TOP TEN TUESDAY: Top Ten Books I Remember Studying for School

Top Ten Tuesday is a feature run by BrokeAndBookish each week. This week the topic is a Back to School freebie, so we can write about anything that relates to books and school. I’ve decided my list will be made up of the books (and plays) I remember studying in school, college, and even university. These are the books that were memorable to me for some reason, whether I liked the book or hated it.

Holes by Louis Sachar
I think we read this in English when I was in about Year 6. I really enjoyed it but I don’t think we ever got to the end in class so I read it in its entirety on my kindle a few years ago.

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
I’m pretty sure this is the only Dickens book I’ve read and I read it in my Year 8 English class. It was a lot more easier to read and more accessible than I thought it would be.

Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
This is the book we had to practically learn by heart for our GCSE English exam. I still can remember a lot of it and I revisited Of Mice and Men this past year when I’ve been working at a school and they are still studying that book. 

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I studied this in college and I found it such a slog to get through. I don’t know if it was because I ended up skim reading a lot of it but I did get confused by how Jane and Mr Rochester were having an argument and then he suddenly proposes.

A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams
I studied this play in college too. I really enjoyed it even though I found Blanche DuBois equal parts sympathetic and annoying.

Henry V by William Shakespeare
Naturally I read a lot of Shakespeare during my time in school. Macbeth and Romeo and Juliet were the most common but Henry V was the first Shakespeare play I ever saw performed. I think it was for my Dramatic Texts module at University and seeing it performed helped it stick in my mind more than any of the other Shakespeare plays I’ve read for school.

The Passion of New Eve by Angela Carter
This book was for my Women’s Literature module at Uni. It made me so uncomfortable reading it and I’m not sure why. Maybe because there was a lot of violence towards a man by women and that’s something so uncommon in fiction it just made me feel weird.

Beloved by Toni Morrison
This was also for the Women’s Literature module and it’s one of those school books that I didn’t actually finish. I couldn’t get into it anyway, and then we all watched the film adaptation which was seriously weird so I never bothered to persevere with the book.

The City and the City by China Mieville
This was for the Post-Millennial British Fiction module in my final term at Uni. It is one weird book that’s a crime thriller but science fiction at the same time. There’s two cities overlapping so they are physically in the same space but you can’t look into one if you are in the other city. It was definitely a memorable book.

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
This book was for my African American Literature module at Uni. I really liked that module because it opened my eyes to so many different authors and stories that I’d never been exposed to before. Their Eyes Were Watching God is written in colloquial language which I remember finding a bit difficult to start with but I ended up being pulled into Janie’s story.

So those are the ten books I remember having to study during my school life. Were any of these books on your reading lists? And if not, what books stick in your mind from school?


  1. Wonderful books! My favourite Dickens is Great Expectations – incidentally, my favourite Dickens film adaptation would also be Great Expectations by David Lean

    1. That’s great that your favourite book has an adaptation you like. I definitely need to read more Dickens – I have a copy of Bleak House on my shelves but it’s so huge I’ve been put off reading it.

  2. That’s an interesting selection of books you had the pleasure of reading at school.
    I adored Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber, but have yet to try any of her other works – The Passion of New Eve sounds rather similar to The Power.

  3. I read Holes when I was in school and I remember loving it. It’s one of the few school assigned books I actually enjoyed. Nice list 😊

  4. I had to chuckle at your comment about Jane Eyre. It’s one of my favorites and I’ve re-read it several times. But I know exactly what you mean. 🙂 As much as I love the book, Mr. Rochester is not my idea of an ideal love interest. He can be such such a heel at times.

    Their Eyes Were Watching God is a favorite of mine as well. And I really want to read The City & The City one of these days.

    Thank you for sharing! Have a great weekend!

    1. 😀 Yeah I remember really not liking Mr Rochester. The City & The City was such a weird one but I definitely want to check out more of China Mieville books.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting, hope you have a good week 🙂

  5. I remember reading Holes, but not much about it… there are some here I haven’t had the pleasure of reading, but I do want to get to Jane Eyre at some point!

  6. I didn’t read Jane Eyre in school but I loved it when I did. Of Mice and Men is another one I read later and enjoyed, even although it wasn’t what I expected.

  7. I read Jane Eyre for school too, and found it a bit of a slog, but I appreciated it’s literary merit after we’d properly studied it.

    I loved the film of holes as a kid, but I’ve never actually read it, maybe I should

    1. Yeah Jane Eyre is definitely one of those books I’m glad I’ve read.

      Holes is so great and a quick read. I haven’t seen the film in its entirety so that’s something I want to watch sometime in the future.

  8. Hi! I loved Holes. I used to teach it to 6th graders, and they loved it. Have you read Small Steps? It’s not so much a sequel but it does carry two of the same characters. It’s a fun read, too!
    My TTT

    1. I feel like I did read Small Steps years ago but I have practically no memory of it. I remember going on to read a lout of Louis Sachar’s books while I was at school because of Holes.
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting 🙂

    1. It’s definitely a book I’m glad to have read and found interesting to study, not sure I would have gotten on with it in high school but I’m glad I read it when I was older.

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