This post is a part of the Top 5 Wednesday series from the Goodreads group of the same name. Check it out for weekly #T5W post prompts and to see how other book bloggers have answered!
I want to write a quick disclaimer for this week’s Top 5 Wednesday before I step on any toes. The books on this list are not ‘forgettable’ in a negative sense. Most of them are books that I remember enjoying, I’ve just for some reason completely forgotten what they are about!
So here are my Top 5 ‘Forgettable’ Books:
1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (1960)
When I read it: Grade 9, 2003
What I (sort of) remember: Let’s start this list off with a bang. I understand that by admitting to not remembering what happened in this book that I’m committing an enormous literary faux pas. All I remember is a court scene and that there was a character named Atticus and… that’s about it. It’s funny because I recall enjoying it and if someone was to ask me about it I would say that it’s a great book. To be fair, grade 9 was tremendously stressful and sprinkled with lovely episodes of extreme anxiety, so I think I was more concerned about being called on in English lit class than remembering too much of what I read.
2. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (1962)
When I read it: Grade 6, 2000
What I (sort of) remember: The cover is literally burned into my memory. There was something so bizarre and mysterious about it. I remember reading it in my grade 6 classroom during reading time (aka the best time of the day) and absolutely tearing through it. But all I seem to remember is that the main characters (siblings?) are looking their(?) father. I think it takes place on another planet or in another dimension, but I might only be saying that because of the cover. Whatever it’s about, eleven-year-old Ashley really really liked it. I think it’s being made into a movie now? Might be time to give this one a re-read!
(I just looked it up to confirm and oh my god, the cast. Oprah? Chris Pine? Reese Witherspoon? Mindy Kaling? Sign. Me. Up.)
3. The Stone Angel by Margaret Lawrence (1964)
When I read it: Grade 11, 2006
What I (sort of) remember: I read this when I took grade 12 English in night school during grade 11. I can’t remember why I was taking an English literature class a year ahead but I’m assuming it probably had something to do with university applications. I remember the teacher doing a unit on Canadian authors and poets since our authors are often overshadowed by American authors. So we read The Stone Angel as part of this unit and like the other books on the list so far, I really enjoyed it. Could I tell you what it’s about? No. I remember the main character being an elderly woman, that at some point there was a stone angel statue in a graveyard, and that the main character had disputes with who I think were her children? It’s a shame because it was a really lovely book but my brain has chosen to toss the plot aside. I think this is another one that I will re-read some point in the future.
4. King Lear by William Shakespeare (1606)
When I read it: Grade 11, 2006
What I (sort of) remember: I read King Lear for the same grade 12 English night course as The Stone Angel. I’m a bit frustrated with myself for forgetting King Lear because, again, I really did enjoy it (notice a theme?). I like Shakespeare’s plays and looked forward to reading a new one each year in high school, so this whole situation makes no sense to me. What’s strange is that we also read Death of a Salesman in this class which is REALLY good but not particularly eventful. But for some reason, I remember all of Death of a Salesman 12 years later, but almost nothing about King Lear or The Stone Angel.
5. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs (2011)
When I read it: 2012 (second or third-year university)
What I (sort of) remember: I know this is another one that I might be exiled for, but other than the really interesting photographs included in the text I can’t remember anything about this book. What I do remember is that I really did not like it. I remember so little about it that I can’t even remember if I finished reading it. I would try picking it up again but I was so underwhelmed that I will probably never bother. This is a reverse ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ situation. Which is a shame because I thought it would be something I’d enjoy.
So there are my Top 5 Forgettable Books. Are there any books you’ve forgotten over the years? What about the books included in your high school curriculum? Let me know in the comments!