College-Bound Reading Lists

The more we read, the more we know!  It sounds like a catch-phrase on a silly public service announcement, but it’s true.  Students who read widely and deeply are better prepared for college and life.  Though it can be difficult to find the time to read for pleasure, once you get in the habit of reading, you will discover the joy of imaginative escape.  Don’t wait for a teacher or librarian to hand you a book; seek out your own reading adventures! To be well-rounded, read from a variety of genres (plays, novels, essays, etc.), multiple time periods (ancient, Renaissance, modern, etc.), and diverse cultures (American, Latin American, European, etc.).

The following lists can help you on your journey.  Oh, the places we’ll go!

General Reading Lists:

Great Schools:  101 Books for College-Bound Kids:  This is a comprehensive that covers the classics of American, British, and world literature.

Shmoop:  A Manageable College-Bound Reading List:  This list is shorter and arranged by theme and provides links to reading guides for each text.

Let AP Lit be your guide!

Starting in middle school, I began using the AP English Literature list as my literary guide, and I still do!  I hope you find it as rewarding as I have. The list represents a wide range of challenging, enriching, and deeply rewarding titles.  Use the links below to get started.

The Ultimate AP Reading List:  On this site, you will find an annotated list of 35 books that are the most frequently referenced texts on the exam.  This list is a fabulous place to start!

Prep Scholar:  127 books for your prep:  This site breaks down the AP list into time periods, which is quite helpful.

AP Lit Frequent Visitors:  This list includes every text ever mentioned on the AP exam and the years it appeared.  For my super nerds, take on this list after you have made your way through the others.