Sometimes required reading can be a drag. I know it, you know it, we all know it. Sometimes you can end up loving the books that you are required to read. Recently I have read a few books for some of my classes that I have really enjoyed.
I don't think anyone actually enjoys the idea of required reading. When you put the word required in front of anything I will not enjoy said task. I think this is one of the aspects about school that makes many would be readers swear off the activity all together. When you force someone to start off their reading career reading books that aren't their cup of tea then they will not find enjoyment in it. I WAS THERE. I don't think I comprehended story telling very well until the third grade. I wasn't a great reader up until then. The books had zero appeal to me so I didn't care and then that just made me anxious when I felt inadequate when I wasn't good at it. Harry Potter changed all of that for me because I loved the movies so I was able to find a plot and a world that I loved. I was able to find the magic in reading that I couldn't find before then.
Required Reading When You're Older:
As I then went on through middle school and high school you read more iconic and literary work that is very famous such as The Outsiders, The Great Gatsby, and Shakespeare. You either love them or you hate them. (I don't want to see or read The Catcher in The Rye ever again. I seriously despise Holden with a fiery passion!). In High School especially, the books begin to have more of a wider appeal such as The Crucible, a play, is one of my all time favorite works I ever read in a class room. It was historical dealing with the Salem witch trials, but also showed flawed characters and how vindictive people could be. I swear I will not rant about my love for Gatsby, but it is amazing.
Recent Required Reads:
Now that I am in college, I have more free reign with my class choice. As an English major I will have a massive amount of required reading throughout my college career, but here are a few of the works that I read this past semester for some classes. I have read bits and pieces from other books for classes, but these are cases where we read the whole thing from cover to cover.
1. Tiananmen Exiles
This is the oral history of students of the 1989 Prodemocracy Movement in China and was a group of interviews with student leaders. I really enjoyed reading this and learning about the nonviolent activism that occurred in the square. I didn't really know that much about this other than Tank man. It was really interesting to read about it from the perspectives of those who were there.
2. From Dictatorship to Democracy
This is basically a manual for revolution through nonviolent activism. It was really interesting to read and see the historical inspiration that it is based on. It did read like a textbook though so that was a bit boring. It was still really cool to see the steps people would have to take to peacefully execute their revolution.
3. My Land and My People
This is the autobiography of the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet before and during the occupation from China. I didn't really know any of the history of Tibet so this was great to read. It is also interesting to read from the perspective of a political leader and a religious reader.
This is a graphic novel about the Islamic Revolution is Iran. It was really interesting to see what Iran looked like before the Islamic Revolution. I really want to read more graphic novels and it was awesome to read this for school. I loved the images as well.
What are some of your favorite required reads? Have you read any of the books that I read recently for school? What do you feel about being required to read a book?