Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was Forced to Read

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday concerns books I was forced to read – either in a good way, or in a “teacher forced it down my throat” way. I think that’s about all that needs to be said, so without further ado:

1) Great Expectations. It’s too bad, really, because I might have really liked this book, but I read it for school, and not only did we tear it apart and analyzed it until there was not a drop of joy left, but we took 3.5 months to do so, in which time I read it at least seven times. I sincerely hope to never read it again.

2) The Rembrandt Affair. My very good friend force-fed me my first Daniel Silva book, gushing about the amazing plot, the twists and turns, the stay up late suspense…and she wasn’t wrong. I now own most of his books, and tell everyone to read them. So go read one!

3) Inkheart. My eighth grade English teacher set me on this one – and was I ever overjoyed she did. I do recall something about reading it under my desk in math class, although if anyone ever asks me, I have no idea what they’re talking about. It remains one of my favorite stories to this day.

4) Monkeewrench. Still another book-from-a-friend situation, this book is set in my home city – Minneapolis – and contains wonderfully local references along with spectacular mystery, tight suspense, and shiver-inducing encounters with danger.

5) A Wrinkle in Time. The first time I read this book in any respect was in the fourth grade in Mrs. Peterson’s room at snacktime. I had chocolate dipped granola bars, and my cousin had cherry fruit snacks, and I didn’t understand the story whatsoever except that I had a vague sense of unease. When I later read it for myself, it only took a few pages before I was deeply in love, and I share the same affection for all five books in the series.

6) The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. This one was courtesy of my parents. Before I ever read the book, I listened to the audio version from Focus on the Family Radio Theatre. The opening line still gives me chills of anticipation. Has there ever been such a classic children’s story?

7) Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I read this my sophomore year of college, thanks to a remarkably persistent roommate. I still remember laying on my lofted bed in spring sunlight devouring every word.

8) The Giver. This was still another English class, possibly ninth grade. I read it in the first two days following it being assigned, and while the rest of the class analyzed it, I read all the sequels and companion books (benefits of a back row desk.) Looking back, I’m pretty sure my teacher noticed but I think she’d given up by this point. Why talk when you can read?

9) The Fault in Our Stars. I blame you, all of you out there, for this one. I read so much about it on Twitter and blogs that I just couldn’t stand it anymore and finally bought it. I read it that same night, then walked around in a daze. Go ye forth and read, people.

10) I Am the Messenger. My dad first brought me this book. He’s a media specialist/librarian and all my life books have poured straight through him into my eager hands. This was no exception, brought in one of the many stacks he insisted I read, and the power of the story has stuck with me. I recently finally bought my own copy and reread it, stunned all over again, and a few days ago I lent it to someone else who is now suffering the same stunned qualities. THIS my friends…you must read this.


So there you have it – my top ten forced-to-read books. Leave me the books you are most glad – or most regretful – about having read in the comments below, and don’t forget to check out The Broke and The Bookish for even more Top Tens!


2 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Was Forced to Read

  1. I agree with Great Expectations, or any Dickens for that matter I had to read in school. I re-read GE last year and actually enjoyed it. I forgot the months of torture analyzing it so it was like reading it for the first time. Dickens has a way with writing characters that anyone can relate to. Great Post!

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