Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and The Bookish.
School’s here. This week’s Top Ten Tuesday offers a freebie topic and includes ten books I either hated or loved seeing in my English syllabus throughout college. While I majored in Journalism, English courses served to round our education into deeper pools of knowledge. But, in all honesty, some stories bored me to tears, offering me hours of reading incessant whining that failed to help me understand my world then (Madonna, R.E.M. and Wu-Tang Clan taught me more). The first top five still does not entertain or move me; whereas, the last five does.
Top 5 Books That Made Me Cringe
- King of the whiny, entitled boys.
- The trip went far too long.
- Jane Austin never clenched my soul. I blamed this novel.
- Hailed for its stream of consciousness, this book gave me more headaches than Motrin desired.
- Ernie I barely knew you. Thank you.
Top 5 Books That I Hugged and Thanked the Trees for Their Sacrifice
- This story resonated with me deeply. During my collegiate years, my mood swings had a name and Plath’s protagonist demonstrated how I wasn’t alone.
- Janie Mae Crawford. Free spirits existed. No matter how many times people tried to box them. I felt relief knowing Hurston told me I was perfectly fine.
- Pecola shined a light on complexities her community ignored. This book taught me empathy and challenged me to look behind the shallow layers shown.
- European colonialism and its (continuous) effect on the African Diaspora illustrated truthfully. I believe English departments NEED stories highlighting perspectives from the entire world, no matter race, sexuality, or sex/gender. Otherwise, are we understanding ourselves fully?
- Social criticism galore arises in this book. I choose this story of her sister’s Wuthering Heights every time.
There you have my top ten love ’em or hate ’em college syllabus books. As you can see, I gravitated toward stories involving people of color, women, and the mentally ill. Why? English departments over-weigh the importance of white, cis male canon, including my former department. I believe in diverse mindsets for everyone to share, read, and discuss. One perspective does not fit all. Agree or disagree? Feel free to share below.