Year 11 Reading List

Year 11 Reading List

The books in this list have all been enjoyed by many students.  Read the synopsis to decide which book you would like to read next.

BTSMBehind the Scenes at the Museum by Kate Atkinson

Ruby Lennox was conceived grudgingly by Bunty and born while her father, George, was in the Dog and Hare in Doncaster telling a woman in an emerald dress and a D-cup that he wasn't married. Bunty had never wanted to marry George, but here she was, stuck in a flat above the pet shop in an ancient street beneath York Minster, with sensible and sardonic Patrica aged five, greedy cross-patch Gillian who refused to be ignored, and Ruby.....

EmmaEmma by Jane Austin

'If I loved you less, I might be able to talk about it more.'

Meet Emma Woodhouse: handsome, clever, and rich.

Our dear protagonist, a victim to the hubris of youth, takes delight from meddling in the romantic affairs of others, but soon these playful escapades unravel and ensnare her - until, inevitably, she is but a helpless player trapped in her own game.

TBBThe Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge

The Birthday Boys tells the story of Scott's doomed 1912 expedition to be the first to reach the North Pole, through the voices of five men on the voyage. As Scott, Petty Officer Taff Evans, ship's doctor Dr Edward Wilson, Lieutenant Henry Bowers and Captain Lawrence Oates step forward for their place in the narrative, the reader is gripped by the the characters themselves alongside the vividly evoked period.



RegenRegeneration by Pat Barker

Craiglockhart War Hospital, Scotland, 1917 and army psychiatrist William Rivers is treating shell-shocked soldiers. Under his care are the poets Siegfried Sassoon and Wilfred Owen, as well as mute Billy Prior, who is only able to communicate by means of pencil and paper. Rivers's job is to make the men in his charge healthy enough to fight. Yet the closer he gets to mending his patients' minds the harder becomes every decision to send them back to the horrors of the frontline.


CWOA Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

“Is it better for a man to have chosen evil than to have good imposed upon him?” 

When a flamboyant, Beethoven-obsessed, murderous gang leader agrees to undergo experimental violence-aversion therapy in exchange for early release from prison, he winds up cured of his own free will.

This book has since turned into a highly stylised piece of cinemaography by Stanley Kubrick.


MPMetaphysical Poetry by Colin Burrow

A key anthology for students of English literature, Metaphysical Poetry is a collection whose unique philosophical insights are some of the crowning achievements of Renaissance verse.

Metaphysical poetry sought to describe a time of startling progress, scientific discovery, unrivalled exploration and deep religious uncertainty from poets John Donne, George Herbert, Andrew Marvell and John Milton, alongside pieces from many other less well known but equally fascinating poets of the age.

RSHA Really Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Ever wondered how we got from nothing to something?
Or thought about how we can weigh the earth?
Or wanted to reach the edge of the universe?

Uncover the mysteries of time, space and life on earth in this extraordinary stunningly illustrated book. A journey from the centre of the planet to the dawn of the dinosaurs and everything in between.

TMTThe Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter

A coming of age tale which extends the nature and boundaries of love, as seen through the eyes of the youthful and naïve Melanie.

When tragedy strikes, young Melanie and her two siblings are forced to abandon their family home and sent to live in London with their aunt Margaret, a kindly and beautiful mute, and their abusive and highly manipulative uncle, Philip.


TMSThe Moonstone by Wilkie Collins

Bequeathed a rare diamond by her late uncle, heiress Rachel Verinder has no idea it was stolen from an Indian temple or that it has a cursed history. When the diamond disappears on her eighteenth birthday, multiple suspects including Rachel’s suitor Franklin Blake, are implicated in its theft. Determined to prove his innocence, Franklin begins his own investigation. Did one of his fellow Englishmen steal the jewel? Or was it whisked back to India? The case, which unfolds through multiple narratives, takes startling twists and turns in pursuit of the truth.


PcPaddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha by Roddy Doyle

Paddy Clarke is ten years old. Paddy Clarke lights fires. Paddy Clarke's name is written in wet cement all over Barrytown, north Dublin. Paddy Clarke's heroes are Father Damien (and the lepers), Geronimo and George Best. Paddy Clarke has a brother called Francis, but Paddy calls him Sinbad and hates him because that's the rule. Paddy Clarke knows the exact moment to knock a dead scab from his knee. Paddy Clarke loves his Ma and Da, but it seems like they don't love each other, and Paddy's world is falling apart.


LKSThe Last Knig of Scotland by Giles Foden 

What would it be like to become Idi Amin's personal physician? Giles Foden's best-selling thriller is the story of a young Scottish doctor drawn into the heart of the Ugandan dictator's surreal and brutal regime.

Privy to Amin's thoughts and ambitions, he is both fascinated and appalled. As Uganda plunges into civil chaos he realises action is imperative - but which way should he jump?

BRBrighton Rock by Graham Greene

A gang war is raging through the dark underworld of Brighton. Seventeen year old Pinkie, malign and ruthless, has killed a man. Believing he can escape retribution, he is unprepared for the courageous, life-embracing Ida Arnold.

Greene's gripping thriller, exposes a world of loneliness and fear, of life lived on the dangerous edge of things.


DOANThe Diary of a Nobody by Weedon and George Grossmith

Mr Charles Pooter is a respectable man. He has just moved into a very desirable home in Holloway with his dear wife Carrie, from where he commutes to his job of valued clerk at a reputable bank in the City. Unfortunately neither his dear friends Mr Cummings and Mr Gowing, nor the butcher, the greengrocer's boy and the Lord Mayor seem to recognise Mr Pooter's innate gentility, and his disappointing son Lupin has gone and got himself involved with a most unsuitable fiancee.


