Heads Up Blog: Summer Reading Suggestions for Adults

We have now published our summer reading lists for students, and recent conversations about this topic have prompted us to offer a few suggestions for our parents. Feel free to add your own suggestions by replying to the Heads Up Blog post.
Summer Reading Suggestions for Adults...
We Were Eight Years In Power, Ta-Nehisi Coates
The book collects various articles, all of which focus on the African-American experience, that Coates wrote for The Atlantic during the eight years of the Obama presidency. This was the Cathedral School staff summer read for 2018.
Barbarian Days, William Finnegan
Finnegan’s memoir of surfing around the world- California, Hawaii, Fiji, Portugal. A literary and compelling Künstlerroman. You don’t need to be a surfer to enjoy Finnegan’s exploits. Finnegan won a Pulitzer for this effort.
The Lost City of Z, David Graham
Graham, a writer for the New Yorker, retells the adventures and plight of British explorer Percy Fawcett and his decades-long obsession to find the ancient civilization of El Dorado lost in the Amazonian jungle.
The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace, Jeff Hobbs
The enthralling and poignant biography of a brilliant African-American student, who attempts to escape the forces and perils of his Newark neighborhood as he makes his way to a Catholic boys’ school and later to Yale.
News of the World, Paulette Jiles
A retired Army Captain and professional newspaper reader transports a young girl, recently rescue from Kiowa Indians, through post-Civil War Texas to reunite her with her family. The circumstances they encounter are both humorous and harrowing, and the relationship they forge is poignant. A National Book Award Finalist.
Lost in the Meritocracy, Walter Kirn
Kirn’s memoir describes the arch of his educational career from elementary school to the Ivy League, only to discover a vapid and hollow system that exalts accolades and artifice over depth and substance. Kirn must revert to great works of literature to rediscover the pleasure of learning.
Matterhorn, Karl Merlantes
A young lieutenant battles the Viet Kong, the jungle, fear, and racism during a battle to capture and recapture a mountain that the military brass has called the Matterhorn. Perhaps one of the best Vietnam novels of all time? Written by a Rhodes Scholar and Vietnam veteran.
Black Swan Green, David Mitchell
The novel follows a boy, his struggles, and his ascension during his thirteenth year in Worcestershire, England in the early 1980’s. The fact that the protagonist strives to overcome an embarassing stammer makes his plight all the more arduous, and eventually, all the more uplifting.
True Grit, Charles Portis
A young girl, Mattie Ross, hires a cantankerous U.S. Marshal, the superbly named Rooster Cogburn, to avenge her father’s murder. Each of these two head-strong characters is exasperated by that attribute in the other, though they eventually develop a begrudging respect that carries the pair through their adventures in a lawless and lonesome territory.
The Secret History, Donna Tartt
Donna Tartt’s debut novel about a student, who finds his way to a small, liberal arts. College in Vermont and falls under the spell of a charismatic and eccentric Classics professor. The novel offers an enthralling amalgam of academia, friendship, romance, class, and murder! Tartt’s experience as a student at Bennington College served as an inspiration for her work.

Cathedral School for Boys

1275 Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone 415-771-6600
Fax 415-771-2547
Located in San Francisco, CA, Cathedral School for Boys is an independent elementary school for boys in grades K-8. Our mission is to provide an excellent education through intellectual inquiry and rigor that is centered in the Episcopal tradition and is respectful of and welcoming to people of all religious traditions and beliefs.