Top 5 Wednesday: Favorite Required Reading

Here are my Top 5 Required Reading!

  1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  3. A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
  4. Prey by Michael Crichton
  5. The Letters of Pliny the Younger

10257528To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is the ultimate required reading. If anything stands out from my reading in high school beyond Harry Potter its this book. Most American students must read this novel before graduation and while not everyone actually does the reading those kids were definitely missing out. Scout’s story of growing up in a southern town and experiencing the whole range of what humanity has to offer continues to reach so many even today. It quickly became one of my all time favorite books and everyone should have to read it.

4671I absolutely love The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. It’s not a long book but its full to the brim with excitement and glorious parties. Jay Gatsby and Daisy Buchanan’s jazz age story of love, loss, and just about everything else really comes to life. In school, I feel like we spent way too much time focusing on the deeper meanings. Dissecting books like this makes it hard for kids to appreciate the story. I’ll never think about green light the same way again.

457492A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare is one I didn’t think I would like as much as I did. I chose this Shakespeare work over the rest since not everyone had to read it in school like Romeo and Juliet or Macbeth. Plays are much better being seen and not read but the playful fun of this tale about love with faeries interwoven seems to jump off the page.

83763In college I was required to take a certain number of credits in English and everyone had to take English 113, a basic writing course with a bunch of different topics. I chose one centered around Michael Crichton and some of his novels. Before this class I had only ever read Timeline but we had to read three different books for the course: Congo, Jurassic Park, and Prey. It’s hard to go wrong with a story about nanoparticles hunting humans, robots rebelling. I really enjoy his exploration of science fiction through technology.

550456Most of my history courses in college were focused on ancient civilizations and my favorite required reading from them is The Letters of Pliny the Younger. I actually took a whole course on the topic. This compilation provides one of the most in-depth looks at life in Ancient Rome and one of its citizens. Pliny the Younger gives us a first hand account of the eruption at Mount Vesuvius as well as observations on early Christians. I’ve had a fascination with Pliny the Younger ever since.

Check back next Wednesday for Top 5 Tropes You Hate!

Top 5 Wednesday was created by Lainey (Gingerreadslainey on Youtube) as a way for book reviewers and lovers to share their love of lists every Wednesday. Check out the Goodreads group at


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