Summer Reading 2013

Tolle, lege --Saint Augustine, The Confessions

To directly support Berkshire’s commitment to developing critical readers and writers, all our students are expected to read four books over the summer:

-       The All School Read

-       The form-specific book for English class

-       Any AP-specific books, as applicable

-       The remainder of the four from the form-specific lists below or from the list of Classics.

Please keep in mind:

  • Our list each year is intentionally broad and diverse in order to encourage students to select books that spark a particular interest or passion. Books have been carefully selected by Form with an eye to reading level and Berkshire’s curriculum—underformers may read up in level, but not down; fifth and sixth formers may read from each other’s lists.
  • Students in Advanced Placement courses must first read the specific books listed for those courses. They then may fulfill the rest of the four-book requirement from elsewhere on the list. The AP Spanish books must be read in the original language. Any student may choose to read an Advanced Placement book as one of his or her four books.

  • All English class-specific titles will be part of the core curriculum and students’ knowledge of those titles will be assessed immediately upon their return to school. With the exception of the All School Read book, students, for each of the other titles, should fill out the attached reader’s guide. Parents are encouraged to review and discuss these with their children, as parental signatures will be required at registration.   Thereafter, students will discuss these books with their advisors.

  • Reader’s Guide: Berkshire School Summer Reading Form (for all books aside from English class-specific titles and the All School Read title)..

All School Read. The entire community will read the following book: Strength in What Remains – Tracy Kidder.  Click here for details.

English Books for 2013

*The editions mentioned here are only suggestions. Students may choose any edition they wish, including those for e-readers such as Kindle™, Nook™, or Ipads™.


Please direct any questions about summer reading to:

English Department Chair: Evan Clary ( or Center for Writing and Critical Thinking Coordinator: Stuart Miller (

Best wishes for happy summer reading! Evan Clary, Norm Merrill, Stuart Miller

An asterisk (*) indicates the book is nonfiction.


Third and Fourth Form

Baldacci, David. The Hit

Will Robie is a master of killing. A highly skilled assassin, Robie is the man the U.S. government calls on to eliminate the worst of the worst-enemies of the state, monsters committed to harming untold numbers of innocent victims. No one else can match Robie’s talents as a hitman except Jessica Reel, a fellow assassin, equally professional and dangerous, who is turning her gun sights on other members of their agency.

Bowers, Rick. Spies of Mississippi. The True Story of the Spy Network That Tried to destroy the Civil Rights Movement*

In 1956, the state of Mississippi devised a Sovereignty Commission that began as a propaganda operation and morphed into a spy network, with a goal of stopping integration and crushing the civil rights movement in the state. Using primary sources and interviews, Bowers give a thorough account of the development of this spy network.

Greenberg, Paul. Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food*

In this entertaining investigation into global fisheries, New York Times seafood writer Greenberg examines our historical relationship with wild fish. Greenberg discusses four fish-salmon, tuna, bass, and cod-and their often complicated relationship with humans.

Hillenbrand, Laura. Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption*

Hillenbrand tells the story of Louie Zamperini-a juvenile delinquent-turned-Olympic runner-turned-Army hero. During a routine search mission over the Pacific, Louie’s plane crashed into the ocean, and what happened to him over the next three years of his life is an incredible tale of survival.

Hirsch, James S. Willie Mays: The Life, the Legend*Considered to be one of the greatest players of all time, Mays brought a skill and passion to the game of baseball rarely seen before or since. In this authorized biography, Hirsch gives a detailed account of a man who is truly a sports hero.

Hubbard, Jenny. Paper Covers Rock

Hubbard’s novel about a boarding school death and its fallout has been favorably compared to John Knowles’ classic novel A Separate Peace.

Levinson, Cynthia. We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March*

Levinson focuses on four young people who participated in the great Civil Rights’ movement, offering a unique view of the role that children played in an important moment in American history.

McCormick, Patricia. Never Fall Down

McCormick tells the story of a young Cambodian boy who escaped the killing fields only to wind up as a Khmer Rouge soldier. The first-person voice makes the narrative all the more frightening.

