Summer Reading » AP English Literature Summer Reading Assignment

AP English Literature Summer Reading Assignment

Dear Students,

I am excited that you have decided to take AP English Literature and Composition this upcoming year. This course focuses on reading, analyzing, and writing about literature from various periods. We will focus on understanding how authors use language to build meaning within their works. This assignment is designed to help you read with purpose and deepen your understanding of literary analysis. Please have the assignment completed by the end of the first week of school, as we will be working with both Foster’s piece and a novel of your selection to assess and build your analytical skills.

Part I: How to Read Literature like a Professor by Thomas C. Foster

This text will function as a preface for our study of literature throughout the academic year. You are required to read the chapters listed below but encouraged to read the text in its entirety.

  • Chapter 1: Every Trip is a Quest (Except When It’s Not)
  • Chapter 3: Nice to Eat with You: Acts of Communion
  • Chapter 4: Nice to Eat You: Acts of Vampires
  • Chapter 6: … Or the Bible
  • Chapter 9: It’s More Than Just Rain or Snow
  • Chapter 10: Never Stand next to the Hero
  • Chapter 12: Is That a Symbol?
  • Chapter 19: Geography Matters
  • Chapter 21: Marked for Greatness
How to Read Literature Like a Professor

Part II: Application of Foster to a self-selected work.

Peruse a bookstore (online or in real life) and select a piece of fiction that you would like to read. Please do not choose a novel you have already read in the past—try something new. If you have a difficult time selecting a novel, please see the recommended reading list below. While reading your selected novel, annotate where you recognize concepts presented by Foster. You may choose to write your notes on paper, sticky notes, or simply on the novel itself.

  • Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Catch -22 by Joseph Heller
  • A Doll House by Henrik Ibsen
  • In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Othello by William Shakespeare
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
  • The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  • Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • There There by Tommy Orange
  • The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
  • All the Light We Cannot See by Doerr
  • Kindred by Octavia E. Butler
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

If you have any questions about this assignment or the class, please feel free to contact me at. I look forward to a rewarding academic year!

Mrs. Stephens
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