Looking to add to your reading collection? Of course, browsing the bookstore is a lovely and rewarding thing to do, but sometimes it’s great to get a recommendation, especially if time isn’t on your side. Below are past or current favourites of some of the most recognisable past or current English teachers on Twitter. Their choices are certainly diverse, and demonstrate the wonderful openness and heterogeneity of our subject.

Each contributor is represented by their Twitter handle. They are in no particular order.

@HuntingEnglish

  1. The Assistant – Bernard Malamud
  2. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich – Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  3. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  4. Ulysses’ – James Joyce
  5. Germinal – Emile Zola

@shadylady222

  1. 100 years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  2. Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
  3. The Snowman – Jo Nesbo 
  4. Life After Life – Kate Atkinson 
  5. 1984 – George Orwell. 

@C_Hendrick

  1. The Odyssey – Homer
  2. The Sound and the Fury – William Faulkner
  3. Dubliners – James Joyce
  4. Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
  5. The Brothers Karamazov – Dostoyevsky
  6. The Crying of Lot 49 – Thomas Pynchon
  7. Sorrows of Young Werther – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
  8. Slaughterhouse Five – Kurt Vonnegut
  9. Winesburg Ohio – Sherwood Anderson
  10. Moby Dick – Herman Melville
  11. White Noise – Don DeLillo
  12. Austerlitz – W.G. Sebald
  13. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter – Carson McCullers

@Xris32


  1. Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
  2. Wide Sargasso Sea – Jean Rhys
  3. The English Patient – Michael Ondaatje
  4. Waterland – Graham Swift
  5. The Siege of Krishnapur – Farrell
  6. The Wasp Factory – Iain Banks
  7. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  8. Giovani’s Room – James Baldwin
  9. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things – John McGregor
  10. Love in the time of Cholera – Gabriella Garcia Marquez
  11. Stoner – John Edward Williams

@stoneman_claire

  1. The Bloody Chamber – Angela Carter
  2. Paradise Lost – John Milton
  3. The Turn of the Screw – Henry James
  4. Krapp’s Last Tape – Samuel Beckett
  5. Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
  6. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy

@DavidDidau

  1. War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy
  2. Hadji Murad – Leo Tolstoy
  3. The Odyssey (currently enjoying Emily Wilson’s stripped down verse translation) – Homer
  4. Pale Fire – Vladimir Nabokov
  5. Beowulf – Seamus Heaney
  6. HhHH – Laurent Binet

@heymrshallahan

  1. England Made Me – Graham Greene
  2. The Country of the Blind and other stories – HG Wells
  3. Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguru
  4. A Portrait of a Lady – Henry James
  5. The Ginger Man – J P Donleavy

@gwenold

  1. 1984 – George Orwell
  2. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  3. Everything is Illuminated – Safran Foer
  4. The Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
  5. Stoner – John Edward Williams
  6. Wise Children, & Nights at the Circus – both by Angela Carter
  7. The War of the Worlds – H.G. Wells
  8. The Moonstone – Wilkie Collins
  9. Mort, Wyrd Sisters, Small Gods, Jingo, A Slip of The Keyboard – all by Terry Pratchett
  10. Thursday Next – Jasper Fforde
  11. Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguru
  12. The Return of the Native – Thomas Hardy

@SaysMiss

  1. Stoner – John Edward Williams
  2. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius – Dave Eggers
  3. A Whole Life – Robert Seethaler
  4. Nod – Adrian Barnes
  5. A Thousand Acres – Jane Smiley

@evenbetterif

  1. Beloved – Toni Morrison
  2. Paradise Lost – John Milton
  3. The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov
  4. Lanny – Max Porter
  5. The Book Thief – Markus Zusak
  6. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
  7. The White Hotel – DM Thomas
  8. Ruby – Cynthia Bond
  9. Return of The Native – Thomas Hardy
  10. The Road – Cormac McCarthy
  11. Long Way Down – Jason Reynolds

@mr_englishteach

  1. Trainspotting – Irvine Welsh
  2. London Fields – Martin Amis
  3. A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess
  4. 1984 – George Orwell
  5. Collected Short Stories – Nikolai Gogol
  6. Lanark – Alisdair Grey
  7. High Rise – JG Ballard
  8. Blood Meridian – Cormac McCarthy
  9. Lucky Jim – Kingsley Amis
  10. Life and Fate – Vasily Grossman

@Positivteacha

  1. A Gentleman in Moscow – Amor Towles
  2. A Kestrel for a Knave – Barry Hines
  3. In Cold Blood – Truman Capote
  4. Love in the Time Of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  5. Rabbit, Run – John Updike

@NooPuddles

  1.  It – Stephen King
  2. The Knife of Never Letting Go – Patrick Ness
  3. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
  4. Sapiens – Yuval Noah Harari
  5. A Short History of Nearly Everything – Bill Bryson

@TLPMsF

  1. Stoner – John Edward Williams
  2. The Collector – John Fowles
  3. The Pigeon – Patrick Suskind
  4. How to stop time – Matt Haig
  5. Mrs Robinson’s Disgrace – Kate Summerscale
  6. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close – Jonathan Sarfran Foer
  7. If nobody speaks of remarkable things – Jon McGregor
  8. Hangover Square – Patrick Hamilton
  9. Giovanni’s Room – James Baldwin
  10. The Swimming Pool Library – Alan Hollinghurst
  11. Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
  12. Crime and Punishment – Dostoyevsky
  13. Basil – Wilkie Collins

@mssfax

  1. Jude the Obscure – Thomas Hardy
  2. Wolf Hall – Hilary Mantel
  3. Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe
  4. The Secret History – Donna Tartt
  5. If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things – Jon McGregor
  6. The Famished Road – Ben Okri
  7. Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
  8. Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  9. Remains of the Day – Kazuo Ishiguru

@SusanSEnglish

  1. All the lights we cannot see – Anthony Doer
  2. The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
  3. The Night Watch – Sarah Waters
  4. Birdsong – Sebastian Faulks
  5. 1984 – George Orwell
  6. Regeneration – Pat Barker
  7. Germinal – Emile Zola
  8. A Little Life – Hanya Yanaghari

Understandably, many of the teachers felt unable to limit their choices to the ones offered. Even deciding what is a favourite is not an easy thing to do, but I thank these teachers for contributing, and I hope it helps your summer reading ventures. It’s certainly given me some direction.

I’m Paul Moss. Follow me on Twitter @edmerger, and follow this blog for more English teaching resources.

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