McKernan, Victoria. The Devil’s Paintbox

In 1865, 15-year-old Aiden and his 13-year-old sister Maddy, penniless orphans, leave drought-stricken Kansas on a wagon train journey on the famed Oregon Trail hoping for a better life in Seattle, but find there are still many hardships to be faced.

Moran, Michelle. Madame Tussaud: A Novel of the French Revolution

Marie Grosholtz, better known as Madame Tussaud, rose to prominence during the French Revolution because of her skill sculpting wax images of the famous and infamous.

Hers is a tale of both artistic talent and survival during a particularly brutal period in French history.

Murray, Liz. Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard*

This is a story of survival. Murray grew up in a household of severely drug-addicted parents. By age 15 she was a runaway living by her wits on the streets. After her mother’s death from a drug overdose, she began attending an alternative high school which ultimately led to a New York Times Scholarship to Harvard.

Pratchett, Terry. Dodger

On the proverbial dark and stormy night in early Victorian London, an able young man named Dodger rises from the sewers in response to a scream, fights off two thugs, and rescues a damsel in distress. Dodger continues his upward mobility and ultimately becomes acquainted with a string of historical figures, including Dickens, Disraeli, and even the queen and her consort.

Raffles, Hugh. Insectopedia*

In this fascinating book, which is part reference, part memoir and part scientific detective story, Raffles travels the Amazon, visits Chernobyl, and enters laboratories and sidewalk cafes in search of insects and the ideas and cultures they inspire.

Rappaport, Doreen. Beyond Courage: The Untold Story of Jewish Resistance during the Holocaust*

Rappaport’s account focuses on Jewish resistance across the entire continent of Europe and gives well-documented accounts of the efforts of young people in the great fight against the Nazis.

Shalev, Meir. My Russian Grandmother and Her American Vacuum Cleaner: A Family Memoir*

Grandma Tonia was never seen without a cleaning rag over her shoulder. She received visitors outdoors. She allowed only the most privileged guests to enter her spotless house. In this hilarious and touching memoir, Grandma Tonia, who had emigrated from Russia to Palestine in 1923, and her regulations come richly to life in a narrative that circles around the arrival into the family’s dusty agricultural midst of the big, shiny American sweeper sent as a gift by great-uncle Yeshayahu (he who had shockingly emigrated to the sinful capitalist heaven of Los Angeles!).

Volponi, Paul. The Final Four*

Volponi’s combines in-the-moment action, basketball history and the points of view of four college ballplayers with very different lives. The frame story here is a white-knuckle NCAA championship game between Michigan State’s Spartans and the underdog Trojans from Troy University. Television interviews, news articles, radio transcripts and segments narrated from individual players’ perspectives lay out the minute-by-minute action of the game and the context and personal histories surrounding it.

Wiest, Andrew. The Boys of ‘67. Charlie Company’s War in Vietnam*

The Boys of ΚΌ67 is an exceptionally well-researched and well-told story of an outstanding US Army infantry company in Vietnam. It is a story of courage, camaraderie, and suffering in the tradition of A Band of Brothers.

Wilson, G. Willow. Alif the Unseen

In an unnamed Middle Eastern security state, a young Arab-Indian hacker shields dissidents, outlaws, Islamists, and other watched groups from surveillance and tries to stay out of trouble. Alif has also come into possession of the fabled Alf Yeom, a book that supposedly compiles the entire knowledge of the jinn (spirits with supernatural powers). Alif sees in this book the inspiration for a quantum leap in computing sophistication, but will it be a tool for revolution or a means to obliterate dissent?



Fifth Form

Diaz, Junot. This Is How You Lose Her

A Pulitzer Prize winner turns his prodigious talent to the haunting, impossible power of love. Diaz explores the trials, triumphs and cultural dissonance of the Dominican community in the U.S. Many of the stories share a common narrator, Yunior, whose parents brought him to America from Santo Domingo as a child. Funny and sad, raucous and tender, these stories reveal the longings and weaknesses of our all-too-human hearts.

