Top Ten Books I Was Forced to Read
1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. I did not like this book the first time I attempted to read it, which was a whopping 14 years ago this month. I had no idea what was going on in that mess of a first chapter so I put it down. Two months later, my aunt gave me a copy for Christmas. I gamely tried again--it was a gift, after all--and I'm so glad I did. My mom was right when she first recommended I read it: it does get better after Harry gets to school. To this day, however, I think I have only read the first chapter twice because I disliked it so much.
2. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen. I think this is one of those books where you're pretty much required to read it AND love it if you are a woman. I don't go completely bonkers about Mr. Darcy, but I have loved this book ever since I read it for school. I think Jane Austen had no idea she'd become such a phenomenon and such an inspiration to women everywhere to write.
3. William Shakespeare. I love Bill. I love every single sonnet and play of his I've ever read.
4. Far From the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy. Read this in my senior AP English class, and it was an absolute riot. We had waaaaay too much fun with this book.
5. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I hadn't even heard of this book before I took adolescent literature in college. I'm so glad that my professor was a complete fangirl for it because this book is lovely. It's one of those novels that I think every single person alive should read it at least once in their lifetime.
6. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie. Another pick from adololescent lit. There's a story for everyone in this novel, and the drawings are perfection.
7. Holes by Louis Sachar. In seventh grade, my English/homeroom teacher read this to us every day after lunch. I loved it! The movie may not have been an exact adaptation, but I enjoyed it as well.
8. The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. My seventh grade teacher read this to us as well that year. I remember being totally sucked in and always wanting her to read more after she stopped for the day. I don't read many mysteries anymore, but this novel, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys will always be dear to me. Read this last year or perhaps the year before, and I still adore it.
9. A Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson. Oh, my. I believe this was the first book that made me cry in class. How can you not love it?!
10. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. It's been many years since I read this novel, but I remember loving it every time I did.