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AP English Literature
Posted 5/13/19

AP Literature and Composition Required Summer Reading 2019


How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster (approx. 83,375 words; allow 6 – 7 hours of actual reading)

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (approximately 122,700 words; allow 8 – 10 hours of actual reading)

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley (approximately 64,500 words; allow 5 – 6 hours of actual reading)


1.     Read How to Read Literature Like a Professor by Thomas Foster. This is well-written and often times humorous look into how to read literature with greater insight and understanding. I recommend you read it prior to the two summer novels, so you put the knowledge to use when reading. However, you are welcome to read it afterward and use the two summer novels for some of the journal entries.

2.     Double-entry Journal: You must write a journal entry for the Introduction, each chapter and each Interlude in How to Read Literature Like a Professor. The left side of the entry should state the main lesson or concept of the section; the right side of the entry needs to explain how the concept/lesson stated applies to a work of literature you have read. You do not need quotations from the literature, but if remembered or easily available, they are recommended. Do not use an example given in the chapter. For Chapter 4 (“If It’s a Square, It’s a Sonnet”) if you have not read a sonnet in a previous English class, then find and read several online and then use one of them to write your entry journal. This journal should be typed and ready to turn in on the first day of school. You will also need to keep an electronic copy because you will be submitting the journal to Please note: Any sign of academic fraud (plagiarism, paired/group work) will result in a zero for the assignment.

3.     Read the two novels listed and be prepared to take tests on them on the first day of school. Your test scores will count as an important part of your fall semester grade. Students who have not read the novels by the first day of school risk earning an F for the first grading period and will often struggle to earn a grade above a C for the semester. Also keep in mind that the test responses will need to be based on the novels, not the film adaptations.

        Be thoroughly familiar with plots, setting, characterizations, and themes of these novels. (Please keep in mind that theme is not the topic or the subject, theme is the author’s statement about the topic or subject.) Also think about the tone of each novel (especially the attitude of each author towards the society he or she is describing). Please note that tone is not the same as atmosphere. A horror film might have a gloomy or scary atmosphere, but the director’s tone toward the society (or characters or situation) might be patronizing, scornful, moralistic, etc.

4.     At the bottom of this sheet is a list of characters and terms from Brave New World. Be sure you can identify each of them.

5.     As you read the two novels, keep in mind that we will be writing a set of reading/study notes on them, following the directions on the instruction sheet (see back, or below if reading online). No reading notes are due on the first day of school, but will be assigned within the first week of school, so you might want to take/keep informal notes as you read). Reading notes will be submitted to once they are due. (You will be required to do the same exercise for the other major works we study throughout the year). Please keep in mind: former students’ reading notes are archived at; should your notes be too similar to another student’s—current or former—notes, your notes will receive no credit. Reading notes are treated as (at-home) quizzes rather than homework assignments.


I look forward to working with you next fall as we examine some of the major classics of world literature. If you have any specific questions about the reading, please visit me in F-6.

--Mr. Brown


Brave New World: Terms to Know

Identify and know the following terms:

  1. “community, identity, stability”
  2. Bokanavsky’s Process
  3. Neo-Pavlovian Conditioning
  4. Hypnopaedia
  5. Hypnopaedic slogans
  6. Solidartiy Service
  7. Malthusian belt
  8. Malthusian drill
  9. Alphas, Betas
  10. Deltas, Epsilons, Gammas
  11. V.P.S.
  12. pregnancy substitutes
  13. decanting room
  14. freemartin
  15. orgy-porgy
  16. soma
  17. savage reservation
  18. feelies
  19. Nine Years War
  20. Cyprus Experiment
  21. T
  22. whip
  23. Bernard
  24. Helmholtz
  25. Pope
  26. Linda
  27. Lenina
  28. Tomakin (DHC)
  29. Mustapha Mond
  30. John
  31. Ford
  32. Henry Foster
  33. Fany
  34. Mitsima
  35. Darwin Bonaparte

AP Literature & Composition—Reading Notes for Major Works



Allow 3 – 5 hours for this assignment

“Do not do this last minute. It will bite you in the butt on in-class tests, essays, and the AP testing day.” 2014-2015 student.

