• 11th Grade Honors English & Honors American Studies Summer Reading Assignments

     
    1. REQUIRED: Read Ishmael by Daniel Quinn.

    Complete this assignment

     
    2. REQUIRED: Read ONE book from the list below. As you read, annotate with sticky notes. 

    Click here for details on what the sticky notes should contain. 
    Click here for Sticky Note Model.

     
    - Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O'Connor
    - A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway 
    - 100 Selected Poems by E.E. Cummings 
     - The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
    - Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko 
    - As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner 
    -The People's History of Sports in the United States by Dave Zirin
    -The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry by Rita Dove (Read only ONE POEM BY EACH POET to make this more manageable)
  • 1. REQUIRED

     Ishmael

    Ishmael by Daniel Quinn

    The narrator of this extraordinary tale is a man in search for truth. He answers an ad in a local newspaper from a teacher looking for serious pupils, only to find himself alone in an abandoned office with a full-grown gorilla who is nibbling delicately on a slender branch. "You are the teacher?" he asks incredulously. "I am the teacher," the gorilla replies. Ishmael is a creature of immense wisdom and he has a story to tell, one that no other human being has ever heard. It is a story that extends backward and forward over the lifespan of the earth from the birth of time to a future there is still time save. Like all great teachers, Ishmael refuses to make the lesson easy; he demands the final illumination to come from within ourselves. Is it man's destiny to rule the world? Or is it a higher destiny possible for him-- one more wonderful than he has ever imagined.

     

    Reviews:

     “It is as suspenseful, inventive, and socially urgent as any fiction or nonfiction book you are likely to read this or any other year.”
    The Austin Chronicle


    “Deserves high marks as a serious—and all too rare—effort that is unflinchingly engaged with fundamental life-and-death concerns.”
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


    “Captivating . . . promise that you will read this explosive little book cover to cover and pass it on to all your friends and relatives.”
    The New York Times


    Valuable and illuminating . . . Barbara Ehrenreich is our premier reporter of the underside of capitalism.
    The New York Times Book Review

     


  • 2. REQUIRED
    Read one book from the ten listed below.

    Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor

    Flannery O'Connor was working on Everything That Rises Must Converge at the time of her death. This collection is an exquisite legacy from a genius of the American short story, in which she scrutinizes territory familiar to her readers: race, faith, and morality. The stories encompass the comic and the tragic, the beautiful and the grotesque; each carries her highly individual stamp and could have been written by no one else.

     

    Reviews:

    "The current volume of posthumous stories is the work of a master, a writer's writer-- but a reader's too-- an incomparable craftsman who wrote, let it be said, some of the finest stories in our language."
    Newsweek

     

    "All in all they comprise the best collection of shorter fiction to have been published in America during the past twenty years."
    —Theodore Solotaroff, Book Week

     

     

  • Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko

    Tayo, a young Native American, has been a prisoner of the Japanese during World War II, and the horrors of captivity have almost eroded his will to survive. His return to the Laguna Pueblo reservation only increases his feeling of estrangement and alienation. While other returning soldiers find easy refuge in alcohol and senseless violence, Tayo searches for another kind of comfort and resolution.Tayo's quest leads him back to the Indian past and its traditions, to beliefs about witchcraft and evil, and to the ancient stories of his people. The search itself becomes a ritual, a curative ceremny that defeats the most virulent of afflictions—despair.

     

    Reviews:

    “Her assurance, her gravity, her flexibility are all wonderful gifts.”
    The New York Times Review of Books

     

    “The novel is very deliberately a ceremony in itself—demanding but confident and beautifully written.” 
    The Boston Globe

     


  • As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner

    As I Lay Dying is Faulkner's harrowing account of the Bundren family's odyssey across the Mississippi countryside to bury Addie, their wife and mother. Told in turns by each of the family members—including Addie herself—the novel ranges in mood from dark comedy to the deepest pathos.

