AP Comp Reading Title Suggestions

Summer Reading List


All Creatures Great and Small
by James Herriot
Year Published: 1972

 “Delve into the magical, unforgettable world of James Herriot, the world's most beloved veterinarian, and his menagerie of heartwarming, funny, and tragic animal patients.”

To learn more about the book:
About the Author
Being a Veterinarian


Summer Reading List


All the President's Men
by Bob Woodward and Carl Berstein
Year Published: 1974

 “The most devastating political detective story of the century, two Washington Post reporters, whose brilliant, Pulitzer Prize-winning investigation smashed the Watergate scandal wide open, tell the behind-the-scenes drama the way it really happened.”

To learn more about the book:
The story behind this story


Summer Reading List


Angela's Ashes
by Frank McCourt
Year Published: 1996

Despite impoverishing his family because of his alcoholism, McCourt's father passed on to his son a gift for superb storytelling. He told him about the great Irish heroes, the old days in Ireland, the people in their Limerick neighborhood, and the world beyond their shores.

To learn more about the book:

Book Trailer
Remembering Angela's Ashes


Summer Reading List


Between the World and Me
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Year Published: 2015

“Between the World and Me is a letter to Ta-Nehisi Coates's fifteen-year-old son, Samori. He weaves his personal, historical, and intellectual development into his ruminations on how to live in a black body in America.”

To learn more about the book:
Interview with Coates
Ta-Nehisi Coates reads from Between the World and Me


 Black Flags The Rise of ISIS book image

Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS
by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Year Published: 2015

Drawing on unique high-level access to CIA and Jordanian sources, Warrick weaves gripping, moment-by-moment operational details with the perspectives of diplomats and spies, generals and heads of state, many of whom foresaw a menace worse than al Qaeda and tried desperately to stop it.




Summer Reading List



Cosmos

by Carl Sagan
Year Published: 1980

The scope of "Cosmos" is tremendous, from the farthest expanses of the universe containing a hundred billion galaxies in addition to our own Milky Way, at the end of a spiraling arm of which our solar system is located; down to the lone electron circling the nucleus of a hydrogen atom, the most plentiful single entity in the cosmos and the source of everything we know, love, and are.

To learn more about the book:
Book Review from Popular Science
Book Talk



Summer Reading List


H is for Hawk
by Helen Macdonald
Year Published: 2014

“When naturalist and falconer Helen Macdonald lost her beloved father, she ‘thought [her] world was ending.’ Seems apropos, then, that her journey from crippling grief to something resembling grace is on the wings of another deadly bird of prey--the notoriously prickly, and murderous, goshawk.”

To learn more about the book:
Book Review
Interview with Macdonald


 I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings Book Image  
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
by Maya Angelou
Year Published: 1969


Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right. Maya Angelou’s debut memoir is a modern American classic beloved worldwide. 



Summer Reading List



In Cold Blood

by Truman Capote
Year Published: 1965

Few people had ever heard of the small town of Holcomb, Kansas until 1959, when 4 members of the Clutter family were murdered.

To learn more about the book:
Mini Bio of Capote
Book Talk


Summer Reading List


In the Garden of Beasts
by Erik Larson
Year Published: 2011

“In the Garden of Beasts is a vivid portrait of Berlin during the first years of Hitler’s reign, brought to life through the stories of two people: William E. Dodd, who in 1933 became America’s first ambassador to Hitler’s regime, and his scandalously carefree daughter, Martha. Ambassador Dodd, an unassuming and scholarly man, is an odd fit among the extravagance of the Nazi elite.”

To learn more about the book:
Book Review
Book Trailer


Summer Reading List


Moonwalking with Einstein
by Joshua Foer
Year Published: 2011

“Moonwalking with Einstein recounts Joshua Foer's yearlong quest to improve his memory under the tutelage of top "mental athletes." He draws on cutting-edge research, a surprising cultural history of remembering, and venerable tricks of the mentalist's trade to transform our understanding of human memory.”

To learn more about the book:
Foer's Own Words
Book Review


 A Memoir of the Craft On Writing Book Image


 
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
by Stephen King
Year Published: 1999
 

Immensely helpful and illuminating to any aspiring writer, this special edition of Stephen King’s critically lauded, million-copy bestseller shares the experiences, habits, and convictions that have shaped him and his work. 




Summer Reading List


Pilgrim at Tinker Creek
by Annie Dillard
Year Published: 1974

"[Dillard’s] personal narrative highlights one year's exploration on foot in the Virginia region through which Tinker Creek runs. The result is an exhilarating tale of nature and its seasons.”

To learn more about the book:
Book Review



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Profiles in Courage
by John F. Kennedy
Year Published: 1955
 

In this book Kennedy chose eight of his historical colleagues to profile for their acts of astounding integrity in the face of overwhelming opposition. These heroes, coming from different junctures in our nation’s history, include John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Thomas Hart Benton, and Robert A. Taft.
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The Sense of Style: The Thinking Person's Guide to Writing in the 21st Century
by Steven Pinker
Year Published: 2014
 

Using examples of great and gruesome modern prose while avoiding the scolding tone and Spartan tastes of the classic manuals, he shows how the art of writing can be a form of pleasurable mastery and a fascinating intellectual topic in its own right.

Summer Reading List



The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

by Siddhartha Mukhejee
Year Published: 2010


The Emperor of All Maladies is a magnificent, profoundly humane “biography” of cancer—from its first documented appearances thousands of years ago through the epic battles in the twentieth century to cure, control, and conquer it to a radical new understanding of its essence.

To learn more about the book:
Book Trailer
New York Times Book Review



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The Swerve

by Stephen Greenblatt
Year Published: 2011


One of the world's most celebrated scholars, Stephen Greenblatt has crafted both an innovative work of history and a thrilling story of discovery, in which one manuscript, plucked from a thousand years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it.





Summer Reading List


The Smartest Kids in the World
by Amanda Ripley
Year Published: 2013
Non-Fiction

“How do other countries create “smarter” kids? What is it like to be a child in the world’s new education superpowers? The Smartest Kids in the World gets well beneath the glossy surfaces of these foreign cultures and manages to make our own culture look newly strange..."

To learn more about the book:
Book Trailer



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The Year of Magical Thinking

by Joan Didion
Year Published: 2013


This powerful book is Didion’s attempt to make sense of the ‘weeks and then months that cut loose any fixed idea I ever had about death, about illness . . . about marriage and children and memory . . . about the shallowness of sanity, about life itself.





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Walden

by Henry David Thoreau
Year Published: 1854

Walden by noted transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau, is a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. The work is part personal declaration of independence, social experiment, voyage of spiritual discovery, satire, and manual for self-reliance.