Need help choosing a book off my AP English reading list!?

I have to choose one of these books/plays to read for a summer assignment...

A play by one of these authors:

Shakespeare (except hamlet, taming of the shrew, julius ceaser, or romeo and juliet)

Anton Chekov

Tennessee Williams

Henrik Ibsen

Arthur Miller (except the crucible)

Eugene O'Neill

August Wilson

Edward Albee

A novel by one of these authors:

Charles Dickens (except great expectations or a christmas carol)

Jane Austen

Thomas Hardy

Joseph Conrad (except heart of darkness)

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Ernest Hemmingway (except the old man and the sea)

John Irving*

Tom Robbins*

Barbra Kingslover

Kurt Vonnegut (except slaughter house 5)

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Toni Morrison

Alice Walker

Or one of these specific books:

The stranger by Albert Camus

Tom Jones by Henry Fielding

Woman Warrior by Maxine Kingston

Their eyes were watching god by Zora neale Hurston

Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackery

Do you know any of these books??? What would be the best one to read and then do a project on?

BTW the ones with the* are my teachers favorite authors and I would get the little extra bump for choosing that haha.

7 Answers

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  • Anonymous
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Plays:

    Shakespeare - I would go with Othello or the Tempest. Personally, those are the only other one's that I've read, and I think they would be perfect for AP English (as well as anything Shakespeare). Also, both are heavily referenced in other literature. For example, the "green eyed monster" named envy is from Othello, and the title of Brave New World comes from a Shakespearean quote. Also, it's good that you are avoiding Hamlet, which is a good book to write about on the exam; except, that it is overused, and they rather not read hundreds of Hamlet essays a day.

    Other than that, I would go for Tennessee Williams. His stuff is great, and quite frankly I'm not a play person and I don't know much about them. Except for Arthur Miller, but I know of a total of one play off the top of my head (guess which one). Also, look into Tom Stoppard. He writes great plays, and I really liked one of his plays called Arcadia, which we read in my English AP class, and especially, if you like Hamlet, read his Rosencratz and Guildenstein are Dead, which is just great.

    Novels: Really, they are all great choices, and it depends more on what you like to read. I can see why they would limit Great Expectations and the Christmas Carol off of Dicken's list; however, most people in AP English HATE Dickens otherwise, and find A Tale of Two Cities such a dreadful book.

    Jane Austen is good, even for some guys. I personally liked Pride and Prejudice (and Zombies), and I would stick with that first one. However, a few friends that I have (all female) say that Emma is a good book by her. Just keep in mind you are reading for the AP, and personally I see one writing a better essay on something other than P&P. Still, I would read it, even if for just pleasure

    Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Umbervilles is great, so it isn't a bad choice.

    Joseph Conrad wrote excellent short fiction, but I'm rather surprised that Heart of Darkness is an exception. I was told that people would be highly impressed if you used the Heart of Darkness in your papers, and I personally did. Though, it is a dreadful book that I wouldn't push onto my enemies, so maybe it is for the better. Also, it's probably reaching Hamlet status, where they are tired of reading Heart of Darkness papers, anyway.

    Tender is the Night, The Great Gatsby, and This Side of Paradise, all by F. Scott, are great, and if you like the Jazzy twenties atmosphere I really recommend them, especially the Great Gatsby. Hemingway would be good, and I liked For Whom the Bell Tolls personally.

    John Irving is great if you like things that are a little different. The World According to Garp is such a strange book, or at least it was when I read it. Also, a Prayer for Owen Meany is great, especially if you like the movie Simon Birch. I keep on meaning to read the Cider House Rules, also by him. If you like stuff that is more contemporary, I would go for this. Since you teacher likes him, if not for your reasons, I would recommend him, since his books have been made into movies, and they are far from boring.

    I've never head of Tom Robbins, and personally I would say there are too many on this list to ignore for this guy, but if the description really sounds interesting for you, then go for it. He's probably a really good writer, anyway.

    Barbara Kingslover's only book that I have read, and therefore would recommend, is the Poisonwood Bible; however, I would say that, while it is a good read, for AP reasons I would choose something else and read it for pleasure.

    Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughter House 5 was just an amazing read, so it is a shame that you can't read it for your AP class. I haven't had the fortune to read anything else by him, so I can't say what else to read, except that they are all probably good.

    Gabriel Garcia Marques is good; however, I read it in Spanish, so I'm not much help for the English translations.

    Personally, I would avoid both Toni Morrison and Alice Walker. However, admittingly, it is because their writing styles and topics aren't too much interest to me, who is more interested in what's above.

    Specifically: I would avoid the latter two, and I haven't read anything else on this list. Camus' The Stranger, I know, focuses on the absurd, so I would go for this one off the list, based on my preferences.

    Source(s): 5 on the English AP. Both Literature and Language ones :D I would personally choose based on your likes and dislikes. If not, then Shakespeare's Tempest, Irving's The World According to Garp (as a favorite to your teacher), and The Stranger by Camus. Really, it makes things a lot easier if you like the book to do a project; however, this is my personal recommendation.
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  • 3 years ago

    Ap Books List

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  • 10 years ago

    Ernest Hemingway, Jane Austen ("Emma" or "Pride and Prejudice"), and Shakespeare ("A Midsummer Night's Dream") would be your best bet, I think. I've been in AP English for two years and have read most of these titles and authors, either on my own or in class, and those three are the easiest to understand and the ones you will find the most resources for.

    Vanity Fair would also be a nice one; it's a very interesting book.

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  • Read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

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  • 10 years ago

    My favorite books out of the above are Othello by Shakespeare and Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison.

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  • 3 years ago

    normally i watch a great deal of television but i do love a good reserve if i get into the booklet i wont said down and i love that i reach use my creativeness so much more than with a tv

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  • Anonymous
    3 years ago

    So far as books which may have movies, the books aren't limited by a set time frame and so can get into a lot more depth then a feature span movie could. Sometimes movies wrap up very different from the book

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