Erdrich, Louise. The Round House

Erdrich continues the trilogy begun with The Plague of Doves with the story of an Ojibwe woman named Geraldine Coutts who is ruthlessly attacked one summer morning in 1988. Because she refuses to speak about the event, her husband, Bazil, and their thirteen-year-old son, Joe, try to answer the most basic questions, e.g., was the attacker Indian or white? Frustrated, Joe rounds up three friends and hunts for the truth himself.

Fey, Tina. Bossypants*

The brilliant, funny Fey, writer and performer on Saturday Night Live and Thirty Rock, offers career advice and other observations on what it takes to make it in a male-dominated workplace.

Harbach, Chad. The Art of Fielding

At Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for the big leagues until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended. As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. This is a great story as well as being a great baseball book.

Hurley, Bob. Chasing Perfect: The Will to Win in Basketball and Life*

The inspiring story of the most famous high school basketball coach in America. In 40 seasons as the head coach of St. Anthony High School in Jersey City, New Jersey, Hurley has established a standard of excellence and achievement in a high school with no gymnasium.

King, Martin Luther. A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King*

A Testament of Hope contains Martin Luther King, Jr.’s essential thoughts on nonviolence, social policy, integration, black nationalism, the ethics of love and hope, and more.


King, Stephen. The Wind Through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel

Sent by his father to investigate evidence of a murderous shape shifter, a “skin man,” Roland Deschain takes charge of Bill Streeter, a brave but terrified boy who is the sole surviving witness to the beast’s most recent slaughter. Roland, himself only a teenager, calms the boy by reciting a story from the Magic Tales of the Eld that his mother used to read to him at bedtime, “The Wind through the Keyhole.”

Korr, Chuck. More Than Just a Game: Soccer vs. Apartheid: The Most Important Soccer Story Ever Told*

More Than Just a Game tells the story of an obscure soccer league that liberated a nation: the Makana Football Association played all its games behind closed — and locked — doors on South Africa’s Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for twenty-eight years, during the period of Apartheid.


LaPierre, Alexandra. Women Travelers: A Century of Trailblazing Adventures 1850-1950*

An award winning novelist, LaPierre brings to life thirty-one of the most intrepid women travelers from fourteen countries, including Fanny Vandegrift, the wife of Robert Louis Stevenson, who ventured all the way from Indiana to Samoa, and Nellie Bly, journalist and social reformer, who went around the world in seventy-two days.

Lynskey, Dorian. 33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs from Billie Holiday to Green Day*

British music critic Dorian Lynskey provides a comprehensive examination of thirty-three protest songs from seven decades and five continents.


Masur, Louis. The Soiling of Old Glory. The Story of a Photograph That Shocked America*

Using Stanley Forman’s 1976 photograph of a white man attacking a black man with an American flag during race riots in South Boston, Masur captures a deeply troubled period in American history from a variety of angles.

McCullough, David. The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.*

Renowned historian McCullough has written a fascinating narrative of Americans who came to Paris between 1830 and 1900 to broaden their horizons. They cast of characters includes writer like James Fenimore Cooper, inventor Samuel F. B. Morse and painter Mary Cassatt to name but a few of the prominent figures who lived and studied in the City of Lights.

Meacham, Jon. Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power*

Meacham, a Pulitzer Prize winner, brings his insight and scholarship to produce an extraordinary account of Jefferson the politician and president, a great and complex human being in the context of his own times.

Pullman, Philip. Fairy Tales From the Brothers Grimm.

Well-known British writer Pullman retells what he calls the “cream” of the Brothers Grimm’s 210 tales.

Stashower, Daniel. The Hour of Peril*

Stashower gives a detailed and exciting account of Abraham Lincoln’s extended journey from Illinois to his inauguration. Lincoln spent about a month to get to Washington, including stops in dozens of towns and cities between Illinois and Washington where he often mingled with the crowds and gave brief speeches. By far the most perilous part of the journey was getting the president elect through the city of Baltimore, which was full of secessionist feelings. Detective Allan Pinkerton undertook the challenging task of keeping Lincoln safe until he reached Washington.

