Year 12 Reading List

Year 12 Reading List

RoLRivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

It is the case of a Swedish Werewolf in London, the unmissable next chapter in the life of full-time cop and part time wizard Peter Grant. Grant works as part of a very special London police unit investigating unusual crimes involving magic and the general weirdness that permeates London's dark underbelly. What starts as a routine undercover operation turns into something far more dangerous when the Metropolitan police are confronted by a Swedish Werewolf who will stop at nothing to avoid capture. Now it is up to Peter and his chums to hunt the deadly lycanthrope and bring him to justice.


DibsIn Search of Dibs by Virginai M Axline

This book chronicles a series of play therapy sessions over a period of one year with an boy (Dibs) who comes from a wealthy and highly educated family. Despite signs that he is gifted, his mother, father and most of his teachers perceive him as having an emotional or cognitive disorder. Dibs presents abnormal social behavior by continuously isolating himself, rarely speaking, and physically lashing out at those around him. When Axline first meets Dibs's parents, they describe her as their son's last hope.


DBBThe Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean Dominique Bauby

On December 8 of 1995, the editor-in-chief of the French fashion magazine Elle, suffered a massive stroke which severed his brain stem from his spinal cord and rendered the worldly, charismatic, fashionable man nearly completely paralyzed. After awakening from a coma in January of 1996, Bauby found that the only way he could communicate with the outside world was by blinking his left eyelid, the single part of his body over which he had any remaining control. Over the summer of 1996, with the help of his speech therapist and an interpreter, Bauby composed, a memoir of his experiences in the hospital, his memories of his life before the stroke and his deepest, most vulnerable fantasies of returning to a normal existence.

ThinkThink by Simon Blackburn

This is a book about the big questions in life: knowledge, consciousness, fate, God, truth, goodness, justice.

It is for anyone who believes there are big questions out there, but does not know how to approach them.  Think sets out to explain what they are and why they are important.

This book is ideal for all those who want to learn how the basic techniques of thinking shape our existence. 


TOThe Outsider by Albert Camus

Meursault will not lie.  When his mother dies, he refuses to show his emotions simply to satisfy the expectations of others and when he commits a random act of violence on a sun-drenched beach near Algiers, his lack of remorse compounds his guilt in the eyes of society and the law. Yet he is as much a victim as a criminal.



HaPHopes and Prospects by Noam Chomsky

In Hopes and Prospects, Noam Chomsky examines the challenges of our early twenty-first century. He explores obstacles and threats such as the widening gap between North and South America, US exceptionalism, the fiascos of Iraq and Afghanistan, the US-Israeli assault on Gaza and the recent financial bailouts. He sees hope for the future and opportunities to move forward.

Hopes and Prospects is essential reading for anyone wishing to understand the primary challenges facing the human race in the coming years.

HAEThe Hare with Amber Eyes by Edmund de Waal

Edmund de Waal is a world-famous ceramicist who inherits a collection of 264 tiny Japanese wood and ivory carvings, called netsuke. He wants to know who had touched and held them and how the collection had managed to survive.

So begins The Hare with Amber Eyes, this extraordinarily moving memoir and detective story as de Waal discovers both the story of the netsuke and of his family, the Ephrussis, over five generations.

TTCA Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”

A Tale of Two Cities is set in London and Paris, the titular two cities, at the end of the 18th century, and principally concerns the lives of Dr. Alexandre Manette, his daughter Lucie, who marries a French nobleman, Charles Darnay, and their close family friend, barrister Sydney Carton. Despite the union of Lucie and Darney, Carton confesses his love to Lucie, declaring to embrace any sacrifice for you and for those dear to you, a promise that he will uphold in dramatic fashion by the end of the novel.

NoRThe Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco

The year is 1327. Franciscans in a wealthy Italian abbey are suspected of heresy, and Brother William of Baskerville arrives to investigate. When his delicate mission is suddenly overshadowed by seven bizarre deaths, Brother William turns detective.

William collects evidence, deciphers secret symbols and coded manuscripts, and digs into the eerie labyrinth of the abbey where extraordinary things are happening under the cover of night. The Name of the Rose is not only a narrative of a murder investigation but an astonishing chronicle of the Middle Ages.

TotDTess of the D'urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Tess is a moving novel of Tess Durbeyfield, the daughter of a poor and dissipated villager, who learns that she may be descended from the ancient family of d'Urbeville. In her search for respectability her fortunes fluctuate wildly. It explores Tess's relationships with two very different men, her struggle against the social mores of the rural Victorian world which she inhabits and the hypocrisy of the age.



OThe Odyssey by Homer

The epic tale of Odysseus and his ten-year journey home after the Trojan War, forms one of the earliest and greatest works of Western literature. Confronted by natural and supernatural threats; shipwrecks, battles, monsters and the implacable enmity of the sea-god Poseidon, Odysseus must use his wit and native cunning if he is to reach his homeland safely and overcome the obstacles that, even there, await him.


PAYMA Portrait of an Artist as a Young man by James Joyce

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man represents the transitional stage between the realism of Joyce's Dubliners and the symbolism of Ulysses.

