Required Texts



The Seagull Book of Literature (4th Edition)

The Seagull Book of Literature, 4th Edition, edited by Joseph Kelly, W. W. Norton & Co, 2017.

This three volume text will form the backbone of our course. The 2019 update of the College Board curriculum for AP Literature and Composition guides teacher and students through a series of encounters with poetry, major works (i.e., novels and plays), and short stories.

I have chosen this particular set because of its portability and the quality of its selections.

The picture to the left is a link to the Amazon page on which you can buy it.

All the Pretty Horses

Cormac McCarthy is a master of contemporary literature. His challenging style and distinctly masculine subject matter and themes lead me to select his novel All the Pretty Horses as one of the major works that we would read together.


This 19th century Gothic meditation (and thriller!) on the anxieties of creation and reproduction is perfect for seniors in high school. Its 19th c. prose will challenge them, and the themes of the novel will either reinforce or introduce students to the fear all adults ought to feel in the face of our own creations—whether they be our children, our work, or even our words. Once your creation goes out into the world, you never know how it might come back around to haunt you!

I’ve asked students to pick up the Norton Critical Edition of this book so that we can use this text to learn how to write longer, college-style research papers.


Optional Texts

Books that we will read extensively from, but that I do not require you to purchase.