C22Catch 22 by Joseph Heller

Set in the closing months of World War II, this is the story of a bombardier named Yossarian who is frantic and furious because thousands of people he has never met are trying to kill him. His real problem is not the enemy, it is his own army which keeps increasing the number of missions the men must fly to complete their service. Yossarian is constantly searching for a way to be dismissed from the military, usually on grounds of insanity, only to be perpetually rebuffed by his superiors due to a paradoxical bureaucratic loophole known as Catch-22 - if he flies he is crazy, and does not have to; but if he does not want to then he must be sane and has to.


BTFor Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

An American man named Robert Jordan, who has left the United States to enlist on the Republican side in the war, travels behind enemy lines to work with Spanish guerrilla fighters, or guerrilleros, hiding in the mountains. The Republican command has assigned Robert Jordan the dangerous and difficult task of blowing up a Fascist-controlled bridge as part of a larger Republican offensive. 


KimKim by Rudyard Kipling

Kim is set in an imperialistic world; a world strikingly masculine, dominated by travel,trade and adventure, a world in which there is no question of the division betweenwhite and non-white. Two men a boy who grows into early manhood and an old ascetic priest, the lama - are at the center of the novel. A quest faces them both. Born in India, Kim isnevertheless white, a sahib. While he wants to play the Great Game of Imperialism,he is also spiritually bound to the lama. His aim, as he moves chameleon-like throughthe two cultures, is to reconcile these opposing strands, while the lama searches forredemption from the Wheel of Life.

A celebration of their friendship in a beautiful but often hostile environment, Kim captures the opulence of India's exotic landscape, overlaid by the uneasy presence of the British Raj.

TBEThe Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison

Pecola Breedlove, a young black girl, prays every day for beauty. Mocked by other children for the dark skin, curly hair, and brown eyes that set her apart, she yearns for normalcy, for the blond hair and blue eyes that she believes will allow her to finally fit in.Yet as her dream grows more fervent, her life slowly starts to disintegrate in the face of adversity and strife. 


POSThe Painter of Signs by R. K. Narayan

In this wry, funny, bittersweet story, love gets in the way of progress when Raman, a sign painter, who begins work on a sign for the local Family Planning Clinic, is preoccupied with thoughts about Daisy, the woman who commissioned him to do the work. Diasy convinces Raman to accompany her on a journey to bring birth control to the city of Malgudi.


GormGormenghast by Mervyn Peake

Gormenghast is the vast, crumbling castle to which the seventy-seventh Earl, Titus Groan, is lord and heir. Titus is expected to rule this gothic labyrinth of turrets and dungeons (and his eccentric and wayward subjects) according to strict age-old rituals, but things are changing in the castle. Titus must contend with treachery, manipulation and murder as well as his own longing for a life beyond the castle walls.



IoMInterpretation of Murder by Jed Rubenfeld

When a wealthy young debutante is discovered bound, whipped and strangled in a luxurious apartment overlooking the city and another society beauty narrowly escapes the same fate, the mayor of New York calls upon Freud to use his revolutionary new ideas to help the surviving victim recover her memory of the attack and solve the crime. But nothing about the attacks, or about the surviving victim, Nora, is quite as it seems. Those in very high places are determined to stop the truth coming out and Freud's startling theories taking root on American soil.


GoWThe Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck

Set against the backdrop of America's Great Depression and Dust Bowl, a family of farmers from Oklahoma head west in search of work in the promised land of California, only to discover thousands like them are also on the move. Following a violent altercation with some locals, they head back on the road with their dream of a promised land in tatters and life is set to get much worse for the Joads family.



PerfPerfume by Patrick Suskind

The story follows Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, an unloved orphan in 18th Century France who is born with an exceptional sense of smell, capable of distinguishing a vast range of scents in the world around him.  At the age of eight he is given in apprenticeship to a tanner, where he is almost worked to death. After having survived anthrax and thus becoming more useful in a tannery, he is treated marginally better and is given some slight freedom. Grenouille roams the city of Paris, searching for new scents, and one day finds the most delicious scent he has ever encountered, that of a adolescent girl.


JLCThe Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

Four Chinese women, drawn together by the shadow of their past, meet in San Francisco to play mahjong, invest in stocks, eat dim sum, and to say stories to each other. Nearly 40 years later, one of the women has died and her daughter arrives to take her place. However, the daughter never expected to learn of her mother's secret lifelong wish and the tragic way in which it has come true. The revelation creates among the women an urgent need to remember the past. 


MCThe Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham

In the sleepy English village of Midwich, a mysterious silver object appears and all the inhabitants fall unconscious. A day later the object is gone and everyone awakens unharmed, except that all the women in the village are discovered to be pregnant.

The resultant children of Midwich do not belong to their parents: all are blonde, all are golden eyed. They grow up too fast, and their minds exhibit frightening abilities that give them control over others and brings them into conflict with the villagers just as a chilling realisation dawns on the world outside.

If you have already read these, try others by the same authors, or look on the Academy website and Library Sharepoint page for other reading lists.  This list includes non-fiction titles, so your reading can also help support your studies across the curriculum.

If you want to think in more depth about what you are reading, look on the Library Sharepoint page for some Guided Reading Questions based on these books which will help you with this.

Nicky Raddon - September 2021