Another English teacher was sponsor of the chess club. He also taught junior English, and said "I teach appreciation of literature". His tests looked harder than the ones I had.
In French we read Victor Hugo and "Les Miserables" and also read one of the Dumas sequels to "Three Musketeers" (I think it was "The Iron in the Iron Mask"). Some time in high school I also read Thomas B. Costain's "The Moneyman" and loved it.
Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" was all too new (but pertinent) when I was in high school, but I wonder what English teachers would have thought of "The Fountainhead" or her other books. Critics, remember, had been hard on her at first.