I think I just heard a collective groan at the words “required readings.”
Does anyone actually ~enjoy~ being assigned to read something? I would wager that most don’t.
But some of these books that were required for class, I actually rather enjoyed. Here are a few of those gems
I FREAKING LOVED THIS BOOK. I had to read this in high school and at the time I was a very devout Catholic so this book was difficult for me to read in the sense that it opened my mind to things I had never considered before, which made me uncomfortable. But what more can we ask of a book than to open our minds and question our own realities? It was also a fantastic introduction to the Chicano culture.
This is one of my all time FAVORITES. It is a very disturbing read. Ever heard of “Big Brother?” This is where that comes from. This story is all about propaganda, constant surveillance and just all around manipulation and control and just UGH. So. Good. Not like “this is such a happy thing,” but in the sense of HOLY CRAP THIS STORY IS SO GRIPPING.
Children literally turn in their parents in this book. The totalitarian regime goes THAT FAR. Also, not gonna lie but ever since I read about “newspeak” and then Twitter happened, I’ve just been like nuuuuuu!!!!! This is probably why I still feel weird about using Twitter to this day. NO ONE SHALL LIMIT MY THOUGHTS! D:<
At the time we also read Anthem by Ayn Rand, which was, in my opinion, equally as amazing as it discusses similar themes. Both of these I had to read over the summer and I loved them so much I still have my copies!
At the time I had to read this, I was deeply interested in Chinese culture so I was already interested in reading it from the start so I really sunk my teeth into this.
It’s told from multiple perspectives, which kept the pacing of this book very quick. Each chapter I found myself so invested in my connection to that character that I was almost disappointed I had to start reading from someone else’s POV, but then the cycle would just repeat itself once that chapter came to a close!
It focused on the relationship between mother and daughter as they came to terms with the fact that they were both raised in different countries so the experiences they had have shaped them into completely different people, but watching them all come together was lovely.
Oh my GOSH. I read this in junior high and my friends and I straight up BONDED over our mutual love for this book.
It was really difficult for me to get into it at first because the dude’s name was “Ponyboy.” Like… how much dumber of a nickname could you possibly have? I was like 13 at the time so this was obviously very important to me lmao
It talks about some important themes that us middle graders needed to hear (people of every age need to hear it too though), which is that rich or poor, “maybe the two worlds we lived in weren’t so different. We saw the same sunset.” #classic
As a class, we then got to watch the movie and I developed the most intense crush EVER on Ralph Macchio (still do, let’s be real). Like, I printed out a bunch of pictures of him and taped them on to my binder. It was REAL. LOVE.
I apparently have a keen interest in books that discuss extreme political regimes???
But in all seriousness, this book was incredible. I had to read this, I believe, around the same age as I read The Outsiders and the first thing I liked about this was that they GAVE you your career. Like… without any hard work or effort, you were just handed the career of being a doctor and they would teach you??? And, truthfully, I… kind of wanted that because if I could then I would always pick the easy path over the right one. But obviously that wasn’t a ~good~ thing in this book because there was no choice. You could have been handed a role as garbage-man and you could do nothing about it and that’s what you would be for the rest of your life. Passion was something you could not have. You could not question anything. You couldn’t even see the beauty of COLORS.
So reading along with Jonas and discovering all the hidden memories of his world at the same time he found out everything was simply fascinating. It’s like you are Jonas because you’re learning everything with him. Connections with the characters built fast for me so I really enjoyed this one.
What are some required readings that you recommend?
Did any of these make your list?
Also, I’m probably going to turn this into a short little series… thoughts?
‘Til next time, friend!