The Rivers Sixth Form Reading List

In order to widen your cultural capital and prepare you for University Entrance Interviews it's really important that you read as widely as you can. You should read for 40 minutes everyday, some key suggestions are below...

  • Faulks on Fiction: The History of the Novel in 28 Characters – Sebastian Faulks

  • Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks

  • Tender is the Night – F Scott Fitzgerald

  • The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald

  • 1984 – George Orwell

  • The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini * 

  • Les Miserables – Victor Hugo

  • A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

  • The Color purple – Alice Walker *  

  • Oranges are not the only fruit – Jeanette Winterson * 

  • Emma – Jane Austen

  • Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

  • Norwegian Wood – Haruki Murakami

  • Antigone – Sophocles

  • Sister Carrie – Theodore Dreiser

  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Ken Kesey

  • Orlando – Virginia Woolf

  • Middlemarch – George Eliot

  • The Girl with the Pearl Earring - Tracy Chevalier

  • The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

  • Spies – Michael Frayn

  • The God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy

  • The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath

  • Beloved – Toni Morrison

  • Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys

  • We need to talk about Kevin – Lionel Shriver



Charles Dickens

Thomas Hardy

Virginia Woolf


Truman Capote

Oscar Wilde

Ian McEwan

Tony Harrison

Iris Murdoch

Arthur Miller



Any Pulitzer, Carnegie, Waterstones or Orange Prize for Fiction nominees. Also take a look at the New York Times bestseller list.


* Potential use of adult themes or language.

How to read!

Always have a thesaurus to hand (book or app) so you can look up new words.

If you find a great new word or sentence you love write it, and its definition or meaning, in your journal.

Comprehension is understanding. Understanding builds knowledge. Learning happens over time through remembering that new knowledge by being able to recall and use it.

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