By: Aambar Agarwal & Divya Bhardwaj

We have read lots of books during our time at HB, and we enjoyed them all in their unique ways, but some were definitely better than others. Here’s all the books we have read, ranked first by Aambar and then by Divya. 

Aambar’s list:

1. The Gate to Women’s Country

What’s not to love? The plot was incredibly original; who could ever think of a dystopian society run by women that subjugate and kill off men who fail to obey? If only there was a sequel…

2. Twelfth Night

Arguably Shakespeare’s best play, with the best character being poor Malvolio in his bright yellow cross-gartered clothing.

3. The Odyssey

Besides the lure of Greek mythology, Odysseus’ constant failures and tantrums really made the epic what it is: a masterpiece.

4. Judge Dee at Work

Full of magnificent mysteries and unguessable perpetrators.

5. The Importance of Being Earnest

Isn’t Ernest just such a perfect name?

6. Julius Caesar

While the Ides of March was a terribly depressing day, seeing Caesar’s magnificence portrayed so well by Shakespeare made the play enjoyable.

7. The Great Gatsby

I’ll admit: all the characters are trash. However, Nick’s pushover personality and Gatsby’s obsessive stalking made the book quite the read.

8. Great Expectations

Everything exceeded my expectations. The dull, monotonous descriptions of everything, from a random swamp to a large boat, truly enlightened me.

9. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Definitely an important book to read if you’re interested in science. However, the title is quite misleading…

10. The Things They Carried

To my frustration, Tim O’Brien admits multiple times that he made up everything that happens in the novel. Nevertheless, the story really does convey the impact the Vietnam War had on the young soldiers.

11. Arabian Nights

While entertaining, the idiocy of the King was the only basis for the story. How was he that enthralled in Shahrazad’s stories that he decided not to kill her? Sounds like an ineffective ruler.

12. Life of Pi

Pi was on a boat with a tiger: not unlikely at all. But apparently, that’s just a story fabricated by Pi himself. In reality, the tiger was a human that survived a shipwreck with him, and the hyena was the chef, and… you only find this out on the last three pages.

13. A Doll’s House 

Boring. 

14. Jane Eyre

Jane is the most infuriating character in the history of novels. She willingly goes back to the very man who verbally abused her. What the %&$@!

15. The Woman Warrior

Very, very, very hard to understand… and apparently half of it is made up.

16. The Girl From Everywhere

Also known as the worst book in all of history. I don’t care if someone can time travel. I really don’t. And then there’s the love triangle: a completely unnecessary element.

Divya’s list:

  1. Twelfth Night

Unlike most of Shakespeare’s work, this play is very exciting. Full of dramatic irony, likeable characters, and a rich storyline, it really has all the elements of an enjoyable read. 

  1. The Odyssey

This piece of literature is not fun to read if you look at it through the traditional lens. However, it is very easy to come up with entertaining interpretations of everything you read! Odysseus’ outbursts and tantrums are actually hilarious! The suitors trashing the palace while Penelope and Telemachus mope and complain is the height of comedy! The fact that Odysseus spent seven years of his “ten-year journey” home crying on Calypso’s island is endlessly amusing! If you’re in the right mindset, reading the Odyssey is even better than reality TV. 

  1. The Importance of Being Earnest

This is the only book I’ve read for English in which the characters and dialogue are actually funny. 

  1. The Great Gatsby 

This book is great because all the characters suck, so it’s amusing when all of their lives culminate in disaster. 

  1. A Doll’s House

I thought this would be another book about how women are clueless and need a man, but I was pleasantly surprised by the ending, which in fact suggested the opposite! 

  1. Arabian Nights

It’s so odd, but in a strange way, I felt really captivated by the story. I actually read some parts of it that weren’t assigned to us because I was so immersed in the story. 

  1. Life of Pi

I loved it until the last few pages. Why can’t he just tell us if the animals were really there or if it was actually people with whom he was on the boat? I hate when authors confuse readers just because they can. 

  1. Judge Dee at Work

This book makes no sense. I love it.

  1. Julius Caesar

Meh.

  1. The Things They Carried

Thought-provoking, but I don’t know how I feel about some/most/all of it being made up.

