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Reading List for Literary Merit Club


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Reading List for Literary Merit Club

Author

Title

Staff Member

Description

Albom

Tuesdays with Morrie

Mrs. Boston

A sportswriter and his dying mentor reflect on life's most important lessons.

Ambrose

Citizen Soldier

Mr. Sack

WW II history about deeds of heroism by ordinary Americans-amazing stories, easy to read.

Asimov      

Foundation series

Mr. Casey




Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale

Mrs. Murphy

Set in near future America where women-categorized by whether or not they are able to bear children-function only in narrowly defined roles.

Berg

What We Keep

Ms. Brennan

Story of one woman's recollection of her childhood as she prepares to visit the mother she has not seen for 35 years.

Bohjalian

The Buffalo Soldier

Ms. Poshusta

A foster child is transformed through a neighbor's friendship and his tales of his service as a "Buffalo Soldier".

Bradley

Mists of Avalon

Mr. Sawyer

The Arthurian legend told from the perspective of the women in the legend.

Burns

Cold Sassy Tree

Mr. Parlet

Southern boy learns about life from his grandfather.

Chevalier

Girl with a Pearl Earring

Mrs. Boston

Historical fictional account of the life of artist, Vermeer.

Conroy

The Prince of Tides

Ms. Hanley

The events of the past tear apart a Southern family. As a psychiatrist tries to save her patient, she uncovers a family who faced incredible pain. (M)

Cuehlo

The Alchemist

Mrs. Luthy-Clay

A fable set in Egypt offers poignant life lessons.

Delaney

Having Our Say

Mrs. Boston

Two elderly African-American sisters reflect on their lives.

Diamont

The Red Tent

Mrs. Murphy

 


Fictional biblical account of the life of Ruth.

Dubus

House of Sand and Fog

Ms. Poshusta

Three people’s lives become entangled over an escalating crisis about a house. A haunting story that explores the American dream gone awry.

Eco

The Name of the Rose

Mr. Roche

A series of murders in a monastery in medieval Europe.

Eisenbach

Nickeled and Dimed

Ms. Poshusta

A reporter goes undercover in four American cities to examine life as a minimum wage worker.

Enger

Peace Like a River

Mrs. Hanson

 


Minnesota author’s tale of a motherless family who has to deal with a son who’s a murderer, a daughter who’s an epic poet and a dad who works miracles. A real page turner that’s entertaining as well as deep.

Fadiman

Ex Libris

Mrs. Ginder

This book is a set of essays about language and relationships. It’s for those who love words and books.

Faulkner

Sound and the Fury

Mr. Williams

Family history is told from the point of view of four family members.

Faulkner

The Hamlet

Mr. Williams

A man with a questionable past gradually takes over a small Mississippi town.

Flagg

Fried Green Tomatoes

Mrs. Boston

A Southern saga of relationships in small town America.

Follett

Pillars of the Earth

Mrs. Bari

Mr. Parlet



Medieval architects.

Frazier

Cold Mountain

Mr. Parlet

Post Civil War fiction of a man and woman who lead different lives and come together.

Fredriksson

Simon’s Family

Mrs. Luthy-Clay

Story about an adopted Jewish boy.

Gibbons

On the Occasion of My Last Afternoon

Mrs. Foley

Southern woman marries a Northern doctor at the time of the Civil War.

Giono

The Men Who Planted Trees

Mr. Roche

Short story of a man from Provence (South of France) who spent his life planting trees.

Glassner

Culture of Fear

Mr. Williams

Discusses how marketers and media create fear in order to keep us consuming

Golden

Memoirs of a Geisha

Mrs. Foley

 


Childhood — adult story of a Japanese girl who becomes a geisha.

Grisham

A Painted House

Ms. Brennan

Mrs. Winter



Tensions between the "hill people" and migrant workers in rural Arkansas lead to a brutal murder.

