Skip to Main Content

Upper School Summer Reading 2023

English Department Instructions

This is a list of carefully selected books that the members of the English Department believe students will enjoy and benefit from reading. We have tried to include books that students might not read or be exposed to on their own but that will enrich their experience of literature and the world. The list, which is by no means exhaustive, complements rather than duplicates the department’s curriculum. Some of the texts here are centuries old and some have been written as recently as 2020; at the same time, the list is not intended to be a historical survey. There are countless wonderful books not on this reading list. The list will evolve over time. Importantly, the English Department has made a concerted effort to create this list through an anti-racist lens and to include texts by writers and about protagonists of traditionally marginalized communities. 

We ask that you read:

  • your required summer reading books for English and History
  • three books from this list or by a writer from this list (including any collection of poems by one of the poets listed)
  • at least one additional book of your choice; we recommend consulting the Brearley Library’s list

Please keep a list of all of the books that you read this summer (author’s name included).

Highlights from the English Department's List

The Brearley School | 610 & 590 East 83rd Street | New York, NY 10028 | (212) 744-8582 | Contact Us