  1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Something rubs me the wrong way about some random girl recounting a deeply personal family story. 

  1. The Girl From Everywhere

I think they tried to give us a book they thought we would enjoy reading, but it was actually just over the top and too drama-filled. 

  1. Jane Eyre

I was so happy when Jane left Mr. Rochester. I was like, wow, this book really is about female empowerment! Then she went right back to him, so.  

  1. Great Expectations

You can definitely tell this man got paid by the word. 

  1. The Woman Warrior

This “memoir” read more like a fever dream. 

  1. The Gate to Women’s Country

I think there’s a reason they don’t make us read this book anymore. 

Alas. Let us know if you have any opinions about our choices.

Posted by:hbinretrospect

Reporting not for school, but for life.

222 replies on “All the Books We Have Read for English at HB, Ranked

  1. You try narrating a failed- before-it-started love story about an overidealistic dude who exists solely as a symbol of how the American Dream is fake and your annoying cousin, perhaps one of the most illogical characters in classic literature (there must be something in bay water).

      1. You guys are supposed to be my friends. So sad.

        Ngl, I feel like me and Daisy might still get together.

      2. DAISY. MY EVERYTHING. MY WORLD. MY GREEN LIGHT. GET A DIVORCE AND MARRY ME! ME AND MY BEAUTIFUL SHIRTS

      3. DAISY, YOU DO LOVE HIS SHIRTS! more than anything or anyone else in the book (including your child omg)

      4. ok, his shirts were cute, but like…. he’s a bootlegger! i’m too pretty to go to jail :,(

      5. I wasn’t driving it. I TOOK THE FALL FOR LOVE. I LOVE UR WIFE TOM PLZ DIVORCE (daisy deserves better than you)

      6. yeah bc I don’t cheat on my wife *sips tea* I love and respect people. also bootlegging isn’t rlyyyyy a crime.

      7. ahhhhh at least that means I can live in the past. oh, also did I mention @DAISYBUCHANAN plz marry me. you can be… daisy g.

        also myrtle u were way better than people gave u credit for

      8. You, with your words like knives
        And swords and weapons that you use against me
        You have knocked me off my feet again
        Got me feeling like I’m nothing
        You, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard
        Calling me out when I’m wounded
        You, pickin’ on the weaker man

      9. Well, you can take me down
        With just one single blow
        But you don’t know what you don’t know

      10. Someday, I’ll be living in a big old city
        And all you’re ever gonna be is mean
        Someday, I’ll be big enough so you can’t hit me

      1. thank god i “don’t get it!” bc unlike you, lover boy, i lived! unlike you!

        i’m the boy who lived!

  2. Excuse me? I am NOT “trash”. I’m one of the few ~honest~ people I’ve ever known.

    You try narrating a failed love story between people like that. NOT. EASY.

      1. it’s so hard to find love here. i’m so sad i need a fresh start. i think i might leave. hopefully i can find a nice car to CARRY me AWAY

        HAHHAHAHHAHAHHAAHA would a ‘pushover, trash character’ come up with a joke like that

      2. omg nick plz j go away. PLZ. that pun is ATROCIOUS. and yes; a pushover, trash character would come up w that

      1. wdym “what?” you frickin’ DIED, that’s how bad you failed at wooing the “flower of your life”

    1. JORDAN, MY CRUSH, WHY MUST U HURT ME IN THIS WAY. I’m so cool and calm and undramatic everyone trusts ME. WOULD A PUSHOVER SELF-ADVOCATE LIKE THAT. as I said some time ago, I am one of the few honey people I’ve ever known.

      k u know what? I’m out west egg is too immoral. blocking out u toxic people back to the middle west or wherever.

      (ps I still love u)

      1. wait so i thought gatsby was ur crush??? my bad. but u can leave! nobody wants u here anyways

      2. THE AMERICAN DREAM CAN’T HIT U IF IT’S NOT REAL *insert head tapping meme here*

    2. so cold so heartless so indifferent. just like u were with myrtle. can’t with u ‘roaring 20’s’ people goodbye.
      “Angry, and half in love with her, and tremendously sorry, I turned away.”

