Summer Reading List

These are the required books for each form—
 
Form of 2019 (entering Sixth Form): Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
 
Form of 2020 (entering Fifth Form): Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi
 
Form of 2021 (entering Fourth Form): The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Adichie
 
Form of 2022 (entering Third Form): The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
 
Form of 2023 (entering Second Form): The Circuit by Francisco Jiménez
 
Students may prefer to read their required books later in the summer so they can come to their first Fall Term English class with a sound grasp of the book. Students will not be tested on the book, but teachers will provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate how thoroughly they completed this assignment.

Students are responsible for getting the book this summer. All are easily available and in paperback—at your local library, local book store, or online.

In addition, this summer’s all-school read is Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi.

Azar Nafisi will speak to the community in the fall, as part of our Global Education and Diversity and Inclusion programs. (If you have the inclination, also read her latest book, The Republic of Imagination.)
 
For those who would like further recommendations, faculty have gathered a list of books (below) that they think students might enjoy.

 
RECOMMENDED READING

Looking for something to read this summer? Groton School faculty members have listed books that they have enjoyed in the hope that you will enjoy them too. The books are organized by department. If you read a book from this list, don’t forget to contact the teacher who recommended it when you return in the fall!

ARTS

Mary Ann Lanier

1776, David McCullough
This Is Your Brain on Music, Daniel J. Levitin

Upper School:
Flowers and Fruit, Colette

Nicole Harris
 
The Night Circus, Erin Morgenstern
Not My Father's Son
, Alan Cumming (especially the audiobook)
 
Laurie Sales

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, David Eggers
Stones From The River, Ursula Hegi
Was, Geoff Ryman

Plays:
Arcadia, Tom Stoppard
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf, Ntozake Shange
How I Learned to Drive, Paula Vogel
Metamorphosis, Mary Zimmerman
A Raisin In The Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
Take Me Out, Richard Greenberg

Andrea Underhill
 
The Mousetrap, Agatha Christie (Fall 2018 play)
 
CLASSICS
 
Preston Bannard

The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
The Hot Rock, Donald Westlake
The Inimitable Jeeves (or anything else) by P.G. Wodehouse
Small Gods or Guards! Guards!, Terry Pratchett

Classics-oriented:
I, Claudius, Robert Graves
The Invention of Love, Tom Stoppard

Scott Giampetruzzi

Lower School:
The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
The Red Badge of Courage, Stephen Crane

Upper School:
All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren
A Confederacy of Dunces, John Kennedy Toole
A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving

Classics-oriented:
Pompeii, Robert Harris
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea: Why the Greeks Matter, Thomas Cahill

Amy Martin-Nelson

Lower School:
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
Emma, Jane Austen
The Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins
Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

Upper School:
Can You Forgive Her?, Anthony Trollope
Game of Thrones, George Martin
State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackeray
The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins

Classics-oriented:
Helen of Troy, Bettany Hughes
Imperium, Robert Harris
Lavinia, Ursula Le Guin

David Ross

A High Wind in Jamaica, Richard Hughes
The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
The Moonstone or The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins

Classics-oriented:
The Ides of March, Thornton Wilder

ENGLISH

John Capen

All The Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Born to Run, Christopher McDougall
The Boys in the Boat, Daniel James Brown
The Circle, Dave Eggers
Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, John Berendt
The Opposite of Loneliness, Marina Keegan
The Overstory, Richard Powers
Paradise Lost, John Milton
Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver
A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving
The Road to Character, David Brooks
Shantaram, Gregory David Roberts
Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand
Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
 
Peter Fry

Lower School:
Go Tell It on the Mountain, James Baldwin
Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
A Separate Peace, John Knowles

Upper School:
Angle of Repose, Wallace Stegner
Atonement, Ian McEwan
The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe
Colored People, Henry Louis Gates Jr.
The Magus, John Fowles
The Secret History, Donna Tartt

