Summer Reading Lists

Supplementary Reading List

St. Anselm's faculty have assembled an extensive list of suggested titles that students may wish to consider reading in their free time this summer.  While these readings are not required, they will be helpful in preparing for the year ahead and have been identified by our teachers as worthwhile texts. 

Click here to download the supplementary list as a .pdf.

Required Summer Reading Assignments

The assignments listed below are for students entering the grade level indicated in Fall 2016.  If you have any questions, please contact the instructor directly or email  Have a great summer!

Form A

  • English (Mr. DeLuca): Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, Gary Schmidt (Comprehension test to be given shortly after the beginning of school.)

  • Geography (Mr. Harwood): From Another World, Ana Maria Machado

    (There will be a graded exercise very soon after the first day of school. You can order this book online through Amazon or Barnes and Noble. As you watch the Rio Olympics and general TV coverage about Brazil this August, think about the book.)

Form I

  • English (Mr. James Leathers): Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury (Comprehension test to be given shortly after beginning of school.)

  • Latin (Mr. Fries): Virgil, The Aeneid, trans. Robert Fitzgerald.  Please use 1990 Vintage Classics Edition, ISBN 0-679-72952-6. (Comprehension test to be given during the first trimester.)

Form II

  • English (Ms. Dunne): Lord of the Flies, William Golding (Essay due shortly after returning to school.)

  • History (Mr. Achilles): A Voyage Long and Strange: On the Trail of Vikings, Conquistadors, Lost Colonists and Other Adventurers in Early America,  Tony Horwitz

  • Religion (Br. Ignacio): Please read any translation of the Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles.

Form III

  • English (Mr. Vaile): The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck (Comprehension test to be given when school resumes.)

  • World History I (Dr. Manglitz): Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond. Please read the Prologue and Chapters 1-6. A brief essay will be assigned shortly after students’ return.)

  • Spanish II (Sra. Enzel): El Periquillo Sarniento, Jose Joaquin Fernandes de Lizardi / adapted and edited by Alain-Rene Lesage. (Answers to questions at the end of the book will be due shortly after the beginning of school.)  

Form IV

  • English (Mr. Morse): Ask a friend or family member who is at least 20 years older than you are to recommend a full-length novel that he or she remembers enjoying in high school or college. Before you read the novel, ask what made it memorable and worthwhile for this person. (Try to get them to talk about it as much as you can without spoiling any surprises in the book.) After we return from summer break, you will write a short, 250-word response in which you compare your reaction to the book with that of the person who recommended it. What might account for the differences or similarities in your responses? The only novels I would discourage you from reading are The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger and The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald because we will be studying these together during the year.

  • Spanish III (Sra. Enzel): Anaconda, Horacio Quiroga. Students may download the .pdf below. (Answers to questions at the end of the book will be due shortly after the beginning of school.)
  • World History II (Mr. Otterson): A History of the World in Six Glasses, Tom Standage. (Comprehension test to be given at the beginning of the fall term.)

  • Humanities (Dr. Downey): Dante's Inferno. Students may read any English translation of Dante, if one is already in your possession. If you are purchasing one, the translation by Robert Hollander is the best one (available in paperback from Amazon). Students may also read the Hollander translation online for free at the excellent Web site of the Princeton Dante Project: (
    At the official celebration of Dante’s 750th birthday, Pope Francis recommended the poet’s Divine Comedy as essential reading for the Year of Mercy, adding that the journey of Inferno, Purgatorio, and Paradiso is crucial for all those “who wish to follow the route of true knowledge and authentic discovery of the self, the world and the profound and transcendent meaning of existence.” (Only Inferno is required as summer reading: quizzes on the reading will be given in the first two weeks of the fall semester.)
  • Physics (Mr. Taylor): The Form IV Physics students have a choice. They may either read a biography of Isaac Newton of their choosing, or read For the Love of Physics by Walter Lewin. (A short paper on the book students choose will be due shortly after the school year begins.)

Forms V & VI

NB: Please remember to do the readings for only the courses and teachers for which you are registered!


  • Form V AP Language and Composition (Ms. Dunne and Ms. Cholis):  Tim O’Brien’s The Things They Carried. This is a collection of short stories. Read each story with the goal of discerning themes, symbolism, imagery and tone.  Notice the arrangement of the stories. Annotate the text. You should underline significant phrases and literary devices, and you should jot down notes in the margins to help you make connections as you read. A paper on this text will be due shortly after school begins. NOTE: Juniors who will take AP Language in the Spring will be expected to do this assignment over winter break or before.

