AP English Book List Example

Instructor: Melinda Santos
Advanced Placement English courses allow high school students to earn college credit after passing an AP exam. Read on to explore some of the typical books and authors you'll be assigned to read in an AP English course and learn about some helpful study resources.

Types of AP English Courses Offered

There are two Advanced Placement English courses offered by the College Board, AP English Literature & Composition and AP English Language & Composition. Both courses teach the literary analysis and writing skills required in an introductory college English class. Students are typically assigned a summer reading list to complete prior to the first day of class. They also read several literary works during the course of the semester.

While the College Board does not dictate a standard list of required reading for these courses, it does provide a comprehensive list of authors that represent the complexity of work that will be included on the AP exam. Instructors are free to choose their own authors and literary works. As such, the books referenced below are simply examples of reading material students might be assigned in these courses.

Sample Book List for AP English Literature & Composition

In this course, you'll read and analyze fiction, drama, poetry and expository prose. Through the study of these literary works, you'll learn to identify their themes, structure and style as well as the literary devices being used. Some of the books you might be assigned to read are listed below, along with corresponding links to study guides offered on Study.com:

Study.com also offers an AP English Literature & Composition test-prep course that can help you find out what's covered on the exam and brush up on your knowledge of historical literary periods, essay writing basics and strategies for analyzing poetry and prose.

Sample Reading List for AP English Language & Composition

The literary genre covered in AP English Language & Composition is non-fiction prose, with an emphasis on deconstructing the arguments presented in these works and identifying the rhetorical devices used for persuasion. In this course, you'll explore memoirs, essays, satire and journalistic writing. Books you might read include:

  • Walden by Henry David Thoreau
  • Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass by Frederick Douglass
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  • Profiles in Courage for Our Time by Caroline Kennedy
  • In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
  • A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson
  • The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
  • A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf

Prepare for the AP English Language & Composition exam by taking the test prep course. Engaging video lessons and interactive quizzes allow you to study key concepts at your own pace.