The Hello Giggles School for Girls: Summer Reading List 2011, Part 1Julia Hart

Hello. I’m Julia Hart and I teach high school English in Los Angeles.

I spend most of my time with teenagers. While some might consider this a nightmare, it’s the perfect kind of heaven for me. Being in the classroom with them preserves my sense of wonder, plus they introduce me to cool new music. Sometimes I forget that I’m not still in high school myself, especially these days as I’m sporting braces (don’t ask).

This summer, go back to the days when the biggest problems in your life were the ones you read about in books. I invite you to enjoy the warmer months with a nostalgic trip down memory lane with some of my favorites books I teach, and a few that I’ll be reading myself. I present to you: the Hello Giggles School For Girls Summer Reading List, 2011 edition.

Oh, and there will be a test.

Part 1:

1. Wuthering Heights- Emily Bronte

This book is so good that my teaching partner reads it every summer. This year, I’m gonna join her.

2. Mrs.Dalloway – Virginia Woolf

I teach this book in my senior lit class and I give my students this advice: read it outside. Preferably under a tree, or next to a body of water. And also your bathtub counts as outside.

3. Lolita – Vladimir Nabokov

I am really excited to be teaching this for the first time next year. So I’ll be reading it again this summer.

4. Raise High The Roof Beam Carpenters and Seymour an Introduction – J.D. Salinger

The less frequently studied text of Salinger’s is also maybe his best one.

5. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

You can’t call yourself a woman until you’ve read this book.

Featured Image via DeviantArt.com

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  1. Just an interesting fact I noticed, the books on the first picture are in Romanian. Now I wonder how many of you know where is Romania. :D This is why I love the Internet!! Anyway, I’m reading The Bell Jar and I love it!

  2. Ya know, I think I’ll actually attempt to read Wuthering Heights after I finish my current book. I bought it when I was in High School, thanks to the movie “The Crush” but never -ever- successfully read it. Time to conquer the task! After all, that was nearly 15 yrs ago when I tried last, never got rid of the book – because I knew I would try to read it… one of these days. Looks like that’s getting closer!

  3. The list looks great! Thank you for the recommendations. I look forward to reading all of your literary posts. I think your next one should be about your all-time favorite books! I’m always interested in knowing what books other people love.

  4. I’ve read all these books! :) I hope more teenagers do, though. Lolita and The Bell Jar are a particular favorites. :D

  5. ah! i’ve been meaning to read lolita for some time now! i have the bell jar and have yet to crack it open, thanks for the inspiration!

  6. I wish you were my English teacher.

  7. Thank you! My summer reading this year was anticlimactic (only one book for honors British literature, and one book for AP French), so I’ll read these too! I always love a Salinger book.

  8. As a HS English teacher myself, I am super pumped to see this! I would also like to add a contemporary book that I did with my Honors kids this year… well two that go together actually. It is a set of graphic novels called Persepolis and Persepolis 2 (also made into a singular movie) written by Marjane Satrapi. They are the AMAZING STORY of a strong woman who grew up during the Iranian Revolution. I highly recommend it – my students (esp the girls) DEVOURED the first one and many went on to read the second ON THEIR OWN!! :)

    Happy Reading everyone! :)

  9. I love it all, but I’m seriously wondering how you managed to get “Lolita” approved by the school board. TEACH ME.

  10. Love! I’m always looking for new books to read.

  11. Great list. Love the bell jar. I’d add “East of Eden” loved that book when we read it in highschool, one of my all time favorites. And as a 27 year old with braces, I feel your pain :)

  12. Finally! I’m so glad there is a post on Books- don’t get me wrong, I can veg out in front of the TV like I’m getting paid, but I really wanted book recommendations from the HelloGiggle writers. I hope there will be more!

  13. I find J.D. Salinger’s work very interesting. I personally think Franny and Zooey is heavily underrated. I was never really a big fan of Jane Austen. I tried to get into her novels, but just couldn’t. My HS senior english teacher made us read James Patterson but I wasn’t really feeling it. Personally, I like a good mystery. Got any suggestions?

  14. Thank you for this list! :)

  15. Yes! I love reading recommendations : )

  16. Love all of these books! (Probably good, since I too will be an english teacher, in another year…) In response to Lolita, have you read Speak Memory? It is a beautiful autobiography by Nabokov.

  17. YES! i have mad love for lc, but her book club is a little slow going. i’ve read a couple of these, but i own all of them. can’t wait to get started. what’s the reading timeline?

  18. I’ll put off my actual Summer reading requirements and head to the library on Tuesday. :)

  19. I love reading. I’ve read a few of these, but not all of them so I’m gonna add the others to my list of books to read this summer! I miss my high school English classes and summer reading assignments now!

  20. I read The Bell jar a few years ago, and in a moving out fight with my best friend, lost my copy (not saying it was stolen… but it totally was.)
    Anyway, whenever I go to the bookstore I contemplate buying it again, even though my book list is currently about 2 years long. And when I tell my friends about it, I HATE HATE HATE when they say “What? Never heard of it.”
    YOU’VE NEVER HEARD OF THE BELL JAR? SERIOUSLY?
    Thank you so much for teaching these books. If I’d had books like this to read in school I probably would have actually done the work.

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