What to Expect From Summer Reading

by Katie Hoskins, Sophia Bollag, and Reese Levine

While the upcoming summer months promise days of fun in the sun and massive amounts of ice cream, for many of us enrolled in AP or Honors classes, summer also means summer reading. Instead of procrastinating and waiting until post-Mats day to get going, know what to expect as you delve into the wonderful world of summer homework. Who knows? You might actually enjoy it. 

AP Euro: The Euro book is the first textbook that most students will actually try and read all the way through, and it can be a bit daunting at first. However, after the first few chapters, Mckay becomes a treasured friend that you can’t live without. The book’s witticisms will eventually grow on you.

AP US History: Thick and intimidating, the APUSH book lays looming on the desk. Fair warning: the APUSH book is perhaps one of the most boring books you will ever have to read, but you will be tested on the first few chapters, so pay attention.

East of EdenAlthough East of Eden looks long and intimidating, Honors English students will be pleasantly surprised by Steinbeck’s intriguing story that will make you question your own moral sanity. Actually read this book. It’s frequently referenced in class discussions and you don’t want to be the one left in the dark.

Life of PiLifeboats and tigers and zebras, oh my! The most creative of the summer reading books, Life of Pi is like a mini Odyssey, describing the adventures of a young boy who becomes stranded on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with only a tiger for company. While some readers won’t be fans of the ambiguity of the ending, this book was thoroughly enjoyable and not your usual book for English class.

In Cold BloodIf you’re into Sherlock Holmes murder mystery tales, you’ll love this book. It follows the true story of a brutal murder that claimed the lives of an entire family. Full of mystery and excitement, In Cold Blood deals with mental illness and torture, and forces the reader to look at the situation from the murderer’s point of view.  However, the descriptive passages of the murders can be a little gruesome and this book is definitely not for the light-hearted.

1984Although 1984 is often compared to Brave New World because of its dystopian setting, do not be discouraged. While Brave New World was in many parts awkward and boring, 1984 never is. Orwell’s masterpiece is suspenseful and interesting. And don’t be fooled by the title: although the year 1984 passed almost three decades ago, the book 1984 is still relevant—terrifyingly so. Be excited for this book.

Pride and PrejudiceWhile this book isn’t particularly profound, it has an entertaining storyline. It’s easy to understand, even if it is a bit long. Altogether, it’s not a bad summer reading book.

AP Environmental Science: Unless you are fascinated by the dangers of pesticides and their effects on the environment, prepare yourself for a boring read in Silent Spring. While some of the arguments and research findings are mildly interesting, this book can’t match the excitement found in some other summer reading requirements. When looking for your articles on environmental issues, don’t procrastinate. Ask parents or friends to help find articles and you’ll be done, out enjoying the summer environment in no time!