Top Ten of the Week: the Best Books I’ve Read In High School


September has officially begun. That also means that the school season is officially in session.

Did you know that tomorrow is the international Day of Charity? Pairing school with charity, I thought today that it would be a good idea to talk a bit about the books that are offered  to read for free. Yes, you can read freely at the local library, but it is also free (most of the time) to read school books.

I am not talking about the books you have to read for university, as those are not free super expensive. I was thinking more about the books I read back in high school – the classics that I either loved or despised.

I will compile today a top ten list of my favorite books that I read in high school. Keep in mind that they’re not necessarily in order.

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: this is an obvious choice, isn’t it? I read that book in grade ten english and it changed my attitude towards this kind of books at the time. I loved that novel so much, I read it alone in my room long after I had done the assignment related to the book. I re-read it a few times afterwards as well and I finally bought a newer edition of the book later. It’s probably the best book I have read in high school.
  2. The Chrysalids by John Wyndham: I read this book in the same class as TKAM. Not usually a fan of science-fiction type books, this one was different for me. I should totally re-read it in the near future.
  3. Maria Chapdelaine by Louis Hémon: this is a french book that I have read in eleventh grade french class. It is written by a man who was visiting Canada in the early twentieth century and to see the way that the people in the poorly colonized areas of the north lived while reading this book was amazing.
  4. Macbeth by Shakespeare: out of all the Shakespeare that I’ve read in my life, Macbeth is my definite favorite. The themes explored in it are outstandingly interesting and I enjoyed reading it in grade eleven english.
  5. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie: the teacher that chose to teach us that mystery novel was awesome. It was the first book that I read in grade nine english and it was at the time one of my all-time favorite novels. What an amazing mystery novel, really!
  6. Le médecin malgré lui by Molière: grade ten french class was a good one. We read some Molière and my favorite had been this one.
  7. Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare: grade ten english had been a year of classics that cannot be left unread. This is the Shakespearian story that everybody, or almost, has read at some point in their school career. I loved that love story so much, I bought it afterwards at my local used books library.
  8. The Crucible by Arthur Miller: the iconic play about the witch trials in Salem actually served at the time of its publication as a wake-up call for the Americans who were in the middle of the red scare. This is the ultimate allegory book and I loved to study it in grade twelve english.
  9. La quête d’Alexandre by Hélène Brodeur: another french book, read in grade twelve french class. The story is set in northern Canada – I’ve gone on to read the other two novels in the trilogy.
  10. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls: I read the french version of this book in grade twelve french. Such a moving memoir – I wrote a review about it after re-reading this book recently. You can read it here.

That’s all for today! I am feeling slightly nostalgic now. Is it just me, or does the memory of previously read books bring back the emotions and things that happened while reading it?

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