Top 5 Favorite Books I’ve Read for School

Hello again! So much for my new year, new blog idea. Swell in concept but not very realistic. I am always underestimating how busy (read: lazy) I am. What’s a girl to do?

Rather than beat myself up over it I decided to dive back into the world of writing while I have time (read: motivation). I have created a new post category called Five By Five (Buffy shoutout what!) that will contain various top five lists I feel like writing about. Very little pressure but hopefully still entertaining.I have a list that I am currently working off of (totally borrowed from other blogs) but would love to have input as well. Want to know my opinion on five of something? Ask below in the comments or send me a quick email.

I submit to you dear readers my first foray into the top five world: Top 5 Books I’ve Read for School.

1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

This is my favorite book of all time. Like, ALL TIME. The first time I read it was during my senior year of high school. It was assigned by my Honors English teacher, Ms. Matrazzo. I’m generally not a fan of liking things that people tell me I should but I just couldn’t help myself. I sensed a kindred spirit in Jay Gatsby (a.k.a James Gatz). I appreciate his need to rise above the station he was born into. I understand the idea of seeking a fresh start by becoming someone else. Most importantly, I can empathize with the loneliness that comes from not allowing others to know the true you- the person that lives at your innermost core. Jay Gatsby may be a facade, but Jimmy Gatz is one of the most real characters I’ve ever encountered.

2. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

Another gem from senior English. This collection of short stories about the Vietnam War is engrossing. Once I pick it up (whether it’s the first or tenth reading), I am unable to put it down. My favorite story is “Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong”, which I only recently learned was made into the movie A Soldier’s Sweetheart. The story centers around medic Mark Fossie and his girlfriend Mary Anne. Mark brings Mary Anne to stay with him and his unit in an outpost. When she first arrives she’s all about cooking, cleaning, and taking care of wounded soldiers. Typically girlfriend/wife duties. Slowly she begins assimilating which leads not only to her vanishing for days at a time, but culminates in her wearing a necklace made of human tongues. It feels wrong to call the story entertaining but I find myself reading it again and again.

3. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Yet another selection from Ms. Matrazzo’s reading list, this time from junior English. British school boys are stranded on an uninhabited island with no adult supervision. What follows is grotesque and horrific. The boys attempt to form their own civilized government but soon their trues natures being rearing their ugly heads. It’s children killing children, one of society’s greatest fears. Unsettling story matter but I couldn’t put the book down.

4. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The first time I read this book I was in sixth grade. I had already read most of the books in the classroom when Mrs. Merrow suggested I try The Outsiders. It ended up being the best book I read that year. I love the tough talking Greasers- Ponyboy, Johnny, Dally, Sodapop, Darry, Two-Bit, and Steve (yes, even Steve). They exhibit one of my favorite literary tropes: the tough guy with the heart of gold. They may fight, steal, and in rare instances kill (in self defense only) but they are also loyal, loving guys who are willing to do anything to keep their make-shift family together.

5. The Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander

Oh how I love The Chronicles of Prydain. I could have just written about each book in the series for this post but it seemed a little like overkill so instead I have chosen the first book. I first heard the story of Taran the Assistant Pig-Keeper and his magic pig Hen Wen in my fourth grade classroom. Mrs. Glenn not only read the book aloud to the class (really bringing the magic alive), but she gave each character his/her own distinct voice. It remains my favorite memory of school; I still laugh each time I remember her voicing Gurgi.

 

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