      1. oh. my. lord. u r SO dramatic. like damn control ur emotions (like me)! or else go b w gatsby, i’m sure he’d appreciate ur plethora of angst

      2. excuse me. i am not the character in this book who committed vehicular homicide.

      1. YO, PEN. I WAS GOING THROUGH A DIFFICULT TIME. like you were. have some compassion for your husband.

        also I got the suitors away from the palace. so we could happily live our lives in peace.

      2. TELEMACHUS, SO DISRESPECTFUL. DISGRACEFUL. U DON’T UNDERSTAND, OKAY? EVERYONE lIkes me i’m so POPULAR and COOL. DO NOT TALK TO YOUR FATHER, KING OF ITHACA, LIKE THAT. shameful. you’re grounded: no crying for a week lollll GOOD LUCK.

      3. odysseus, you really expect our son not to cry for a week? IK U WERE GONE FOR 20 YEARS BUT HAVE YOU EVER MET YOUR CHILD

        k back to weaving.

      4. daddy, you’re the only one who can cry for that long – let’s not forget that you cried for a whole SEVEN years of your life, rather than come back to your dear “kingdom” and dear child and dear wife

      5. also mommy, stop weaving so much. it’s not like you played a large role in my childhood either – you literally just weaved and weaved and weaved

      6. TELEMACHUS TAKE A SEAT. I was a great parent I was weaving to avoid having to marry those suitors

      7. TELEMACHUS. it was an emotional journey. EMOTIONAL JOURNEY. DID SOMEONE MUTE MY MIC WHY IS NO ONE HEARING ME.

        wow look at me so strong so brave KING of ITHACA yes plz

        YOU’RE WELCOME FOR GETTING THE SUITORS OUT

      8. bRuH the suitors would’ve been better rulers than u (and were frankly more TOLERABLE – at least they didn’t have unpredictable MOOD SWINGS.) too bad mommy’s an IDIOT who can’t recognize talent when she sees it – or rather could not even LIFT HER EYES from her weaving to acknowledge it

      9. here on my island, the sea says hello. dolphins are waving wherever I go. there’s a song in the breeze, and a home in the treeeees…

      10. Here on our island the days are a dream, hanging together we work as a team, and the magic extends, through our family of friends………………. here on your island the fun never ends!

      1. ummmmmmm….. want me to strike “literally everyone” with a lightning bolt?? bc i can do that.

      2. lol father I’m the one who convinced u to help odysseus u seemedperfectly chill about him wandering around by himself

      3. yah ik?? j wanna save ur rep by striking the haters. idc abt odysseus, he can go to tartarus for all i care

  3. thanks I also think I’m funny. there’s nothing like pretending to be someone else for absolutely no reason and plunging everyone’s lives into chaos and disarray! my brother takes it to a new level though because he married someone he’d never even met lol.

      1. bc olivia was crazy in love with my sister’s disguise à la 2003 beyonce :((( and we had little to no choice in this matter. i’m so sorry it had to end this way antonio. still upset about it centuries later ❤

        sebtonio forever though.

      1. IG WE’RE NOT GONNA BE MARRIED ANYMORE SEBASTIAN.

        were u just gonna send me a postcard

        wait actually it’s okay idek u anyway

        my one true love is… HI VIOLA

      2. weird flex but ok. antonio here i come! maybe i’ll send u a post card on our honeymoon 😉

      3. hey so j wondering…. did u like me bc i was a considerate guy or do u like genuinely like me for me? r u srsly ok w my deception? if so………………………. LETS GOOOOOOOOOOO

      4. into the UNKNOWNNNNNNNNNNN into the UNKNOOOOOOOWN (annoying four notes)

        bye Sebastian

      5. *sigh* it’s ok.

        me and Annie can build a snowman together 🙂 if ya know what i mean

      1. “no yeah?”u contradict yourself. I am the true detective. bow down to me, judge dee.

