One thing that seems to be on everyone’s reading list are the “classics”, but what books actually make up the classic canon (also known as the “dead white guys” – problematic in itself, but that’s for another day) can be a little bit shaky.

Upon entering college, it seems like everyone has read Mark Twain, Shakespeare, and a spattering of Dickens. High school students are handed Romeo & Juliet and Catcher in the Rye is an American public school staple. And yet, there are still books that I somehow glossed over in my high school career!

Even from a teacher’s standpoint, there are some books that are unofficial required reading of public schools. What books seem to be on every high school reading syllabus?

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12.
Since part of me feels guilty having majored in English Literature without having read these books, one of my goals this year is to read some of the classic novels it seems that everyone read in high school except me! To be honest, I didn’t read many of these books at my school, and the ones I did I didn’t care for (I still can’t bring myself to read the whole of Catcher in the Rye; I just don’t see its charm. But I will tackle it!). Maybe I’ll put together a reading list of what my school read, hmm….

Be my friend on Goodreads and we can tackle these classics together!

Did you read any of these in high school? What books do you feel like you missed out on?