KS4-KS5 English Dept Reading List

Trinity Catholic School English Department
KS4/KS5 reading suggestions

By this stage in your reading experience, you should be looking to challenge yourself by reading as wide a variety of books as possible.  If all you have read are contemporary novels, try some classic 19th century fiction.  If you’ve only read Dickens, peruse the Booker prize list (see below) or the Orange prize list, for instance, and find something contemporary to try.  Don’t forget that reading quality newspapers and other publications will also widen your experience of reading and of the world in general.
The books here are arranged according to genre – why not commit to trying one new book from each genre this year?  Read a book at the same time as a friend and compare.  Write a review for Amazon or start a blog for teenage readers and write reviews.  Browse the Internet for book-related websites, or just browse in the library until something catches your eye or ask the librarian/your teachers for a recommendation.  However you do it, keep reading!
Love/family/relationships/society novels
Kate Atkinson – Behind the Scenes at the Museum
Jane Austen – Pride and Prejudice/Sense and Sensibility and others
Raymond Carver – any short stories
Emma Donoghue – Room
George Eliot – the Mill on the Floss/Adam Bede/Middlemarch
Gustave Flaubert – Madame Bovary
Thomas Hardy – Under the Greenwood Tree/Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Georgette Heyer – any of her historical romances
D H Lawrence – Sons and Lovers
Marina Lewycka – A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian
Valerie Martin – Property
Evelyn Waugh – A Handful of Dust
Mary Webb – Precious Bane
Edith Wharton – The Age of Innocence, The House of Mirth

Science fiction and fantasy
Brian Aldiss – any novel/short story
Isaac Asimov – any novel/short story
Margaret Atwood – the Handmaid’s Tale, Oryx and Crake
Ray Bradbury – The Martian Chronicles, Fahrenheit 451
Aldous Huxley – Brave New World
George Orwell – 1984
Terry Pratchett – Discworld series and others
H G Wells – The War of the Worlds
John Wyndham – The Day of the Triffids
Horror/ghost/Gothic stories
Angela Carter – The Bloody Chamber (adapted fairy stories)
Wilkie Collins – The Woman in White
Daphne Du Maurier – short stories and novels (eg ‘Rebecca’)
Susan Hill – any novel/story
M R James – Collected Ghost Stories
Mervyn Peake – The Gormenghast Trilogy
Edgar Allan Poe stories – Try ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ or ‘Hop-Frog’
Mary Shelley – Frankenstein
Bram Stoker – Dracula
Oscar Wilde – The Picture of Dorian Gray

Kate Atkinson – Jackson Brodie series (start with ‘Case Histories’)
Wilkie Collins – The Law and the Lady
Arthur Conan Doyle – Sherlock Holmes stories – try The Hound of the Baskervilles
Graham Greene  Brighton Rock
Robert Harris –  Fatherland, Archangel, Enigma
Ian Rankin – crime fiction set in Scotland.  Try the first Inspector Rebus novel Knots and Crosses
Dorothy L Sayers – crime novels featuring Lord Peter Wimsey – the first one ‘Whose Body?’

Non fiction
Maya Angelou – I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Andrea Ashworth – Once in a House on Fire
Bill Bryson – Comic travel writing (eg Notes from a Small Island) and other books
Jung Chang – Wild Swans
Nick Hornby – Fever Pitch
Frank McCourt – Angela’s Ashes, Teacher Man
Jon Krakauer – Into Thin Air
Joe Simpson -Touching the Void
Tobias Wolff – Old School

‘Coming-of-age’ novels
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Purple Hibiscus
Kate Chopin – The Awakening
Charles Dickens Great Expectations/David Copperfield
Kazuo Ishiguro – Never Let me Go
Ian McEwan – Atonement
Sue Monk Kidd – The Secret Life of Bees
J D Salinger Catcher in the Rye
William Trevor – The Story of Lucy Gault
Sylvia Plath – The Bell Jar
Jeanette Winterson – Oranges are Not the Only Fruit

War stories
Pat Barker – Regeneration trilogy
Sebastian Faulks – Birdsong
Charles Frazier – Cold Mountain
Ernest Hemingway – A Farewell to Arms
Joseph Heller – Catch 22
James Jones – From Here to Eternity
Erich Maria Remarque – All Quiet on the Western Front
Siegfried Sassoon – Memoirs of an Infantry Officer
William Styron – Sophie’s Choice

Fiction about race/other cultures
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Half of a Yellow Sun (Nigeria)
Aravind Adiga – The White Tiger (India)
Isabelle Allende – The House of the Spirits (Latin America)
Khaled Hosseini  – The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns (Afghanistan)
Barbara Kingsolver – The Poisonwood Bible (African Congo)
Harper Lee – To Kill a Mockingbird (1930s America)
Andrea Levy – Small Island (West Indies/Britain)
Gabriel Garcia Marquez   One Hundred Years of Solitude (South America)
Toni Morrison – Beloved (set after American Civil War)
Zadie Smith – White Teeth (racial tensions in London)
John Steinbeck – Of Mice and Men, The Grapes of Wrath (1930s America)
Richard Wright – Native Son (1930s Chicago)

Previous Booker prize winners – mostly more challenging literary fiction
2010 – Howard Jacobson – The Finkler Question
2009 – Hilary Mantel – Wolf Hall
2008 – Aravind Adiga – The White Tiger
2007 – Anne Enright – The Gathering
2006 – Kiran Desai – The Inheritance of Loss
2005 – John Banville – The Sea
2004 – Alan Hollinghurst – The Line of Beauty
2003 – D B C Pierre – Vernon God Little
2002 – Yann Martel – Life of Pi
2001 – Peter Carey – True History of the Kelly Gang
2000 – Margaret Atwood – The Blind Assassin

And for a real challenge in terms of length/difficulty, these classics …

James Joyce – Ulysses
Herman Melville – Moby Dick
W Somerset Maugham – Of Human Bondage
Laurence Sterne – Tristram Shandy
Leo Tolstoy – War and Peace/Anna Karenina
Virginia Woolf – To The Lighthouse, The Waves

Also, committed literature students, or just very keen readers, might want to explore poetry and drama too.  These are some names to look up.  (Other poets and dramatists are also available…!)

Homer, Chaucer, Donne, Herbert, Marvell, Milton, Dryden, Pope, Blake, Wordsworth, Coleridge, Keats,Shelley, Byron, Clare, Arnold, R. Browning, Thomas Hardy, E.G. Browning, T.S. Eliot, W.B. Yeats, W.H. Auden

And more modern poets:  Philip Larkin, Emily Dickinson, Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, Seamus Heaney,
Tony Harrison, Douglas Dunn, Carol Ann Duffy, Jackie Kay


You might try watching or reading plays by some of the following:

Tourneur, Kyd, Webster, Shakespeare, Marlowe, Jonson, Dryden, Congreve, Ibsen, Wilde, Shaw,
Synge, O’Casey, T.S. Eliot, Beckett, Miller…or more modern dramatists, Osborne, Sillitoe, Pinter,
Miller, Nicholls, Bolt, Stoppard, Storey, Shaffer, Friel, Churchill, Bond, Barker……