Grisham

The Partner

Mr. Ruhland

Three former judges in jail blackmail

Hawking

The Universe in a Nutshell

Mrs. Bari

The Universe.

Hemingway

The Sun Also Rises

Mrs. Foley

 


Friends write in Spain post WW I-the bullfight comes alive!

Holman

The Dress Lodger

Mrs. Ginder

Set in England in 1831. It’s about a young prostitute with a sick baby who meets a doctor she hopes can help. It turns your sympathies around. Great characters! (M)

Hyams

Zen in the Martial Arts

Mr. Roche

Very short, light book about how to apply Asian philosophy to our everyday life.

Kaufman

The Laramie Project

Mr. Sawyer

A play about the death of Matthew Shepard.

Kazantakis

Last Temptation of Christ

Mr. Williams

Fictional account of our Lord’s last days as he faces his death. What if he refuses the call and decides to live as a mortal? (M)

Kidd

The Secret Life of Bees

Mrs. Foley

 

Kingsolver

Animal Dreams

Mr. Sawyer

Flashbacks, dreams and Native American legends come together in this love story set in Arizona.

Kingsolver

High Tide in Tucson

Mr. Sawyer

Book of essays by the author of The Bean Trees.

Kingsolver

Prodigal Summer

Ms. Brennan

Mr. Sawyer

 


A wildlife biologist studies coyotes from her isolated camp until the arrival of a young hunter makes her even more aware that humans are only a small part of the ecological balance.

Kingsovler

Poisonwood Bible

Mr. Sawyer

 


A missionary drags his wife and four daughters to the Belgian Congo in 1959.

Klein

Vince Lomardi Story

Mr. Kotz

Story of the legend-his trials and tribulations.

Krakauer

Into the Wild

Mr. Parlet

A great Alaskan wilderness experience leads to one man’s isolation and death.

Krueger

Purgatory Ridge

Mr. Sack

Ms. Klish



Minnesota author writes about North Shore mysteries. He’s a personal friend.

Krull

A Confidence Man

Mr. Kotz

About a man who fools everyone including himself.

Lamb

She’s Come Undone

Mrs. Murphy

The story of Dinah as told from her perspective.

Landvik

Tall Pine Polka

Mrs. Hanson

Ms. Poshusta



Set in northern MN, a tourist town of quirky characters provides the poignant and funny story when a movie company comes to town.

Lansing

Endurance

Mr. Parlet

The true story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Antarctic explorers amazing survival after being stranded for over a year in 1914-1915.

Lessing

A Man and Two Women

Mrs. Luthy-Clay

Friendship between a man, a woman and an immigrant from Chile.

Maugham

Of Human Bondage

Mrs. Boston

Story of sensitive young man coming to age with a physical handicap.

McCarthy

All the Pretty Horses

Mr. Parlet

Young man dreams of being a cowboy, but must travel to Mexico to achieve this. Meets a young woman there…

Moore

Stupid White Men

Mr. Williams

Satirical, if not biased, look at American politics and society. Follow-up to his film, Bowling for Columbine

Moore

We Were Soldiers Once... and Young

Mr. Williams

Detailed account of the first major battle of the Vietnam War.

Moore      

Watchmen

Mr. Dysart




Murdoch

A Word Child

Mr. Kotz

A child who has an incredible vocabulary and how it affects his life.

Murphy

The Sweetest Season

(or The Sweet Season?)



Mrs. Lindstrom

Author spends time at SJU and its football team. Experiences football, family and life behind the "pine curtain".

O’Brien

Going After Cacciato

Mr. Williams

A platoon goes after a buddy who goes AWOL in Vietnam. Is it a dream or hallucination? They cross Asia and end up in Paris. Do they go back?

Pipher

Reviving Ophelia

Mrs. Boston

A strong motivational message to girls about realizing their potential.

Potok

My Name is Asher Lev

Mr. Dimond

A Hassidic Jew explores his artistic side in face of his strict Jewish upbringing.

