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Summer Reading - Form V & Form VI

We offer the following suggestions to Form V and Form VI students to read at your leisure over summer.

Suggestions for Forms V, VI, and Older

List of 2 items.

  • Fiction

    Benet, Stephen Vincent. The Devil and Daniel Webster. Marvelous American legend of folk hero Daniel Webster and his contest with the devil. Makes New Hampshire more famous than do the primaries.

    Bissinger, H.G. Friday Night Lights. A non-fiction account of high-school football in pigskin-crazed Texas, the book examines class, race, and gender.

    Boulle, Pierre. The Bridge Over River Kwai. Superb characterizations and themes in the clash between a perfectionist British colonel and the Japanese commandant of a World War II prisoner-of-war camp.

    Calvino, Italo. Invisible Cities. A fanciful collection: After his return, Marco Polo is invited by Kublai Khan to describe the cities Polo has visited; in the exchange, each discovers a way of creating "something perfect out of chaos."

    Chappell, Fred. I Am One of You Forever. The coming-of-age story of a young boy who creates and populates a vivid imaginative world in western North Carolina.

    Chesnutt, Charles. The Colonel's Dream. A novel critically exploring the convict lease system in the South of the early twentieth century.

    Chesnutt, Charles. The Conjure Woman. A story about the terrible anti-Negro riot that occurred in Wilmington, North Carolina, in 1901.

    Clemens, Samuel (Mark Twain). Huckleberry Finn. A marvelous collection of humor, narrative, theme, and characterizations as Huck and Jim, the escaped slave, travel down the river with or without the rogues and fools of the period; a novel to be read and reread at different ages.

    Conrad, Joseph. The Secret Agent. Humor and irony make for an enjoyable narrative about incompetent anarchists in Victorian England.

    Conroy, Pat. Lords of Discipline. An exploration of friendship and masculinity in the South.

    Davies, Robertson. Fifth Business. A funny, well-crafted bildungsroman by Canada's most prominent contemporary novelist.

    Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? A dark, post-apocalyptic novel exploring the questions of consciousness and what it is to be human. The basis for the 1980s film Blade Runner.

    Doctorow, E. L. Ragtime. A vandalized automobile is the catalyst for a fictional account of early twentieth-century America and one man's insistence on social justice.

    Duncan, David. The Brothers K. A big, entertaining novel about baseball, religious faith, and the conflicts that challenge the four Chance brothers.

    Eady, Cornelius. Brutal Imagination (poetry). Consists of two cycles of poems, each confronting the black man in the white imagination. The first cycle is narrated by the black kidnapper invented by Susan Smith to cover up the killing of her two sons. The second cycle focuses on the black family and the barriers of color, class, and caste that tear it apart.

    Endo, Shusaku. Silence. An intense historical novel about a Jesuit's missionary efforts in seventeenth-century Japan.

    Exley, Frederick. A Fan's Notes. Hilarious and moving novel about a man's acceptance that he is a fan, not a star.

    Fast, Howard. April Morning. The morning and the day of the Battle of Lexington and the effect on a boy of his encounter with war and death.

    Gaines, Ernest. A Gathering of Old Men. Perhaps the author's finest book, a work that gives voice to a group of old Southern black men and their response to racially motivated violence.

    Greene, Graham. A Burnt-Out Case. Superb study of a successful architect who, his interest in life has burned out, spiritually recovers himself in an African leprosy mission.

    Hammett, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon. The most famous hard-boiled detective novel. Also a must-see movie.

    Heller, Joseph. Catch-22. World War II classic that wickedly satirizes military life, war, government policies, and a wide range of human follies.

    Hemingway, Ernest. In Our Time. Terse, hard short stories whose style revolutionized American literature.

    Hersey, John. A Single Pebble. Sensitive story of the education of a young engineer who comes to understand the values of Chinese life on his trip up the Yangtse River.

    Hoban, Russell. Riddley Walker. Set in a dark, treacherous future, this novel, described by its author as "difficult, dangerous and harrowing," is also experimental, ambitious, and memorable, one of the great novels of the post-WWII period.

    Hunt, Irene. Across Five Aprils. A Civil War story about the relationship between brothers and those fighting on opposing sides.

    Jones, Edward P. Lost in the City. A collection of 14 stories of African-American life in Washington, D.C. "Newsday" describes this collection as "Chekhovian." It is a work that affirms both blacks' and whites' humanity.

    Jones, Edward P. The Known World. "A novel that weaves together the lives of freed and enslaved blacks, whites, Indians - and allows...a deeper understanding of the enduring multidimensional world created by the institution of slavery." (Description taken from the dust cover)

    Jones, Madison. A Cry of Absence. After a racially charged and particularly violent crime stuns a small Southern town, a mother and brother cope with the knowledge that they harbor one of the murderers.

    Kerouac, Jack. On The Road. The most famous of the literary efforts left to posterity by the "beat generation."

    Keyes, Daniel. Flowers for Algernon. A moving novel about a gentle, mentally challenged man who is given a superior intelligence for a short time before he lapses into his original state.

    Kundera, Milan. The Unbearable Lightness of Being. A love story, but much more than that, set in Prague in the days of the Cold War.

    Malamud, Bernard. The Assistant. An aimless young man of Catholic upbringing confronts and learns from a poor Jewish grocer in this poignant tale of transgression and redemption.

