The GCSE English syllabus has been in the news lately with allegations Michael Gove does not like Of Mice and Men (though he has denied banning it). Regardless of the merits or otherwise of that particular novel the controversy has led to more of the usual pontificating of what should be read by all 16 year-olds – basically everything remotely ‘intellectual’. This example from Robert McCrum being a notable example. For the record I don’t think the 16 year-old would have got anything from reading Austen, Bronte or Joyce. I thought some of these books were OK-- I might even have enjoyed one or two of them.
These are the novels, short stories, poems and plays I remember from GCSE . for the reconrd I have not read any of the them since. Surely I read more than this!
John Steinbeck Of Mice and Men
Robert C O’Brien Z for Zachariah. Apparently a new movie is being filmed.
Neville Shute A Town like Alice (I chose this one for the wider reading element).
James Thurber The Secret life of Walter Mitty. (Short story)
J B Priestley An Inspector calls (Play)
Shakespeare MacBeth. We watched a film version of Romeo and Juliet and saw Twelfth Night at Stratford (which I enjoyed).
Poetry: Rupert Brooke The Soldier and Wilfred Owen Dulce et Decorum est