August 30: Favorite Books You Read in School
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
This one definitely started my lifelong love of post apocalyptic/dystopian novels. Opening up a little window and peering into a totally deranged future is one of my favorite things and damn is the future in this book disturbing.
1984, George Orwell
Again, a plausible creepy future to delight my twisted little soul. Why did we read this and not also get to The Crucible by Arthur Miller? I dunno, growing up in a small rural school made for some really patchwork English classes.
Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Why did we read so many messed up stories written by male authors? Looking back on these, I’m now realizing my teachers were low key misogynists. I’m glad I’ve branched out and realized there are also female authors who wrote messed up stories in the late 1800s.
Medea, by Euripides
After writing several persuasive essays on the topic, I actually came to feel that Medea is pretty badass. She owned her emotions, wore them out loud, and took some pretty fierce revenge by stealing the power and future from her husband when he screwed her over. We also read Oedipus Rex but I freaking hated that play. It was relentlessly bleak and I hated every single character and every crappy thing which happened to them. Greek tragedies are NOT my aesthetic.
Othello & Much Ado About Nothing, by Shakespeare
SERIOUSLY, my old teachers, could we have read any books written by women? Or non-white guys? Who weren’t from England or Greece? I mean, holy rancid rat fruit. The internet existed by this point, I went to high school from 2001-2005, there is NO excuse for such narrow reading lists. I thank all my bookstagram peeps for blowing open my reading mind and throwing in plenty of diverse authors. Oh…yeah…about these plays. The movie version of Othello was pretty good and Much Ado About Nothing remains my favorite Shakespeare to this day.
If we’re loosely defining “read in school” as also including the meaning: “read on school premises even though it wasn’t actually assigned for any class, I just pulled out a book from home during any spare moment the class wasn’t doing anything else and my teachers eventually just sighed in annoyance and got used to this quirk” I can include the books I read during high school which I still love.
The Green Mile, Carrie, & Firestarter, Stephen King
The White Dragon, Anne McCaffrey
Thief of Time & Witches Abroad, Terry Pratchett
Rose Daughter, Robin McKinley
Special shout out to Rose Daughter for being the book which my Biology teacher caught me reading behind the textbook for, if we’re being honest, the third time during the same class period, and threw across the room. It held up under this treatment like a total champ and I still own the same edition.