     

    Reviews:

    “He is the greatest artist the South has produced. . . . Indeed, through his many novels and short stories, Faulkner fights out the moral problem which was repressed after the nineteenth century [yet] for all his concern with the South, Faulkner was actually seeking out the nature of man. Thus we must turn to him for that continuity of moral purpose which made for greatness of our classics.”
    —Ralph Ellison

     

    “No man ever put more of his heart and soul into the written word than did William Faulkner. If you want to know all you can about that heart and soul, the fiction where he put it is still right there.”
    —Eudora Welty

     


  • The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth Century American Poetry Edited by Rita Dove

    Penguin Anthology

    Rita Dove, Pulitzer Prize winner and former Poet Laureate of the United States, introduces readers to the most significant and compelling poems of the past hundred years in The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry. Now available in paperback, this indispensable volume represents the full spectrum of aesthetic sensibilities—with varying styles, voices, themes, and cultures—while balancing important poems with vital periods of each poet. Featuring works by Mary Oliver, Derek Walcott, John Ashbery, Gwendolyn Brooks, Kevin Young, Terrance Hayes, Li-Young Lee, Joanna Klink and A.E. Stallings, Dove’s selections paint a dynamic and cohesive portrait of modern American poetry.

    Review

    "Former U.S. Poet Laureate Dove takes a fresh look at the canon of 20th century American poetry in this hefty anthology [...] This book is sure to become an important resource for those interested in poetry, and especially students, for decades to come."
    Publishers Weekly [Starred Review]

    “One of the gifts of twentieth-century U.S. poetics has been the series of debates about what we are to value in and about poetry, and one of the tasks of the student of poetry is to develop her own criteria for excellence, taking her cues from the values of her own cultures—inherited, encountered, or taught, as the case may be.”
    —Evie Shockley, Boston Review

  • A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

    In 1918 Ernest Hemingway went to war, to the 'war to end all wars'. He volunteered for ambulance service in Italy, was wounded and twice decorated. Out of his experiences came A Farewell to Arms. Hemingway's description of war is unforgettable. He recreates the fear, the comradeship, the courage of his young American volunteer and the men and women he meets in Italy with total conviction. But A Farewell to Arms is not only a novel of war. In it Hemingway has also created a love story of immense drama and uncompromising passion.

     

    Reviews:

    "A most beautiful, moving and human book"
    —Vita Sackville-West

     


  • 100 Selected Poems by E.E. Cummings

    E.E. Cummings is without question one of the major poets of this century, and this volume, first published in 1959, is indispensable for every lover of modern lyrical verse. It contains one hundred of Cummings’s wittiest and most profound poems, harvested from thirty-five of the most radically creative years in contemporary American poetry. These poems exhibit all the extraordinary lyricism, playfulness, technical ingenuity, and compassion for which Cummings is famous. They demonstrate beautifully his extrapolations from traditional poetic structures and his departures from them, as well as the unique synthesis of lavish imagery and acute artistic precision that has won him the adulation and respect of critics and poetry lovers everywhere. 

     

    Reviews:

    “E.E. Cummings is a concentrate of titanic significance.”
    —Marianne Moore

     

    “No one else has ever made avant-garde, experimental poems so attractive both to the general and the special reader; since the early twenties, Cummings has been more widely imitated and easily appreciated than any other modernist poet.”
    —Randall Jarrell

     


  • Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

    Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.”

    This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland. But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a disastrous marriage, Archer falls deeply in love with her. Torn between duty and passion, Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life—or mercilessly destroy it. 

     

    Reviews:

    "It is one of the best novels of the twentieth century and ... a permanent addition to literature."
    The New York Times Book Review

     


  •  a peoples history of sports

    A People's History of Sports in the United States by Dave Zirin

    In this long-waited book from the rising superstar of sportswriting, whose blog Edge of Sports is read each week by thousands of people across the country, Dave Zirin offers a riotously entertaining chronicle of larger-than-life sporting characters and dramatic contests and what amounts to an alternative history of the United States as seen through the games its people played. Through Zirin’s eyes, sports are never mere games, but a reflection of—and spur toward—the political conflicts that shape American society.

    Half a century before Jackie Robinson was born, the black ballplayer Moses Fleetwood Walker brandished a revolver to keep racist fans at bay, then took his regular place in the lineup. In the midst of the Depression, when almost no black athletes were allowed on the U.S. Olympic team, athletes held a Counter Olympics where a third of the participants were African American.

    A People’s History of Sports in the United States is replete with surprises for seasoned sports fans, while anyone interested in history will be amazed by the connections Zirin draws between politics and pop flies. As Jeff Chang, author of Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, puts it, “After you read him, you’ll never see sports the same way again.”

    Review
    ..."this sprawling, insightful and contrarian book is worth reading for its portrayal of the rebel athletes to whom it is dedicated, and to whom we are all indebted."
           - Time