"Req'd. Read this one first! We will not cite it directly in class, but you will need it for the paper in which you connect it to your choice book... take it out of the library if you're trying to save some dough."
"Req'd. Ah yes. The classic psychological journey into the mind of a killer. Pay attention to the plot structure, characterization, passages concerning morality/ethics, the recurring motif of water, the role of religion, and so on."
"Optional- Oh how that Darcy is a dreamboat! A lovely lighthearted Victorian tea and crumpets novel all the way. Have some tea whilst reading it on the porch. And a scone. Foils abound here, so look for them. Think also about how propriety and decorum dictate social interactions, and whether or not you think this is a bad thing... I mean, do we even have social standards anymore? Haha."
"Optional- Any edition of this will do. Used book stores usually have it for a buck. If you're reading it thinking, 'Hhwwhat? This is absurd!' Well, right you are! Perhaps Beckett is exploring the absurdity of our own existence. Try to have fun with it."
"Suggestion for choice book. The Great American Novel, i.m.h.o. I know it's a big, dense read, but I reread it last summer for a grad course and loved it. This actually happened to thousands of people in your grandparents' lifetimes!"
"Suggestion for choice book. Um. How can I put this. First of all, Mature content with a capital M. Second, brilliantly written character-driven novel that has achieved more critical acclaim than any other 21st C novel to my knowledge."
"Suggestion for choice book. This is one of those plays where we don't formally do it in the curriculum (but should) yet refer to quite a bit in class discussions/literary terms examples. Don't expect a happy ending. Ha."
"Suggestion for choice book. Last year we did 'Beloved' for summer reading and it didn't go over so well. In my opinion, this is Morrison's best novel. Modern African-American magical realism, and gobs of allusions. Poetic writing!"
"Suggestion for choice book. Beautifully written, and often considered the quintessential work of magical realism. Difficult at times, especially if you put it down for a day or two and 'fall out of the family tree' so to speak. You'll see what I mean."
"Okay, I haven't actually read this one yet, BUT I put it on here to mention that more and more contemporary world lit titles are showing up on the AP Exam's Q3 (not only because this year's prompt was about exile, either--last year Orhan Pamuk's 'Snow' was also mentioned for the first time.) It's the 21st Century, scholars are now looking to the East for inclusion in the literary canon!"