What books on the AP reading list would you recommend because you enjoyed and profited from reading them? I am looking to add books from this list to our Library - student recommendations are the best!

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Here were my four major units from AP Lit and Lang from this year:

AP Lit:

The Stranger, Oedipus, Antigone, King Lear, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Things They Carried, The Invisible Man, As I Lay Dying, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Fences, Hamlet, and Extremely Loud ...

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Here were my four major units from AP Lit and Lang from this year:

AP Lit:

The Stranger, Oedipus, Antigone, King Lear, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, The Things They Carried, The Invisible Man, As I Lay Dying, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Fences, Hamlet, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.

AP Lang:

The Importance of Being Earnest, The Great Gatsby, Macbeth, 1984, Persepolis, The Color Purple, Othello, The Things They Carried, How to Read Literature Like a Professor, Beowulf.

Must have textbooks:

AP Lit:

The Bedford Introduction to Literature, Michael Meyer, 2007

AP Lang:

The Language of Composition, Renee H. Shea, Lawrence Scanlon, and Robin Dissin Aufses, 2007

The big hit was the graphic novel, Persepolis. It lightened the 1984 dystopia unit like nothing else.  The AP is putting more focus on graphic/images in literature as well.

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In my AP lit classes over the years, some of the works that students read with enthusiasm and wanted to talk about, at length, included some oldies, but goodies--A Farewell to Arms, The Glass Menagerie, The Good Earth, and Ethan Frome. For whatever reasons, The Glass Menagerie and Ethan Frome always stayed with them all year long. Several years ago, I was invited to a class reunion of some former students, and two of the twenty-eight-year-old women wanted to talk about Ethan and Mattie! That is a real "seal of approval."

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I teach AP English Language and constantly search for works that will help my students for the AP exam and for life.  My goal also is to inspire a love for reading which is getting more and more difficult to do.  The work that my students have most enjoyed is A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Below is a list of works that my students have liked so much that they went on to voluntarily read other works by the same author, recommended the book to other students, or told me that it was the first work that they had read completely for school.

The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (This was a huge hit last year with everything that is going on in the world right now.)

The Power of One by Bryce Courtney

The Overachievers by Alexandra Robbins

The Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

This I Believe (the updated publication of the 1950s series of essays)

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

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For AP Language and Composition:

Malcolm X, Into the Wild (good debates out of this one!) and Angela's Ashes (my students LOVE IT!).

When I was in high school I was in AP Lit and we read Farenheit 451, 1984, Brave New World, Job by Archibald Macleish, Huck Finn, Gatsby...the usual classics.

Newer, more contemporary, yet 'literary-worthy', books would be Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko (hard book, but so good!), Cry, the Beloved Country and The Shipping News by Proulx (those 3 are some of my personal favorites!!)

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Native Son seems to work well with my students.  The content allows them to discuss a wide range of topics from prejudice to communism, to responsibility.  The students are capable of tying many historical aspects into the novel as well as social aspects.  After the Socratic Seminar discussion, we follow up with a debate about whether or not Bigger is responsible for killing the Dalton girl.  The students really get into this topic.

Another good reading from the list is The Inferno.  This is a summer read for my students.  We begin the year with this and my students do presentations.  One of the best topics is to take modern people and place them into Dante's circles of hell.  It's interesting to see what famous people the students select (dead or alive) and see where they would be placed according to the circles of hell.

Two dramas that work well are Death of a Salesman and A Streetcar Named Desire.  Again, both of these plays allow the students to relate the material to modern day life.  We also focus on the connections between the two works with characters and themes.  We then discuss the style each author uses to show some of the similarities.

Hope this helps!

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Candide by Voltaire has been enjoyed by my AP class. Also, Lord of the Flies was a good one, as well as A Tale of Two Cities. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead is a play that they enjoy, if they can get the satire. And Of Mice and Men.

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