BookWhat kinds of books should I read for the upcoming summer?

Expert Answers
carol-davis eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When I was a teenager, I wanted to read everything on the shelves of the library.  Realizing the impossibility of that happening, I asked the librarian's opinion: "Read the classic novels that have passed the test of time."  So that is what I did.  I read the Bronte books Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights; Jane Austin's Pride and Prejudice; Dicken's A Tale of Two Cities; Sinclair Lewis's Main Street and Babbitt, Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls and  A Farewell to Arms; and Steinbeck's East of Eden and The Grapes of Wrath.  I also threw in all of the Alcott Little Women books, i.e., Jo's Boys, Little Men, and Eight Little Cousins.  Just for fun, I also read all of Frank Yerby's civil war love stories.  I read these wonderful books between my junior and senior in high school.  Needless to say, I did not do much else accept practice the piano.  However, those books were the beginning of my neverending love for literature which has lasted to my 65th year.

shake99 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If I were you, I might think about reading something that I would expect to read in the upcoming school year. I'm assuming you're going to be in 12th grade. In my district, 12th graders focus on British lit. With that in mind, I'd suggest Beowulf, a Shakespeare play like Hamlet or Macbeth, and Heart of Darkness. None of these books are easy, but they are worth the effort. Go to the Enotes study guides for these books and read the summaries and analysis for each (maybe even before you start the book). You'll be surprised how much you learn.

I'd also suggest emailing your possible 12th grade teachers and asking them what you might be reading next year.

You can find lots of book lists online that have good suggestions. Here's one list meant for 12th graders in particular:

literaturenerd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I would agree with mwalter here. If there are any students who you are friends with, who have already taken the literature classes you will be taking, ask them about the novels or texts you will be required to read. Teachers will also love to hear that you want to get a "leg up" on the reading to come. I would suggest cycling the books for school and ones read for sheer pleasure (this will keep your interest a little higher-at least it does for me).

Suggestions though?

A few of my favorites are any of Laurie Halse Anderson's or Walter Dean Myers books, the House of Night Series, and Frankenstein (if not on your reading list from other students or your teacher).

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Going into your senior year in high school, this may be a good time to acquaint yourself with some of the big names in literature which you have not yet encountered. This could mean reading Faulkner and Hemingway for the first time, or James Baldwin.

You could choose, alternatively, to make sure you're not missing some of the authors who aren't likely to turn up in college courses yet who have not come up in your high school career. So, if you have not read Twain, Salinger, Fitzgerald or Orwell yet, this could be a good time to dip into the work of those writers.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Does your school not have a summer reading list?  If not, acquaint yourself with Charles Dickens, the Bronte sisters, Thomas Hardy, and George Orwell. Such novels as A Tale of Two Cities, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Far From the Madding Crowd, and 1984 are all worthy novels.  Reading up on Chaucer and Shakespeare will not hurt, either.

msnewbooklover | Student

I will highly recommend u t0 read hunger games triology but also nicholas sparks  a walk t0 remember and last song

amanda-panda | Student

I would highly recommend picking something light. If you're going to be headed right back into a busy school year filled with a heavy work load its better if you just relax and read some nice light reads. Read some of the classics and some of the new bestsellers because once the school year starts again you probably won'have a lot of time to read some nice books that you enjoy.