This is another difficult one for me to choose. Today’s topic is my favorite classic book. Now, I love reading classic literature. I like interspersing it among all my young adult novels. I figure there’s a good balance in that. I’d have to say there’s a toss-up between three books: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens.
I didn’t have to read The Great Gatsby in high school, oddly enough. I went to a weird high school; their required reading was a little funky. But that’s beside the point. I ended up reading it the summer after I graduated. I fell in love with the writing. I think reading it on my own helped me enjoy the story more. I’ve heard from some friends that reading it in school was agonizing because of the way teachers taught it.
I didn’t have to read The Catcher in the Rye at my school either. Thank my wonky school system again. I read this one during my senior year of high school in the car on the way to interview for a scholarship at a college in Indiana. I live in Texas. Incidentally, it gave me a good response for the interviewer when they asked what book I was currently reading. I didn’t know if I liked it when I read it. I had to think about it for a few days after finishing it. Again, I just really love the writing. It’s so well done.
A Tale of Two Cities I did have to read in high school. I read it junior year, when we covered the French Revolution. I hated it at first. Nothing made sense to me, and I thought it was boring. But then about halfway through, everything started to come together in a beautiful and wonderful way. Plus, I basically fell in love with Sydney Carton. It’s a very poignant story, and the writing is brilliant. You just have to make it about halfway through to see it.