This novel is a highly autobiographical account of the adolescence of Stephen Dedalus, who reappears in Ulysses, and who comes to realise that before he can become a true artist, he must rid himself of the stultifying effects of the religion, politics and essential bigotry of his background in late 19th Century Ireland.

TrialThe Trial by Franz Kafka

Josef K is unexpectedly arrested on the morning of his thirtieth birthday. The agents who arrest him are unidentified, the agency they work for is unspecified and the crime for which he has been accused is unknown. Shortly after he is released, he is told to await further instruction. So begins the manic and emotionless trial of a man beholden to the whims of an unknown force and his painstaking attempts to find a way out of this existential maze.


SASchindlers Ark by Thomas Keneally

Schindler’s Ark is based on the true story of the actions of Oskar Schindler, a Sudeten German industrialist who used his factories and contacts in the Nazi Party to save over a thousand Jews from deportation to concentration camps during the Holocaust. His willingness to risk his own life to save Jews from almost certain death meant that he was subsequently named one of the Righteous among the nations by the State of Israel. 

ITAMIf this is a Man / The Truce by Primo Levi

On 22 February 1944, 650 people were sent to Auschwitz in 12 goods trains. Only Primo Levi and two others survived.

If This Is a Man is Levi's most direct, non-fictional account of his time in Auschwitz, and in The Truce he describes his flight from the hell in which he had been incarcerated.


100YoSOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Seven generations of the Buendía family and of Macondo, the town they have built. Though little more than a settlement surrounded by mountains, Macondo has its wars and disasters, even its wonders and miracles. A microcosm of Columbian life, its secrets lie hidden, encoded in a book and only Aureliano Buendía can fathom its mysteries and reveal its shrouded destiny.


AAtonement by Ian McEwan

'A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn and not easily mended'

On the hottest day of the summer of 1935, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her too is Robbie Turner who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever, as Briony commits a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.

TFRThe Famished Road by Ben Okri

So long as we are alive, so long as we feel, so long as we love, everything in us is an energy we can use.  

He is born into a world of poverty, ignorance and injustice, but Azaro awakens with a smile on his face. Despite belonging to a spirit world made of enchantment, where there is no suffering, Azaro chooses to stay in the land of the Living: to feel it, endure it, know it and love it. 

This is his story.

CBCCry, the beloved Country by Alan Paton

Cry the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people driven by racial injustice. Remarkable for its contemporaneity, unforgettable for character and incident, Cry the Beloved Country is a classic work of love and hope, courage and endurance, born of the dignity of man.


MWHThe Man who Mistook his Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks

These are case studies of people who have lost their memories and with them the greater part of their pasts; who are no longer able to recognize people or common objects; whose limbs have become alien; who are afflicted and yet are gifted with uncanny artistic or mathematical talents. In Dr Sacks’s splendid and sympathetic telling, each tale is a unique and deeply human study of life struggling against incredible adversity.


ASBA Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth

A Suitable Boy is a love story: the tale of Lata and her mother's attempts to find her a suitable husband, through love or through exacting maternal appraisal. At the same time, it is the story of India, newly independent and struggling through a time of crisis as a sixth of the world's population faces its first great general election and the chance to map its own destiny.


TTPThe Three Theban Plays by Sophocles

A collection of all three of Sophocles’ three Theban plays, Oedipus Rex, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. Each work was part of a tetralogy, a composition made up of four distinct works. The other three works of each tetralogy are now lost. Although these are published under a single cover, they are not a trilogy and do not contain a continuous narrative. The three plays were written for different festivals, sometimes years apart. Nonetheless, the three plays cover the fate of the royal family of King Oedipus at the city state Thebes during and after the reign of King Oedipus.


AoIAge of Innocence by Edith Wharton

The story centers on an upper class couple's impending marriage, and the introduction of the bride's cousin, plagued by scandal, whose presence threatens their happiness. Though the novel questions the assumptions and morals of 1870s New York society, it never develops into an outright condemnation of the institution. The novel is noted for Wharton's attention to detail and its accurate portrayal of how the 19th Century East Coast American upper class lived, as well as for the social tragedy of its plot.


OOFOranges are not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

This is the story of Jeanette, adopted and brought up by her mother as one of God's elect. Zealous and passionate, she seems destined for life as a missionary, but then she falls for one of her converts.

At sixteen, Jeanette decides to leave the church, her home and her family, for the young woman she loves. Innovative, punchy and tender, Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit is a few days ride into the bizarre outposts of religious excess and human obsession.

SWThe Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Hidden in the heart of the old city of Barcelona is the cemetery of lost books, a labyrinthine library of obscure and forgotten titles that have long gone out of print. To this library, a man brings his 10-year-old son Daniel one cold morning in 1945. Daniel is allowed to choose one book from the shelves and pulls out 'La Sombra del Viento' by Julian Carax.

What begins as a case of literary curiosity turns into a race to find out the truth behind the life and death of Julian Carax and to save those he left behind. 

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