8 Summer Reading Suggestions for High School Students
For students preparing for the college admissions process, the 4th of July holiday is a great time to relax, recharge, and catch up on some light outside reading.
Reading during the summer is a great way for students to further explore topics of interest and beat the dreaded “summer brain drain.” It’s also a great way for students to catch up on classwork and prepare for the fall, as some teachers and courses might require students to complete reading assignments over the summer.
Whether you’re spending time at home with your family over the 4th of July, traveling, or spending some time relaxing on the beach, here are a few outside reading suggestions for college bound students!
- How to Read Literature Like a Professor Revised: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines by Thomas C. Foster: “A thoroughly revised and updated edition of Thomas C. Foster’s classic guide—a lively and entertaining introduction to literature and literary basics, including symbols, themes, and contexts—that shows you how to make your everyday reading experience more rewarding and enjoyable.”
- The Harvard Classics in a Year: A Liberal Education in 365 Days edited by Charles Eliot and Amanda Kennedy: “The Harvard Classics in a Year aims to provide a whirlwind tour of classic literature. By reading for just 15 minutes a day throughout the year, you can discover text from “twelve main divisions of knowledge” including History, Poetry, Natural Science, Philosophy, Biography, Prose Fiction, Criticism and the Essay, Education, Political Science, Drama, Voyages and Travel and Religion.”
- Middlemarch by George Eliot (real name: Mary Ann Evans): “George Eliot’s novel, Middlemarch: A Study of Provincial Life, explores a fictional nineteenth-century Midlands town in the midst of modern changes.”
- Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf: “In Mrs. Dalloway, the novel on which the movie The Hours was based, Virginia Woolf details Clarissa Dalloway’s preparations for a party of which she is to be hostess, exploring the hidden springs of thought and action in one day of a woman’s life.”
- The Goldfinch: A Novel by Donna Tartt : “Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.”
- The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis: “The real story of the crash began in bizarre feeder markets where the sun doesn’t shine and the SEC doesn’t dare, or bother, to tread: the bond and real estate derivative markets where geeks invent impenetrable securities to profit from the misery of lower–and middle–class Americans who can’t pay their debts.”
- Mastering Logical Fallacies: How to Win Arguments and Refute Misleading Logic by Mike Livingston: “In Mastering Logical Fallacies you’ll learn the art of effective rhetoric. This book will cover a variety of fallacies (especially the most popular ones used today) and show you how they operate with real world examples. You’ll learn the secret structure—or non-structure—of some of the most pernicious and false arguments ever made.”
- Contagious: Why Things Catch On by Jonah Berger: How do things become popular and why do people flock to certain products and services while ignoring others? This Wharton marketing professor has some insight.
Need more summer reading suggestions? Check out these other reading lists below.
- IvyWise Summer Reading List
- Summer Reading List
- Recommended Reading for High School Students
- The 3 books Stanford is asking incoming freshmen to read over the summer
- These are the books students at the top US colleges are required to read
- Berkeley 2017 Summer Reading List
- TED-Ed’s super summer reading list: 40+ books recommended by our educators
- An unusual 2017 summer reading list
We hope everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July weekend! For more college prep resources for the holiday weekend and the rest of the summer, visit our blog and be sure to join our mailing list and follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!