Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Favorite Classics I Read in High School

Like everyone else, I've had my fair share of books I had to read for school that I loved and hated. But I've decided to celebrate my graduation by showcasing the classics I read and loved in high school. Most of these are likely the obvious ones, but nonetheless. (Also, can you tell 12th grade/AP Lit was a great year? :P )

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
11th Grade

So I actually read this before reading it in school because I was watching the Lizzie Bennet Diaries and decided I wanted to read the book. I'm glad I read it before reading it in school because with the way my teacher planned the lessons, I would have ended up despising and hating the book. But since I had already read it, I still loved the book.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
11th Grade

The plot isn't the greatest, but I fell in love because of Fitzgerald's writing. IT IS SO BEAUTIFUL AND LYRICAL. Sometimes I tear up thinking about the beauty of it. I know, I'm so lame. But honestly, I love how you can tell that all of his words and phrases were chosen specifically and carefully. Like when you talk about symoblism and whatnot in English class, Gatsby's one of those books where you don't feel like the connections aren't just a stretch.

Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
12th Grade

This was the very last book I had to read in high school, and I loved it. I wasn't expecting to love this as much as I did (granted, I barely knew anything about it before going in), but I was pleasantly surprised. I love how this book made me think about life and death, about fate/destiny, about human nature. The book is strange, to say the least, but I liked that, and I saw how it all connected together. I absolutely loved this book, and it's honestly probably one of my favorite classics ever (as are many of the ones on this list).

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
10th Grade

This book is one of my favorites of all time, and I am so, so happy we read it in school because it would have taken me years to do so on my own. I absolutely love everything about this book. Atticus Finch is one of my favorite literary characters of all time. Like I love this book so much. I can't explain it, but it was the first book I read for school that really stuck out to me and stuck with me.

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
12th Grade

I don't know if I would have liked this as much if we hadn't read The Awakening and Ethan Frome before it. Though I liked them, I wanted something with a little more action and a little more gritty, and Cuckoo's Nest sure delivered. It's a little lower on my list of favorites, but I still enjoyed it. It was a bit tough at first because it was just so strange, but once things get clearer and once you really start to analyze the book and how Kesey uses it to talk about society, it's so interesting.

The Awakening by Kate Chopin
12th Grade

When we read this, I hated admitting that I actually liked the book. Most of my peers couldn't stand it. They found it boring and strange and annoying to read (okay yes, it might have fared better if we hadn't read it after reading Ethan Frome but whatever). But through all of our class discussions and after talking about the feminist aspect of the book with a friend from dance, I knew that I really enjoyed and appreciated the book and all that Kate Chopin gets at in it.

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
9th Grade

More of a modern book and less of a classic, but we read this in school. It isn't really my favorite, but back in ninth grade, this book was a breath a fresh air from the rest of the books we had read during the year. I had watched the movie, but I also really enjoyed the book.

Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare
12th Grade

Okay, so technically we didn't read this book because we just watched the movie and supplemented the missing parts with portions from the text, but I didn't think I could do this post without a Shakespeare book, and though I could have included Macbeth or King Lear, of the Shakespeare books we studied, Much Ado really was my favorite. I think it was more that it was such a breath of fresh air from the Shakepearan tragedies. I'm so glad our class decided to watch the movie together right before the AP.

What were your favorite classics that you had to read in school? What do you think of my favorites?


  1. i actually really like reading books for school just because the discussions are always so much fun. i think my favourite would have to be brave new world. i just haven't really read many that i really really loved. richard III and cat's cradle are second though! they were ones that i really enjoyed as well. i think maybe my least favourite book was fifth business which i had to read this year and i just didn't really like it at all.

    i haven't read any of the books on your list though but pride and prejudice is one i want to read as is to kill a mockingbird (i always think mockingjay now though because of suzanne collins).

  2. You watched the Lizzie Bennet Diaries! I was so happy when I found those. Love anything and everything Jane Austen, and that youtube series was done so well.

    Anyways, I really need to read The Great Gatsby. It's been assigned to me so many times but I've never sat down to actually read it. I know enough to skate by and pass a quiz, but I need to read the words and appreciate the great american classic.


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