Top Ten Tuesday: Books We’re Thankful People Made Us Read

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, we’re looking back at the books that were either assigned to us for school or that a friend or relative insisted we read. Thanks to That Artsy Reader Girl for another great Top Ten Tuesday!


Pete’s Five

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas

This is one of my Dad’s favorite books of all time—though he initially suggested I read the abridged version, I later went on to read the full version with Indiana and absolutely loved the story and the characters.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Another required reading by my Dad. This book focuses on the history of Native Americans and the despicable things they have endured at the hand of American settlers. It wasn’t a fun read, but it was an informative one.

Twelve Angry Men by Reginald Rose

We read this aloud in 8th grade English (I was juror #5), and the whole class got really into it. The 1957 movie adaptation is also one of my favorite movies. Watch it—it’s aged well.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare

As a freshman English major, I would have told you that I wasn’t crazy about Shakespeare. This was the play that changed my mind. I had never read whimsical Shakespeare before, and I loved it.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain

Once again, a recommendation from my father—can you tell that he shaped a lot of my early reading experiences? I had never read a classic that was outright hilarious before. This book inspired my love of Twain’s works.

Indiana’s Five

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

As this is my favorite classic, I’m enormously grateful to my high school english teacher for assigning this one.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

My mom read through the entire series in just a few days when I was a kid and insisted I read them at some point. I’m thankful that she did (and that I listened).

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green

This one was picked by a book club that Pete and I are in and I’m really glad it was because I’m not sure I would have picked it up otherwise.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

My mom is named after the main character so I started reading it in honor of that. I’m about halfway through now and am absolutely loving it. I’m not sure how my grandmother knew my mom would be so much like Jo when she named her, but she got it perfectly.

The Tempest by William Shakespeare This one was assigned in a Shakespeare class I took in college and I loved it. If it hadn’t been assigned I don’t know that I would have picked it up. Same with The Merchant of Venice.

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