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ENG 11: Pre-Approved Book List

Below is a list of reading materials that qualify for this assignment.  As you can tell, it is rather extensive, so there should be plenty for everyone to choose from.  No more than TWO people may sign up for the same book; there will be a sign-up sheet in my room.  Be sure to research your book just a bit before you begin reading (check the web, ask me or another teacher about suggestions) so that you're not bored with your choice halfway through. You are not limited to books on this page, but ALL choices must be approved by me.

The two links below are the sources used to compile this list; check them out for more information on each book.  Both links contain books not included on this page; almost any of them would be acceptable, but ask first. No one can do a book review over the novels read in class (Huck Finn and The Great Gatsby).

The books in purple are some of my personal favorites. Click the link to the CHS Media Center to find out if the library has the book you want.

Idiots Guide: American Literature: An Essential Reading List


College-Bound Reading List (list of books with a brief description of each)

Washington Irving (1783–1859)

Rip Van Winkle

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

The Alhambra

The Adventures of Captain Bonneville


James Fenimore Cooper (1789–1851)

The Last of the Mohicans

The Deerslayer

The Pathfinder


Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864)

The Scarlet Letter

The House of Seven Gables


Harriet Beecher Stowe (1811–1896)

Uncle Tom’s Cabin


Frederick Douglass (1817–1882)

Life of an American Slave


Herman Melville (1819–1891)

Moby Dick

Bartleby the Scrivener


Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888)

Little Women


Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens) (1835–1910)

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

The Innocents Abroad

The Prince and the Pauper


Henry James (1843–1916)

The American

The Europeans

The Portrait of a Lady

The Turn of the Screw


Kate Chopin (1851–1904)

The Awakening


O. Henry (William Sydney Porter) (1862–1910)

Cabbages and Kings

The Heart of the West


Roads of Destiny

The Voice of the City



Edith Wharton (1862–1937)

The Age of Innocence

The House of Mirth

Ethan Fromme


Stephen Crane (1871–1900)

The Red Badge of Courage

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets


Theodore Dreiser (1871–1845)

An American Tragedy

Sister Carrie


Willa Cather (1873–1947)

Alexander’s Bridge

My Antonia

Death Comes to the Archbishop

O Pioneers!

The Professor’s House

The Song of the Lark


Gertrude Stein (1874–1946)

Tender Buttons

Three Lives

The Making of Americans

The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas

Portraits and Prayers


Edgar Rice Burroughs (1875–1950)

Tarzan of the Apes

The Gods of Mars

The Land That Time Forgot

The Warlord of Mars


Jack London (1876–1916)

The Call of the Wild


Upton Sinclair (1878–1968)

The Jungle


Sinclair Lewis (1885–1951)

Main Street




Eugene O’Neill (1888–1953)

Beyond the Horizon (Play)

Long Day’s Journey into Night (Play)

Mourning Becomes Electra (Play)

The Iceman Cometh (Play)

Desire Under the Elms (Play)

The Hairy Ape (Play)


Raymond Chandler (1888–1959)

The Big Sleep

Farewell, My Lovely

The Long Goodbye


Henry Miller (1891–1980)

Tropic of Cancer

Tropic of Capricorn


Pearl S. Buck (1892–1973)

The Good Earth

The Proud Heart

Command the Morning

The Living Reed


Dashiell Hammett (1894–1962)

Red Harvest

The Maltese Falcon

The Glass Key

The Thin Man


F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896–1940)

This Side of Paradise

Tender Is the Night


William Faulkner (1897–1962)

Light in August

The Sound and the Fury

As I Lay Dying




Thornton Wilder (1897–1975)

The Bridge of San Luis Rey

Our Town (Play)


Ernest Hemingway (1899–1961)

The Sun Also Rises

A Farewell to Arms

The Old Man and the Sea

A Moveable Feast


Thomas Wolfe (1900–1938)

Look Homeward, Angel

You Can’t Go Home Again


Margaret Mitchell (1900–1949)

Gone with the Wind


John Steinbeck (1902–1968)

The Grapes of Wrath


Zora Neale Hurston (1903–1960)

Their Eyes Were Watching God


Robert Penn Warren (1905–1989)

All the King’s Men


Richard Wright (1908–1960)

Native Son

Black Boy


Tennessee Williams (1911–1983)

The Glass Menagerie (Play)

A Streetcar Named Desire (Play)

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Play)

The Rose Tattoo (Play)

Suddenly Last Summer (Play)

The Night of the Iguana (Play)


John Hersey (1914–1993)

A Bell for Adano


The War Lover

White Lotus


William Burroughs (1914–1997)

Naked Lunch



Ralph Ellison (1914–1994)

Invisible Man


Saul Bellow (1915–2005)

The Adventures of Augie March


Mr. Sammler’s Planet


Arthur Miller (1915–2005)

All My Sons (Play)

Death of a Salesman (Play)

The Crucible (Play)

After the Fall (Play)

A View from the Bridge (Play)

The Price (Play)


Herman Wouk (1915– )

The Caine Mutiny

Marjorie Morningstar

Youngblood Hawke

Don’t Stop the Carnival


J. D. Salinger (1919– )

Catcher in the Rye

Franny and Zooey


Ray Bradbury (1920– )

The Martian Chronicles

Fahrenheit 451


James Jones (1921–1977)

From Here to Eternity

Some Came Running

The Pistol

The Thin Red Line


Jack Kerouac (1922–1969)

On the Road

About On the Road

The Subterraneans


Kurt Vonnegut (1922– )


Breakfast of Champions


Joseph Heller (1923–1999)



Norman Mailer (1923– )

The Naked and the Dead

The Armies of the Night


Truman Capote (1924–1984)

Other Voices, Other Rooms

In Cold Blood

Breakfast at Tiffany’s


Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964)

Wise Blood

Gore Vidal (1925– )


The City and the Pillar

A Search for the King

The Judgment of Paris

Visit to a Small Planet

The Best Man


William Styron (1925–2006)

The Confessions of Nat Turner

Lie Down in Darkness


Edward Albee (1928– )

The Zoo Story (Play)

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Play)

A Delicate Balance (Play)

Tiny Alice (Play)

Seascape (Play)

Three Tall Women (Play)


Ursula LeGuin (1929– )

The Lathe of Heaven

Dancing at the Edge of the World

The Dispossessed


Lorraine Hansberry (1930–1965)

A Raisin in the Sun (Play)


E. L. Doctorow (1931– )

The Book of Daniel



Toni Morrison (1931– )


The Bluest Eye

Song of Solomon


Tom Wolfe (1931– )

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

The Right Stuff


Sylvia Plath (1932–1963)

The Bell Jar


John Updike (1932– )

Rabbit Run

Rabbit Redux

Rabbit is Rich

Rabbit at Rest

The Centaur


Cormac McCarthy (1933– )

The Road

Outer Dark

Child of God

Blood Meridian; or, the Evening Redness in the West

All the Pretty Horses

No Country for Old Men


Philip Roth (1933– )

Portnoy’s Complaint

The Great American Novel

American Pastoral


John Kennedy Toole (1937–1969)

A Confederacy of Dunces


Joyce Carol Oates (1938– )


Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?


Alice Walker (1944– )

The Color Purple


August Wilson (1945– )

The Piano Lesson (Play)

Fences (Play)

Sherman Alexie (1966- )

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian


David Mamet (1947– )

Glengarry Glen Ross (Play)

Speed the Plow (Play)


Tony Kushner (1956– )

Angels in America (Play)

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