. it was about a hidden society of people who wore human flesh over their bodies. I don't remember if it was due to a disease they had, wether or not they were murdering victims to aquire the flesh, or anything because I blocked it from my memory.

the point of the book was that they were misunderstood and the main character became one of them.

really freakin disturbing.

that also annoyed me.

everything about that course annoyed me.


I should mention that was fifth grade but I feel I deserved better. I had good history classes in high school being in the east or not
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9th Feb 2018, 10:35 PM #9
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I don't remember any required-reading books I specifically disliked, but I absolutely hated the pace of things. We would read maybe four books a year - so about ten weeks per book.

Spending ten weeks endlessly analyzing To Kill A Mockingbird or Romeo and Juliet is torture. They are not all that complicated. They don't hide their intentions behind layers of abstruse metaphor or cryptic reference. They aren't long - I could read either in an hour or two. But we had to spend week after week, slowly going through them. I hated my English classes because I was such a good reader, and the classes were so tedious.

In high school, I was elected to the student council, and the English department teachers were our class sponsors so they were involved as well. Their jaws basically hit the floor when I made an offhand reference to "prolefeed" - Nineteen Eighty-Four was not on our required reading list, and they'd gotten the impression that I didn't read things except grudgingly and at gunpoint. Not so - I just really didn't like having to spend so long on one little book. I guess they only noticed that I sat in the back and didn't pay attention, and didn't realize I wasn't paying attention because I had my nose in a translation of Euripedes or a single-volume Foundation Trilogy.
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9th Feb 2018, 10:46 PM #10
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God, I had to actually read the Bible and do memory verses in Christian homeschool. It was a bit of a mixed bag for me, given that I'm a Budeo-pagan - still quite interesting though.

English Literature A-Levels were a bit of a pain, especially with the really old teacher we had (she was great but still a bit horrendous to work with, really). We had to do texts from an anthology and they were great though I'd really rather not memorize all of them for a goddamn essay. Shakespeare was also quite the slog at certain points but really enjoyable if I shifted my mindset to account for contexts and did some research. We did Midsummer Night's Dream, Antony and Cleopatra and Measure for Measure - the last one was a bitch to get through, and I got really irritated at the novice nun for being so...ineffectual in the end, really.

Emma by Jane Austen on the other hand...I never finished in time for the exam but somehow still got an A.

Uni reading can go to hell really but John Tosh's What is History was quite a good shakeup for me.
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9th Feb 2018, 11:27 PM #11
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Wuthering Heights is the worst I've had to read. Too many pages and too much misery.

I've had to read The Tempest multiple times for different classes. I don't love it, but I remember more from it than any other Shakespeare plays, so it's my favorite by default. Gonna spend the rest of my time in school avoiding Shakespeare whenever I can though. (Avoiding him is actually what led to me reading Wuthering Heights... I can't win...)
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9th Feb 2018, 11:56 PM #12
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Haha what is "classics" in denmark we had to read terrible romance shit like "dig og mig ved daggry" which is about sex and drugs and parents coping with their kid's death except there's no action or drama just people talking

I don't think I enjoyed any of the books we had to read... not because they were all terrible I just hate being rushed to read a book and having to do homework about it
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10th Feb 2018, 12:17 AM #13
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Its a tie between Prince and the Pauper, Treasure Island, and Hound of the Baskervilles (I hope I got that title right) for the ones I hated. I thought they were all boring and uninteresting

The only required reading book I actually enjoyed was How to Kill a Mockingbird
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10th Feb 2018, 12:18 AM #14
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High school the best classic books were Oedipus Rex, Antigone, and Beowulf.I don't remember anything being boring except some if the short stories we read.

The worst in College were Moby Dick and Slaughter House Five. I enjoyed Macbeth.

Adding a summer reading book from eighth grade even though it is not a classic it is one of my favorite books called How We Live Now.
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10th Feb 2018, 12:30 AM #15
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I remember reading To Kill a Mockingbird, and then watching the movie to compare and contrast the differences. The book was much better.
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10th Feb 2018, 2:55 AM #16
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For some reason in 8th grade the teachers straight-up had us read Stephen King's Misery??? There literally wasn't even any rationale given, they were just like "hey, do you guys wanna read a fun horror novel, well here ya go" and then we watched the film afterwards and there was just... hardly any analysis at all tbh, I don't even remember writing anything for that class, I don't know what was going on in that class, it was the best
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10th Feb 2018, 3:24 AM #17
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I never had too much of a problem with required reading, but I actually hated most Shakespeare. Especially Julius Caesar, and I'm usually a sucker for political intrigue.

The thing is, I love Shakespeare when cool old British actors with "Sir" and "Lady" titles play the characters on stage, but sitting down and actually reading it is a bit of a tough slog.
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10th Feb 2018, 7:28 AM #18
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I enjoy a lot of classics, even the ones I'm forced to read.
So far we've done Of Mice and Men, An Inspector Calls, and The Strange Case of Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde. My English class is working through a poetry anthology at the moment and I have nothing against the poems, I just don't understand how we can spend so much time analyzing them.
The thing I hate the most is being told to write on the books though. It's messy and seems disrespectful.
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10th Feb 2018, 12:05 PM #19
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At first I couldn't remember any, then I remembered the horrible Richard Matheson short story, Duel, which our class had to read twice. Stupid substitute teacher not believing the entire class telling her we had already read it. Man, I was rooting for Keller to run the whiny protagonist off the road and die horribly in a flaming car crash.

Going through the comments did jog memories of being assigned To Kill A Mockingbird (meh) and Of Mice And Men (okay, but nothing special).

Not technically assigned, but when I got cast in a school play production of Diary of Anne Frank, the director wanted us to read the book to help us with our characterization, but Dussel in the diary is different enough from the Dussel in the play, that I had to give up reading it.
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10th Feb 2018, 1:18 PM #20
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"The Jungle" by Upton Sinclair. Hated it! Also agree with Jean_Q_Citizen, I did not like Julius Caesar.

I enjoyed To Kill a Mockingbird and Grapes of Wrath.
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