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AP Reading List

While there is no “reading list” for AP English Language or AP English Literature, the lists below suggest a range and quality of readings for students in these two courses. Use these lists as a starting point as you search for quality literature to add to your collection.

NONFICTION PROSE: Pre-20th Century
 
 Joseph Addison, Matthew Arnold, Francis Bacon, James Boswell, Thomas Carlyle, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Jean de Crèvecoeur, Charles Darwin, Thomas De Quincey, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Benjamin Franklin, Margaret Fuller, Edward Gibbon, Charlotte Perkins Gilman, William Hazlitt, Thomas Hobbes, Harriet Jacobs (Linda Brent), Thomas Jefferson, Samuel Johnson, Charles Lamb, John Locke, Thomas Macaulay, Niccolò Machiavelli, John Stuart Mill, John Milton, Michel de Montaigne, Thomas More, Thomas Paine, Francis Parkman, Walter Pater, Samuel Pepys, John Ruskin, George Bernard Shaw, Richard Steele, Jonathan Swift, Henry David Thoreau, Alexis de Tocqueville, Oscar Wilde, Mary Wollstonecraft
 
Poetry
 
 W. H. Auden; Elizabeth Bishop; William Blake; Anne Bradstreet; Edward Kamau Brathwaite; Gwendolyn Brooks; Robert Browning; George Gordon, Lord Byron; Lorna Dee Cervantes; Geoffrey Chaucer; Lucille Clifton; Samuel Taylor Coleridge; Billy Collins; H. D. (Hilda Doolittle); Emily Dickinson; John Donne; Rita Dove; Paul Laurence Dunbar; T. S. Eliot; Robert Frost; Joy Harjo; Seamus Heaney; George Herbert; Garrett Hongo; Gerard Manley Hopkins; Langston Hughes; Ben Jonson; John Keats; Philip Larkin; Robert Lowell; Andrew Marvell; John Milton; Marianne Moore; Sylvia Plath; Edgar Allan Poe; Alexander Pope; Adrienne Rich; Anne Sexton; William Shakespeare; Percy Bysshe Shelley; Leslie Marmon Silko; Cathy Song; Wallace Stevens; Alfred, Lord Tennyson; Derek Walcott; Walt Whitman; Richard Wilbur; William Carlos Williams; William Wordsworth; William Butler Yeats  
 
Drama
 
 Aeschylus; Edward Albee; Amiri Baraka; Samuel Beckett; Anton Chekhov; Caryl Churchill; William Congreve; Athol Fugard; Lorraine Hansberry; Lillian Hellman; David Henry Hwang; Henrik Ibsen; Ben Jonson; David Mamet; Arthur Miller; Molière; Marsha Norman; Sean O’Casey; Eugene O’Neill; Suzan-Lori Parks; Harold Pinter; Luigi Pirandello; William Shakespeare; George Bernard Shaw; Sam Shepard; Sophocles; Tom Stoppard; Luis Valdez; Oscar Wilde; Tennessee Williams; August Wilson Chinua Achebe; Sherman Alexie; Isabel Allende; Rudolfo Anaya; Margaret Atwood; Jane Austen; James Baldwin; Saul Bellow; Charlotte Brontë; Emily Brontë; Raymond Carver; Willa Cather; John Cheever; Kate Chopin; Sandra Cisneros; Joseph Conrad; Edwidge Danticat; Daniel Defoe; Anita Desai; Charles Dickens; Fyodor Dostoevsky; George Eliot; Ralph Ellison; Louise Erdrich; William Faulkner; Henry Fielding; F. Scott Fitzgerald; E. M. Forster; Thomas Hardy; Nathaniel Hawthorne; Ernest Hemingway; Zora Neale Hurston; Kazuo Ishiguro; Henry James; Ha Jin; Edward P. Jones; James Joyce; Maxine Hong Kingston; Joy Kogawa; Jhumpa Lahiri; Margaret Laurence; D. H. Lawrence; Chang-rae Lee; Bernard Malamud; Gabriel García Márquez; Cormac McCarthy; Ian McEwan; Herman Melville; Toni Morrison; Bharati Mukherjee; Vladimir Nabokov; Flannery O’Connor; Orhan Pamuk; Katherine Anne Porter; Marilynne Robinson; Jonathan Swift; Mark Twain; John Updike; Alice Walker; Evelyn Waugh; Eudora Welty; Edith Wharton; John Edgar Wideman; Virginia Woolf; Richard Wright

