Top Ten Tuesday

Posted June 28, 2016 by Nicky in General / 2 Comments

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a freebie week, so I mined the past topics for something interesting, and grabbed “Top Ten Books I Was ‘Forced’ To Read”. Which I shall interpret as meaning books read for class, rather than books people pressed upon me in a friendly manner…

  1. The Decameron, Boccaccio. Technically I don’t think I had to read this, but doing so definitely helps to understand the context of stuff like Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. And it is, in fact, a darn good read; some of the stories get repetitive, but there’s a lot of fascinating stuff going on.
  2. The Annotated Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien and Douglas A. Anderson. Normally I probably wouldn’t be interested in an annotated edition, but this has some really fascinating stuff.
  3. Cwmardy, Lewis Jones. Or basically all the Welsh literature I read for class, because it was all pretty eye-opening for me.
  4. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. My love affair with this poem didn’t really begin until I read it in the original, at a painstakingly slow speed, with a really intelligent tutor at the helm.
  5. Njal’s Saga. I just love that you can sum it up as “John Grisham for ancient Iceland”.
  6. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie. No, really! It was a class on crime fiction and it was awesome, and while Christie’s writing could get formulaic, reading this one alone was pretty awesome.
  7. Country Dance, Margiad Evans. Or was it Turf or Stone? Either way, this deserves a special mention alongside Cwmardy because the introduction just hit me in the gut with oh, I recognise this… I forget who it was, but someone wrote about not knowing anything about Welsh literature as they grew up, and thinking there was none, and yeah, I’ve been there.
  8. The Mabinogion. Else what kind of Welsh person would I be? But I didn’t really ‘get’ it or dig into it until I had to read it and relate it to other texts and dig into research and scholarship.
  9. Postcolonialism Revisited, Kirsti Bohata. The birth of my understanding of Wales as a colony, and our literature as postcolonial. Not that non-Welsh classmates tended to appreciate this point of view.
  10. Richard III, William Shakespeare. I honestly did not ‘get’ Shakespeare at first, so never bothered to read the history plays. Which turned out to be my favourites.

English Lit degree: useful for something, at least.

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2 responses to “Top Ten Tuesday

    • I really enjoyed reading it! Part of that is because I was learning Old Norse at the time and getting to translate parts of it, and really seeing how it worked, but I enjoyed the whole thing. There can be a lot to keep track of, but I find it gets easier as you go along!

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