Potok

The Gift of Asher Lev

Mr. Dimond

Sequel that explores Asher’s adult life.

Reid

Confucius Lives Next Door: What Living in the East Teaches Us About Living in the West

Ms. Brennan

 

Ross

Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind

Ms. Poshusta

A Southern widow is visited by an impoverished woman with a small boy who turn out to be her late husband first family.

Ross

Hannah’s Daughters

Mrs. Luthy-Clay

Three generations of women.

Rowling

Harry Potter (All)

Mrs. Hanson

 

Mrs. Winter



Harry Potter, an orphaned wizard, discovers his powers at Hogwarth, a school for witches and wizards. He faces several trials but escapes using his intelligence, compassion, wit and magic.

Sachar

Holes

Mr. Kotz

A story about boys sent to a detention camp and their interactions with one another.

Schlink &

Janeway


The Reader

Mrs. Luthy-Clay

A story about love, horror and mercy in Germany before and after 1945 (for modern readers).

Schoemperlen

Our Lady of the Lost and Found

Ms. Brennan

The Virgin Mary shows up at a woman's house one afternoon and shares her story of faith and life.

Sebold

The Lovey Bones

Ms. Poshusta

A young girl looks down from heaven and oserves the lives of her family and friends after her rape and murder.

Sherman

Piano Pieces

Mr. Dysart

Philosophical musings about music.

Shreve

Strange Fits of Passion

Mr. Parlet

Abused woman and child seek shelter in Maine coastal town.

Shreve

The Weight of Water

Ms. Brennan

A newspaper photographer uncovers the truth about a double-murder.

Silko

Ceremony

Mr. Williams

Man returns to his reservation after seeing the brutality of WW II and slowly begins to reclaim his heritage.

Sparks

A Walk to Remember

Mrs. Foley

A "sweet" account of young love.

Steele

The Cottage

Mrs. Klish

A fading movie star is forced to rent out part of his estate to make ends meet. The two men who move in introduce the owner to a whole new world.

Steele

Leap of Faith

Mrs. Klish

Romance novel.

Steele

The Kiss

Mrs. Klish

Romance novel.

Tademy

Cane River

Ms. Poshusta

Dr. Reilly



Examines the lives of four strong African American women and the impact of events on their family.

Tan

The Bonesetter’s Daughter

Ms. Hanley

Dr. Reilly



A daughter discovers her mother’s life story. The mother’s and daughter’s relationship begins to grow even as the mother declines into Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

Tart

The Secret History

Mr. Parlet

A mystery at a NE college. East coast group of students secretly studies Greek.

Thayer

The Weatherman

Ms. Hanley

A Minnesota author tells the story of two men in love with the same woman, a serial murderer and a gifted weatherman. Exciting and strange. (M)

Tolkien      

The Hobbit

Mr. Dysart




Vonnegut

Player Piano

Mr. Dysart

Kurt Vonnegut's first novel about a futuristic world where humans try to overthrow machines.

Vonnegut   

Mother Night, Cat's Cradle, Breakfast of Champions, or Galapagos

Mr. Dysart




Wells

The Divine Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood

Mrs. Boston

Hilarious story of mothers, daughters and girlfriends.

White

The Once and Future King

Bari / Dimond

King Arthur.

Zusak      

The Book Thief

Mrs. Ginder







Any books in Spanish or by Latin American authors

Ms. Orsi








 

 

Honors Reading Award

Life long learning demands life long reading. Students are encouraged to actively participate in the Honors Reading Award project. Students who participate and reach one of the specified goals by the end of their senior year will be awarded a pin at the Awards Day celebration. A special notation will be made on the transcripts that are sent to colleges and universities.

The Academy of Holy Angels will present these awards to seniors on Celebration Day.

Gold Award Seniors have completed 20 books.


Silver Award Seniors have completed 15 books.
Bronze Award Seniors have completed 10 books
Honorable Mention Seniors have completed 8 books.







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