October 16, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday on Wednesday: Books I Was Forced to Read

I'm so behind, guys! In reading, in posting, in life in general!! Thank goodness my reviews are scheduled up to Christmas because otherwise I would really be failing! I wasn't going to participate in this week's Top 10 Tuesday, but I've read so many great ones that it's inspired me to post a day late!

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1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling - I remember the little boys I used to babysit when I was in high school were obsessed with the Harry Potter series when it first came out, so I always looked at it as a kid thing. That all changed when I met my friend Jesse in college and he forced me to give Harry Potter a chance. That series changed my reading life! I came to truly appreciate authors who are able to bridge the gap between children and adult literature and this remains a true marker of a great author in my opinion.

2. A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin / {my review} - I love reading books that have been adapted to film or television, so these books have intrigued me since the HBO series premiered. But it took probably two years of my friend Taylore begging, pleading, almost threatening me to read it until I caved. I am SO glad that I did! This past summer this series occupied almost ALL of my time, but it was so well worth every minute of it. If you think you'd like A Song of Ice and Fire but you've been putting it off, let me force you to tackle it right now!

3. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte -  I could list dozens of books that I was forced to read in school and loved, but I'm only going to feature my top 3. Jane Eyre unleashed my love for Victorian literature and for that I am truly grateful! I was forced to read this and do a project in Dr. Dalley's 19th Century Novel course, and it really helped me love, appreciate (and not fear!) Victorian novels especially. I definitely need to re-read this one soon.

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4. Upon the Head of a Goat by Aranka Siegal - Another book I was "forced" to read in college, this is a Holocaust-era memoir written for school aged children (junior high and high school). I have always enjoyed learning from Holocaust memoirs, but obviously they are difficult to read. This one is deep without being traumatic; Siegal chronicles her time leading up to imprisonment in a concentration camp which helps children (and adults) discuss and understand prejudice, family, faith, and many other themes Siegal's story explores without facing the horrific realities head on. Similar to what I said about J. K. Rowling, Aranka Siegal writes a book aimed at children that will capture the attention of adults; she is one of my all-time favorite authors.

5. Rome Sweet Home by Scott and Kimberly Hahn -I added a Comparative Religion degree last minute in college because religion is so interesting to me. I was forced to read this in my Christianity class and it's the story about a Protestant couple who converted to Catholicism. Being a Catholic who "converted" to Protestant Christianity (I put it in quotations because I don't really consider it a conversion so much as a culture change), this book really hit home for me and helped me to better appreciate my Catholic upbringing. I am so glad I was forced to read it!

6. Divergent by Veronica Roth / {my review} - I voluntarily read The Hunger Games, which is one of my favorite series ever, no matter how cliche that sounds. But after I finished that series, I was harassed repeatedly to read the Divergent series. Of course, I didn't read it right away, but I wish that I had! I can't wait for the final book in the series to come out next week! It's almost here!

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7.  The Chupacabra by Stephen Randel / {my review} -The Chupacabra was a book I was asked to read for a book tour so I wasn't really forced per se. It didn't really seem like something I would be interested in, but it was a book that encouraged me to explore genres outside my comfort zone. I am so glad that I was asked to read this book because it was hilarious, well built and wildly entertaining!

8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins - Another book that I wasn't "forced" to read in any way other than peer pressure, I am so glad that I finally did read this one. What a beautifully refreshing and fun book!! If you haven't picked it up, I highly suggest that you do! My review will be up on Friday and I'm in the middle of the companion Lola and the Boy Next Door!

9. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux {my review} - This book is infamous in my family because long before Amazon and e-books, my mom used to make me help her look for it in used book stores for YEARS. I'm not sure if Barnes and Noble was an option, but it became a sort of tradition for us. To this day I still hunt for it, even though I own the e-book. Eventually we did find the book at a garage sale, I think; so after years of hunting, I was basically forced to read it once we had it in hand. As far as Fabio-era romance novels go, this is the best one out there! Very cute, interesting and not over-the-top with romance or sex! They really should make a movie adaptation already!

10. When You Were Mine by Rebecca Serle {my review} - I was forced to read this book because it's the debut novel of a friend of my mom's friend. My mom and I each purchased a copy the week it was released so obviously I needed to read it to show my support. I'm so glad that I did! Serle tells the story of Rosaline, the girl Romeo ditched for Juliet, in modern times. The narrative is quirky and fun and the perspective is so refreshing after years of seeing Romeo and Juliet adapted a thousand different ways!

What books would you like to force me to read?!


  1. I've had to read Jane Eyre for classes twice. I loved it both times, but I also don't think it's a book I would have picked up on my own.

  2. I really love Divergent, it is one of my all time favourite series! I am so glad someone finally forced you to read The Harry Potter series, such amazing book. I also really enjoyed The Game of Thrones when I read it but even though I own all of the A Song of Ice and Fire series so far I haven't gotten around to the other books yet! I am really looking forward to them though. My TTT

  3. Harry Potter and Game of Thrones! i LOVE them. i have a strong connection with harry because when the first book published in my country, and the first time i read about Harry we were at the same age. i grew up with him. though i've never been forced to read a book (unless it's a text book)

  4. Yay HP! I wasn't really forced to read it, but everyone acted like I was weird for not reading it, and I was kind of pushed in that direction, and when I did finally read them, it was MAGICAL, haha. I'm so glad I did! And since I read them in 2012, I definitely agree with you about authors bridging the gap!

    And ASOIAF!! I'm so glad you were forced to read this, haha!

    And yay Divergent! I need to reread it and Insurgent soon. I need to do it really soon! I don't really have time for Allegiant right now but I am pretty sure I need to fit it in or I'll be spoiled like crazy!

    And yay Anna! I'm going to read your review after I get done with this long comment, haha!

    I've never read Jane Eyre, and I know I really should sometime. I love classics and I know the general story, I'm not completely sure why I haven't. I love the story of A Knight in Shining Armor!


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