10th, 11th, and 12th Grade Suggested Summer Reading List

Adolescents in LiteratureAmerican Literature  – American Novel –  American Voices  –  Analysis of Literature and Film – Biblical and Classical LiteratureBritish LiteratureContinental LiteratureCreative WritingDetective Fiction – Expository WritingHeroes in LiteratureIdeas in DramaIrish LiteratureMaking and Remaking RaceThe Novel – Russian Literary Imagination – Shakespeare – Postcolonial LiteratureWestern Literary Tradition

The following are suggestions for summer reading arranged by course. These books are not part of the regular curriculum but are related to the themes of the course. For your summer reading, be guided by this list, or you may make selections of your choosing.

Adolescents in Literature

  • My Life as a Dog, Jonsson
  • A Soldier’s Legacy, Boll
  • Kaffir Boy, Mathabane
  • Mister Pip, Jones
  • Oranges are not the Only Fruit, Winterson
  • Cat and Mouse, Grass
  • The Fifth Child, Lessing

American Literature

  • Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Stowe
  • The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck
  • March, Brooks
  • Housekeeping, Robinson
  • A Confederacy of Dunces, Toole
  • Plainsong, Haruf
  • Peace Like a River, Enger

American Novel

  • A Confederacy of Dunces, O’Toole
  • Sometimes a Great Notion, Kesey
  • Tar Baby, Morrison
  • Tell Me a Riddle, Olsen
  • The Day of the Locust, West

American Voices

  • The Five People You Meet in Heaven, Albom
  • The Green Mile, King
  • Kitchen God’s Wife, Tan
  • The Help, Stockett
  • The Lie, O.H. Bennett

Analysis of Literature and Film

  • The Godfather, Puzo
  • High Fidelity, Hornby
  • Everything Bad is Good for You, Johnson
  • Understanding Movies, Gianetti
  • The Joy Luck Club, Tan
  • The Namesake, Lahiri

Biblical and Classical Literature

  • Walking the Bible, Feiler
  • A Journey through the Five Books of Moses, Feiler
  • A Short History of Myth, Armstrong
  • The Penelopiad, Atwood
  • The Aeneid, Virgil
  • The Iliad, Homer
  • The World of Odysseus, Finley
  • Mythology, Hamilton

British Literature (Early & Modern)

  • The Once and Future King, White
  • Rebecca, DuMaurier
  • Atonement, McEwan
  • The Mists of Avalon, Bradley
  • The Moonstone, Collins
  • Great Expectations, Dickens
  • The Jeeves novels, Wodhouse

Continental Literature

  • Faust, Part Two, Goethe
  • Torqumada, Galdo
  • Cousin Bette, Balzac
  • Death in Venice, Mann
  • Letter to My Father, Kafka
  • The Garden of the Finzi-Continis, Bassani
  • Cat and Mouse, Grass
  • The Periodic Table, Levi
  • To Painting, Alberti
  • Shadow of Paradise, Aleixandre
  • L’Assommoir, Zola

Creative Writing

  • The Call of Stories, Coles
  • Stories, Bierce
  • 3 Lives, Stein
  • Bird by Bird, LaMott
  • On Writing, King
  • One Writer’s Beginnings, Welty

Detective Fiction

  • Wilkie Collins–The Moonstone
  • Agatha Christie–And Then There Were None
  • Nancy Drew, Girl Detective–The Secret of the Old Clock; The Hidden Staircase, and The Bungalow Mystery
  • Sue Grafton–any alphabet title from the Kinsey Millhone series–A ifor Alibi; B is for Burglar, etc…
  • Tony Hillerman–any title from the Navajo Tribal Police series featuring Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee

Expository Writing

  • On Writing Well, Zinsser
  • Slouching Toward Bethlehem, Didion
  • A Room of One’s Own, Woolf

Heroes in Literature

  • My Left Foot, Browne
  • Josephine: The Hungry Heart, Baker
  • Mythology, Hamilton
  • Days of Grace, Ashe
  • The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Campbell
  • Second Class Citizen, Emecheta
  • The Watchmen, Moore and Gibbons
  • Persepolis 2, Satrapi

Ideas in Drama

  • Pygmalion, Shaw
  • Mother Courage, Brecht
  • Cyrano de Bergerac, Rostand
  • The Miser, Moliere

Irish Literature

  • Reading in the Dark, Deane
  • Oxford Book of Irish Short Stories, ed. by Trevor
  • Fools of Fortune, Trevor
  • The Commitments, Doyle
  • Killing Rage, Collins
  • The Easter Rebellion, Caulfield
  • The Country Girls, O’Brien
  • Star of the Sea, O’Connor

Making and Remaking of Race

  • Two Nations, Hacker
  • The Narrows, Petry
  • The Marrow of Tradition, Chestnut
  • Typical American, Jen
  • The Red Convertible: Selected and New Stories, 1978-2008, Erdrich

The Novel

  • Thirteen Ways of Looking at the Novel, Smiley
  • Like Water for Chocolate, Esquivel
  • One Hundred Years of Solitude, Marquez
  • Corelli’s Mandolin, De Bernieres
  • Death with Interruptions, Saramago

Russian Literary Imagination

  • Lady Macbeth of the Mitsensk District, Leskov
  • A Hero of Our Time, Lermontov
  • Anna Karenina, Tolstoy
  • Demons, Dostoevsky
  • Stories of Anton Chekhov, translated
  • by Pevear and Volokhonsky
  • Fathers and Sons, Turgenev
  • Doctor Zhivago, Pasternak
  • Selected Stories, Gorky
  • The Gulag Archipelago, Solzhenitzen


  • How Shakespeare Spent the Day, Brown
  • Shakespeare Without Tears, Webster
  • Shakespeare Alive!, Papp and Kirkland
  • Shakespeare of London, Chute
  • Clamorous Voices, Ruttner
  • Complete Sonnets, Shakespeare
  • Metamorphosis, Ovid
  • Essays, Montaigne
  • Elizabethan England, Picard
  • Everyday Life in Renaissance England, Emerson
  • Shakespeare: The World as Stage, Bryson

 Postcolonial Literature

Three Strong Women by Marie NDiaye
July’s People by Nadine Gordimer
Lucy by Jamaica Kincaid
The Famished Road by Ben Okri
The Bone People by Keri Hulme
Girls at War and Other Stories by Chinua Achebe
Inheritance of Loss by Anita Desai

Western Literary Tradition

  • The Closing of the Western Mind, Freeman
  • Plato at the Googleplex, Goldstein
  • The Medieval World View, Cook and Herzman
  • Brunelleschi’s Dome, King
  • Leonardo and the Last Supper, King
  • Humanity: A Moral History of the Twentieth Century, Glover

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