Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Top Ten Books I was FORCED to Read!


It sounds very dramatic, doesn't it? I was FORCED to read these! At gunpoint! In the snow! Walking uphill! Actually, these were books that I've had to read as an educator, whether I was teaching or being taught to teach (in graduate school). Or maybe it was peer pressure! That always forces me to read books (looks at my book group and Heather).


Inferno by Dante - I read it because it was part of the curriculum that one year I taught 9th and 10th grade. I had football players wanting to read the whole Divine Comedy. BOOYAH!

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh - This was a book group force, and I liked it! I didn't think I would (like so many of our book group choices)...but I did!

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes - Another book group force, and another win. This one made me do the ugly cry, and y'all know how much I love that. 


The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak - Ok, another ugly cry book (this one from grad school). I think I bawled for a grand total of 250 pages. 

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness - Heather actually sent the e-book straight to my Nook for my birthday last year. She's pushy when she knows she's right. LOVED it!

Stuck in Neutral by Terry Trueman - Another grad school book, and a CRAZY touching one about a boy with a severe case of cerebral palsy. His body doesn't function well, but his mind is razor sharp, and he thinks his dad wants to kill him. 


Feed by M.T. Anderson - Ok, still not the final grad school book. This one deals with technology and how it can potentially frack up our lives. Soooo many similarities to our life today. 

Night by Elie Wiesel - Another book I taught to my 10th grade classes. This one is fabulous and it made the whole class cry and opened up some great discussion of history and its ramifications. 

Off with Their Heads! by Maria Tatar - The final grad school book, and the most academic of the lot. If you're at all interested in the history of fairy tales, and a sampling from various "types"...this is the book for you!








54 comments:

  1. I really need to read The Book Thief and more people have suggested The Knife of Never Letting Go.

    My TTT List

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    1. Loved your list, Andi! The Book Thief is really interesting, especially the narration. And The Knife of Never Letting Go is a book I resisted, but that was break-neck fast and amazing.

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  2. I only have read The book thief, but some of the others look interesting too. So glad you were forced to read them :)

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  3. Hmm...interesting list! I didn't know what to expect. The Divine Comedy is on my Classics Club list and I'm both looking forward to it and dreading it. I bawled during The Book Thief, too. A friend's husband played the character of Death at the Steppenwolf theater's adaptation last year...so powerful. I'm curious about the movie adaptation.

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    1. Chris, The Divine Comedy is on my list as well. I need to finish reading it! I found Dante's work more readable than I'd expected, and my students were surprised, too. And that's so cool that your friends' hub played Death. He was a fantastic narrator.

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  4. *cough* A Tree Grows in Brooklyn *cough*

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    1. Ha! It's coming up next. You know I'm reading I Capture the Castle right now, right??? Looove it so far! Though I'm still not terribly far in. I need to finish The Girl You Left Behind for book club next week.

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  5. I really need to read The Book Thief!

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    1. It's pretty awesome, Kelly! I managed to read it before the super-hype kicked in, though.

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  6. I've read two of those and loved both of them!

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    1. Awesome, Kathy! Which ones?

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  7. Great list! I think my own list would include The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury and Ender's Game by OSC. I wanted to hate these so badly in 9th grade, but them LOVED them. And still do. Oh, and Shakespeare's histories! Especially Richard III.

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    1. Excellent choices, Brooke!! I love one story from The Illustrated Man that I read in school ("There Will Come Soft Rains"). I need to read the whole collection. And I loved Ender's Game in college.

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  8. I put Night on my list, too! I NEED to read Me Before You and The Book Thief! Off With Their Heads sounds really interesting!

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    1. Isn't Night great?? My students had studied fairly little about the Holocaust at that point, and they were just blown away by Night and by a bunch of supplemental materials I brought in for discussion. One of the students ended up reading an article in Seventeen Magazine about a Jewish girl who was still being bullied for her beliefs in her high school. That opened up another great conversation. Me Before You was WAYYYY better than I ever could've imagined. And The Book Thief. Just a wonderful book.

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  9. A great list, I can't imagine teaching the kids at my school The Divine Comedy or Night, even my top set who are very bright. In England there isn't as much focus on literature. However, my top book I've been forced to read would be Of Mice and Men. I had to read it for my own exams and I've now taught it every year for 8 years. But I still love it and it still makes me well up in the final pages.