Purpose: Preparation and review for class essays and projects and for the “open question” on the AP Literature and Composition Exam, given in May.

Directions: For each major work we read this year, make notes that include the items listed below. Please organize and identify the information as shown. (Please do not type the instructions on your notes.)


Be sure these notes are in your own words and are based on your own thinking and analysis. Notes that appear to be based on outside printed or electronic sources or that are substantially the same as another student’s will not be accepted. (We want you to have the experience of really thinking about and analyzing these works for yourself.)

These notes will be turned in separately for each major reading assignment and returned to you for filing so that they will be available to you when you do your final review for the AP exam.

  1. Title, author, date the work was originally published, period/era of literature into which it falls, genre (e.g.: Classic Tragedy, Tragic Drama, Comedy of Errors, Picaresque novel, Bildungsroman, Comedy of Manners). You may look up this information, but be sure you understand what the terms mean.
  2. Setting(s), both time and place, including a list of place names and their significance or symbolism, if any. Please note: setting is not period/era of the literature (e.g.: The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is set in 14th Century Verona, but it belongs to the English Renaissance period.)
  3. Plot (Give page numbers if you will have access to the book later when you do your final review.)
    1. List of major events, scenes, speeches / conversations. Point out key plot points, significant scene, but keep this section to a minimal amount. (This should be one page at the very most.)
    2. Mention any special plot features, such as flashbacks, subplots, etc. (Look up these terms if needed.)
    3. Briefly state the significance of the title and of the opening and closing scenes of the book. Make these three distinct (but possible short) paragraphs.
  4. Characters, a list of significant characters, explaining briefly who they are, their character traits, and their significance in terms of plot, symbolism, theme, etc. (Be sure you spell their names correctly.)
  5. Point of view, such as 1st person, 3rd person limited, etc., and why that narrative voice is effective for this particular work. Research the various types of point of view if you are not familiar with them. (Does not apply to plays: Narrators do not exist in a drama— unless written with a “Stage Manager” narrative voice, which is very rare.)
  6. Tone and style of the author. Explain the author’s tone and style of writing, and then explain how the particular tone and style contribute to the meaning of the novel. (We will explore these concepts more in depth once the year starts, but be aware of the difference between tone and atmosphere.) Separate these into at least two separate paragraphs: one for tone and one for style. Be sure to explore the author’s use of language and syntax as part of your discussion of style. In addition to the items mentioned there, if a work includes major motifs or patterns (these might be repeated symbols, images, metaphors, colors, etc.) briefly explain these. This is a critical aspect of insightfully analyzing literature; in any AP essay, you will need to be able to write about the technical, structural, and stylistic strategies of the piece and how these elements contribute to its meaning.
  7. Theme(s) and the author’s purpose for writing. Explain such things as why the book was written, any social political or philosophical agenda the author may have, and what insights into society or human nature the book offers. (Any AP essay is likely to require you to connect your analysis to these larger questions, so do some serious thinking about these issues, and then state your ideas in these notes in enough detail that they will be helpful to you later.)
  8. List of major short, significant quotations: six to eight if you annotate; ten if you don’t. A short quotation will usually be one or two lines maximum. Include page numbers for novels; act, scene, and line numbers for dramas; and names of speakers if the quotations come from dialogue. (It can be impressive to use or allude to these in your essays. Memorize a few!)
  9. Vocabulary. List and define at least ten words the author uses that are unfamiliar to you. These can be words that you don’t know at all, or words that are used in a manner different from what you are accustomed. Do not choose words that are clearly slang, simply a dialect pronunciation, or jargon the author has made up for the work.