Feature and Follow Friday–English Lit Reading List

hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read
This week’s question:
Back to school.
Create a reading list for the imaginary English Lit class you’ll be teaching this semester.
It’s hard to make a list because I’ve read wonderful books from elementary school on up and a lot of those are must reads. If I made a list of the books I feel like everyone SHOULD read that I also read, I’d have too many for just one class. And then you have poetry, plays, and short stories that are equally important.

I love how my English classes had certain blocks of related material. My list will be blocks of topics and a couple examples of literature that fit the categories.

Edgar Allan Poe and other Gothic Tales

The Tell Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Greek Mythology

The Odyssey by Homer, Bulfinch’s Mythology: The Age of Fable by Thomas Bulfinch

Historical Issues

Witch Hunts, Racism, Civil Rights, Slavery, The Holocaust, and other important historical moments and the literature that represents them and the attitudes.
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, Night by Elie Wiesel


I had an identity block in Senior AP English. It was my favorite. We read so many thought provoking books, poems, and short stories.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger


Censorship, Dystopias

Even though it’s not nearly as important to our culture to expose people to the “dangers of communism” like it was to our society decades ago, this is an important area of study to me. These books are so eye opening.
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury, Animal Farm by George Orwell

Important Issues Involving Teens

These books have issues that teens understand, may have dealt with, and are written in ways that make them understandable and relatable.
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver


Anything by Shakespeare. I’m not a huge fan, but I’m glad I studied his works and I do think it is important to do so.
I’m missing a ton of great subjects and specific titles. There are so many books that NEED to be read and understood, but I think I could do a lot with these titles and areas of study. These books are all written in different ways, so a lot about style, tone, etc can be wrapped up into all of these.

What kind of books would you put on your list?


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