When I thought about books I’ve been forced to read, naturally I was reminded of school. With so many reading lists and set texts I’ve worked myself through, there are many books that I was forced to read. The one that’s most stuck in my mind to this day is Flaubert’s Parrot by Julian Barnes. It was required reading for my tenth grade Literature class, and it’s possibly the only book I’ve ever read five times.
Even though I had spent a lot of time studying postmodernism in ninth grade, I only read examples of short prose. Flaubert’s Parrot was my first full-length postmodern book. At first it was a strange read, consisting of not only normal prose but also lists, letters, definitions, timelines, exams, etc. After re-reading it twice it really grew on me, especially because of the thoughtfulness it invoked. The best quotes however, originated from Gustave Flaubert — the reason I intend to read Madame Bovary eventually.
“Language is like a cracked kettle on which we beat out tunes for bears to dance to, while all the time we long to move the stars to pity.”
Which book were you forced to read that impressed you most?
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I loathed The Great Gatsby when I read it in high school, but loved it when I came back to it later. I read The Secret History, which was assigned for my AP English class, so many times that the cover fell off
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Amber @ Book Stacks Amber says
I haven’t heard of this one before. One of my favorite required reads in school was To Kill A Mockingbird. I also liked Lord of the Flies and Flags of Our Fathers. I always wonder if I’d have liked some of the required reading more if I hadn’t been forced to read them.
I LOVE this picture. Also, I just made a post about my favorite and least favorite required readings: https://aubreysbooknook.wordpress.com/2016/02/19/favoriteleast-favorite-required-readings/. I’ve never read that book, but I may have to read it now. Thanks :)
Cait @ Paper Fury says
Ooh, that quote though. I LOVE IT. I hadn’t even ever heard of this book before…which doesn’t surprise me because I basically only read recently-published-YA now. But in highschool…hmm…I guess I was “forced” to read most of what I consumed, but I didn’t even mind because I loved it? So it never felt forced. I guess To Kill a Mockingbird did make one of the biggest impacts on me because it really influenced the first book I ever wrote and I named my dog Atticus. ;D