Theroux, Paul. The Lower River

After his divorce, Ellis Hock decides that the only time in his life when he felt alive was his time in the Peace Corps in Malawi. He returns to the small village of Malabo on the Lower River with a bag of cash and a desire to start over.

Tyler, Anne. The Beginner’s Goodbye

Struggling with a crippled arm and leg, Aaron has spent much of his life staying clear of his sister who wants to manage his life. When he meets Dorothy, an outspoken, independent young woman, she’s like a breath of fresh air. He marries her without hesitation, and they have a relatively happy, unremarkable marriage. Aaron works at his family’s vanity-publishing business until one day a tree crashes into their house and Dorothy is killed. Aaron feels as though he has been erased forever. Only Dorothy’s unexpected appearances from the dead--in their house, on the roadway, in the market--help him to live in the moment and to find some peace.

Walker, Gabrielle. Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent.*

Science writer Walker offers a cross-disciplinary tour of Antarctica its geology, biology, climate, and history along with an illuminating picture of the lives of the scientists who temporarily live on the forbidding continent.

Warren, Robert B. Murder on Olympus

This urban fantasy novel focuses on Plato Jones, who, after a stint with the Olympic Bureau of Investigation, is through with the Gods and their political games. While at first glance the Gods of Olympus are as different from one another as salt is from sugar, and despite their bickering, they share a universal bond, a thread of commonality that unites them: they’re all jerks. Against Plato’s protests, he’s drawn into a murder investigation where the murderer’s targets are the Gods themselves.



Sixth Form

Bartok, Mira. The Memory Palace*

In this fantastic memoir Mira Bartok, a celebrated children’s author, recounts growing up with her schizophrenic mother who had once been a concert pianist. She and her sister run away from their mother in their late teens after they can no longer take their mother’s harassment and threats to kill herself. They change their names, leaving only a post office address where their mother can contact them. After Bartok suffers a traumatic brain injury which forces her to relearn all she once knew how to do, she reaches out to her estranged mother only to find out she is dying.

Boo, Katherine. Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity*

Pulitzer Prize winner Katherine Boo has produced a landmark work of narrative nonfiction that tells the dramatic and sometimes heartbreaking story of families striving toward a better life in Mumbai, one of the 21st century’s great, unequal cities.

Carter, Miranda. George, Nicholas, and Wilhelm. Three Royal Cousins and the Road to World War I*

Carter views the shifting alliance entanglements of the Great Powers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and especially the growing animosity and rivalry between Britain and Germany, with particular focus on the attitudes and actions of three royal first cousins: Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany, Emperor Nicholas II of Russia, and King George V of Great Britain.

Chabon, Michael. Telegraph Avenue

The setting of this novel is Brokeland Records, a “church of vinyl” on the street that gives the novel its name. Co-owners Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe, an often fractious pairing of black and white, find their business threatened by the impending construction of a “Dogpile Thang,” an entertainment complex owned by Gibson Goode, a Magic Johnson-style ex-athlete and entrepreneur. Their wives, Gwen Shanks and Aviva Roth-Jaffe, are partners in a midwifery business, while Nate and Aviva’s son, Julius, develops an intense attraction to fourteen year-old Titus, the son Archy learns he has fathered when the boy returns to California after his mother dies.

Chaon, Don. Stay Awake

Chaon has a gift for writing about very odd things happening to very ordinary people. It’s easy to feel a kinship with his characters; they could be me or my friends and neighbors. What makes his stories unique is the mash-up of the “regular folks” and the weird and sometimes terrifying situations that Chaon drops them into.

