SLO classical academy high school

reading list

There is then creative reading as well as creative writing.

– ralph waldo emerson

These are the Great Books our student read, discuss, and write about over the course of their time at SLOCAHS. In an age that favors quick, digital consumption of information and whole books are largely leaving the classroom, we have found our emphasis on reading the Great Books of Eastern and Western Civilization create young adults who are knowledgeable, cultured, and wise.

We choose beautiful print editions of these works, and they are available for sale in our school store.

Ancient World

Gilgamesh
Till They Have Faces, C.S. Lewis
Lavinia, Ursula K. Guin
Tales from Ovid, Ted Hughes
The Progymnasmata
The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides
The Iliad, Homer
The Odyssey, Homer
Antigone, Sophocles
Tao Te Ching, Laozi
Meditations of Marcus Aurelius
The Republic, Plato
Symposium, Plato
Poetics, Aristotle
Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare
The Book of Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, Job, I Samuel, Psalms, Proverbs
Gospel of Matthew, Acts, Romans

Medieval World

The Once and Future King, TH White
Confessions, Augustine of Hippo
The Prose Edda, Snorri Sturluson
The History of the Anglo Saxons
Beowulf
La Morte D’Arthur
St. Thomas Aquinas, G.K. Chesterton
1001 Nights (Arabian Folktales)
The Travels of Marco Polo
Inferno, Dante Alighieri
Utopia, Thomas More
The Prince, Machiavelli
Hamlet, Shakespeare
MacBeth, Shakespeare
The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer

The U.S. and the Age of Enlightenment

The Tempest, William Shakespeare
Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe
A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
The Portable Enlightenment Reader
Second Treatise on Civil Government, John Locke
Candide, Voltaire
Emma, Jane Austen
The United States Constitution
Moby Dick, Herman Melville
Poems by Emily Dickinson
First We Read, Then We Write, Emerson
Leaves of Grass, Walt Whitman
Walden, Henry David Thoreau

Modern World

Les Miserables, Victor Hugo
Frankenstein, Mary Shelley
My Antonia, Willa Cather
The Communist Manifesto, Marx
The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith
A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
Anna Karenina, Tolstoy
The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
Cannery Row, John Steinbeck
Their Eyes Were Watching God, Nora Zeal Hurston
Survival in Auschwitz, Primo Levi
Silence, Shusaku Endo
Hiroshima, John Hersey
Housekeeping, Marilynne Robinson

NOTE: This is a representative sampling – this book list may change slightly from year to year. List includes books read in full. Additional poetry, as well as philosophical and historical excerpts are regularly included.

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