So I think, for the most part, a lot of us (even as readers) didn’t/don’t enjoy a lot of the required readings we were given in school. There’s actually only one book listed here that I had to read in high school, one that I read in university, and the rest that I read with a private tutor during high school. My school’s required readings were pretty atrocious and I may go into that someday but not in this post. Anyway, there are always a few gems and so I’m going to highlight my favorite required readings today!
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This is a story of a young girl in a sleepy Alabama town whose father teaches her about courage while he’s the defense attorney for a black man who, despite being innocent, will likely be proven guilty because of the heavy racism during the book’s time period. It’s a beautifully written story about prejudice, justice, courage, and growing up. Everything about it is absolutely fascinating and I would definitely read it again.
“I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”
The Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
I loved the Twelfth Night. It was witty, ridiculous, and amusing. If you’re unfamiliar with the story, there are these twins who are separated in a ship wreck and find themselves in the same village without realizing it. One of them is impersonating her brother and when he actually shows up, the rest of the village doesn’t realize that he’s not the person they know. It’s a tale of mistaken identity, confusion and pranks. Definitely a fun read.
“If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.”
Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare
“The evil that men do lives after them;
The good is oft interred with their bones.”
Julius Caesar is a historical account of how the then Roman politicians turned on their leader, Julius Caesar, and what happened afterwards. I also really liked this Shakespearan play as there are so many different dynamics to it and it’s all based on real events which somehow makes it all the more interesting and enjoyable.
A Sand County Almanac by Aldo Leopold
“Education, I fear, is learning to see one thing by going blind to another.”
I had to read this book for a course last term (International Natural Resource Issues, which was the absolute best) and it was so good. Often considered the father of wildlife management, Leopold wrote this book containing numerous short stories of his excursions and experiences with wildlife, each heavily reflected on. Through this book he teaches the importance of land ethic and how he found himself turning towards ecology and away from the values he was brought up with. I definitely recommend it as the writing is absolutely beautiful and it’s a very eloquent book filled with important ideals.
“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes – something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.”
So what about you? What are some of your favorite books or stories you had to read for school and why did you like them?
I’m having difficulty putting in the book covers for some reason but you can easily find all of these on the web if you’re interested. I hope to be more active in June as I feel like I’m rarely on here anymore. I should have wifi for the next week and can hopefully write as much as possible to schedule and share with you guys!
Until next time!