      2. NO I’M NOT what does that even mean you’re supposed to be a scholar.

        (also I only like Roland)

      3. We were both young when I first saw you
        I close my eyes and the flashback starts
        I’m standin’ there
        On a balcony in summer air

      4. See the lights, see the party, the ball gowns
        See you make your way through the crowd
        And say, “Hello”
        Little did I know

      5. That you were Romeo, you were throwin’ pebbles
        And my daddy said, “Stay away from Juliet”
        And I was cryin’ on the staircase
        Beggin’ you, “Please don’t go, ” and I said

      6. Romeo, take me somewhere we can be alone
        I’ll be waiting, all there’s left to do is run
        You’ll be the prince and I’ll be the princess
        It’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes”

      1. cropper everyone knows you’re super shady. trying to exhume the grave by yourself shame on you.

      1. Personally, I’d prefer “Reader, I didn’t marry him.” Seriously, JJ, you deserve better.

      2. u jelly???? 😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏😏

  4. OMG THANK U SO MUCH. MY BRIGHT YELLOW CROSS-GARTERED CLOTHING AND I HAVE NEVER RECEIVED MUCH RECOGNITION SO I’M SO EXCITED RN.

      1. AHH. what r u doing here

        ( PRO TIP: DO NOT MARRY SOMEONE YOU’VE NEVER MET EVEN IF THEY’RE IDENTICAL TO THE PERSON U HAVE A CRUSH ON)

      1. oho my DEAR wicky I LOVE YOU SO MUCH why wouldn’t you want to be featured in such a DELIGHTFUL article

      1. no Charlotte all wrong have I taught you nothing? the things u DO sometimes Charlie.

      2. well ya know what?? at least i didn’t fall in love w pretentious @FitzwillyDarcy

  5. What does ‘Meh’ mean?

    OH NEVER MIND I GET IT IT’S ‘ET TU, BRU-MEH?’

    pronunciation slightly off but it works.

    still can’t believe brutal brutus did that to ME. ME!!! CAESAR!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. hahah sorry man i just got sick of your tyranny. maybe if you weren’t so egotistical and successful i wouldn’t have

      1. u don’t do ur friends like that brutus

        Cassius u take PLEASURE in murdering me

        meanies

        U COULD HAVE JUST HAD A CONVERSATION WITH ME

      2. but u were always going off in latin and like tbh latin is a dead language
        like nobody understands that stuff anymore…………………………..

  6. y’all i was just hallucinating the whole time…. don’t worry. the entire book is just one of my more intense fever dreams 🙂

      1. hold up I can’t eat you if I don’t exist..
        do I exist?
        did any of the animals on the boat exist?
        does the boat exist?
        does the ocean exist?
        does the world exist?

      2. u say did u exist
        i say that u did, in my mind
        a scary place, full of undesired
        thoughts, more vicious than
        tigers, hyenas – zebras?
        my mind floats on water
        as unsteady as an 100-year boat
        rotting wood, too-small holes
        filling with the depths of my
        unforgiving brain
        revolving, turning, twisting
        my mind is the world –
        my world.

    1. We clawed, we chained, our hearts in vain
      We jumped, never asking why
      We kissed, I fell under your spell
      A love no one could deny

    2. Don’t you ever say I just walked away
      I will always want you
      I can’t live a lie, running for my life
      I will always want you 😦

    3. I came in like a wrecking ball
      I never hit so hard in love
      All I wanted was to break your walls
      All you ever did was wreck me
      Yeah, you, you wreck me

      1. (Estella you did wreck me. Please marry me bc I’ve loved u since we were kids). Come into the mist with me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    4. I put you high up in the sky
      And now, you’re not coming down
      It slowly turned, you let me burn
      And now, we’re ashes on the ground

      1. ^^ that’s why I need love. u did this to me when I was an impressionable child omg how dare u.

      1. fun fact that many of you men seem to have difficulty understanding: YOU CAN ONLY BE MARRIED TO ONE PERSON AT A TIME. YOU HAVE TO PICK SOMEONE. MAKE A DECISION, OLD CHAP.

        I HAVE NEVER CHEATED ON MY WIFE EVER (you go, Joe)

      2. ok i’ll go after herby.

        he understands me better than u and any other female wld, anyways

  7. i wish i had a chance at love… like Roland and Pip and Darcy and Rochester and …………. everyone. life’s j so unfair to ppl like me 😦

      1. OMG U *BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP* STOLE MY *BLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP* LIFE

        there’s a special place for BEES like u in hell

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