Introduction to AP Lit Recommended Reading List
AP Lit, or Advanced Placement Literature and Composition, is a college-level course designed to develop skills in critical reading, analysis, and writing. The AP Lit course is challenging and rigorous, and students are expected to read and analyze a significant number of literary works. To prepare for the AP Lit exam, students are encouraged to read widely across different genres, cultures, and periods. Therefore, the AP Lit recommended reading list is an essential resource for students who want to succeed in the course and on the exam.
The AP Lit recommended reading list includes a wide range of literary works that reflect the diversity of human experience and the complexity of the literary form. The list includes novels, plays, poems, and essays from different periods and cultures. Some of the works on the list are classics of Western literature, while others are more recent works that explore contemporary issues and themes. The selection of works is designed to expose students to different literary styles, techniques, and perspectives.
To succeed in the AP Lit course, students need to read the listed works with a critical eye and an analytical mindset. They need to pay attention to the author’s use of literary devices, such as imagery, symbolism, and figurative language, and analyze how these devices contribute to the meaning and effect of the work. They also need to examine the cultural and historical contexts of the works and consider how these contexts influence the author’s themes and message. Additionally, students need to be able to write about the works in an insightful and coherent manner, making use of literary terms and evidence from the text to support their arguments.
It is worth noting that the AP Lit recommended reading list is not exhaustive, and students are encouraged to read beyond the list. Students who read widely and deeply are more likely to develop a broad understanding of literary history, gain exposure to a variety of voices and perspectives, and build the analytical and critical skills that are essential for success in the course and beyond.
In conclusion, the AP Lit recommended reading list is an indispensable resource for students who want to excel in the course and on the exam. By reading the listed works with a critical eye, paying attention to literary devices, examining contextual factors, and writing analytically, students can gain a deeper appreciation of the artistic and intellectual value of literature. Additionally, by reading widely and deeply, students can foster a lifelong love of reading and learning.
Classic Novels to Read for AP Lit
When it comes to prepping for the Advanced Placement Literature and Composition exam, reading classic novels is one of the best ways to prepare. Classic literature has been around for centuries and has influenced countless generations of readers. It’s important that you come into the exam with a solid understanding of the literary techniques and themes that authors have employed in their works throughout history. Here are some classic novels to add to your reading list for AP Lit:
1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Wuthering Heights is one of the most famous works of Emily Bronte. First published in 1847, it’s a complex and disturbing novel that explores themes of revenge, jealousy, and passion. The story revolves around the tragic love between Heathcliff and Cathy, who are unable to be together due to their social differences. The novel is known for its intense imagery and lyrical prose, making it an excellent choice for AP Lit students.
2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Great Gatsby has been regarded as one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. F. Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece is set in the 1920s and explores themes of the American Dream, love, and the corruption of money and power. The novel is a combination of romance and tragedy, with vivid descriptions of the Jazz Age. AP Lit students should definitely read this book since it’s a classic example of modernist literature.
3. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
To Kill a Mockingbird is perhaps one of the most loved novels that American literature has ever produced. Written by Harper Lee and published in 1960, this novel explores themes of race and justice in the southern United States during the 1930s. The story is told from the perspective of Scout Finch, a young girl who witnesses her father, an attorney, defend a black man who is wrongly accused of rape. This book is considered a must-read for any student taking AP Lit since it deals with complex social issues that are still relevant today.
4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Pride and Prejudice is a classic work of English literature that explores themes of love, marriage, and social status. Written by Jane Austen and published in 1813, the novel follows the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a headstrong and intelligent girl who falls in love with Mr. Darcy, a wealthy and proud man. The novel is a witty and insightful look at the society of Austen’s time, making it an excellent choice for AP Lit students who want to understand the nuances of 19th-century literature.
5. 1984 by George Orwell
1984 is a dystopian novel that explores themes of totalitarianism, government control, and the power of language. Written by George Orwell and published in 1949, the novel is set in a future where the state controls every aspect of people’s lives, from their thoughts to their actions. The protagonist, Winston Smith, is a member of the ruling party who secretly rebels against the government. The book is a disturbing and thought-provoking read that is perfect for AP Lit students who want to explore the darker side of literature.
These classic novels have stood the test of time and remain important works of literature to this day. Reading them will not only help you prepare for the AP Lit exam but will also give you a deeper appreciation for the power of literature.
Contemporary Literature for AP Lit Students
The Advanced Placement English Literature and Composition (AP Lit) course offers students an opportunity to explore and analyze works of literature across multiple genres and time periods. One key subtopic is contemporary literature, which includes works written in the late 20th and early 21st century. Teachers typically recommend a range of contemporary authors and texts to their AP Lit students. In this subtopic, we will be discussing three contemporary works that AP Lit students can read and analyze.
1. The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao is a Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Junot Diaz. The novel tells the story of Oscar, a Dominican-American science fiction fan struggling to find his place in the world. The novel combines elements of magical realism, historical fiction, and science fiction to paint a vivid picture of Oscar’s life and the lives of his family members as they navigate love, loss, and the often-complicated experience of being a first-generation immigrant. This novel is often recommended by AP Lit teachers because of its complex structure, rich cultural references, and incorporation of multiple genres. It provides plenty of opportunities for students to engage in literary analysis and critical thinking.
