Top Ten Tuesday #36

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
Books Commonly Assigned in School that I Didn’t Read

I honestly love the original prompt, but I haven’t been feeling well since Sunday and I forgot to get my Top Ten Tuesday post ready. I find I’m in a bit of a rush and I can’t spend the needed time to find the covers I’d like for that prompt. Instead, I’m going to save today’s prompt for later and pivot to one I saw Bookwyrm Knits do for the school freebie back in August. The prompt is “Books Commonly Assigned in School that I Didn’t Read.”

When I was in high school, I hated reading. I avoided it at all costs if I could help it. To get through my classes, I watched movie adaptations or checked out the novel’s Cliff Notes (predecessor to Spark Notes). The only book I read in an English class was THE SCARLET LETTER.

Anyway, here are ten books I didn’t read when they were assigned to me in school:

The only book on this list that I’ve since read on my own is THE JOY LUCK CLUB. I do want to read a couple of the others, but many of these still hold no interest for me.

I’m still not feeling the greatest so I may not respond until later this week. I’ll try to return the favor as well, and I may just let this week passby without worrying about it. Thanks for commenting still on this post!

What about you? Were there any books you were assigned in school to read and didn’t? Do we have any in common?

About Jenni Elyse


Hi, I'm Jenni. I’m an eclectic reader. I mostly read fiction and I favor fantasy, science fiction, historical fiction, mystery, thrillers, and romance. The more kissing in a book the better!
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36 replies
    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      It is very fun to take a look back at our reading habits. I’ve been slowly moving my way through the classics and it’s fun to check off the ones I wish I had read. πŸ˜€

  1. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books says:

    I remember reading The Outsiders as a teenager – not for school but just on my own. It’s one I reread several times. One that was required for school that I didn’t read was 1984. Ugh, I tried but just couldn’t get through it.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      My book club read 1984 a few years back. I didn’t read it either. It just wasn’t very interesting to me and I hated Orwell’s ANIMAL FARM. I really want to read THE OUTSIDERS some time. I think it’s one I might enjoy. πŸ˜€

  2. Margaret
    Margaret says:

    You are much younger than I am yet quite a few of the choices were the same for me. I loved to read in high school so I enjoyed any excuse to do so. I haven’t read “The Joy Luck Club” but I think I’ve read most of the others, either in high school or afterward. Hope you’re better soon!

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      That’s awesome. I feel like I missed out on a lot because of my refusal to read. I’m glad I love to read now and I’m slowly making my way through the classics. πŸ˜€

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Lindsey! πŸ˜€ I enjoyed thinking about all the books I ignored or didn’t read when I was in school. It brings back some fond memories, lol.

  3. Greg
    Greg says:

    Ooh The Outsiders. Never read it although I have good memories of the 80’s film. Always loved the cover for Gatsby. I did read Huck Finn though…

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I don’t think I’ve seen THE OUTSIDERS movie unless we watched it as a class. I can’t remember now. I’d love to watch it after I read the book some time. πŸ˜€

  4. Cindy Davis
    Cindy Davis says:

    Sorry you are not feeling well, I hope you are better soon. I barely remember what was assigned reading in school. I did not have to read most of what was on your list.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Cindy! πŸ˜€ I appreciate your well wishes. I remembered most of these, but I did have to look up a list of popular books assigned in high school to remember a few of the others.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Lol. That’s good to know. I don’t know if I’d like OF MICE AND MEN or GRAPES OF WRATH. I did like Steinbeck’s EAST OF EDEN but that was because of the allegory. I’m not a huge fan of Mark Twain. I haven’t read any of his books, but I have seen plenty of movie adaptations and the stories just never interested me. πŸ˜€

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      I’d love to read it and watch the new movie with Leonardo DiCaprio. I watched the original movie with Robert Redford back in the day, but I don’t remember anything about the story, lol. πŸ˜€

  5. Wendy
    Wendy says:

    I hope you feel better soon, Jenni. I love this twist on the prompt. I know I read Romeo and Juliet and The Great Gatsby in school, but I don’t think I read any of the others.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thanks, Wendy! πŸ˜€ I know the story of ROMEO AND JULIET and I’ve read passages. I had to memorize the balcony scene as well as Shakespeare’s “Lend me your ears” speech from JULIUS CAESAR. But, I haven’t read the whole plays. I watched the original Gatsby movie with Robert Redford back in the day, but I don’t remember anything about the story, lol.

  6. Lark
    Lark says:

    I’ve always felt like classics are best when you read them because you want to, not because you have to for a class! Hope you feel better soon. πŸ˜€

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Agreed! In college, I was forced to read a few classics and I just hated them because of it. I’d probably like the stories more now if I read them on my own. πŸ˜€

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Right?! I don’t know why they assign such boring books in school either. I did take a sci-fi class in high school and I read DUNE in that class. It was the only book I got through and I loved it! I also read a couple of Mary Higgins Clark books for another class and I enjoyed those. I don’t really count them as assigned reading, though. πŸ˜€

  7. Jo
    Jo says:

    First off, I really hope you feel better soon Jenni! The only one of these I had to read for school was Lord of The Flies and I HATED IT. Such a dull book, if I hadn’t had to read it for my exam, I definitely would have given up. I think the only book I ever didn’t finish that I had to read for school was Jane Eyre, I moved up an English set towards the end of the summer term in Year 9, and had to catch up on where they were in the book so I did but I found it so dull that I didn’t carry on, and then our sets changed for GCSE anyway, so I didn’t have to finish it!
    My TTT: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2022/09/27/top-ten-tuesday-387/

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      Thank you so much, Jo! πŸ˜€ I’ve heard a lot of hate for LORD OF THE FLIES. I’d like to read it someday just to see what all the controversy and hate is about. I like to punish myself, lol.

  8. Louise Hallett
    Louise Hallett says:

    In the UK we tend to refer to school as the place you go until you are 16 or 18. I don’t remember being given certain books to read, other than the three we did for our English Literature O Level. (An exam we took at 16). I had to read Of Mice and Men and I loathed it. We also read The Pearl by Steinbeck and that was no better, so I just don’t think his books are for me! A Kestrel for a Knave (made into a film called Kes) was also popular but I think that was because it was set fairly locally.
    At University any reading was related to the degree I was studying for, so they were all science books/journals.

    • Jenni Elyse
      Jenni Elyse says:

      It’s interesting how different school systems are. I only know how school works in the UK because of Harry Potter and I know that’s just fantasy. Harry Potter did teach me about prefects, the OWL- and NEWT-like exams, and that school starts around September 1. When I first read Harry Potter, I had no idea that Rowling used real British boarding schools as inspiration until I started reading other books. πŸ˜€

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