1. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Best piece of literature you were forced to read in high school?

    Discussion in 'Book Discussion' started by 123456789, May 10, 2013.

    Just curious.

    This includes poems, short stories, novellas, novels, plays, essays. By best, I actually mean favorite. Only name a few.
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    The ones that I remember really liking (this was a long time ago) were Catcher in the Rye and Lord of the Flies. I really need to re-read Lord of the Flies, though, since I don't remember it very well.
     
  3. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I liked Lord of the Flies, A Tale of Two Cities, and two of Shakespeare's plays: Julius Caesar and Macbeth. I also loved Earle Birney's poem "David." (I went to school in Canada and we had to read some Canadian poetry, at least!)
     
  4. Thomas Kitchen
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    Thomas Kitchen Proofreader in the Making Contributor

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    For me it was Robert Browning's poem, Porphyria's Lover.
     
  5. TimHarris
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    TimHarris Senior Member

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    Not exactly what you are asking, but we were once forced to read a book in English, could be any book. I chose Harry Potter and the goblet of fire. That was pretty good compared to most of what we had to read during my school years.
     
  6. Anthony Martin
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    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    Ender's Game
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I can't remember a lot of the stuff I read in high school (which is sad considering I graduated from high school only 5 years ago). Of the stuff I can remember, I would have to say Hamlet. I also really liked All Quiet on the Western Front.
     
  8. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If I'd known about Ulysses before I entered university, I might have majored in English instead of engineering. I would have loved to have taken a course in Ulysses. Alas, back then I wasn't quite as in love with the art of prose as I am today. Maybe it would have been wasted on me.
     
  9. jeepea
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    jeepea Member

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    I can't remember everything I read back then, but I think that Romeo and Juliet was in there somewhere. I'm very sure of what I didn't like. If I'd had a time machine, I would have gone back and strangled Nathaniel Hawthorne before he had a chance to write The Scarlet Letter.
     
  10. NathanRussell
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    NathanRussell Member

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    I'd have to say The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock alongside Captain Corelli's Mandolin and A Clockwork Orange were the best pieces of literature I had to read.
     
  11. BritInFrance
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    BritInFrance Active Member

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    Hamlet is fantastic. Such great characters, and story. Also studied Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard which is brilliant, and very funny, but only if you have read Hamlet first.
     
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  12. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Got to agree with those here who mentioned Shakespeare. I'd go with Romeo and Juliet myself.
     
  13. Dixie92
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    Dixie92 New Member

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    I have two, one, Alex Haley's Roots, I chose myself only to get the Accelerated Reader points and be done with it, but realized I actually liked it after giving it a try. Why in the world would a senior Literature teacher require us to obtain Accelerated Reader points like the elementary does? I'm sure she was trying to non-reading students to read, but it put all kinds of unnecessary pressure on me, who read vehemently.
    The other was a part of a reading list that we had to choose and then write a book report on, in which case I chose "Black Like Me" by John Howard Griffin, because it was a true story. It did not disappoint :)
     
  14. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    Little Things by Raymond Carver
    This Room and Everything in it by Lee Young Li
    The lady and the dog by anton chekhov
    Araby by James Joyce
     
  15. 123456789
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    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow , we were never assigned any of those!
     
  16. blackstar21595
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    blackstar21595 Contributing Member

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    I'm in a creative writing class in high school. A lot of what my teacher does is have us read poems,short stories,etc so we can learn from example by authors. I enjoyed what he picked as good examples. I recommend them.
     
  17. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    The Aeneid by Virgil. I'm a bit of a Robert Fagles fanboy, his translation of Virgil's masterwork started all that. I had to read it as part of my dissertation research, about The Divine Comedy. While I wasn't exactly 'forced' into reading it, it was was all but forced on me.

    Either that or Macbeth by William Shakespeare. Did it in high school, and it was the first hint I would end up liking Shakespeare the writer and the man.
     
  18. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Hey! I'm a Fagles guy, too! I have the boxed set of his translations of the Iliad and the Odyssey.

    I used to play that trivia game they had in bars back in the 90s. I would tell my team, "Each man look well to his chariot's running order. Nerve himself for battle now, so all day long we can last out the grueling duels of Ares." That's from Fagles' Iliad. We won a lot, as I recall...
     
  19. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    Glad to see two people who respect the work of a great translator. :) I think I have all of his output. At least all of his translations anyway.
     
  20. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    From what I understand, the Lattimore translation is the one preferred in academia, though it's one of the harder translations to read. I read the Fitzgerald translations, and while he doesn't even attempt to stay true to the original meter, it's an extremely readable translation.
     
  21. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Kafka's "The Castle". We were reading Sartre and Rousseau for Logic in high school, and Kafka was next. I was terrified because I love to read and I was so sure I'll hate that, I mean how can an unfinished metaphor for alienation and bureaucracy (modern society, really), in a barren landscape and surreal environment, be anything but absolutely awful? It turned out to be one of the most amazing books I ever read.
     
  22. Nee
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    Nee Contributing Member

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    Fahrenheit 451, by Ray Bradbury in the 5th grade.

    The Fellowship of the Rings, by Tolkien in the 6th grade

    And...Dune, by Frank Herbert in the 7th grade.
    (I also read Stranger in a Strange Land, by Robert Heinlein on my own then as well). :)
     
  23. ladyphilosophy
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    ladyphilosophy Member

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    I loved Wuthering Heights, but I was planning to read that anyway, and it has thus become my favourite book. My favourite poet is Sylvia Plath, who was the first I studied at A level - Ariel, though it made no sense at first, just completely enraptured me once I'd uncovered the meaning. White Godiva, I unpeel - Dead hands, dead stringencies ...Oh it was beautiful.
     
  24. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Two books come to mind from high school:

    Anna Karenina. I would've never picked it up if we hadn't been forced to read it to pass Higher Level Finnish (even though it's originally Russian, yeah, the logic). It was a trudge, a fight, but I made it through, and I was so happy I did because it turned out to be an amazing story that sort of sneakily just pulls you in. However, if you put it down, it's difficult to get back to it...

    Jazz by Toni Morrison. I was 16, my English wasn't very good yet, and this novel just baffled the hell out of me. I had to read it side-by-side with the Finnish translation ('cause I knew I wouldn't get away by reading just the translation), but man was I happy the teacher made us read it! I just fell in love with Morrison's style and stories, and she's still one of my favorite authors. Though The Bluest Eye is my favorite of her works.
     
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  25. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    @ladyphilosophy: I love Sylvia Plath! My favourite is "The Applicant", it blew me away the from the genius opening.
     

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