A winter break reading list

What is the best way to increase your Critical Reading score on the SAT or ACT? READ MORE! Reading a diverse array of material – news articles, science features, works of fiction – will help you develop the skills necessary to read and comprehend thoroughly the passages you will see on standardized tests. Reading critically is also a lifelong skill that will be valuable long after you receive your scores. So, when the boring car and plane trips to grandma’s house for winter break begin, why not brush up on your reading? Please consider the following list our suggestion for broadening your scope. Enjoy!

Newspapers, Newsweeklies and Magazines

  1. The New York Times
  2. The Washington Post
  3. The Wall Street Journal
  4. US News & World Report
  5. Newsweek
  6. Popular Science
  7. NewScientist.com


  1. Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  2. Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice, Emma
  3. Charles Baxter, First Light
  4. Issac Bashevis Singer, The Slave
  5. Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451
  6. Charlotte Bronte, Jane Eyre
  7. Emily Bronte, Wuthering Heights
  8. Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
  9. Albert Camus, The Stranger
  10. Raymond Carver, Will You Please Be Quiet, Please
  11. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness
  12. Edwidge Danticat, Krik’ Krak!
  13. Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment
  14. Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man
  15. George Eliot, Middlemarch
  16. William Faulkner, Light in August
  17. F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  18. E. M. Forster, A Passage to India
  19. William Golding, Lord of the Flies
  20. Thomas Hardy, Tess of the D’Urbervilles, The Return of the Native
  21. Nathaniel Hawthorne, The House of the Seven Gables, The Scarlet Letter
  22. Joseph Heller, Catch 22
  23. Ernest Hemmingway, The Sun Also Rises, A Farewell to Arms
  24. Frank Herbert, Dune
  25. Herman Hesse, Siddhartha
  26. Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
  27. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
  28. John Irving, Hotel New Hampshire, Prayer for Owen Meany
  29. Henry James, The Turn of the Screw, Daisy Miller
  30. Charles Johnson, Middle Passage
  31. James Joyce, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man
  32. Franz Kafka, The Metamorphosis
  33. Ken Kesey, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  34. Rudyard Kipling, Kim
  35. Chang-Rae Lee, Native Speaker
  36. Naguib Mafouz, Arabian Nights and Days, Journey of Ibn Fattouma
  37. Bernard Malamud, The Natural
  38. Mark Mathabane, Kaffir Boy
  39. Toni Morrison, The Bluest Eye, Beloved, Song of Solomon
  40. Walter Dean Myers, Fallen Angels
  41. Gloria Naylor, Mama Day
  42. Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried
  43. Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient
  44. George Orwell, 1984, Animal Farm
  45. Richard Preston, First Light
  46. Jean Rhys, Wide Sargasso Sea
  47. J.D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye
  48. John Steinbeck, Cannery Row, Tortilla Flat, Travels with Charley, Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden
  49. Jonathan Swift, Gulliver’s Travels
  50. Mark Twain, Huckleberry Finn
  51. Anne Tyler, A Slipping Down Life, Breathing Lessons
  52. Barry Unsworth, Sacred Hunger
  53. Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
  54. Alice Walker, The Color Purple
  55. Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome
  56. Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
  57. Virginia Woolf, To the Lighthouse
  58. Richard Wright, Black Boy, Native Son

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