Aug 16, 2012

by English Muse

Summer proper is winding down now; schools here started this week and the university starts next week.  This season is one of my favorites and always has been, and not just because my birthday is in September.  It’s really because I was that kid who bought her school supplies in July, drew plans of her desk and/or locker arrangements, and recorded a tape of energetic, motivational, and definitely bad music to get herself going on the first day of school and not be late fore once.  I rarely succeed(ed) in that last endeavor.

I loved the start of school.  I still do, even when the start of school means a thirty minute commute to my university, overly expensive textbooks, and irritating bus rides from the parking lot to campus.  Still, getting my reading list for the semester has excited me from the days in which we read picture books through the present.

I remember nearly every book I’ve read for school and most of the classes in which I read them.  For example, I read The Giver in Mrs. Webb’s fourth grade class, before my family moved, Les Misérables in Mr. Rice’s senior AP Literature Course, and To Kill a Mockingbird as summer reading for Mrs. Black’s sophomore English class.  To Kill a Mockingbird still breaks my heart to read, both for its content and because our wonderful teacher passed away near the end of the school year.  Every time I see even the title, I remember her.  These three books were re-read over the summer, once school let out, or pulled from my shelf for another glance even years later.

What books did you read and love as a student?  Which ones did you hate?  Have you come to appreciate any since you’ve grown up?  Please do share!


Until next Thursday,


(unwritten, untitled)

[images of my schooltime favorites pulled from Goodreads]


This entry was posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2012 at 8:00 am. It is filed under Decor. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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12 Responses to “Once Read”

  1. Tonia says:

    I still remember reading I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou – an experience like no other I’d had in school. The teacher saw how blown-away I was by it, so pointed me in the direction of Alice Walker, and then to Toni Morrison. I’ve had ample reason to thank her ever since!

  2. Junaluska says:

    I absolutely loved Lord of the Flies, and everything to do modernism was also enjoyed [Virginia Woolf, TS Eliot, Hemingway, Fitzgerald]. Oscar Wilde was also fun. Despite all of her fans, however, I never liked Jane Austen.

  3. Hilde says:

    Sometimes in school you’re assigned shorter works by authors due to time constraints. I remember reading and not enjoying Silas Marner in high school. But I loved reading Eliot’s Middlemarch when I was in college.

  4. Margaret says:

    I had this inspiring British lit teacher my junior year of HS. She had us read Hamlet and Macbeth, and I remember getting so twisted up (in a happy, good way) writing my paper in response to the question “was Hamlet mad?” I left her class thinking that I loved Shakespeare, but that wasn’t it. Never loved it again, even though I married a man who loves Shakespeare and have tagged along with him to dozens of performances since. It was Mrs. B’s Shakespeare that I loved, and the way she knew how to ask questions that brought the plays to life. What a great teacher!

  5. I love every one of these books and just like you, I remember every one. I can’t wait for my son to be old enough to read, so I can re-read them too and share our thoughts with one another.

  6. Mandy says:

    Oh yes yes yes to The Giver. I also loved To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Gatsby, The Crucible, and Of Mice and Men in high school. I was an English major in college, so I read a TON of great books. I think my favorites of those were The Moonstone by Wilkie Collins, The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers, Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

  7. Glad to see someone else gets all gritty when it comes to books. It’s really the only thing to look forward too when University starts. Plus, it’s a great use of time during those long communing hours via bus to just read. It’s really the only way I’ve ever been able to keep up on my reading list.

    I have never read The Giver although many tell me I should. I have however read To Kill a Mockingbird in highschool and loved it dearly.

  8. Dorothy says:

    Love, love, love, “The Giver”, I didn’t read it till I was grown, but the Harper Lee book “To Kill A Mockingbird” is required reading in Alabama! Harper Lee lives in the town next to ours, about 20 minutes away! They put on a play every year at the old courthouse square, it’s fun to watch.

  9. It was high school American Lit class where I realized I much preferred English Lit. Grapes of Wrath, All the Kings Men, etc. didn’t grab me. So, finding Tolkien, Wodehouse, and later finding Austen, was like finding gold.

  10. Isabelle says:

    I’ve loved reading since I leanrt how to do it! My favourite list would be too many to list here, but school term or not there are some that I MUST read again and again.

    My all time favourite is JANE EYRE and my new favourite( isn’t it simply delicious when you find something good to sink your mind into?) is ‘THE INHERITANCE ” by R.S.RAMDIAL which I have on kindle.

  11. Karolin says:

    Great Expactation was and still is one of my favourites.

  12. Sumire says:

    I love reading and I have always loved reading. I loved the reading books we got in grade school which I zoomed through before the first month was out because I couldn’t stand the thought of stories being in my hand unread. However once we started reading novels I begin to hate reading for school. It seemed like someone somewhere was convinced that we needed to be told how sad and awful and twisted life was again and again and again. I remember crying in fourth grade reading Where the Red Fern Grows. I cried over Charlotte’s Web, over A Separate Peace, over Of Mice and Men, over The Pigman, I think I even cried over the awful loneliness of Holden in Catcher in the Rye. I was horrified by The Great Gatsby and the heartlessness of the characters. I remember standing by my locker after reading All Quiet on the Western Front (and sobbing) thinking “My heart aches but the pain means I am still living so I guess it’s good…” I honestly think one of the reasons I didn’t major in English is because my mother did and I learned growing up that if mom said a book was “good” it meant it would tear your heart out.

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