Books I'm Glad I Read in School

By The Reading Room CLE

By The Reading Room CLE

Intern Amanda (Summer 2019) brings us this list of five books that she definitely never would have chosen for herself, which have left her with only fond memories.

All of the Above

Shelley Pearsall

$8.00 $7.36

There are so many reasons I remember this book so fondly. I read this book in seventh grade, and my teacher went above and beyond with lesson plans. The story is set in Cleveland, and I had never, nor have I since, read anything set here. Pearsall even came to speak at my school while we were reading her book, and that was the first time I can remember considering writing, editing, or anything creative as a viable career option. Nothing but the warm fuzzies from this one.

Julius Caesar

William Shakespeare

$6.99 $6.43

This was the first non-comedy by Shakespeare I had ever read, and I had absolutely no expectations of enjoying it. My teacher (the same one who unfortunately assigned Into Thin Air) was incredible, though, and I found the language easier to read and the story more interesting every act. I was (am) also whole-heartedly convinced that Brutus and Cassius had a romantic relationship, and you couldn’t (can’t) convince me otherwise.

A Midsummer Night's Dream

William Shakespeare

$6.99 $6.43

Yes, another Shakespearean play. This one I read in my freshman year of college, and it was not at all what I expected. My class was able to attend a performance of the play at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater, which easily made up for a not-so-great lecture. Though walking a mile in Chicago snow wasn’t ideal, the play was one of the funniest stage performances I have ever seen.

Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy


Before my first year of college, I only thought of philosophy as an impossible subject and thing my parents definitely did not want me to major in. When I read this book in my first year honors seminar, I found myself following along and enjoying Descartes’ philosophical logic and reasoning. My professor was also 5 feet tall, had purple hair, and lectured barefoot sitting cross-legged on a table, so that was pretty cool. Don’t worry, Mom and Dad, I’m still not changing my major (yet).

Collected Fictions (Complete and)

Jorge Luis Borges

$25.00 $22.50

Of all the books on this list, this is definitely the one I would be least likely to choose for myself. I have very little experience with short story anthologies, and Borges’ writing is dense as all heck. Still though, I found myself looking forward to reading this after class was over, or wishing I could read this when I was doing other homework. Reading “The Library of Babel” in the window seat of a Megabus from Cleveland to Chicago seated next to a stranger I knew I would never see again was easily one of the most liminal things I have ever experienced.

Reader Advisory is a series in which community and business leaders and our staff offer their top 5 books on any topic. To contribute, e-mail [email protected]