  • AP Literature & Composition: Moby Dick and the American Renaissance (Mr. Vaile):  Please read a nice collection of poems and short stories by Edgar Allan Poe. No specific edition required, but the older and creepier the edition, the better. No need to read essays; just read a nice sampling of short stories and poems. Poe paper due shortly after school begins.

  • AP Literature & Composition: Psychoanalytic Approaches to Literature (Mr. McCarthy): Please read Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning. A reading comprehension test will occur shortly after school begins.

  • AP Literature & Composition: Representations of Women in Literature (Ms. Dunne): Please read and annotate the following selections from Adrienne Rich’s Poetry and Prose, a Norton Critical Edition: “From an old House in America,” “North American Time,” “Ghost of a Chance,” and “Diving into the Wreck.” Please also read the essay “When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision.” Annotate the poems, making note of literary devices and rhetorical effects thereof and be prepared to share and discuss your annotations with me and the class.

  • AP Literature and Composition: African-American Literature (Dr. Manglitz):  Please read Ta-Nehisi Coates' 2015 book, Between the World and Me. A brief essay will be assigned shortly after school begins.

  • AP Literature and Composition:  Inner Conflicts in Literature (Ms. Cholis):  Please read and annotate Fyodor Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. You should underline significant phrases, imagery, symbolism and other literary devices. You should jot down notes in the margins to help make connections with emerging themes in the novel. A paper on this work will be due shortly after school begins.

Other Courses

  • AP U.S. History (Mr. Achilles):
    1. Read American Colonies: The Settling of North America by Alan Taylor.  (A test will be given upon students' return to school.)
    2. Do you see yourself as a “conservative” or as a “liberal”? Either way, it is important to see how the other side thinks.
      • Those students who consider themselves to be politically conservative, read: A People’s History of the United States: 1492-Present, Howard Zinn.
      • Those students who consider themselves to be politically liberal, read:  A History of the American People, Paul Johnson.
      • Those students who consider themselves to be moderate may read either (or both, if they prefer).
  • AP Art History (Dr. Downey): Over the summer at any point when it is convenient for students and their families, all students in AP Art History should visit the following places around the city: Washington National Cathedral (best local example of a Gothic cathedral), National Gallery of Art (East and West Buildings), the Hirshhorn Museum (contemporary art), and the Phillips Collection. Please add at least one other art museum of your choice (National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum of African Art, Museum of Native American Art, Renwick Gallery, Dumbarton Oaks, Kreeger Museum, Baltimore Museum of Art, Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Walters Art Museum in Baltimore). Spend time getting to know as much as you can about art works from a range of periods (Prehistoric to Modern) in the museums you visit. If families travel over the summer to other cities in the United States or other countries, please visit the most important art museums during your stay there as part of this project. Students will be asked to give class presentations about these visits and art work they particularly liked when we start school in the fall. Students are encouraged to take photographs if possible to share with the class.

  • Spanish IV - Form V (Br. Ignacio): Please read Las Aventuras de Gíl Blas by Alain-René Lesage, and answer the questions provided.  The reading and questions are available in the following PDF document.

  • AP Spanish Language (Sra. Enzel):   Please read Marina, Carlos Ruiz Zapon.  EDEBE, ISBN 9788423687268 Please read the edition with this ISBN number!  Books can be ordered through Amazon. (Students will be quizzed on this reading when they return in the fall.

  • AP Psychology (Mr. Vaile):  Required reading is Opening Skinner’s Box: Great Psychological Experiments of the Twentieth Century by Lauren Slater (ISBN 0-393-32655-1).   A reaction essay on the book will be due shortly after school begins.  PLEASE NOTE:  At the end of this past school year, I informed a few students that the required AP Psychology summer reading would be How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker (ISBN 978-0-393-33477-7 pbk).  After some deliberation, I have decided to make reading of Pinker’s book optional—it’s a bit too lengthy and heavy for required reading.  However, if you’re looking for additional reading (or are particularly interested in cognitive science), you might want to check out the YouTube video of Pinker lecturing on this book at MIT (as well as his TED Talks on psycholinguistics and human nature), and, if you are intrigued and have the time, then look into How the Mind Works.  Alternatively, if you’re looking for additional reading which is a little less heavy (or if you are particularly interested in clinical and/or abnormal psychology), I recommend reading The Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat and Other Clinical Tales by Oliver Sacks (ISBN 978-0-684-85394-9).