Which books should i read for my English Literature class?

Okay, so i am taking AP English Literature this year, and i have to read a total of 13 books(!!!). We are being assigned six of them and i get to choose the other seven. She gave us a list from where to choose, and we have to choose six novels and one drama/play. Here are the lists:

**********DRAMA(i get to choose one)

-Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett

-Death Of a Salesman by Arthur Miller(thinking about choosing this one because my sis read it although i have no idea what its about)

-The Cherry Orchard by Anton Chekov

-Tartuffe or The Misanthrope by Moliere

-The importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

*********NOVELS(get to choose six)

-Jane Eyre Charlotte Bronte(might pick)

-Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

-A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

-The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne(already bought so already on the to-read list)

-Moby Dick by Herman Melville

-The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

-1984 by George Orwell

-Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis

-Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad

So which books should i read from the lists above??? Thankfully i read for leisure, so i am used to reading books, however i only read commercial fiction so im scared these books might bore me. Please recommend what you think are the good books from the list above, and if you can PLEASE give me like a synopsis or what the books are about please because i have no idea which ones to pick and i want to know your opinions about them and if they are good, and which ones you think i would like- or at least suffer the least through. My priorities right now are the novels, so please i would like to know more about those than the drama/plays. Thanks in advance. Most descriptive answer gets best answer!

6 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    For Drama i would choose either 'Death of a Salesman' or 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. Waiting for Godot is fine, but absurdist theatre does not make for good grist in reports. The synopsis for those two:

    'Death of a Salesman': Concerns an older man who is having job troubles and his interactions with his family (especially his two sons). It's quite a bit more interesting than it sounds from that descriptive! One son is a kind of prodigal and the other is a bit of a playboy. The 'salesman' lives in a fantasy world. (There have been several films, one with Dustin Hoffman and John Malkovich)

    The Importance of Being Earnest - Comedy about two good friends who lie to their respective lady-loves in that both women believe the men are named 'Earnest'. 1952 movie version of here(there's also a new one): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NFQbeE9gkQ

    Youtube thumbnail


    Moby Dick - *The* Great American Novel. Don't listen to the claptrap above, Melville was a master. Based on the Essex catastrophe the novel concerns a crewman taken along for captain Ahab's obsessive search for a cursed White Whale.

    Heart of Darkness - Conrad was a wordsmith equal in quality to Nabakov. Apocalypse Now was based on this book. Hunt for lost man in darkest jungle.

    Lucky Jim - written before Amis turned into a doddering Nazi.Comedy about a history professor. Christopher Hitchens turned me onto this book - its *that* good.

    1984 - Why not? The fundamental dystopian novel. Set in a futuristic Britain (at the time it was written) that has become a totalitarian state which micro-manages every aspect of its citizens lives...and punishes dissent harshly.

    Jane Eyre - Gothic novel about an orphan's struggle to survive.

    Huck Finn - Huck runs away down the Mississippi with runaway slave Jim.

    Stay far, far away from the Kate Chopin!!

  • 7 years ago

    Great question. I was an English teacher in HS in PA, OR, CT MA and KY. You will do fine.

    1. No one reads Moby Dick

    2. Scarlet Letter and Huck Finn are both important and easy. One or two days if you are a reader.

    3. Jane Eyre is trending now 'cause Americans are so infatuated with the Brits It's a girl book.

    4. 1984 is a classic and talks about gov't surveillance--VERY topical.

    5. Invisible Man is a book about race from a bright black man's perspective. Would work.

    6. Heart of Darkness is about a guy who his in Africa and became evil. The movie "Apocalypse Now" is a modernized version set in Viet Nam. Short but long.

    I'd go with the two female authors,1. Chopin and 2. Bronte, 3. Huck Finn, 4. Scarlet Letter (about adultery in the American colonies), 5. Invisible Man, and 6. 1984, and maybe Tale of Two Cities for extra credit 'cause its' very important, teaches European history, and there are lots of resources about it.

    You are making a good choice in plays: Arthur Miller was Marilyn Monroe's husband. Interesting dude. Easy and sad play.

    Source(s): me
  • 7 years ago

    These are all classics, all good [in my opinion]. A shame only two woman writers on the whole list. For the play do Wilde, for the novels, Bronte, Chopin, Conrad, Dickens, Orwell and Ellison. I won't include a synopsis here as you can easily Google any of these and get more than enough information.

    Source(s): .
  • 1984!!! X

  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Willem
    Lv 6
    7 years ago

    @ cinnamon: "No one reads Moby Dick". Speak for yourself. I've read it, as have millions of others.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    don't shot the white swam

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.