College PrepSATSAT Reading

SAT® Reading Book List: A Complete Guide

Reading a wide range of books is a great way to prepare for the reading section of the SAT® exam. If you can make a habit of reading as much as possible, you are sure to boost your performance in this section.

As you prepare for the reading section, consider adding these books to your reading list. The College Board® has an extensive list of 102 books that they suggest reading.

 Here are our top picks for you:

  1. Anonymous: Beowulf 
  2. Achebe, Chinua: Things Fall Apart 
  3. Austen, Jane: Pride and Prejudice 
  4. Baldwin, James: Go Tell It on the Mountain 
  5. Beckett, Samuel: Waiting for Godot
  6. Bronte, Charlotte: Jane Eyre 
  7. Bronte, Emily: Wuthering Heights 
  8. Cervantes, Miguel: Don Quixote 
  9. Chekhov, Anton: The Cherry Orchard 
  10. Chopin, Kate: The Awakening 
  11. Conrad, Joseph: Heart of Darkness 
  12. Crane, Stephen: The Red Badge of Courage 
  13. Dickens, Charles: A Tale of Two Cities 
  14. Dostoyevsky, Fyodor: Crime and Punishment 
  15. Douglass, Frederick: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass 
  16. Ellison, Ralph: Invisible Man 
  17. Emerson, Ralph Waldo: Selected Essays 
  18. Faulkner, William: The Sound and the Fury 
  19. Fitzgerald, F. Scott The Great Gatsby 
  20. Hardy, Thomas: Tess of the d’Urbervilles 
  21. Hawthorne, Nathaniel: The Scarlet Letter 
  22. Heller, Joseph: Catch 22 
  23. Hemingway, Ernest: A Farewell to Arms 
  24. Homer: The Iliad 
  25. Hurston, Zora Neale: Their Eyes Were Watching God 
  26. Huxley, Aldous: Brave New World 
  27. Ibsen, Henrik: A Doll’s House 
  28. James, Henry: The Portrait of a Lady 
  29. Kafka, Franz: The Metamorphosis 
  30. Kingston, Maxine Hong: The Woman Warrior 
  31. Lee, Harper: To Kill a Mockingbird 
  32. London, Jack: The Call of the Wild 
  33. Marquez, Gabriel Garcia: One Hundred Years of Solitude 
  34. Melville, Herman: Moby Dick 
  35. Miller, Arthur: The Crucible 
  36. Morrison, Toni: Beloved 
  37. Plath, Sylvia: The Bell Jar 
  38. Remarque, Erich Maria: All Quiet on the Western Front 
  39. Salinger, J.D.: The Catcher in the Rye 
  40. Shakespeare, William: Hamlet 
  41. Shakespeare, William: Macbeth 
  42. Shakespeare, William: A Midsummer Night’s Dream 
  43. Shakespeare, William: Romeo and Juliet 
  44. Shaw, George Bernard: Pygmalion Journey into Night 
  45. Orwell, George: 1984 
  46. Shelley, Mary: Frankenstein 
  47. Silko, Leslie: Marmon Ceremony 
  48. Sophocles: Antigone 
  49. Steinbeck, John: The Grapes of Wrath 
  50. Stowe, Harriet Beecher: Uncle Tom’s Cabin 
  51. Thoreau, Henry David: Walden 
  52. Tolstoy, Leo: War and Peace 
  53. Twain, Mark: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn 
  54. Voltaire: Candide 
  55. Vonnegut, Kurt Jr.: Slaughterhouse-Five 
  56. Walker, Alice: The Color Purple 
  57. Whitman, Walt: Leaves of Grass 
  58. Wilde, Oscar: The Picture of Dorian Gray
  59. Woolf, Virginia: To the Lighthouse 
  60. Wright, Richard: Native Son

Remember, the reading section of the SAT test examines your skills with finding evidence, pinpointing how the author uses evidence to support claims, making connections between graphics and passages, using contexts to decipher the meaning of words, and reflecting on how word choice impacts the text. As you read some of these books in preparation, read actively to refine your skills. Try to pick a few from different genres, disciplines, or eras to become comfortable with the wide range of texts you will encounter on test day. Adding this kind of active reading to your daily routine can make an impact on your scores. Track your performance and improvements using UWorld’s SAT Prep course, with thousands of sample questions and practice exams to prepare you for test day!