"Outside a dog a book is man's best friend, inside a dog it is too dark to read!" -Groucho Marx========="The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." -Jane Austen========="I don’t believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book."-JK Rowling========"I spend a lot of time reading." -Bill Gates=========“Ahhh. Bed, book, kitten, sandwich. All one needed in life, really.” -Jacqueline Kelly=========

Monday, February 24, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I liked even though I was "forced" to read it

Top books I liked even though I was "forced" to read them. I have forgotten most of the books I had to read in high school or college so, for the purpose of this list, I will define "forced" as any book that was chosen for me to read either by a teacher, an assignment, or book club.

  1. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck---a required book in junior or senior high school. For a long time I considered it my favorite book. (Read sometime between 1970-75.)
  2. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway---I read this small volume in an English class in junior high and still remember how the writing touched me. (Read in approximately 1971)
  3. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald---I reread this book last year and was surprised at a few of the details so I don't think I read it very carefully the first time in high school, but nonetheless I liked (and still like) it. (Read in 1974 and 2012.)
  4. Peace Like a River by Lief Enger---a book club selection in 2004. It is still one of my top ten favorite novels. I have reread it at least three times.
  5. Devil in the White City by Erik Larsen---This was a book club selection in 2005 and I decided I didn't have time to read it before the club met. Everyone liked it so much and had so much to talk about I went back and read it for myself.
  6. Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder---another nonfiction book club choice. This is about the amazing doctor, Paul Farmer, who is trying to make a difference in the world, especially in Haiti. This book changed my world and I never would have read it had the club not selected it in 2007.
  7. Mudbound by Hillary Jordan---an important book about the racism in our country at the end of WWII. Before we read it in 2011 no one had heard of it. It is very well done.
  8. The Lost City of Z by David Grann---I am starting to notice a trend. I am less likely to read nonfiction books unless our book club selects it first. This nonfiction book is about the quest of two different men to find the lost city of Z in the Amazon. I learned a ton when my club read it in 2009.
  9. The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Oguara---this ended up being one of my favorite book club choices in 2012. It is about the story of a math professor who suffered from a brain injury that impaired his memory. It is also about the special relationship with his housekeeper. I not only liked it but I learned a little math along the way.
  10. Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver---this book was on my TBR pile for several years. I finally dusted it off last month and read it for book club. I loved it. We also had a fabulous discussion on this big book, too.


  1. I'm love or hate with books/plays/etc I'm forced to read.

    I hated Great Expectations and Spies, but I loved Birdsong and Taming of the Shrew.

  2. I think this is a good reminder to us that (especially) students need to be sometimes encouraged (forced?) to read good books but there should also be lots of choices....

    Here's my Top Ten: Childhood Favorites.

  3. I surprise myself and I've loved a lot of books I've been forced to read! Great list :-)


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