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Summer Reading

Summer of 2017

This summer, all students will be required to read at least two books: one for their English class, and one selection from a list of choices. AP English students will read those two and an additional book, listed below.  The particular edition of the book does not matter (and e-books are fine), but students should bring their copies (or devices) to school. 

  • Class of 2021: Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories
  • Class of 2020: Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go
  • Class of 2019: Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • Class of 2018: Marina Keegan, The Opposite of Loneliness
  • AP English, to be read in addition to the sixth-form reading: David Wroblewski, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel

In addition to the one English book above, students in all forms must choose one title from the following list of school-wide summer reading selections. Students will be asked to confirm their selection and record their thoughts about it on a form found here:

  • Brian Christian and Tom Griffiths, Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions
  • Homer Hickam, Rocket Boys
  • David Levithan, Every Day
  • Azar Nafisi, Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books
  • Tatiana de Rosnay, Sarah’s Key
  • Kamila Shamsie, Kartography
  • Héctor Tobar, Deep Down Dark
  • Colson Whitehead, The Intuitionist

The required reading is just a start to a full summer’s worth; the following books have given both students and teachers pleasure over the years. Read!


  • All School Reading Choices: Ready Player One, Ernest Cline, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life, Barbara Kingsolver, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Elizabeth Kolbert, In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex, Nathaniel Philbrick, Between Shades of Grey, Ruta Sepetys, Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do, Claude M. Steele
  • Class of 2020: Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rushdie, Class of 2019: Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguro, Class of 2018: Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Class of 2017: The Opposite of Loneliness, Marina Keegan, For AP English students, to be read in addition to the ’17 book: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel, David Wroblewski


  • All-School Reading: Daniel James Brown, Boys in the Boat
  • Class of 2019: Shoeless Joe, W.P. Kinsella, Class of 2018: A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens, Class of 2017: The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, Sherman Alexie, Class of 2016: The Opposite of Loneliness, Marina Keegan, AP English students: The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel, David Wroblewski

2014: Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken
2013: David Yezzi, Birds of the Air
2012: Natasha Trethewey, Native Guard
2011: Ishmael Beah, A Long Way Gone
2010: Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle
2009: Jonathan Lethem, Motherless Brooklyn
2008: Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods

Time-Honored Reads

William Armstrong, Sounder
Jane Austen, Sense and Sensibility
Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot
Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
Willa Cather, My Antonia
John Cheever, The Stories of John Cheever
Charles Dickens, Great Expectations
E.L. Doctorow, Ragtime
Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary
Ken Follett, The Pillars of the Earth
Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl
John Grisham, Litigators
John Guare, Six Degrees of Separation
David Guterson, The Country Ahead of Us, the Country Behind
Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D'Urbervilles
Ernest Hemingway, The Sun Also Rises
Homer, The Odyssey (Fagles, trans.)
James Joyce, Dubliners
Milan Kundera, Unbearable Lightness of Being
Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird
Sinclair Lewis, The Jungle
Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
Toni Morrison, Beloved
Flannery O'Connor, The Complete Stories
George Orwell, 1984
J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
John Steinbeck, Cannery Row
John Steinbeck, East of Eden
John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath
John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom's Cabin
Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina (Pevear and Volokhonsky, trans.)
Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire
Richard Wright, Black Boy

More Recent Recommended Reads

Isabel Allende, The House of the Spirits
Kate Atkinson, One Good Turn
Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of Private Life
Caleb Carr, The Alienist
Michael Chabon, The Adventures of Kavalier and Klay
Bryce Courtenay, The Power of One
Jim Crace, Being Dead
Roddy Doyle, The Woman Who Walked into Doors
Jeffrey Eugenides, Middlesex
Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections
Jonathan Franzen, Freedom
Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens
Neil Gaiman, American Gods
Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point
Donald Hall, White Apples and the Taste of Stone: Selected Poems 1946-2006
Patricia Highsmith, Strangers on a Train
Laura Hillenbrand, Unbroken
Susanna Kaysen, Girl Interrupted
Ken Kesey, Sometimes a Great Notion
Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild
Tony Kushner, Angels in America
Jhumpa Lahiri, Unaccustomed Earth
Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird
Reif Larsen, The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet
Mario Varga Llosa, The Feast of the Goat
David Mamet, Glengarry Glen Ross
Henning Mankell, The Fifth Woman
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
Cormac McCarthy, The Road
Conor McPherson, The Seafarer
Lorrie Moore, Birds of America
Audrey Niffenegger, The Time Traveler's Wife
Marsha Norman, 'night, Mother
Tim O'Brien, The Things They Carried
Jamie O'Neil, At Swim, Two Boys
Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club
Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower
Chaim Potak, My Name is Asher Lev
Chaim Potak, The Chosen
Steven Pressfield's The Gates of Fire
Richard Russo, Empire Falls
Richard Russo, Straight Man
José Saramago, Blindness
Curtis Sittenfeld, American Wife
Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels
Art Spiegelman, Maus: A Survivor's Tale I and II
Elizabeth Strout, Olive Kitteridge
John Kennedy Toole, A Confederacy of Dunces
Wells Tower, Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned
David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest
David Foster Wallace, A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again
Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle
Tobias Wolff, The Night in Question
Marcus Zusak, The Book Thief