hi guys! please bear with me as I reminisce over some of my favorite books I’ve read over the past couple of years for school (in no particular order). hopefully you’ll come out of this with a couple of books added to your TBR list if you haven’t already read these texts!
so first, a tale of two cities. I read this in ninth grade for English, and it was definitely one of the more difficult books I’d read for school up until that point. the language and imagery were so beautiful and it was the first time I remember reading a classic written so intricately. I found the story gripping and I also just really loved the historical aspect of the book, but the ending devastated me. 😭 this book is one of my all-time favorites with so many themes to ponder and looking back at my penciled annotations, I really want to reread it.
another book I loved was to kill a mockingbird. I’m sure many, many students have heard of this book and for a good reason, too. aside from being a title so well-known in English, it’s a book that so naturally sparks endless discussions about prejudice, morality, character, naivete, et cetera. through the innocent remarks of scout, the appalling yet continual presence of injustice, and the admirable wisdom of atticus finch, this book was such a frustrating yet beautiful book.
next, the catcher in the rye. I don’t think this book was terribly popular among our grade (at first, anyway) for essentially one reason: the overwhelming angst of Holden. this was definitely a book that grew on me as I read through it, and by the end of it, I really loved this book and how it so boldly defied the stereotypes associated with the “typical” novels read for school. I found the tone of the book just so different compared to the more conventionally-written books we read in English and though the word “disillusionment” was thrown around too many times to count as we discussed the book’s themes in class, I just remember genuinely enjoying the novel.
we read a Shakespeare play every year and I was really intrigued by othello and the tempest. I love how they so dramatically dealt with themes of love, anger, jealousy, manipulation, and revenge, and also touched on themes of racial prejudice. one of my teachers said that the reason Shakespeare’s plays were so popular was that they appealed to people of all backgrounds and socioeconomic classes at his time, which I think provides a lot of interesting context and adds to the genius of his texts.
last but certainly not least, the great gatsby. I already have a review of this glorious novel (read it here), so I’ll be brief. I loved the storytelling of this book and how casually the book flowed, and I loved the characters and how you couldn’t truly hate any one character because they were all simply too human. but perhaps my most favorite aspect was its commentary on 1920s social history, lavish living and rose-colored glasses and all. I’d 100% recommend this book if you haven’t read it already.
I’m excited to see how this list will age and what other texts I’ll add to it in the years to come. thanks for reading, have a great day! 🙂