Top Ten Tuesday: Back to school!

Top Ten Tuesday book meme

Top Ten Tuesday is held over at That Artsy Reader Girl, where every week bloggers list their top 10 being asked about. This week the topic is about kids in the US going back to school, and since it’s the other way around here, I thought I’d do something different: the books I wish I’d read in school.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: This is on the list because high school English ruined Shakespeare for me. No other playwright seemed to exist, or for that matter, no other play but his tragedies. It was depressing.

The Institute of Fantastical Inventions: I went to this book’s launch, and will be reviewing it soon and one thing that resonates with me is that this is a book that makes science fun — and I hated science. For real. I don’t know if it would have worked or not, but it got me wondering…

Agatha Christie: In keeping with the theme of only classics matter in high school in South Africa, I am listing Agatha Christie — any book of hers really — because ‘mystery’ & ‘genre’ are not dirty words. I remember being afraid of being laughed at for reading sci-fi or mystery in high school.

Sally Andrew, Margie Orford, or any South African mystery writer: In addition to the classics in plays, we couldn’t read a popular author. “Popular” fiction is another dirty word I think in the books-that-matter world.

Anatomy of a Scandal: Granted this is more adult than aimed at high school kids, but the exploration of the imbalance of power between men and women, or girls and boys — it starts in school. Where else are you going to learn about these things?

Well, okay this is more about the types of books I wish I read in high school 🤷🏽‍♀️


  • Greg says:

    I would have loved to read HP in high school- or Agatha Christie for that matter. I feel like Christie is “classic” enough that it wouldn’t have been much of a stretch, but nooo… they had to make us read boring stuff. 🙂

  • There’s quite a lot of books that I wish I’d read at school. Looking back, so many of the books we did read were so uninspired!

  • Ah this was such a good take on this week!! I agree with your types of books listed. And anything HP that would be required would be awesome.

  • Angie Elle says:

    I wish I had read more SF/F in school. I always thought that SFF meant something like Star Trek, and I wasn’t a fan. Luckily my tastes have expanded and I’ve found I enjoy the genre much more than I thought I would!

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Jo says:

    I would love to have got to read more popular or contemporary fiction in school!
    My TTT:

  • Having Harry Potter in existance when I was at school would have helped me deal with the books I was forced to read! I’d rather have read the screenplays to The Cursed Child and Fantastic Beasts than Death of a Salesman and Pygmalion!!!

  • I bet Harry Potter is on a lot of lists today 🙂

  • Agatha Christie was one of my favorite authors when I was in high school. I read quite a few of her books, but it’s been so long . . . I want to eventually go back and read them all–and more–again. I haven’t read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, but I’m with you there about plays. I haven’t met a Shakespeare play I like.This is a great list, Verushka! I love your take on today’s topic. I wasn’t so original, I’m afraid. Haha

  • Angela says:

    Agatha Christie would be a great choice! It would be fun for the kids to come up with their theories while reading.

  • Jen Mullen says:

    In addition to the classics, I gave my students choices to read what they wanted. I ended up discovering a great many new-to-me authors, and it was great fun to see the choices the kids made. One girl’s choices included The Outlander and The Handmaid’s Tale. This was years ago, and I love her for open mind. Friday Night Lights made the list of several boys and The Relic by Preston and Childs was another favorite. They chose everything from Camus to Patterson. I have to admit, I loved teaching Shakespeare, and I think most of them enjoyed Hamlet more than MacBeth. The discussions!

  • Ooh Cursed Child! Or anything Harry Potter would have been awesome. I actually read Agatha Christie a couple times for school reading, but more of her would have been awesome…or just more mysteries in general!


  • Astilbe says:

    Ooh, Anatomy of a Scandal sounds like a good read.

    Here is our Top Ten Tuesday.

  • Shealea says:

    What an interesting take on this week’s prompt! I do think there’s also a heap tons of books that I wish I read when I was in high school.

    Great list!

  • I would have loved to read Agatha Christie when I was in school. Oh and HP too!

  • Sam@WLABB says:

    It’s seems pretty universal, that we all sort of wish we read different books when we were in school. I hope that someday, more modern lit will be considered for more than just the “reluctant” readers of the school.

    • Verushka says:

      Pretty much. And I sincerely hope YA is recognised more for all the powerful stories that are being written right now. Please oh please let people not wait 50 years to do that!

  • I don’t know why popular books is a bad thing.

    Did they have you do book reports of books that you wanted to read? I remember in our Honors English class we’d sometimes read books of our choice and we’d report to the class on it (a little like our blog book reviews). I remember reading The Autobiography of Malcolm X and reporting on that.

    • Verushka says:

      Me either! Yup, we did have to book reports, and they counted to our final year marks, so you had to choose the classics to show, I guess, you’re a critical thinker or something? I don’t know, that was the thinking: classics count and nothing else does.

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