Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Books I Was Forced to Read

In roughly the order I read them:

1. The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
I had to read this at some point in middle school. I don't remember much about the book itself but I do distinctly remember how obsessed I was with it at the time. In fact, I think I will add this to my TBR list...it's been far too long!

2. I Am the Cheese by Robert Cormier
Another middle school required reading book, I remember tearing through this and being left horrified, captivated, and depressed all at once by the end. Mostly I remember being really pumped that we got to finally read a cool book for school.

3. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
This was summer reading for freshman year English. I've read it multiple times since then and have watched the movie with Jane Seymour on countless occasions as well. WE SEEK HIM HERE, WE SEEK HIM THERE, THOSE FRENCHIES SEEK HIM EVERYWHERE! IS HE IN HEAVEN OR IN HELL, THAT DAMNED, ELUSIVE PIMPERNEL! Soooo good.

4. The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
I believe this was summer reading for a world history class, maybe sophomore year of high school? It's a rare case of a nonfiction book that totally pulled me in and remains one of my favorite books to this day.

5. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Summer reading for senior year English. Took me the entire summer to wade through it but I loved it.

6. Villette by Charlotte Bronte
I read this for a college English class in Victorian literature. It is longer and more complex than Jane Eyre, and I absolutely loved it. I need to reread it...it's the type of book that definitely requires multiple readings to fully digest it.

7. Middlemarch by George Eliot
I actually can't remember if I was forced to read this during that same Victorian literature seminar or if I read it because other English majors were shaming me for not having read it yet, but either way it was definitely imposed upon me in some form or another. And it was splendid! I've since reread it several times. George Eliot is a master at understanding and depicting the full complexity of human characters.

8. Our Mutual Friend by Charles Dickens
This was required reading sometime along the way in my English major career during college. I think it is probably my favorite Dickens book. 

9. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
Required reading for Victorian lit. This one is kind of cheating. I don't love Elizabeth Gaskell and this actually was not my favorite book of all time by a long shot...but I LOVED the BBC miniseries with Richard Armitage. I know it is taboo to like a movie better than a book, but I felt the same way about Twilight actually, so what can you do. 

10. Bleak House by Charles Dickens
Another Dickens masterpiece (many say it is his greatest novel and I might agree, even if I personally prefer Our Mutual Friend). I was guilted into reading this one as well and am very happy I did! Bleak House is the type of book that every English major is supposed to have read, as some people consider it the best novel ever written in the English language. Not sure I would go that far, but it's definitely an impressive tome and one I enjoyed reading. A must-read for anyone considering a career in law.

Thank you The Broke and the Bookish for hosting this lovely meme.


  1. Middlemarch is one of those books that I keep meaning to read, but I just never do. Maybe one day...Great list! ~Pam

    1. You should read it! It's a long one but so worth it. Thanks for stopping by :-)