Literary Blog Hop: Required Reading

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Literary Blog Hop

The Literary Blog Hop is hosted by The Blue Bookcase. This week's question comes from Ingrid:

Discuss a work of literary merit that you hated when you were made to read it in school or university. Why did you dislike it?

To be honest, I really enjoyed most things I read for school. Especially when I was younger, I would read almost anything in print (I learned how babies were made because I was reading my mom's parenting magazine) and so I usually didn't have a problem with my school assignments. However, I do remember really hating The Crucible by Arthur Miller when I read it in 11th grade English. Looking back on it now, I'm not sure why I didn't get along with it. I think generally, I just found it to be depressing. Also, I'm not a huge fan of reading plays (although I will always make an exception for Mr. Shakespeare). I looked up some quotes online, trying to find what bothered me so much about The Crucible, but I liked the quotes I found, so maybe the overall feeling of the story was just a little dark for me.

I also have never been a huge fan of
The Odyssey. I never hated it - I think the story is really interesting. However, I have never enjoyed muddling through Homer's prose. I don't know if I didn't have a good translation or if I'm just lazy. Also, I had to read The Odyssey for multiple classes, so by the 2nd and 3rd times I was so sick of it.

How about you? Any literary works you loathed in school? Do you think being required to read a book makes you more likely to dislike it?

PS: Does anyone else have trouble with the fonts on blogger? If I change the font, I can never get it to go back to normal!


  1. I hope you'll try The Odyssey again with a different translation. I've been looking at Fagles and Lombardo as I start planning my February reads, and both look really fantastic. But if you've already had to read it a couple of times, perhaps you should wait a while!

  2. I liked most of what we read in school, too, but I wasn't wild about The Crucible ... my kids didn't like it much either.

  3. We performed The Crucible in high school...might have been 11th grade. I got to play one of the hysterical girls who claims to be cursed. That was fun.

  4. I absolutely loved the Odyssey! Even after being forced to read it three times in three different classes. The Crucible was alright; I didn't hate it, but I didn't love it either. I'm not the biggest fan of reading plays either. Every once in a while I'll read an outstanding one though (I really enjoyed the Glass Menagerie).

  5. I didn't read The Crucible until I was in my late 20s and I absolutely loved it. I've never been able to drum up interest for The Odyssey. :(

  6. Multiple readings in a short space of time, will kill all but the greatest obsession. I've had no problems with Blogger, but I publish to blogger using windows live writer, don't know if that helps, but it works for me.

  7. I, too, recommend Fagles for The Odyssey.

    I disliked having to read Faulkner: all that wordy, brooding Mississippi angst. But now that I've tried him as a grown-up, I get it. He's still not my favorite, but at least I can see why he's part of the canon.

  8. I didn't enjoy The Crucible the first time I read it, but I did like it the second time (I was also more interested in the history of the period at that point, which helped). I enjoy The Odyssey very much - compared to The Illiad (yuck), it's like a five-star action movie. haha

  9. I'm like you, I enjoy the story of The Odyssey, but I find reading it a bit tedious. Saying that, I'v only read extracts.

  10. My read was STONEHENGE DECODED...uggh. Did anyone else have to suffer through it?

    Stop by my blog if you like...I also have a giveaway that isn't very literary, but check it out.

  11. I remember liking The Crucible, but I was NOT a fan of the Odyssey!

  12. I really loved The Crucible the first time I read it, and it's still one of my favorite plays, but I do have very strong, very negative feelings about the Odyessy, not helped by the fact that the professor teaching it was a complete buffoon.

  13. @LifetimeReader - I've been thinking that I should try it again at some point. The Odyssey is one of those books that everyone has to read at some point, and I love mythology.

    @JoAnn - Good to know I'm not the only one!

    @Robyn - I think I definitely would have enjoyed it more if I was a hysterical girl pretending to be cursed. Haha.

    @booksntea - I will have to look into the Glass Menagerie - I have never heard of it before.

    @Melody - When I was looking at some quotes of The Crucible to refresh my memory on it for this post, I thought that it didn't seem as bad as I remembered. Maybe I would like it better now.

    @parrishlantern - Hmm I've never used live writer. Might have to look into it. And I agree with the multiple rereadings. I loved the Giver the first time I read it on my own, and then I had to read it for two classes. I never hated it, but the love definitely faded.

  14. @J.G. Good to know about that translation. I am definitely going to look into it someday. I've never read Faulkner but I heard that Absalom, Absalom was life-changing.

    @Adam - We read the Iliad and the Odyssey together, and it may have been the negative feelings about the Iliad carrying over! And I have been thinking about rereading the Crucible, because the quotes I was reading to refresh my memory make it sound really good. I might have just been a disgruntled highschooler when I first read it!

    @emeire - Yes, that is my experience exactly.

    @Elizabeth - Hmm, I've never heard of that one, but now I know to avoid it!

    @Amanda - There are so many mixed feelings about both books! I guess that is what happens when so many people have to read them for school.

    @lettersforno1: Yes, a bad teacher can ruin the best of books.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...