AP literature summer reading 2014

AP literature summer reading 2014
Welcome to AP English literature and composition. You have chosen a challenging but
rewarding path. This is a class for students with intellectual curiosity, a love of reading and
discussing literature, and a strong work ethic. We view the summer reading as a starting point
and foundation for the entire year and hope you will enjoy and learn from it.
-----Ms. Crewdson and Mr. Ertman
You will read and annotate two novels: Great Expectations, a classic nineteenth century novel by
Charles Dickens, and a more recent novel chosen from the list below. You will discuss and
write about both books throughout the year. We expect you to have read and annotated both
books by the time school starts in August.
If you are able to purchase your own copies of these books, you can annotate the texts and will
have them to refer to throughout the year. If not, you can find any of the novels in a local library.
Some may be online as well. If you do not buy your own books, annotate on sticky notes or
notebook paper. Read the suggestions for annotating at the end of this packet.
Great Expectations
Published serially in 1860 and 1861, this is one of Dickens' last – and many critics believe
greatest – novels. It tells the story of the childhood and growth to adulthood of Pip, a poor
orphan boy who hopes to achieve greatness. IMPORTANT NOTE about Great Expectations:
this novel has two endings. Be sure the edition you read contains both; some editions omit the
original ending. We will be discussing the differences.
as you read, consider
 In many nineteenth-century novels, the characters easily can be pegged as either good or
bad. Is that the case here? Try listing all of the novel’s many and varied characters in two
columns, good and bad. Any complications?
 This novel, like many others of its time, came out serially in a magazine. Every week
from December of 1860 to August of 1861, readers eagerly awaited the next installment.
Figure out where each installment ends and think about why and how you can tell. What
features of the novel might have been designed to keep readers interested in the intervals
between installments?
 This novel is often referred to as a bildungsroman. Look up the term and then think about
what you learn by applying it.
 An older, wiser Pip narrates the story of his growth from childhood to young adulthood.
Notice when he interrupts his story to comment on its meaning.
 Dickens was known for his moral outrage at social injustice. Note examples.
 What kind of place is London? The other settings?
choice novels
Pick a novel from this list that you will enjoy reading in summer, as well as re-reading and using
as a basis for an analysis paper during the first semester. Take some time to learn about the
novels and sample them before you settle on one. Making a careful, informed selection is an
important part of this assignment.
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce
East of Eden John Steinbeck
The Plague Albert Camus
Their Eyes Were Watching God Zora Neale Hurston
Light in August William Faulkner
Brave New World Aldous Huxley
An American Tragedy Theodore Dreiser
One Hundred Years of Solitude Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Ghost Writer Philip Roth
Terrorist John Updike
Beloved Toni Morrison
The Big Rock Candy Mountain Wallace Stegner
Talk Talk T.C. Boyle
Blindness Jose Saramago
Little Big Man Thomas Berger
The Inheritance of Loss Kiran Desai
On Beauty Zadie Smith
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao Junot Diaz
All the Pretty Horses Cormac McCarthy
Atonement Ian McEwan
The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
A Thousand Acres Jane Smiley
March Geraldine Brooks
ideas for annotating novels
Think of annotation as part of active reading—something you do for yourself to stay
engaged and to create a record that will help you think and write about the novel later.
Learn to do this in a way that leaves a useful record of your reading but that does not
interfere with the experience. Achieving that balance takes practice.
Mark passages that jump out at you because they suggest an important idea or theme – or
for any other reason. Mark things that puzzle, intrigue, please or displease you. Note
patterns such as repeated images or phrases. Ask questions, make comments – talk back
to the text.
At the ends of chapters or sections, quickly write a bulleted list of key plot events. This
practice forces you to think about what happened and identify patterns. You end up with
a convenient record of the whole plot.
Circle words you want to learn or words that jump out at you for some reason. If you
don’t want to stop reading, just guess. Later, look the word up and jot down a relevant
meaning. You need not write out a full dictionary definition; it is often helpful to put the
relevant meaning in your own words.