August 22: Top Ten Books I Read For School
With school beginning again shortly, this week we were given a school-related freebie. When I was at school, I despised required reading, but it was only recently that I realised just how little of it we actually had (certainly compared to America, who seem to read all the classics). However, lately it has transpired that the more I study a text (MA English) the more I enjoy it: shocker!
1. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
This book was my introduction to dystopia and sparked my love for the genre, so huge thanks to my A Level English teacher, Matt, for that.
2. The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter
This was the set text for my AS English (cheers again, Matt) and I adored it; it’s gory and twisted, but that’s my jam.
3. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
I studied this in Year 10 for GCSE and loved it immediately (again probably due to a great teacher), although I did think it was a little heavy for 14/15 years old.
4. Antigone by Sophocles
This was the very first text I read for my English Masters, which I found to be remarkably similar to many current YA dystopias.
5. Foe by J.M. Coetzee
Another of my MA novels, I loved the magical realism that flowed through the pages. It also featured an incredibly unreliable narrator, which was interesting.
6. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Whilst this was a long, descriptive read, Jane’s relationships over the duration of her life (including her relationship with her environment) was beautiful to discover.
7. I’m The King Of The Castle by Susan Hill
Technically I never finished reading this novel, but I studied it in great detail at GCSE and I wrote my exam on a character I hadn’t even read about (still aced it!)
8. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe
Although this novel was slow in parts due to its narrative style, I enjoyed the shipwreck element, Crusoe’s personal discovery of religion and his relationship with Friday.
9. Coriolanus by William Shakespeare
A couple of years ago I would have never believed that I’d have quoted Shakespeare on a favourites list, but the more I studied this at MA level, the more I realised that many YA dystopias (The Hunger Games, Divergent) have prominent leanings towards it.
10. Paradise Lost by John Milton
Ok, let it be said, I did not enjoy this book, but I do feel a sense of accomplishment in having read it in its entirety.
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