2. Beloved by Toni Morrison
Beloved is a novel by Toni Morrison and winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1988. The novel tells the story of Sethe, a former slave who has escaped to freedom but is haunted by the memories of her past. Sethe is confronted by the ghost of her daughter, Beloved, who died as an infant. The novel explores themes of slavery, trauma, memory, and the search for identity. Morrison’s rich prose and use of multiple narrative voices create a complex and haunting story that challenges students to think deeply about the ways in which history and trauma shape our lives. This work is often recommended by AP Lit teachers for its complex narrative structure, challenging themes, and emotional depth.
3. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
The Road is a novel by Cormac McCarthy that explores themes of survival and human resilience in the face of extreme adversity. The novel tells the story of a father and son traveling through a post-apocalyptic wasteland in search of safety and a better life. Along the way, they confront the brutal realities of survival and the constant threat of danger. McCarthy’s sparse, evocative prose and unflinching exploration of human suffering make this a challenging but rewarding work for AP Lit students to analyze and interpret. The Road is often recommended by AP Lit teachers for its exploration of philosophical questions about the meaning of life and the morality of survival in a harsh and unforgiving world.
These are just a few examples of the many contemporary works available for AP Lit students to explore. Other popular contemporary authors include Salman Rushdie, Zadie Smith, and Jhumpa Lahiri. By reading and analyzing these works, students can develop important critical thinking skills and gain a deeper understanding of the complexity and variety of contemporary literature.
Must-Read Poetry Collections for AP Lit
Poetry is an essential part of AP Literature. It is an art form that captures emotions and expressions through the use of figurative language, imagery and rhythm. Here are the top poetry collections that every AP Lit student should read:
Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
This is a must-read collection of poetry for any AP Lit student. Leaves of Grass contains a collection of 12 poems that explore themes of identity, freedom and individualism. Whitman’s use of free verse and his unique style of writing makes this collection one of the most celebrated and significant works of 19th-century literature.
The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot
The Waste Land is a masterpiece of modernism. It has been recognized as one of the most significant works of 20th-century literature. The collection of poems is a reflection of the disillusionment and despair that followed World War I. Eliot uses a range of cultural and literary references to express his ideas and thoughts. The collection is a challenge for AP Lit students, but it’s worth the effort to unravel the complexity of Eliot’s poetry.
Sonnets from the Portuguese by Elizabeth Barrett Browning
Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Sonnets from the Portuguese is a collection of poems that reflects the emotions of love, romance and passion. The collection contains a total of 44 sonnets, which are considered some of the most famous love poems in English literature. The use of iambic pentameter and Browning’s mastery of the sonnet form make this collection worth reading for any AP Lit student.
The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson by Emily Dickinson
Emily Dickinson’s poetry is characterized by its short length, the use of dashes and her unconventional writing style. The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson is a collection of over 1775 poems that are known for their exploration of themes such as death, nature and identity. This collection provides an excellent opportunity for AP Lit students to analyze Dickinson’s unique style, and it is a valuable addition to any AP Lit reading list.
Poetry is a form of art that requires concentration and effort to understand its beauty. These poetry collections provide an excellent opportunity for AP Lit students to explore the different forms of poetry and learn about the literary techniques used in their composition. They are a must-read for anyone looking to improve their understanding of Poetry and Literature.
Non-Fiction Works Worth Considering for AP Lit
When it comes to literature, non-fiction works are often overlooked in favor of their fictional counterparts. However, there are numerous non-fiction works that are worth considering for the AP Lit exam. These works offer unique perspectives on real-world issues and can expand the reader’s understanding of the human experience. Here are five non-fiction works worth considering for the AP Lit exam.
1. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, an African American woman whose cancer cells were taken without her knowledge in 1951 and used for medical research. The book explores issues of race, ethics, and the questionable morality of scientific innovation. It is a thought-provoking work that raises important questions about the intersection of science and society.
2. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
First published in 1903, The Souls of Black Folk is a collection of essays written by W.E.B. Du Bois. The book addresses issues of race, inequality, and the African American experience in the United States. It is a seminal work of African American literature and offers a powerful critique of the racial divisions that continue to plague society today.
3. The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion
The Year of Magical Thinking is a memoir written by Joan Didion, chronicling the year following the death of her husband. The book explores the grieving process, the fragility of life, and the human struggle to find meaning in the face of loss. Didion’s writing is poignant and lyrical, making this a must-read for anyone interested in the human experience.
4. In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
In Cold Blood is a true crime novel written by Truman Capote. The book tells the story of the brutal murder of the Clutter family in Kansas in 1959 and the subsequent investigation and trial. The book is a masterful example of the genre and offers a chilling look into the minds of the killers.
5. The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
The New Jim Crow is a seminal work on the issue of mass incarceration in the United States. The book argues that the criminal justice system has become a new form of racial control, with African Americans disproportionately caught up in the web of incarceration. The book is a sobering read that sheds light on one of the most pressing issues facing American society today.
Non-fiction works offer a wealth of knowledge and insights into the world we live in. These works are worth considering for the AP Lit exam as they can help students to broaden their perspective and deepen their understanding of the human experience. Whether you are interested in issues of race, ethics, science, or society, there is a non-fiction work out there for you.