Books I’m glad I’ve read….

OK. disclaimer: I am glad I’ve read just about ALL the books I’ve read, but these are ones I usually ended up reading for a class, grew, and was glad I read them later, even if I didn’t like them so much the first time. These are the ones that I recall specific images from, people or ideas at random times. Phrases I never intended to memorize come floating through my mind. Kudos to the teachers and professors who pushed me.

The Awakening Kate Chopin. Wow. I re-read this again the other day. wow. It hits me a different way every time I read it as my life & experiences change.

William Blake’s poetry. fantabulous. Yes, that’s my professional opinion.

The Scarlett Letter- Nathaniel Hawthorne. I label people as Dimmesdales, Pearls or Hesters. The sight of a stand of pine trees in the gloom reminds me of the opening passage that sets up the oppressive nature of the village.

The Sound and the Fury– William Faulkner. Too many lines. Amazing. I will be forever grateful to my 11th grade AP teacher who guided us through this, reading aloud, explaining, connecting the images until we got it. And his short stories. And A Light in August.

Flannery O’Connor. Short Stories- All of them. Wonderful. Humor, insight, pathos, I recognize some of those folks, ya know?

Most of Shakespeare’s plays (Hamlet especially)  What can I say? He’s the Bard.

William Carlos Williams- because so much DOES depend on a red wheelbarrow. Another one I didn’t get in HS, but wow. As an adult he rocks.

Wuthering Heights  Emily Bronte- not so much for the characters, but the setting. It fits so perfectly and becomes a character in and of itself.

Bless me Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya. Wow. Cultures blending, mixing, magical realism, beauty.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian- Sherman Alexie  I laughed, I cried, I re-read.

Night Eli Weisel. I cried. I didn’t re-read. I remembered.

Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice: An Ethnobotanist Searches for New Medicines in the Amazon Rain Forest , Plotkin. Somewhere along my moves, this disappeared. I want it back. Thanks.

There are more…I’ll probably add more later as they come to me, but this is the off the top of my head list. 🙂 What are yours? Who changed you with their words?

9 Comments on “Books I’m glad I’ve read….”

  1. amymarie says:

    I have THE ABSOLUTELY TRUE DIARY OF A PART-TIME INDIAN sitting on the desk next to me right now! I checked it out from the library and have meant to read it, but haven’t gotten to it yet. I definitely will now!

    • It was a good one. As a teacher it broke my heart. I’ve had too many students whom I suspect come from similar situations regardless of ethnicity. But then I’d laugh on the next page. good stuff. very unique voice too- I can’t think of anything to compare it to.

  2. Danielle says:

    Great list! I never read “The Awakening” in school but I read it on my own and I must say I really didn’t care for it. To each his own.

    One of the books I read for school that has now become one of my most favorite books is “Jane Eyre.” I re-read that probably once a year.

    I hated reading Shakespeare in high school! I acted in “Midsummer Night’s Dream” but I still didn’t care for him. However, as I get older I can appreciate more of his work. One thing that helps me appreciate is the Reduced Shakespeare Company. You must check out the DVD, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare – Abridged. If you’re a nerd like me, you’ll enjoy the silly sense of humor they bring to Shakespeare’s works. (

  3. Ooo! You’ve got some of my favorites listed there. I loved Bless Me Ultima. That one, and As I Lay Dying the two books I’ve still got from high school English. I love to re-read them, not just because I get something different out of them every time, but also because I do write in the margins (I know! Gasp!), and I love to see what was interesting to my high school self.

    I still have Tales of a Shaman’s Apprentice too, only I read that one for high school BIOLOGY. I credit it for being one of the main reasons I went into ecology. I love how the author captures the interconnectedness of spiritualism, science, people and the environment.

    Ok, ok. I also have Hamlet still. And I still reread it, too. It may be my fave from Shakespeare.

  4. Geoff W says:

    Definitely glad Wuthering Heights is on there. It’s become one of my all time favorite novels having re-read it after living in West Yorkshire and just appreciating the barren beauty of the novel itself. I should re-read some of the others you have on here, but who knows if I ever will.

    • Some books just get better with a re-read. 🙂 On the other hand, the list of books I want to read is so long…

      • Geoff W says:

        How long? Mine is currently sitting at 347, that I’ve written down and publicly posted on my blog. This doesn’t include the random ones I pick up in the library or at the bookstore! I probably never should have started a to-read list, but it’s always rewarding to cross a book off the list even if I just replace it immediately with another.

      • I’ve never written a list down, to be honest. There’s just always something that looks good. I’ll have to ponder doing that, but I do have issues with “assigned” reading…even if I assign it to myself. Somehow it just irks me.

      • Geoff W says:

        Nice – that’s why I don’t take too much stock in it. It’s more for if I don’t have a book at hand and want something interesting to try and find at the library.

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