    Martin, Valeria. Property. Set during a slave rebellion in the Antebellum South, this novel is written in the voice of a woman slaveholder and is in the form of a dramatic monologue. The novel captures the main character's longings and uncensored dreams, and the heart of moral blackness. (Martin is also the author of Mary Reilly.)

    Maugham, Somerset. Of Human Bondage. About the growth of a young man who overcomes many problems, reevaluates his aims, and becomes a country doctor.

    McEwan, Ian. Atonement. In this brilliant novel set before and during WWII, a thirteen-year-old girl's accusation is as psychologically devastating as the carnage inflicted on British soldiers retreating to Dunkirk. A remarkable book about guilt, pain, and fiction.

    McMurtry, Larry. Lonesome Dove. Story of a late 19th-century cattle drive from Texas to Montana -- and much more. It is a drive that represents for everybody involved not only a daring, even a foolhardy, adventure but also an attempt to carve out of the last remaining wilderness a new life.

    Moore, Lori. Who Will Run the Frog Hospital. A middle-aged woman reflects on the summer of her 15th year.

    Morrison, Toni. Beloved. A searing tale about the ghost of a young black girl who is killed to protect her from the cruelty of slavery -- a novel by America's most recent Nobel Prize winner.

    Morrison, Toni. Sula. Two African-American women travel different paths in their search for self-identity.

    O'Brien, Tim. The Things They Carried. A semi-autobiographical novel that tells, through a variety of distinct voices, the story of a platoon in Vietnam.

    Percy, Walker. The Moviegoer. This novel, against a background of New Orleans in Mardi Gras, follows the progress of a 29-year-old New Orleans stockbroker, addicted to movies, in his search for what is valuable in life, and the help he provides to a saddened, anxious young woman.

    Rushdie, Salman. The Satanic Verses. Set in modern London, a book that abounds in Joycean richness and magic realism.

    Salinger, J. D. Nine Stories. Entertaining, well-written stories by a modern master.

    Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath. Steinbeck's great novel, a chronicle of a family of displaced Oakies traveling from Oklahoma to California in the nineteen thirties. Also an Academy Award winning film.

    Updike, John. Rabbit Run. Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom strives in vain to recapture his former basketball glory.

    Updike, John. The Centaur. The story of a small-town Pennsylvania boy's relationship with his father, with parallels drawn from Greek myth.

    Vonnegut, Kurt, Jr. Slaughterhouse-Five. An unconventional anti-war novel using the experiences of an American soldier who survived the fire bombing of Dresden.

    Warren, Robert Penn. All The King's Men. A masterpiece about politics, corruption, infidelity, and much more, set in Huey Long's Louisiana.

    Waugh, Evelyn. Brideshead Revisited. Waugh's lyrical chronicle of grace, redemption, and damnation within a decaying aristocracy in fractured, post-war England.

    Welty, Eudora. Delta Wedding. Covers the activities of a large Southern family on their Mississippi plantation, waiting for the wedding of one of their members -- evocative of the mood and pace of Southern life.

    Winchester, Simon. The Professor and the Madman. An imprisoned schizophrenic murderer becomes an indispensable contributor to James Murray's first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. An intriguing biography and highly readable companion to K.M. Murray's excellent Caught in a Web of Words.

    Wolfe, Thomas. Look Homeward, Angel. An autobiographical novel about a young man whose capacity to love is smothered by family and environment.
  • Non-Fiction

    Albom, Mitch. Tuesdays With Morrie. A poignant chronicle of a college professor's lengthy struggle with his terminal illness, narrated by his former student.

    Allende, Isabel. Paula. The story of the death of the author's daughter, told in an unsentimental and transforming fashion.

    Buford, Bill. Among the Thugs. The author spends one year with the rabid fans of England's Manchester United football team -- a year of fierce loyalties, fanaticism, and mob violence. Excellent cultural history, but not for the faint of heart.

    Ellis, Joseph J. Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. Illuminating story of the intertwined lives of the founders of the American republic.

    Epstein, Joseph. A Line out for a Walk: Familiar Essays. Witty and memorable observations from the best informal essayist in America today.

    Fatsis, Stefan. Word Freak: Heartbreak, Triumph, Genius, and Obsession in the World of Competitive Scrabble. The subtitle says it all.

    McCourt, Frank. Angela's Ashes. Memoir of growing up poor in Limerick, Ireland; funny and heartbreaking, awful and inspiring.

    McPhee, John. A Sense of Where You Are. A splendid account of Bill Bradley's final year at Princeton and his exploits on the basketball court and in the classroom.

    Murray, K. M. Elizabeth. Caught in the Web of Words. An absorbing biography of James Murray, the first editor of the Oxford English Dictionary.

    Parks, Gordon. Voices in the Mirror. Captivating autobiography of this Renaissance man, a photographer, playwright, musician, author, and Civil Rights leader.

    Sacks, Oliver. Awakenings. A heart-wrenching story about patients who recover from years of sleeping sickness.

    Sobel, Dava. Longitude. One man saves thousands of lives by solving naval navigation's "longitude problem."

    Weisel, Elie. Night. A terrifying account of the death camp the author survived as a child.

    Wolf, Tom. The Right Stuff. A highly fictionalized and very entertaining account of Americas first astronauts.
    Yousafzai, Malala. I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban.
Located in Washington D.C.,  St. Albans School is a private, all boys day and boarding school. For more than a century, St. Albans has offered a distinctive educational experience for young men in grades 4 through 12. While our students reach exceptional academic goals and exhibit first-rate athletic and artistic achievements, as an Episcopal school we place equal emphasis upon moral and spiritual education.