Monday, August 26, 2013

Random List: Books I Probably Wouldn't Have Read If Not For Required Reading

Inspired by a post I saw on a blog I can't remember (sorry), I decided to create this little list.  I was then reminded I hadn't finished it when I saw The Broke and The Bookish's A Cocktail and Conversation. I decided to post some of my favourite books that were required reading.  I'm not saying I would have never read these books, but way back in my school days, I probably wouldn't have picked them up by choice.  These required books, from both high school and university have stayed with me over the years.  They have led me to favourite authors and enriched my reading life.

1. The Handmaid's Tale, by Margaret Atwood
2. Coming Through Slaughter, by Michael Ondaatje
3. A Slumber Did My Spirit Seal, by William Wordsworth (I know it's a poem, but I had to include it.)
4. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath
5. The Chrysalids, by John Wyndham
6. Taming of the Shrew, by William Shakespeare
7. David Copperfield, by Charles Dickens
8. Kindred, by Octavia Butler
9. Their Eyes Were Watching God, by Zora Neale Hurston
10. Sophie's World, by Jostein Gaarder

I decided to stick with ten, a nice round number.  I should mention though, that I would never have read Ethel Wilson, Edith Wharton, Henry James or Thomas Hardy without required reading... and probably a whole slew of other fantastic authors.  I know required reading is often dreaded, but so many times I didn't need to worry.


  1. I probably would have never read "Madame Bovary" or "Wuthering Heights" had they not been required high school reading ... and I would have missed out on two intelligent classics.

    1. I haven't read Madame Bovary, but I might one day.

      Wuthering Heights was another required reading book for me. I enjoyed it, but I'm not as much a fan as some people are.