As a teenager I wasn’t as into reading as I am now. Somewhere between primary school and grade 8 I lost the passion I had for books; and looking back now I believe this was because I found it difficult to connect to the set work books we were forced to read as teens. I say this, because during high school, the few books I read in my own time had more of an impact on my life than the ones we had to pick apart during class. Perhaps this was because I found the set work books to be irrelevant to my life as a teenager, or I could not form a connection with the characters – I could go on and on. But now that I am (somewhat) an adult, I think it would be interesting to re-read the books from those years and see if it would hold the same meaning now as it did back then.
These are 5 books I read in High School that I would like to re-read:
THE GREAT GATSBY BY F. SCOTT FITZGERALD
I think out of all my set work books, The Great Gatsby was the one that I didn’t really mind reading in high school; although I found the analysis of the book to be an exaggeration. I refused to believe that while writing this book, F. Scott Fitzgerald thought of all the subliminal messages and metaphorical layers that my teachers seemed to find between those lines. Even so, I didn’t think the plot was all that bad, and by then I could relate to the story because I didn’t want to be bound to materialistic wealth like Jay Gatsby and the Buchanans. And after watching the movie a few years ago, I felt an even deeper yearning to re-read this book.
TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD BY HARPER LEE
I honestly don’t remember what happened in the first half of the story, because I was bored to tears. I do remember nodding off to the book being read in class, and wondering who was responsible for making this part of a South African teenager’s curriculum. But then once the court case started I became more interested, since it touched on issues that could be seen all around me. Still, I don’t think I appreciated this book as much as I would as an adult which is why I really want to give it another read. Maybe I could get myself a copy of Go Set a Watchman and start anew.
THE KITE RUNNER BY KHALED HOSSEINI
The Kite Runner was one of the books I read in my own time when I was in high school. I remember the movie had been released around that time and my English teacher recommended that we first read the book before watching the film adaption. Going in, I had no idea what the book was going to be about, all I knew at the time was that I wanted a book that I could ENJOY for a change. I also remember feeling drawn to the book because the author had an Arabic name. I think out of all the books I read in high school, The Kite Runner stood out the most for me all through the years. It was a beautiful, yet disturbing book of love and friendship that I could never forget. I’ve wanted to find myself a copy for years but never really got around to doing so until a few weeks ago when I found one at the Storyteller’s Box stall. I am quite keen to re-read this one soon!
A THOUSAND SPLENDID SUNS BY KHALED HOSSEINI
This is the second book written by Khaled Hosseini, and after completing The Kite Runner a friend of mine recommended A Thousand Splendid Suns. I remember the plot quite vividly, because I was completely drawn to the story-line, as well as the characters. It was also where I found that I really did love Khaled Hosseini’s style of writing, and I was very disappointed when I discovered that he only published two books. Of course since then he has released another book, which I also managed to snag at the Storyteller’s Box stall a few weeks ago. I would love to re-read A Thousand Splendid Suns so that I can share the story with you and write about it properly. But I am even more excited to read Khaled Hosseini’s latest book called And the Mountains Echoed!
LORD OF THE FLIES WILLIAM GOLDING
Lord of the Flies was one of my high school set work books that I completely disliked – right there with anything written by Shakespeare! I don’t know if I’m the only one who felt this way but to me it just never seemed to click – the fact that we are to believe this story is being told by schoolboys. However, after really thinking about it, I completely understand why this book is so important – it deals with far more serious issues, like racism and white, Western supremacy. I don’t recall making this connection in class, and this scares the **** out of me! Out of all these books, this was probably the most misunderstood book for me, and one that I want to re-read as soon as possible.
What high school books would you like to re-read? Were there any that you feel you’d appreciate more as an adult?