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  10. Great list! My goddaughter gave me the Elie Wiesel to borrow a while ago, but I have yet to read it.

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  11. Fantastic list. Don't you love being wrong? Well, not wrong. Maybe pleasantly surprised is the better term. :D Heather knows her stuff apparently, lol.

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    1. I absolutely love being wrong! And pleasantly surprised in this context. lol

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  12. Nice list. A little different than the usual high school reads. I might have to pick up Me Before You because I honestly do love an ugly cry!

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, I've posted about those high school reads here plenty of times, so I wanted to branch out to something new. lol Me Before You was definitely a tear jerker.

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  13. The Book Thief has been on my shelf for years... I really need to read it!

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    1. It's soo good! Death is a fantastic narrator.

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  14. Man, you've been forced to read some great books! I've been wanting to read Feed for a long time!

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    1. Right? I'm a lucky girl! lol Feed is seriously amazing. It takes a few chapters to get into their lingo, but it's an affecting read. Great cultural critique.

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  15. Wow, I haven't read a single one. You might need to "force" one of those great books on me! :-)

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  16. I was surprised by how much I liked Me Before You too!

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    1. Me too, Christine! Based on the premise, I was SO not interested. My book club has forced me to read some really good stuff outside my usual interests.

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  17. I haven't read any of these, but Me Before You sounds familiar! I may have read passages from Night and it's definitely a really powerful book.

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    1. It's really good! Nice character development and humorous and just nice all-around. I'm enjoying her second book, The Girl You Left Behind, now. Night will lay you out flat on the floor. Amazing book.

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  18. I ugly cry every time I read The Book Thief.

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    1. LOL, I really need to re-read it.

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  19. I love that The Language of Flowers made your list! My MIL sort of forced my hand on that one too, though I don't know why I ever bothered resisting. I mean, I'm a flower junkie. Faaaaabulous list!

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    1. LOL, yeah, I wouldn't have read it without my book clubbers. My first job was in a florist shop, so I actually enjoyed revisiting that whole thing. :)

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  20. I should have done this Top Ten - great meme. I'm sitting here thinking of the books I was "forced" to read and how many of them I ended up actually liking a lot! And, yep, I cried for a good part of The Book Thief. Gah, don't even want to think of it or I'll start crying again!

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    1. Same here. I was always resistant, but more often than not, I was pleasantly surprised. LOL me too re: The Book Thief.

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  21. I absolutely loved The Book Thief, such a great book. The Knife of Never Letting Go was a book I loved so much I immediately left my house after finishing it and purchased the other two books. My TTT

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    1. Oh, me too. It was such a great book. I was totally sucked in and invested in the characters. I had to have a break after I read The Knife of Never Letting Go because it was so incredibly intense!!! I was freaking stressed that entire book. I actually liked The Ask and the Answer a bit better because it slowed down just a touch without losing the interest factor.

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    2. Definitely intense, but once I'd finished I just had to know what happened next. I have now also made myself really want to read them again!!! A reread is in order!

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  22. Great post! And yes about the bawl-fest that is The Book Thief. I cried both times I read it. I'm afraid to see the movie in the theaters because I don't want to bawl in public. ;)

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    1. I sooo need to re-read. I need to know if it's going to affect me as much on an additional reading. I have my doubts about the movie, but we'll see.

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  23. I can NOT get into The Book Thief and, at this point, it doesn't matter what anyone says. I just hated the style of writing and couldn't get past the first chapter. But I'm glad you liked it (you know, like the rest of the world)

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    1. Sorry it didn't float your boat! Takes a little something different for everyone. :) I did read it before the hype, and that probably helped.

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  24. If you say it's good, Andi, it's good off to add a couple of new-to-me books to my wishlist.

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  25. Oh man. There are some serious gems on this list. Makes me want to read the other ones! (Oh hey, Inferno, staring at me from my bookshelf across the room...)

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    1. LOL, I hope you like Inferno when you get to it. I was surprised just how taken I was with it.

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  26. Sometimes I feel like every book I read for scheduled reviews is a book I've been forced to read...never mind that I picked those books. The books I most feel as though I was forced to read are those that I disliked: Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness in college and The Scarlet Letter in high school.

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    1. Yep! Me too. That's why I don't accept many of them these days. I just don't like that forced feeling. I liked Scarlet Letter ok, but was not a fan of Heart of Darkness.

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  27. Being forced to read these is not bad at all. Night is a classic !

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