Whether your days of required reading are far behind you or fresh in your mind, sometimes what starts as an assigned book can become an all-time favorite. If you’re looking for a new novel to add to your shelf, our helpful ModEmployees are here with their own reading list recommendations.
Read on to see which school books our employees hold near and dear to their hearts, and be sure to let us know your recs in the comments!
“I loved Great Expectations. I have read it so many times, and I always seem to fall in love with it over and over again. The House of Seven Gables was also one of my favorites. I even made my Dad take me to Boston so I could tour the house that it was based on. These were two books that I always felt I could escape into when reading.” – Taryn, Product Launch Coordinator
“Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston” – Susan, Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer
“Frankenstein. Up ’til senior year English Lit, I’d just assumed I knew the plot and the basic themes from pop culture. Boy, was I wrong. I found a beautiful and complex novel about the human soul and free will, and, man, Dr. Frankenstein’s a jerk. I still reread that one for fun.” – Deanna, Merchandise and Operations Manager
“The Perks of Being a Wallflower! It’s a great story and what better city to set it in than Pittsburgh?”- Brett, Unpacking and Dock Management Process Lead
“I read The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien in a college class and became hooked on O’Brien. It really opens your eyes to the lasting impact of war on the people who fight it. It turned that class from my least favorite to my most favorite, and inspired my senior thesis.” – Ashley, Head of Product Management
“Reading Lolita in Tehran. My whole family has read it since I had to in school and we all love it!”- Christen, Fashion Writer
“The Great Gatsby, and would also add two short stories that made me want to read as much as possible, and write as much as possible: Flannery O’Connor’s A Good Man is Hard to Find and Joyce Carol Oates’ Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?.” – Molly, Fashion Writing Manager
“Emile Zola’s Germinal (not sure how our AP English teacher picked this one, but I thank him for it). Seconding Molly’s Flannery O’Connor.”- Julie, Ad and Marketing Writer
“To Kill a Mockingbird was a required book that was a standout for me.”- Jeanette, Shipping Team Lead
“The Giver. I loved it when I was younger and still have a soft spot for dystopian fiction.” – Erin, Production Support Analyst
“Watchmen! My rad, iconoclastic teacher Mr. Robinson had us read this in my senior year English class, and I was majorly impressed by the way art, word, and the wonderful aesthetic of superheros wove together to tell a thought-provoking story.” – Hannah, Writing Development Editor
“Death in Venice by Thomas Mann was a requirement for my European Intellectual History class… I still have dreams about it. Fantastic imagery!” – Megan, Senior Manager of Email and CRM
“Island of the Blue Dolphins… I think that was third grade? I didn’t discover it in class as assigned reading, but I found it in our library and it has always been one of my favorites.” – Amy, Customer Care Specialist
“I Go to Some Hollow by Amina Cain was required in a graduate workshop class I took. I read this collection of short stories when I was struggling with where I wanted to take my writing. The texture in the writing in seemingly quiet moments astounded me. The stories greatly helped shape my writing at the time.” – Kelly, Customer Care Advocate
“Pride and Prejudice. It didn’t even feel like required reading and encouraged me to read all of Austen’s novels. Also, Thomas Hardy’s The Mayor of Casterbridge. It was like reading a soap opera. And Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath.” – Helena, Designer Relations Associate
“I was required to read Les MisÃ©rables in my sophomore English class. I knew nothing about it, but, coincidentally, a duo of singers in Choir chose a song from the musical for our talent show. I fell in love with the book and musical. I really loved the conflict between doing what is legally right versus what is ethically/morally right. Sometimes the line is blurred. For that reason, Inspector Javert became my favorite character.” – Mark, Producer Consult
“Catcher in the Rye. My sister Cynthia actually read it out loud to me when she was in high school and I was in elementary school. I fell in love with literature and it inspired a reading frenzy.” – Beatrice, Senior Associate Category Manager
“I took a contemporary lit class in college by choice, which introduced me to Dave Eggers by way of his collection of short stories: How We Are Hungry. It was only a matter of time until I fell in love with his writing and soon read all other works by him that I could get my hands on.” – Mary, Community Specialist Marketing Manager
What school books have you fallen for?