Chollet, Derek. The Unquiet American*

This is an outstanding biography of one of America’s pre-eminent diplomats, Richard Holbrooke, an outsized personality who could both charm and offend with ease. A pivotal player in American diplomacy for forty years, Holbrooke served several administrations and was considered to have one of the most penetrating minds of any modern diplomat of any nation. He is perhaps best known for brokering the Dayton Peace Accords which brought an end to the hostilities in Bosnia but also served as special envoy both in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Climate Central (eds.). Global Weirdness: Severe Storms, Deadly Heat Waves, Relentless Drought, Rising Seas and the Weather of the Future*

Climate Central, a nonpartisan collective of ecological experts, present a comprehensive overview of the impact human generated CO2 pollution is contributing the weather crises the planet has been experiencing of late.

Davis, Wade. Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest*

Davis, a National Geographic explorer-in-residence, tells the story of a group of men who survived the horrendous violence of WWI only to become obsessed with scaling Mt. Everest. Their quest was not for their own glory but for the psyche of their ravaged country and to reaffirm that the human spirit could survive the inhumanity that countries perpetrate on one another on the battlefield.

Dubus, III, Andre. Townie*

After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their overworked mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and violence. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. In this unforgettable memoir, Dubus details the clash between the rough neck, hard living townies and the students debating books and ideas. Dubus shows us how he escaped the cycle of violence and found empathy in channeling the stories of others—bridging, in the process, the rift between his father and himself.

Dyson, George. Turing’s Cathedral: The Origins of the Digital Universe*

In the 1940s and ‘50s, a small group of men and women—led by John von Neumann-—gathered in Princeton, New Jersey, to begin building one of the first computers to realize Alan Turing’s vision of a Universal Machine. The codes unleashed within this embryonic, 5-kilobyte universe—less memory than is allocated to displaying a single icon on a computer screen today—changed the world as we know it.

Edugyan, Esi. Half-Blood Blues

In this novel, short-listed for the Booker Prize, two aging African-American musicians return to Berlin in 1992 to try and find their missing friend whom they last saw as he was arrested by the Gestapo at age twenty in 1940 and sent to a concentration camp.

Ferreiro, Larrie D. Measure of the Earth: The Enlightenment Expedition That Reshaped Our World *

In the early eighteenth century, at the peak of the Enlightenment, a team of European scientists and naval officers set out on the world’s first international, cooperative scientific expedition. Intent on making precise astronomical measurements at the Equator, they were poised to resolve one of mankind’s oldest mysteries: the true shape of the Earth.

Hazelton, Lesley. The First Muslim: The Story of Muhammad.*

Hazelton has written a very readable biography of Muhammad’s life relying on two biographies from the eighth and ninth centuries. Readers come to know the young camel dealer both as a prophet touched by Allah but also as a political leader driven to bring his message to all who would listen.


Hohn, Donovan. Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,000 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them*

In this fascinating science travelogue the author journeys to beaches, seas and factories to find out what happened to 28,000 Chinese-made rubber ducks which fell off a container ship headed for Seattle.

Horwitz, Tony. Midnight Rising: John Brown and the Raid That Sparked the Civil War*

Horwitz gives an accurate account of Brown’s life through original sources. Brown, often dismissed as a fanatic or even a lunatic, emerges as a complex but passionate anti-slavery proponent.

Hughes, Robert. Rome: A Cultural, Visual, and Personal History*

Famed art critic Hughes opens his narrative with an account of his first visit to the Eternal City from his native Australia at age twenty-two, and then describes the rise of the city from its founding by Romulus and Remus into the twentieth century. He chronicles the empire, the rise of Christianity, the arts and the politics of this ancient city.

Irving, John. In One Person.    

In Irving’s latest novel, he chronicles the coming-of-age of a bisexual boy in a small Vermont town. The novel features the usual Irving cast of misfit characters and intricately woven plot

James, P. D. Death Comes to Pemberley

Famous crime writer P. D. James pays homage to Jane Austen in this novel which takes place in 1803, six years after the marriage of Darcy and Elizabeth. On the eve of a ball, as the guests prepare to retire for the evening, a coach arrives and Elizabeth’s undependable sister, Lydia Wickham, stumbles out and screams that her husband has been murdered. Darcy, the local magistrate must investigate.

