AP Literature and Composition Summer Reading
ADVANCED PLACEMENT LITERATURE AND COMPOSITION
SUMMER READING- Optional but Recommended
To: West Seattle High School Senior, Class of 2022
Next year’s AP English class is an academically challenging course that will require you to read constantly, write frequently, and think relentlessly. One essay on the AP Literature exam, the Literary Argument, demands that students have a wide range of challenging literary works from which they can draw. The goal of this summer’s reading, however, is not only to prepare you for the exam, but to initiate you into the conversation about ideas through books by reading classic and contemporary works. While this summer assignment is optional, it is recommended to improve your reading skills, prepare for the class, and in September, I will ask all students to write about a novel or play you have recently read. So, as you head into summer break (and your senior year), please plan the following assignment into your schedule.
If you choose to take this challenge, reading is due by the start of school: September 2021. If you have any questions, write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Read one “Classic” text and one “Contemporary” text.
- Read the chosen books, taking notes or annotating as needed. These notes are for you: I will not collect or evaluate them.
- Read/skim/scanHow to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster. (Note: There aremanyused copies of this book online for only a couple dollars.)
- When we return to school, you will write an in-class essay on a book you have recently read and you may want to use the ideas from Foster’s book as a guide to analyze the literature you read.
The following list of books include recommended titles for classic and contemporary texts. While there is no required order, you might consider reading Foster’s book first as a way of preparing to read the two novels, to identify and analyze the features of literature. Or, focus on reading the novels and use Foster’s bookif you have time to review and analyze their features.
As you have time and interest beyond the two books, I encourage you to read as many as you can on this list or explore the included list of my favorite fiction (next page).
Pride and Prejudice, by Jane Austen
Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte
Heart of Darkness, by Joseph Conrad
Frankenstein, by Mary Shelley
Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Adiche
Remains of the Day, by Kazuo Ishiguro
There, There, by Tommy Orange
The Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
While you can purchase these texts online, many for used prices, you can also access texts through the Seattle Public Library, Library Link option in the Student SPS Portal, or download the Libby app to access e-books and audio books. Some classic novels can even be found online with their full text.
More of Ms. Hopkins’s Favorite Fiction:
Beloved, Toni Morrison
Bleak House, Charles Dickens
Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
Cry the Beloved Country, Alan Paton
Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin
My Name is Asher Lev, Chaim Potok
Mythology, Edith Hamilton
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte
King Lear, William Shakespeare
The Stranger, Albert Camus
The Tempest, William Shakespeare
Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
A Burning, Megha Majumdar
A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (contemporary King Lear)
Gilead, Marilynn Robinson
Girls Burn Brighter, Shobha Rao
Grendel, John Gardner (contemporary Beowulf)
Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
Jasmine, Bharati Mukherjee
Lila, Marilynn Robinson
March, Geraldine Brooks
Olive Kitteridge, Elizabeth Strout
On Earth We are Briefly Gorgeous, Ocean Vuong (LGBTQ+ author)
Pet, Awaeke Emezi
Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward
The Dutch House, Ann Patchett
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini
The Nickel Boys, Colson Whitehead
The Road, Cormac McCarthy
The Street, Ann Petry
Till We Have Faces, C.S. Lewis (story of Cupid & Psyche)