Ted Goodrich

All the King’s Men, Robert Penn Warren
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt
Destiny of the Republic, Candice Millard
East of Eden, John Steinbeck
Evicted, Matthew Desmond
In the Heart of the Sea, Nathaniel Philbrick
The Last Painting of Sara De Vos, Dominic Smith
Memory Wall, Anthony Doerr
The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
Nutshell, Ian McEwan
Possession, A.S. Byatt
Running in the Family, Michael Ondaatje
Savage Inequalities, Jonathan Kozol
State of Wonder, Ann Patchett
Townie, Andre Dubus
TransAtlantic, Colum McCann
The Underground Railroad, Colson Whitehead
A Voyage Long and Strange, Tony Horwitz
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, Peter Godwin
Zeitoun, Dave Eggers

Martha Gracey

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak
The English Patient, Michael Ondaatje
The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt
Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
The Postman Always Rings Twice, James Cain
The River Why, David James Duncan
Sophie’s Choice, William Styron
Travels With Charley, John Steinbeck

Ellen Rennard

The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Malcolm X
Behind the Beautiful Forevers, Katherine Boo
The Bird Artist, Howard Norman
The Color Purple, Alice Walker
English Creek, Ivan Doig
Lawrence in Arabia, Scott Anderson
Out Stealing Horses, Per Petterson
The Reluctant Fundamentalist, Mohsin Hamid
The Shipping News, Annie Proulx
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, David Wroblewski
Tess of the D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
Winter's Bone, Daniel Woodrell

Sravani Sen-Das

And Then They Were None, Agatha Christie 
The Buried Giant, Kazuo Ishiguro
Oryx and Crake, Margaret Atwood
The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, Muriel Spark
A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf
The Sense of an Ending, Julian Barnes
Unaccustomed Earth, Jhumpa Lahiri
 
Christopher Wade

The Baron in the Trees, Italo Calvino
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Philip K. Dick
Ficciones, Jorge Luis Borges
I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World, James Geary
Magic for Beginners, Kelly Link
Norse Mythology, Neil Gaiman
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi
A Tale for the Time Being, Ruth Ozeki
 
HISTORY

Tommy Lamont

The Bounty, Caroline Alexander
Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
In the Garden of Beasts, Erik Larson
The Man Who Loved China, William Manchester
Power, Terror, Peace, and War, Walter Russell Mead II ’70
Rivals, Bill Emmott
The River of Doubt, Candice Millard

John Lyons

Glass House: The 1% Economy and the Shattering of the All-American Town, Brian Alexander
Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
Janesville: An American Story, Amy Goldstein
Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?, Thomas Frank
Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign, John Allen and Amie Parnes
Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right, Arlie Russell Hochschild

Amanda Reichenbach
 
The Brothers KaramazovFyodor Dostoyevsky
Catch-22, Joseph Heller
The Cider House Rules, John Irving
Far From the Tree, Andrew Solomon
Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
The Joys of Motherhood, Buchi Emecheta
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Agatha Christie
 
Eric Spierer

Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth, and Faith in the New China, Evan Osnos
Dangerous Games: The Uses and Abuses of History, Margaret MacMillan
The Ordeal of Elizabeth Marsh: A Woman in World History, Linda Colley
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, Elizabeth Kolbert
West of the Revolution: An Uncommon History of 1776, Claudio Saunt

Ryan Spring

Clemente: The Passion and Grace of Baseball’s Last Hero, David Maraniss
King of the World: Muhammad Ali and the Rise of an American Hero, David Remnick
Lenin’s Tomb: The Last Days of the Soviet Empire, David Remnick
The Miracle of Castel di Sangro: A Tale of Passion and Folly in the Heart of Italy, Joe McGinniss
A Walk in the Woods, Bill Bryson

Jen Wallace

The Alienist, Caleb Carr
Burmese Days, George Orwell
Doomsday Book, Connie Willis
King Rat, James Clavell
Memoirs of a Geisha, Arthur S. Golden
Midnight’s Children, Salman Rushdie
Palace Walk trilogy, Naguib Mafouz
Rose, Martin Cruz Smith
Shinju, Laura Joh Rowland
A Thread of Grace, Mary Doria Russell

MATH AND COMPUTER SCIENCE

Jonathan Choate

Bowl of Heaven, Gregory Benford and Larry Niven
A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II, Adam Makos
The Innovators: How a Group of Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution, Walter Isaacson and Kim Stanley Robinson
Mathematical Excursions to the World's Great Buildings, Alexander J. Hahn
The Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon, Brad Stone