King, Ross. Leonardo and the Last Supper*

King, a widely respected art historian, gives a detailed account of the creation of Leonardo’s revolutionary masterpiece, the Last Supper, inspiration of the Dan Brown’s celebrated The DeVinci Code.


Mantel, Hilary. Bring Up the Bodies 

In this sequel to Wolf Hall, Thomas Cromwell plots to destroy Anne Boleyn who has become an irritant to his boss, King Henry VIII. Over three terrifying weeks, Anne is ensnared in a web of conspiracy, while the demure Jane Seymour stands waiting her turn for the poisoned wedding ring.

McDermott, Terry and Josh Meyer. The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.*

Terry McDermott and Josh Meyer go deep inside the US government’s dogged but flawed pursuit of this elusive and dangerous man. One pair of agents chased him through countless false leads and narrow escapes for five years before 9/11. And now, drawing on a decade of investigative reporting and unprecedented access to hundreds of key sources, many of whom have never spoken publicly, as well as jihadists and members of KSM’s family and support network-this is a heart-pounding trip inside the dangerous, classified world of counterterrorism and espionage.

McEwan, Ian. Sweet Tooth

In 1972, beautiful Serena Frome is finishing her maths degree at Cambridge when she is recruited by her professor/lover to work for MI-5. She joins operation Operation Sweet Tooth, which aims to fund artists and writers with the correct political views. Things quickly fall apart when she has an affair with the writer she is supposed to be handling.

Miller, Madeline. The Song of Achilles

In this outstanding novel, Miller tells the story of Achilles using his intimate friend Patroclus as narrator. She describes how the two first met in Greece, how their friendship developed as they grew to adulthood and how the wrath of Achilles with its tragic consequences and devastating aftermath developed.

Montefiore, Simon. Jerusalem*

In this biography of one of the oldest and most famous cities in the world, shrine for three major world religions, Montefiore chronicles how this city became the “center of the world” and remains crucial in finding a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Morrison, Toni. Home

When Frank joined the army to escape his too-small world, he left behind his fragile little sister, Cee. After the Korean war, his shattered life has no purpose until he hears that Cee is in danger. Frank is a modern Odysseus returning to a 1950s America mined with lethal pitfalls for an unwary black man.

As he journeys to his native Georgia in search of Cee, it becomes clear that their troubles began well before their wartime separation. Together, they return to their rural hometown of Lotus, where buried secrets are unearthed and where Frank learns at last what it means to be a man.


Quinoñes-Hinojosa and Eichler Rivas, Mim. Becoming Dr. Q: My Journey from Migrant Farm Worker to Brain Surgeon *

At nineteen Dr. Quinoñes-Hinojosa was an undocumented worker tending tomatoes and peppers in the San Joaquin Valley. In this compelling autobiography he chronicles his rise to a position of great eminence in the medical world as a top neurologist at Johns Hopkins University leading the fight against brain cancer.

Rose, Sarah. For All the Tea in China*

Through the adventures on nineteenth century plant hunter Sarah Rose provides a wonderful account of the history of tea cultivation and consumption in the Western world.

Summitt, Pat. Sum It Up: A Thousand and Ninety-Eight Victories, a Couple of Irrelevant Losses, and a Life in Perspective*

Pat Summitt assumed the head coaching job of the University of Tennessee’s women’s basketball team and held the job for thirty-eight years. During her tenure she won more games than any other coach, male or female, in NCAA history, along with eight national championships. In 2011, tragically she was diagnosed with-early onset Alzheimer’s disease. In this moving memoir, she reflects on what made her a great coach and mentor to generations of young women, including seventy four who have followed her into the world of coaching.

