Throughout your high school career expanding to your college years, you will always have to read. Whether it’s reading textbooks and essays or works of fiction, it’s better to start a habit of reading earlier in high school rather than later. This way, you won’t get stuck in the beginning of Chapter 5 of the book you’re reading in your AP Lit class when you’re suppose to be on Chapter 15. Sometimes its hard to really get into a book though, and you might start to lag behind. And sometimes when you are required to pick a book for school, you end up picking one that you aren’t so fond of reading. Below is a list of some books, in no particular order and suggested by the TP staff, that are great reads for pleasure and that can also help you adjust to reading required books for school as well as help you during tests where you have to analyze works of fiction.
1. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
“It’s about two boys at a prep school during World War II. The narrator is extremely jealous of Finny, his best friend, and this jealousy has some serious consequences,” explains Gabrielle Scullard, “It’s a classic, so you can look at symbolism, imagery, and other literary techniques.”
2. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
This book focuses on the unexpected relationship between to women in Afghanistan as they develop a sister-like friendship when dealing with the dangers in their lives. “It makes me cry like a baby every single time I read it!” Sara Agha exclaims.
3. The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh
This book follows the story of a biologist, a fisherman, and a translator as they engage in an adventure in the Bay of Bengal.
4. The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
“I really love The God of Small Things,” says Paayas Pandit, “I think the book has helped my reading skills and also armed with thousands of adjectives and metaphors and other literary devices.”
5. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
This book follows a group of boys as they are deserted on an island after their plane crashes. Without adult supervision, the boys have to learn how to survive, and have to deal with conflicting emotions; if they should continue being civilized or give in to their animal side.
6. The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde
The book is satire on Victorian Ways. “This is a fantastic book, one that reflects a witty nature while also providing a good social commentary on English society, all wrapped in a very comical text,” says Michael Salib, “I really enjoyed it.”
7. The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
“It’s a complete coming of age book so pretty much everyone can relate to it in some way,” explains Ameera Khan,” It’s incredibly cynical too, and I feel like that’s what adds to the depth and beauty of it.” The book follows a boy as he leaves school and struggles to find himself.
8. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
This book takes place in a future utopia where the World State’s motto pretty much sums up what’s important to their society: “Community, Stability, Identity”. The central story of the book follows an outsider as he deals with this new society that is alien to him.
9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This book takes place in the 1920s, and follows a mysterious millionaire as he lives through the Jazz Era in an affluent society full of drama and parties.“The drama, the flair! A taste of the fast life,” exclaims Tiffany Huynh, “It also teaches us that money does not equal happiness.”
10. A Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood
This book takes place in a dystopian society, and focuses on themes and purposes of women in the new future of an overthrown United States government. “I’m currently in AP English Literature and Composition and we read a few books that were actually really interesting and helpful to the class, such as A Handmaids Tale,” tells Kaitlyn Kelly.
11. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
“The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime is REALLY good and helpful,” tells Kathleen Norton. This mystery follows a different, young boy who tries to figure out the murder of a dog while struggling with being an outsider.
12. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
This book centers around a young girl and her coming of age story as she lives an impoverished life. “I’ve read it back in 8th grade, and have re-read it several times since then,” comments Sara Agha.
13. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
“It’s fantastic because it’s written from the point of view of a rat who writes in his journal everyday, as humans are testing him with a new scientific breakthrough/medicine,” explains Ameera Khan, “I highly recommend it to everyone because you can actually see how the research is affecting his writing.” This book follows the rat as he undergoes surgery to increase his intelligence.
14. Factory Girls by Leslie T. Chang
“I’m inspired by Factory Girls because it’s long term journalism that’s inspired me to possibly pursue journalism later on as a career,” tells Jessica Zhou. The book gives an eye opening view into the everyday lives of migrant factory women in China.