Grade Summer Reading List ism ib language A: Literature sl & hl, Year 1

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Incoming 11th Grade Summer Reading List

ISM IB Language A: Literature SL & HL, Year 1

ISM English teachers have collaborated on a master book list for incoming juniors. Here you will find a variety of contemporary and classic novels, as well as a range of compelling nonfiction. Please see recommendations below. Be sure to pack your books this summer and surround yourself with great literature as you travel the world or chill in Manila!

Expectations: In-coming juniors enrolled in IB A Literature read 2 books:

  • Shakespeare, Bill Bryson

  • AND at least one title OR author from the list below

    • We also strongly recommend students entering Higher Level Literature read TWO works by the same author to get a sense of authorial style, themes, and context

  • We will start with a “Screenplay into Film Unit” and thus we suggest you also simply watch some cool movies and / or filmed adaptations of novels – we have asterisked novels with film adaptations for you!

  • Be prepared! Be aware that some teachers will assess this reading; and all teachers will begin the year with summer reading discussions and activities.

Classic Novels and Commonly Taught IB Texts:

  1. Madame Bovary, Gustave Flaubert*

  2. Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy*

  3. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy*

  4. The Brothers Karmazov, Fyodor Dostoevsky

  5. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens*

  6. Frankenstein, Mary Shelley*

  7. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen*

  8. The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne*

  9. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck*

  10. East of Eden, John Steinbeck

  11. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

  12. The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner

  13. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway*

  14. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway*

  15. Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe

  16. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad*

  17. Inferno, Dante

  18. Don Quixote, Miguel de Cervantes

  19. Faust, Johann Wolfgang von Faust

  20. Candide, Voltaire

  21. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  22. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Marquez*

  23. The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende*

  24. Siddhartha, Herman Hesse

  25. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe

  26. Catch 22, Joseph Heller*

  27. All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren*

  28. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald*

  29. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Ken Kesey*

  30. Short Stories by Flannery O'Connor

  31. Short Stories by Joyce Carol Oates

  32. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess*

  33. Gulliver’s Travels, Jonathan Swift*

Contemporary Classics:

  1. The Guide, R.K. Narayan*

  2. Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie

  3. Sea of Poppies, Amitav Ghosh

  4. The White Tiger, Aravind Adiga

  5. In Other Rooms, Other Wonders, Daniyal Mueenuddin (short stories)

  6. Games at Twilight, Anita Desai, (short stories)

  7. The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje*

  8. Never Let Me Go, Kazuo Ishiguo*

  9. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, A Plague of Doves, OR The Round House Louise Erdrich

  10. Fool’s Crow, James Welsh

  11. Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko

  12. House Made of Dawn, N. Scott Momaday

  13. The Help, Kathryn Stockett*

  14. Let Great World Spin, Colum McCann

  15. The Road, Cormac McCarthy*

  16. No Country for Old Men, Cormac McCarthy*

  17. Blood Meridian, Cormac McCarthy

  18. Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Diaz

  19. Jazz, Toni Morrison

  20. Beloved, Toni Morrison*

  21. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison

  22. Native Son, Richard Wright

  23. The Color Purple, Alice Walker*

  24. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston*

  25. Everything is Illuminated, Jonathan Saffron Foer*

  26. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, Jonathan Safran Foer*

  27. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Mary Ann Schaffer & Annie Barrows

  28. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien

  29. The Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon

  30. Atonement, Ian McEwan*

  31. On the Road, Jack Kerouac

  32. The Life of PI, Yann Martel*

  33. Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini*

  34. The Breakfast of Champions, Kurt Vonnegut

  35. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell*

  36. The Painted Girls, Cathy Marie Buchanan

  37. In the Shadow of the Banyan, Vaddey Ratner

  38. The Yellow Birds, Kevin Powers

  39. Johnny Got his Gun, Dalton Trumbo*

  40. White Noise, Don DeLillo*

  41. Short Stories, Jorge Luis Borges

  42. The Interpreter of Maladies, Namesake*, and/or Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri

  43. A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole.

  44. Snow, Orhan Pamuc

  45. At Play in the Fields of the Lord, Peter Matthiessen*

  46. Grendel, John Gardner

  47. Deliverance, James Dickey*

  48. The Butcher Boy, Patrick McCabe*

  49. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding*

  50. In the Time of the Butterflies, Julia Alvarez


  1. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Anne Fadiman

  2. How to be a Woman, Caitlin Moran

  3. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote*

  4. Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer*

  5. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer*


  1. Breaking the Silence, Lourdes Montinola (Filipino writer)

  1. Chino and His Time, Vergel O. Santos (Filipino writer)

  1. A Country Not Even His Own, Steve Psinakis (Filipino writer)

  1. When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, Le Ly Hayslip (Vietnamese)*

  1. Red Azalea, Anchee Min (Chinese/Cultural Revolution)

  1. When Broken Glass Floats: Growing Up Under the Khmer Rouge: A Memoir, Chanrithy Him

  1. Reading Lolita in Tehran, Azar Nafisi (female freedom/literature issues in Iran)

  1. Alicia, My Story, Alicia Appleman-Jurman (WWII holocaust survivor)

  1. Our Street, Gilda O’Neill (London during WWII)

  1. If I Die in a Combat Zone, Tim O’Brien (US Vietnam War veteran)


  1. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris

  1. Bitter Lemons of Cyprus: Life on a Mediterranean Island, Lawrence Durrell

  1. A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson

  1. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, Robert M. Pirsig

  1. Green Hills of Africa, Ernest Hemingway

  1. Endurance: Shakleton’s Incredible Voyage, Alfred Lansing

  1. Red Dust: A Path Through China, Ma Jian

  1. Songlines, Bruce Chatwin (Austrialian)

  1. The Places Between, Rory Stewart (British Journalist walks across Afghanistan)

  1. Riding the Iron Rooster, Paul Theroux

  1. The Happy Isles of Oceania, Paul Theroux

  1. The Snow Leopard, Peter Matthiessen

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