So this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic was about popular authors whom I've never read, and I automatically knew I would have no trouble completing that list. It started to get me thinking, though, on how many classic books I've also never read. When I think about my high school/college curriculum, I realized I managed to get away without reading a lot of the more popular classics. I don't mean those classics that were assigned to me and I skimmed through with the help of Sparknotes - that would be an entire list altogether. I mean the list of classics that none of my teachers ever required me to read.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
- Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
- Animal Farm by George Orwell
- Lord of the Flies by William Golding
- 1984 by George Orwell
- Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Moby Dick by Herman Melville
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
- Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
- Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
- The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
On the other hand, I actually enjoyed the in-depth analysis we did in classes, because I know I'm not the type of person to really look at the themes of a book unless I was asked to. Reading Midsummer Night's Dream and Romeo and Juliet was a lot more fun when my teacher was there to explain most of the Shakespearean innuendos and insults that I would have missed if I read it myself.
It's also interesting to note which classics are more "popular" required readings than other. I have two younger siblings, and it's always amusing when they have to borrow my old copy of The Scarlet Letter or The Great Gatsby. But then my sister read East of Eden and Moby Dick when most of my friends in my year and I managed to avoid them. My brother who is now a high school senior is currently reading 1984, another book I didn't read.
So readers, what high school classics have you never read? If you were in high school again (egads), which ones do you wish you could read and which ones would you want to avoid?