Books and Reading


Summit High School Summer Reading Lists - 2011



For more information, visit the Summit High School Summer Reading Lists page.



AP European History


A world lit only by fire : the medieval mind and the Renaissance : portrait of an age A world lit only by fire : the medieval mind and the Renaissance : portrait of an age
Manchester, William, 1922-2004.
William Manchester's A World Lit Only by Fire is the preeminent popular history of civilization's rebirth after the Dark Ages.


AP Language & Composition


Ishmael : a novel Ishmael : a novel
Quinn, Daniel.
A man and a great ape conduct a series of philosophical conversations in a work that presents a new vision of evolution and humankind and asks the question: does the Earth belong to humans, or do humans belong to the Earth?


AP Literature & Composition
Select one book from three of the following pairs:


Gilead Gilead
Robinson, Marilynne.
In 1956, toward the end of Reverend John Ames's life, he begins a letter to his young son, an account of himself and his forebears.



The razor's edge : a novel The razor's edge : a novel
Maugham, W. Somerset (William Somerset), 1874-1965.
Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of his spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brilliant characters - his fiancée Isabel whose choice between love and wealth have lifelong repercussions, and Elliott Templeton, her uncle, a classic expatriate American snob. Maugham himself wanders in and out of the story, to observe his characters struggling with their fates.







Native son Native son
Wright, Richard, 1908-1960.
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic.



The bone people The bone people
Hulme, Keri.
At once a mystery, a love story, and an ambitious exploration of the zone where Maori and European New Zealand meet, Booker Prize-winning novel The Bone People is a powerful and unsettling tale saturated with violence and Maori spirituality.







The handmaid's tale The handmaid's tale
Atwood, Margaret, 1939-
A look at the near future presents the story of Offred, a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead, once the United States, an oppressive world where women are no longer allowed to read and are valued only as long as they are viable for reproduction.



Brave new world Brave new world
Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963.
Huxley's classic prophetic novel describes the socialized horrors of a futuristic utopia devoid of individual freedom.







Pilgrim at Tinker Creek Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
Dillard, Annie.
In the book which won her a Pulitzer Prize in 1975, Dillard writes in the form of a journal, trying to understand God by chronicling the seasons along Tinker Creek in Virginias Blue Ridge Mountains, and by exploring the paradoxical coexistence of beauty and violence.



The water is wide The water is wide
Conroy, Pat.
First-person account of the year spent by the author teaching black children on an impoverished island off the South Carolina coast.







A farewell to arms A farewell to arms
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961.
By turns romantic and harshly realistic, Hemingway's story of a tragic romance set against the brutality and confusion of World War I cemented his fame as a stylist and as a writer of extraordinary literary power. A volunteer ambulance driver and a beautiful English nurse fall in love when he is wounded on the Italian front. The best American novel to emerge from World War I. Hemingway's frank portrayal of the love between Lieutenant Henry and Catherine Barkley, caught in the inexorable sweep of war, glows with an intensity unrivaled in modern literature, while his description of the German attack on Caporetto -- of lines of tired men marching in the rain, hungry, weary, and demoralized -- is one of the greatest moments in literary history. A story of love and pain, of loyalty and desertion, A Farewell to Arms, written when he was 30 years old, represents a new romanticism for Hemingway.



The grapes of wrath The grapes of wrath
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968.
The story of one Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity



AP Extreme


Ishmael : a novel Ishmael : a novel
Quinn, Daniel.
A man and a great ape conduct a series of philosophical conversations in a work that presents a new vision of evolution and humankind and asks the question: does the Earth belong to humans, or do humans belong to the Earth?


OR


The science of good and evil : why people cheat, gossip, care, share, and follow the golden rule The science of good and evil : why people cheat, gossip, care, share, and follow the golden rule
Shermer, Michael.
In his third and final investigation into the science of belief, bestselling author Michael Shermer tackles the evolution of morality and ethics.




Honors English 10


Cry, the beloved country Cry, the beloved country
Paton, Alan.
The story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people driven by racial injustice.



The good earth The good earth
Buck, Pearl S. (Pearl Sydenstricker), 1892-1973.
A story of a Chinese peasant and his passionate, dogged accumulation of land and more land, while weathering famine and drought and revolution.



The house on Mango Street The house on Mango Street
Cisneros, Sandra.
The House on Mango Streetis the remarkable story of Esperanza Cordero. Told in a series of vignettes – sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes deeply joyous – it is the story of a young Latina girl growing up in Chicago, inventing for herself who and what she will become. Few other books in our time have touched so many readers.




Honors English 11
Read two of the following.


The sun also rises The sun also rises
Hemingway, Ernest, 1899-1961.
First published in 1926, The Sun Also Rises stands is one of Ernest Hemingway's masterpieces and a classic example of his spare but powerful writing style. A poignant look at the disillusionment and angst of the post-World War I generation, the novel introduces two of Hemingway's most unforgettable characters: Jake Barnes and Lady Brett Ashley. The story follows them from the wild nightlife of 1920s Paris to the brutal bullfighting rings of Spain with a motley group of expatriates--P. [4] of cover.



Their eyes were watching God Their eyes were watching God
Hurston, Zora Neale.
An African-American woman searches for a fulfilling relationship through two loveless marriages and finally finds it in the person of Tea Cake, an itinerant laborer and gambler.



One flew over the cuckoo's nest One flew over the cuckoo's nest
Kesey, Ken.
Boisterous, ribald, and ultimately shattering, Ken Kesey's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the seminal novel of the 1960s that has left an indelible mark on the literature of our time. Here is the unforgettable story of a mental ward and its inhabitants, especially the tyrannical Big Nurse Ratched and Randle Patrick McMurphy, the brawling, fun-loving new inmate who resolves to oppose her.



Slaughterhouse-five, or, The children's crusade : a duty-dance with death Slaughterhouse-five, or, The children's crusade : a duty-dance with death
Vonnegut, Kurt.
Slaughterhouse-Five is one of the world's great anti-war books. Centering on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.



The grapes of wrath The grapes of wrath
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968.
The story of one Oklahoma family, the Joads, who are driven off their homestead and forced to travel west to the promised land of California. Out of their trials and their repeated collisions against the hard realities of an America divided into Haves and Have-Nots evolves a drama that is intensely human yet majestic in its scale and moral vision, elemental yet plainspoken, tragic but ultimately stirring in its human dignity


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Last modified on Wednesday, July 27, 2011