I am pleased to announce that award-winning author Stewart O’Nan will spend the day on campus on Friday, October 5th. In preparation for his visit, all students are assigned this summer to read his novel Last Night at the Lobster. O'nan's book should prompt thoughtful reflection on what it means to be a good man. Last Night at the Lobster offers “a poignant yet redemptive look at what a man does when he discovers that his best might not be good enough.”
Part of what makes Stewart O’Nan appealing as a visiting author is the variety of his work. Last Night at the Lobster is a humorous and dramatic piece of realistic fiction, but O’Nan is perhaps most well-known for his work in the horror genre. Students wishing to explore his books further are encouraged to read A Prayer for the Dying, a grisly story set in the Civil War era. Faithful, a non-fiction work that he co-wrote with Stephen King about the 2004 Boston Red Sox season, might also be of interest. Feel free to draw your own conclusions about being a modern-day Red Sox fan and horror stories.
As you read the material at the top of the enclosed "Required Summer Reading List," (.pdf) you will learn that you will be evaluated on your summer reading, Last Night at the Lobster and Zeitoun. By preparing well this summer, you will be ready to excel on the first evaluations of the school year.
How to get the Summer Reading Books:
Click here to order your son's summer reading books from our AOF online bookstore...
Here are some more tips that will help you enjoy your reading and perform commendably on the tests:
- Pick out a great place to read-perhaps a local park, a lounge chair under your favorite tree, or a comfortable chair in your home.
- Determine a set time to read each day-perhaps on a lunch break at work, during that quiet hour before/after dinner, or at night when the rest of the family has quieted down.
- Savor the opportunity to learn about people, places, things, and events that are new to you.
- Slow down. Don't be in a hurry. Feel free to go back and re-read.
- Periodically, stop and jot down notes. Include in your notes a list of characters with brief descriptions, a chronology of events, and some initial responses to the above questions, and what you think the author is revealing about a particular society, life in general, human relationships, or human behavior. These notes will be a saving grace when you need to review on the night before the test-after all, it is foolish to expect yourself to remember in September the details of what you read in June, July, and August.
Of course, your teachers and I encourage you to read more than the "required" summer reading. To help you choose additional reading, members of the English Department, Baxter Library staff, and students have considered what books might be especially appealing to Avon boys and assembled those titles in a Suggested Summer Reading publication.
I wish you many enjoyable hours of reading.
Graham Callaghan, ’95
English Department Chairman
Visiting Author & Suggested Summer Reading List
Honors & AP Required Summer Reading List