Wilson, Edward O. Letters to a Young Scientist*

Edward O. Wilson has distilled sixty years of teaching into a book for students, young and old. Reflecting on his coming-of-age in the South as a Boy Scout and a lover of ants and butterflies, Wilson threads these twenty-one letters, each richly illustrated, with autobiographical anecdotes that illuminate his career—both his successes and his failures—and his motivations for becoming a biologist. At a time in human history when our survival is more than ever linked to our understanding of science, Wilson insists that success in the sciences does not depend on mathematical skill, but rather a passion for finding a problem and solving it. From the collapse of stars to the exploration of rain forests and the oceans’ depths, Wilson instills in his readers a love of the innate creativity of science and a respect for the human being’s modest place in the planet’s ecosystem.

Wulf, Andrea. Chasing Venus: The Race to Measure the Heavens*

Andrea Wulf has written a fascinating account of the eighteenth-century quest to observe the transit of Venus and measure the solar system. On June 6, 1761, the world paused to observe a momentous occasion: the first transit of Venus between the earth and the sun in more than a century. Through that observation, astronomers could calculate the size of the solar system—but only if they could compile data from many different points of the globe, all recorded during the short period of the transit.


Advanced and Advanced Placement Courses

All books listed here are required for specific courses. All French and Spanish books must be read in the original language.



Heilemann, John and Halpern, Mark (Contributors). Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime


Jones, Edward. The Known World



Lane, Nick. Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life



Le Couteur, Penny. Napoleon’s Buttons: How 17 Molecules Changed History 



Diaz, Junot. The Brief, Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao



Ishiguro, Kazuo. The Remains of the Day



Davis, Derva. When Smoke Ran Like Water: Tales of Environmental Deception and the Battle Against Pollution 



Darnton, Robert. The Great Cat Massacre 



Siefe, Charles. Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking



Allende, Isabel. Dos Palabras



Borges, Jorge Luis.  El hacedorDream Tigers, The Captive, El testigo, Martín Fierro.

Montero, Rosa. Excerpt from   Historia del rey Transparente.



de Unamuno, Miguel. San Manuel Bueno, Mártir



Selection from Histoires ou Contes du temps passé by Charles Perrault 
Recommended Edition: Petits Classiques Larousse Texte Intégrale
ISBN: 978-2035881038
  • Le Petit Chaperon rouge
  • La Barbe bleue
  • Cendrillon ou La Petite Pantoufle de verre


L'Attaque du moulin by Emile Zola
Recommended Edition: Flammarion
ISBN: 978-2080720245


de Duras, Claire, with an introduction by Joan DeJean and Margaret Waller. Ourika
Required Edition: MLA Texts & Translations
ISBN: 978-0873527798



American Classics

Archy and MehitabelMarquis

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin – Franklin

Death Comes for the Archbishop – Cather

Delta Wedding – Welty

Down the River – Abbey

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl – Jacobs

Innocents Abroad – Twain

The Oregon Trail – Parkman

The Outermost House – Beston

The Red Badge of Courage – Crane

The Wild Muir - Muir

British Classics

Amsterdam – McEwan

Berlin Stories – Isherwood

Burmese Days – Orwell

Cold Comfort Farm – Gibbons

Diary of a Provincial Lady – Delafield

Northanger Abbey – Austen

The Secret Agent – Conrad

A Severed Head – Murdoch

Vanity Fair – Thackeray

Wuthering Heights – E. Bronte


World Classics

The Apology – Plato

Barabbas – Lagerkvist

The General in His Labyrinth – Garcia Marquez

The Histories – Herodotus

Invisible Cities – Calvino

Selected Poems of Li Po – Li Po

The Sorrows of Young Werther – Goethe

Swann’s Way – Proust

Temptation – Havel

Wind, Sand, Stars – Saint-Exupery

Berkshire School

245 North Undermountain Road
 |  Sheffield, MA 01257
 |  T: 413 229 8511

Berkshire School is a co-ed, New England college preparatory boarding and day school offering a rigorous academic course of study in the northeast United States. Our campus, located in Massachusetts, has state-of-the-art academic, artistic and athletic facilities on a stunning 400-acre campus in the Berkshires.

Berkshire School received 5 out of 5 stars from over 3 Google reviews.

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