Jon Creamer

The Atlas, William T. Vollmann
Austerlitz, W.G. Sebald
Bluets, Maggie Nelson
Edisto , Padgett Powell
Further Adventures in Monochrome, John Yau
Is Music, John Taggart
A Time for Everything, Karl Ove Knausgaard

Nishad Das

All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Hillbilly Elegy, J.D. Vance
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith
The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins
Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi

Michael Gnozzio

1984, George Orwell
Christianity: The First Three Thousand Years, Diarmaid MacCulloch
Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, David Hume
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions, Edwin Abbot Abbot
The Great Divorce, C.S. Lewis
The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis
The Silmarillion, J.R.R. Tolkien
Vehicles: Experiments in Synthetic Psychology, Valentino Braitenburg

Kathy Leggat

Loon, Jack McLean
The Orchardist, Amanda Coplin
Red Sparrow, Jason Matthews
The Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Shepherd's Life, James Rebanks
The Signature of all Things, Elizabeth Gilbert
Where You Go Is Not Who You'll Be, Frank Bruni

RELIGIOUS STUDIES AND PHILOSOPHY

David Nelson

The Talisman, Stephen King and Peter Straub

SCIENCE

Stephen Belsky

The Panic Virus: A True Story of Medicine, Science, and Fear, Seth Mnookin
The Yiddish Policeman’s Union, Michael Chabon
Young Men and Fire, Norman MacLean

Bert Hall

Atoms in the Family: My Life with Enrico Fermi, Laura Fermi
A Short History of Nearly Everything, Bill Bryson
The Story of Earth, Robert Hazen
Surely You're Joking, Mr. Feynman!, Richard Feynman
Tomorrowland, Steven Kotler

Nathan Lamarre-Vincent

Seveneves, Neal Stephenson
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, Yuval Noah Harari
The Vital Question: Energy, Evolution, and the Origins of Complex Life, Nick Lane
The Gene: An Intimate History, Siddhartha Mukherjee

Eli Mansbach 
 
All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams 
The Pope of Physics: Enrico Fermi and the Birth of the Atomic Age, Gino Segrè and Bettina Hoerlin 
What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions, Randall Munroe 
 
Dave Prockop

Einstein’s Dreams, Alan Lightman
The Elegant Universe, Brian Greene
Longitude, Dava Sobel
The River Why, David James Duncan

WORLD LANGUAGES

Andy Anderson

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life, William Finnegan
Brazzaville Beach, William Boyd
The King Must Die, Mary Renault
Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson's First Season, Jonathan Eig

Renee Bai

The Big Short, Michael Lewis
The Dream of the Red Chamber, Cao Xueqin
The Geography of Thought: How Asians and Westerners Think Differently…and Why, Richard Nisbett
The God of Small Things, Arundhati Roy
River Town, Peter Hessler
Wild Swans, Jung Chung

John Conner

“La Conciencia” ("The Conscience"), Ana María Matute (short story)
Crónica de una Muerte Anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold), Gabriel García Marquez
“La Muerte y la Brújula" ("Death and the Compass"), Jorge Luis Borges (short story)
San Manuel Bueno, Mártir, Miguel de Unamuno

William Mees

A Burnable Book, Bruce Holsinger
Sarah's Key, Tatiana de Rosnay
Any novel by Alan Furst
Any novel by Frank Tallis

NON-TEACHING FACULTY

Carolyn Chica, Admission

Hunger, Roxane Gay
Just Mercy, Bryan Stevenson
Whistling Vivaldi, Claude Steele

Arthur Diaz, CFO

City, Clifford D. Simak
The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch
Once a Runner, John L. Parker
One Up on Wall Street, Peter Lynch
Only the Ball was White, Robert Peterson
Travels, Michael Crichton

Abby Lamstein Frantz, Counseling

The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach
The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood
My Life in France, Julia Child
Under the Banner of Heaven, Jon Krakauer
The World According to Garp, John Irving
Zeitoun, Dave Eggers

Cort Pomeroy, Admission

The Brothers K, David James Duncan
Peace Like a River, Leif Enger
The River Why, David James Duncan
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