NONFICTION 20th Century to the Present

 Edward Abbey, Diane Ackerman, James Agee, Paula Gunn Allen, Roger Angell, Natalie Angier, Gloria Anzaldúa, Hannah Arendt, Michael Arlen, Margaret Atwood, James Baldwin, Dave Barry, Melba Patillo Beals, Simone de Beauvoir, Lerone Bennett Jr., Wendell Berry, Sven Birkerts, Susan Bordo, Jacob Bronowski, David Brooks, William F. Buckley, Judith Butler, Rachel Carson, G. K. Chesterton, Winston Churchill, Kenneth Clark, Judith Ortiz Cofer, Jill Ker Conway, Arlene Croce, Richard Dawkins, Vine Deloria Jr., Daniel Dennett, Jared Diamond, Joan Didion, Annie Dillard, Maureen Dowd, Elizabeth Drew, W. E. B. Du Bois, Leon Edel, Gretel Ehrlich, Loren Eiseley, Richard Ellmann, Nora Ephron, Niall Ferguson, Timothy Ferris, M. F. K. Fisher, Frances Fitzgerald, Janet Flanner (Genêt), Tim Flannery, Shelby Foote, Richard Fortey, John Hope Franklin, Antonia Fraser, Thomas L. Friedman, Paul Fussell, John Kenneth Galbraith, Mavis Gallant, Henry Louis Gates Jr., Atul Gawande, Ellen Goodman, Nadine Gordimer, Stephen Jay Gould, Stephanie Elizondo Griest, David Halberstam, Elizabeth Hardwick, Elva Trevino Hart, Chris Hedges, John Hersey, Christopher Hitchens, Edward Hoagland, Richard Holmes, bell hooks, Zora Neale Hurston, Pauline Kael, Evelyn Fox Keller, Helen Keller, Maxine Hong Kingston, Naomi Klein, Paul Krugman, Alex Kuczynski, Lewis H. Lapham, T. E. Lawrence, Aldo Leopold, Gerda Lerner, Andy Logan, Philip Lopate, Barry Lopez, Norman Mailer, Nancy Mairs, Peter Matthiessen, Mary McCarthy, Frank McCourt, Bill McKibben, John McPhee, Margaret Mead, H. L. Mencken, Jessica Mitford, N. Scott Momaday, Jan Morris, John Muir, Donald M. Murray, V. S. Naipaul, Geoffrey Nunberg, Joyce Carol Oates, Barack Obama, Tillie Olsen, Susan Orlean, George Orwell, Cynthia Ozick, Steven Pinker, Francine Prose, David Quammen, Arnold Rampersad, Ishmael Reed, Rick Reilly, David Remnick, Adrienne Rich, Mordecai Richler, Richard Rodriguez, Sharman Apt Russell, Carl Sagan, Edward Said, Scott Russell Sanders, George Santayana, Simon Schama, Arthur M. Schlesinger, David Sedaris, Richard Selzer, Leslie Marmon Silko, Barbara Smith, Red Smith, Susan Sontag, Shelby Steele, Lincoln Steffens, Ronald Takaki, Paul Theroux, Lewis Thomas, George Trevelyan, Calvin Trillin, Barbara Tuchman, Cynthia Tucker, Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, John Updike, Gore Vidal, Alice Walker, Jonathan Weiner, Eudora Welty, Cornel West, E. B. White, George Will, Terry Tempest Williams, Garry Wills, E. O. Wilson, Edmund Wilson, Tom Wolfe, Virginia Woolf, Richard Wright, Malcolm X, Anzia Yezierska

 
Expository Prose
  
 
Joseph Addison; Gloria Anzaldúa; Matthew Arnold; James Baldwin; James Boswell; Jesús Colón; Joan Didion; Frederick Douglass; W. E. B. Du Bois; Ralph Waldo Emerson; William Hazlitt; bell hooks; Samuel Johnson; Charles Lamb; Thomas Macaulay; Mary McCarthy; John Stuart Mill; George Orwell; Michael Pollan; Richard Rodriguez; Edward Said; Lewis Thomas; Henry David Thoreau; E. B. White; Virginia Woolf
 
 
 
SOME RECOMMENDED NONFICTION TITLES
 
 
  • Freakonomics (Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner)
  • Everything Bad Is Good For You (Steven Johnson)
  • Nickel and Dimed (Barbara Ehrenreich)
  • Banker to the Poor (Muhammad Yunus)
  • The World is Flat (Thomas Friedman)
  • The Trouble with Islam (Irshad Manji)
  • The World Without Us (Alan Weisman)
  • The Botany of Desire (Michael Pollan)
  • The Shock Doctrine (Naomi Klein)
  • Fifteen Days (Christie Blatchford)
  • The Logic of Life (Tim Harford)
  • Generation Rx (Greg Critser)
  • Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong (James Loewen)
  • The Gift: Creativity and the Artist in the Modern World (Lewis Hyde)
  • 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa (Stephanie Nolen)
  • Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier, Ishmael Beah
  • Botany of Desire, Michael Pollan
  • Fat Land (Greg Critser)
  • The Omnivore’s Dilemma, Michael Pollan
  • Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer
  • Cod: The Biography of the Fish that Changed the World, Mark Kurlansky
  • Salt: A World History, Mark Kurlansky
  • Nickel and Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich
  • Kaffir Boy, Mark Mathebane
  • Black Like Me, John Griffin
  • Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell
  • John Adams, David McCullough
  • Collapse, Jared Diamond
  • The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion
  • Blood Done Sign My Name, Timothy Tyson
  • The Selfish Cell, Richard Dawkins
  • Anatomy of a Face, Lucy Greely
  • A Sense of the World, How a Blind Man Became History’s Greatest Traveler, Jason Robert
  • The Secret Life of Lobsters, Trevor Corson
  • Enrique’s Journey, Sonia Nazario
  • The Soloist, Steve Lopez
  • The Undertaking: Life Studies from the Dismal Trade, Thomas Lynch
  • Brother, I’m Dying, Edwidge Danticat
  • How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read, Pierre Bayard
  • The Forever War, Dexter Filkins
  • Mountains Beyond Mountains: The quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a man who would cure the world, Tracy Kidder
  • Strength in What Remains, Tracy Kidder
  • Zeitoun, Dave Eggers
  • Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do? Michael J. Sandel
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