Required Enjoyment

Hannah White and Megan Monson

Stereotypical high school English required books are excessively boring.  Being forced to read a book makes it seem grueling and terribly dull.  However, if you are able to see past the fact that you have to read a book, you might find some enjoyment.

Books such as Les Miserables hold a great amount of pleasure.  While the book doesn’t have the built-in music of the well-known musical, it stands alone well.  The story has everything from criminals to heroes, and from tragedies to romances.

The Count of Monte Cristo is rather dark, but contains motifs such as hope and love.  You cheer on the count as he works to get his revenge, but you also hold out hope that he will find his humanity once more.

The Great Gatsby is valuable not for the story, but for the writing style.  Every character is hate-worthy (except perhaps Gatsby’s loyal gardener), but that is what makes Gatsby so great.  Fitzgerald definitely has something to say about society and how seriously messed up it is.

To Kill a Mockingbird is a classic favorite to many, filled with Scout’s hilarious perspective, but also extremely deep subjects (and fabulous quotes from Atticus!).

Pride and Prejudice is a classic romance.  Mr. Darcy – need I say more?  Lizzie and Darcy have an insanely enviable relationship that makes girls sigh and swoon occasionally (made even more intense by Colin Firth’s dreamy representation of Darcy).

A Midsummer Night’s Dream is, in a word, wonderful.  Puck is a worthy sidekick worth his weight in trouble.  Shakespeare’s wit mixed with girl fights and mixed-up love makes for a rather entertaining play.

Ultimately, reading books for your English class can be an enjoyable experience.  Once you learn to appreciate the book for the book (not for the grade), you just may find swoon-worthy men, terribly rich people, and life lessons fit for the ages.