Summer Reading 2024

  • English Department Summer Reading Suggestions

    In thinking about how to best serve our students, the MHS English Department has made the decision that this summer there will be no formal reading assignments - note that there may be separate AP assignments (scroll down for AP assignments and recommendations). Thus, we would still like to offer these “suggestions” which  will NOT be tied to any academic grade or assignment when we get back to school in the fall. We encourage students to explore these purely optional selections as selected with thought and care by the individual teachers in our department. We release these suggestions in good faith and hope that our academic community might benefit from the joy of reading.

    - READ ON! -

    Daniel Lambert
    Summer Reading Recommendations

    Armada by Ernest ClineArmada: A Novel by Ernest Cline
    At once gleefully embracing and brilliantly subverting science-fiction conventions as only Ernest Cline could, Armada is a rollicking, surprising thriller, a classic coming of age adventure, and an alien invasion tale like nothing you've ever read before — one whose every page is infused with the pop-culture savvy that has helped make Ready Player One a phenomenon. -

    summer reading selectionTouching Spirit Bear
    by Ben Mikaelsen

    Ben Mikaelsen paints a vivid picture of a juvenile offender, examining the roots without absolving solving him of responsibility for his actions, and questioning a society in which angry people make victims of their peers and communities. Touching Spirit Bear is a poignant testimonial to the power of a pain that can destroy, or lead to healing -

    summer readingStoner
    by John Williams

    John Williams’s luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection.
    William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world. -

    summer readingSapiens
    by Yuval Noah Harari

    Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas. -

  • Eric Carrier
    Summer Reading Recommendations

    The Three-Body ProblemThe Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu
    Set against the backdrop of China's Cultural Revolution, a secret military project sends signals into space to establish contact with aliens. An alien civilization on the brink of destruction captures the signal and plans to invade Earth. Meanwhile, on Earth, different camps start forming, planning to either welcome the superior beings and help them take over a world seen as corrupt, or to fight against the invasion. The result is a science fiction masterpiece of enormous scope and vision. - 

    Sandman by Neil GaimanSandman by Neil Gaiman
    An occultist attempting to capture the physical embodiment of Death to bargain for eternal life traps her younger brother Dream instead. After his seventy-year imprisonment and eventual escape, Dream, also known as Morpheus, goes on a quest for his lost objects of power to reclaim his reign. From there, one of the greatest series in the history of the graphic novel genre begins… Gaiman created an unforgettable tale of the forces that exist beyond life and death by weaving ancient mythology, folklore and fairy tales with his own distinct narrative vision. This graphic novel--a perfect jumping-on point for any reader--includes the introductions of Morpheus, Lucifer and The Endless, all intricate parts of this enduring series that is still as relevant today as ever. -

    Lonesome DoveLonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
    The Pulitzer Prize­–winning American classic of the American West that follows two aging Texas Rangers embarking on one last adventure. An epic of the frontier, Lonesome Dove is the grandest novel ever written about the last defiant wilderness of America. Journey to the dusty little Texas town of Lonesome Dove and meet an unforgettable assortment of heroes and outlaws, whores and ladies, Indians and settlers. Richly authentic, beautifully written, always dramatic, Lonesome Dove is a book to make us laugh, weep, dream, and remember.  -

  • Rachel Stowell
    Summer Reading Suggestions

    Parable of the SowerIn the mood for something dark and prophetic?
    Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler
    Written after the 1992 LA riots, this dystopian novel takes us to a Los Angeles that has no water, the police and fire departments demand payment for help, and a deadly drug is ravaging the streets. One young woman navigates this world to search for a safe place and a new way of thinking.

    This book feels so current that it’s frightening. I have never forgotten how it affected me and how I view the world, even after all these years. I am still planting fruit trees to survive the apocalypse!

    Nevermoor - The Trials of Morrigan CrowIn the mood for light magic?
    Nevermoor: The Trials of Morgan Crow by Jessica Townsend
    The first in a series of books about a young girl who is considered cursed by her entire town. Yet she is taken to a magical world where she must pass a series of trials to save herself.

    This is by far the best fantasy series I’ve read in a decade. If you love world-building and inventiveness, give this a try (and come talk to Ms. Auer or me about it in the Fall. We both love it! Each book in the series gets better and better (I promise!). And the new one comes out in November, so you can read it with us!

    Braiding SweetgrassIn the mood for something calming?
    Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
    Botanist and teacher Kimmerer takes us on a journey learning about plants, their connection to humans and how they weave through culture and family.

    I recommend reading this on audiobook. Her voice is so soothing and full of emotion. Use it as meditation and as a new way to see the world around you.

    The Ultimate Hitchhiker's Guide to the GalaxyIn the mood for some good, old, plain fun?
    Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
    Arthur Dent has no idea what's happening as he gets scooped up into a space adventure with only his odd friend Ford from the planet Betelguese and his handy guide to the galaxy there to help him.

    I often go back to re-read these books and am amazed by how well they hold up after all these years.

  • AP Required Reading

    11 AP Language & Composition
    Summer Reading

    summer readingHello!  You’ve signed up for AP Language and Composition for your 11th Grade year.  In the month of August, before school starts, I’d like you to do the following two things:
    1.  Read Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates by Thurs, 8/22.
    2. Take a photo of you reading the book somewhere, anywhere, and print it out for the first day of school. You can have fun with this! Beach, pool, inside, outside, treehouse, car, couch…the choice is yours.  Please print out a color photo (or even better, have it developed at CVS. Only $0.32)

    For 12AP Literature

    These are modern books of literary merit that we won't have time to read in class. If you want to expand your horizons this summer, try one of these "new classics".

    Because there is no summer reading book, be ready to read the novella Signs Preceding the End of the World your first week back at school. We'll check it out from the library and immediately start reading.

    Recommended Books
    Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt
    Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
    The Sellout by Paul Beatty
    The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood