Your favorite book they made you read in school

I have a few:

Catcher in the Rye
Lord of the Flies
A Separate Peace
A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Of Mice and Men

The Good Earth
Lord of the Flies
Bartleby the Scrivener
A Separate Peace
A Gathering of Old Men

Those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

Nothing so intellectual for me:

I was in the seventh grade and it was Cheaper By the Dozen. I still love that book!

McTeague was always one of my favorites. Nobody else liked it.

Edited: Used HTML instead of board code. D’oh!

I only remember being set two books to read at school. The first was Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH, a book I loved but was furious to be asked to read in high school (aged 13ish) as I’d first read it in primary school (aged 10ish) and thought it was a “kid’s book”. I also thought it was ludicrous to assign a book to read and then show the movie in class - I suspect many of my classmates never bothered to read the book after we watched The Secret Of NIMH, since as far as I recall you could answer all the set questions from the movie alone.

The second book was Pennington’s Seventeenth Summer when I was 14ish, and which I hated. As a (fairly) well-behaved 14 year old Australian girl, I guess I just couldn’t relate to the adventures of a delinquent 17 year old English boy.

We read extracts from Lord of the Flies, The Hobbit, All Quiet On The Western Front, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and others that escape my memory, but never the full books. I read The Wife of Martin Guerre in an afternoon to help a friend with her book report, but she was a year ahead of me. The book was never assigned to our class.

After year 8, our school dropped the pretence of assigning us book reports and started just showing us movies in class - in Year 10 we were supposed to do Cry Freedom and weren’t shown so much as a page from the source material (the film was based on two books - Biko and Asking For Trouble, both by Donald Woods). As many of my classmates were functionally illiterate, I thought making us do movie reports instead of book reports compounded the problem rather than solving it.

Sophie’s World (Jostein Gaarder)
Demian (Hermann Hesse)

There were others I’d probably like if I read them now, but studying them took the fun out.

I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby and Wuthering Heights

The Great Gatsby
The Spoon River Anthology
Of Mice and Men
The Crucible
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
Alice in Wonderland
The Hobbit

The Great Gatsby
The Spoon River Anthology
Of Mice and Men
The Crucible
Mythology by Edith Hamilton
Alice in Wonderland
The Hobbit
Tom Sawyer
Huckleberry Finn

Sadly, off the top of my head there are only two books I was required to read during my school days that I’ve really enjoyed. Quite a few I can appreciate the quality of, but not many that appealed to me personally. Now, if you wanted to open this to short stories, plays, poems, etc, then I couldn’t begin to cover everything.

The Killer Angels by Michael Shaara. Soem might know this better as it’s film incarnation “Gettysburg” It’s a lengthy retelling of the Battle of Gettysburg from the perspectives of the commanders on both sides of the battle. Very well-told war drama.

and I believe this is the other (at least, this is the closest I can find online, so I’m hoping it’s the same book)

The Harp of Burma by Takeyama Michio. This story (about the experiences of Japanese soldiers during WW2 that wind up being held prisoner in a British camp) is interesting in that it’s mostly about the psychological and emotional effects on the soldiers, with very little depiction of conflict. Apparently there’s 2 movies of this, title’s slightly different though “the burmese harp”

Edited to add: Since the OP is including Shakespeare’s works, I’ll add that Macbeth is my favorite of his plays, and I read it in school (during summer school between my freshman and sophomore years).

The collected Sherlock Holmes stories in elementary school. My fifth-grade teacher read them to the class, actually, during break periods - I still distinctly remember hearing “The Speckled Band” and “The Red-Headed League,” and love Holmes to this day. Then The Illustrated Man, The Left Hand of Darkness and Catcher in the Rye in high school.

The answer is a bit weird for me, my favorite would be The Brothers Karamazov, but in reality they didn’t make me read it. It was assigned, I read about three quarters of it over the weekend (never put it down, except to sleep), then I come in monday and the teacher decided that there wasn’t enough time left to read such a long book so she gave us another one to read.

I also loved:
The Great Gatsby
Pride and Prejudice
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

Their Eyes Were Watching God - I don’t remember that much about the book except that I loved it. Probably because it wasn’t stuffy or about a boy coming of age or incredibly depressing.

When I finally got round to Moby Dick in a grad school course, I kicked myself for avoiding it for so long.

Then we did Pynchon’s Crying of Lot 49, which made me regret every day I’d spent before that without having read Pynchon. I’d never avoided him consciously, just nobody ever told me how fabulous he was – well, one person did, but he was a notorious prankster and I didn’t believe him. Reading Lot 49 completely changed my intellectual interests.

Tristram Shandy, back in college.

Superfudge, A Taste of Blackberries, A Separate Peace- elementary school of course.

The Plague
Watership Down

Are the three I remember most.

I still don’t like bunnies.

To Kill a Mockingbird. One of my top ten books of all time. When we started it, I knew I was going to hate it, and didn’t want to admit when I started loving it.

Sons & Lovers - DH Lawrence
Lord of the Flies - W Golding
Day of the Triffids - J Whyndam

One wonderful English teacher assigned us, among others, both Brave New World and 1984.

Another gave us The Once and Future King as summer reading.

All three I reread often.

I wasn’t made to read them for classes, but for performance in the school’s drama club, but I developed a love for Shakespeare’s comedies when I performed in Much Ado About Nothing (as Don Pedro) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oberon).

Silas Marner :slight_smile: