Here is a collection of books that your teachers in your A-Level courses have prepared for you. They can be found either 1) in the Shrewsbury Library, 2) in the departmental offices, or 3) in digital version on iBook or Kindle. Please spend some time considering which book you would like to read. Spend some time online reading about the books that most interest you. If you have questions about any of these titles, please see your Reading the World teacher, or your A-Level subject teacher.

Included here is also a collection of books recommended by the Careers Department. Some of the books are specifically about universities, but others deal with larger themes of critical thinking, problem solving, and big ideas. These can and should be consulted as part of your thinking and planning for your university application process.


  1. A History of Modern Art – H.H. Arnason
  2. Ways of Seeing – John Berger
  3. Investigating Modern Art – Liz Dawtrey
  4. The Use of Images – E.H. Gombrich
  5. Meaning in the Visual Arts – Erwin Panofsky
  6. The Shock of the New – Robert Hughes
  7. Art Now (Taschen)



  1. How I Made It: 40 Successful Entrepreneurs Reveal How They Made Millions
    An essential read for anyone that is thinking about starting their own business. Successful Entrepreneurs are interviewed about how the spotted a gap in a market, and developed a USP.
  2. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
    Malcolm Gladwell
    A very readable and fascinating book, which looks into the reasons products becomemarket leaders.
  3. The Google Story
    – David A. ViseAn interesting investigation into the culture at Google, includes insights into the four day working week and soft management styles. The questions is; are these the things that made Google the world’s number one search engine?
  4. The Toyota Way: 14 Management Principles from the World’s Greatest Manufacturer
    Jeffrey LikerCovers Japanese Management Techniques such as Kaizen and TQM.
  5. Billions of Entrepreneurs: How China and India Are Reshaping Their Futures and Yours
    Tarun KhannaAn investigation into Asia’s two growing economic powers.
  6. Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur
    – Sir Richard Branson The autobiography of Britain’s most famous entrepreneur.
  7. Sun Tzu – The Art of War for Managers: 50 Strategic Rules Updated for Today’s Business
    – Gerald A. MichaelsonApplying the ancient Chinese rules of battle to modern day business.
  8. The Intelligent Investor 
    – Benjamin Graham The classic book on stock market investment, as recommended by Warren Buffet.
  9. No Logo
    – Naomi Klein Klein investigates the negative side to marketing and globalisation.
  10. House of Cards: How Wall Street’s Gamblers Broke Capitalism
    –William D Cohan / Explains the reason behind the continuing global financial crisis, which started in September 2008.


1. Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You’ll Ever Need — Daniel Pink

2. A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age — Daniel Pink

3. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates UsDaniel Pink

4. Looking Beyond the Ivy League — Loren Pope

5. Colleges that Change Lives — Loren Pope

6. Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance — Atul Gawande

7. In Pursuit of Elegance: Why the Best Ideas Have Something Missing — Matthew May

8. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life — Anne Lamott



  1. The Craftsman – Richard Sennett
  2. Design for the Real World – Victor Papanek
  3. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert M. Pirsig
  4. Against the Odds – James Dyson
  5. My Life as an Inventor – Trevor Baylis




  1. Cherry Orchard – Anton Chekhov
  2. Mother Courage – Bertolt Brecht
  3. The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui – Bertolt Brecht
  4. A Doll’s House –Henrik Ibsen
  5. Woyzeck – Georg Buchner
  6. The Pillowman – Martin McDonagh
  7. 4.48 Psychosis – Sarah Kane
  8. An Actor Prepares – Stanislavski


  1. The Undercover EconomistTim Harford
  2. Age of InstabilityDavid Smith
  3. The Ascent of MoneyNiall Ferguson
  4. The Cash Nexus – Niall Ferguson
  5. New Ideas from Dead EconomistsTodd G. Buchholz
  6. Why Globalization Works – Martin Wolf
  7. Making Globalisation Work – Joseph Stiglitz
  8. The Bottom Billion – Paul Collier
  9. FreakonomicsSteven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  10. Super FreakonomicsSteven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner
  11. The Innovation secrets of Steve Jobs – Carmine Gallo
  12. Keynes: The Return of the Master – Robert Skidelsky
  13. A Colossal Failure of Common Sense (the Collapse of Lehman Brothers) – Larry McDonald
  14. Too Big to Fail – Andrew Ross Sorkin
  15. Sun Tsu: The Art of War for Managers – Gerald Michaelson
  16. The Truth About Markets – John Kay
  17. Crash of the Titans (Fall of Merrill Lynch etc) – Greg Farrell


  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
  3. Sons and Lovers – DH Lawrence
  4. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  5. 1984 or Burmese Days – George Orwell
  6. The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka
  7. The Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
  8. The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
  9. On the Road – Jack Kerouac
  10. Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha – Roddy Doyle
  11. Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
  12. Sophie’s Choice – Jostein Gaarder


  1. March Was Made of Yarn: Reflections on the Japanese Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Meltdown – Elmer Luke and David Karashima  (Kindle edition).
  2. Moby-Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographers, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them – Donovan Hohn (Kindle edition).
  3. Too Many People?: Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis – Ian Angus, Simon Butler (Kindle edition).
  4. Seven Billion – Anna Russo (Kindle Edition)
  5. What Every Environmentalist Needs to Know About Capitalism – Fred Magdoff and John Bellamy Foster (Kindle edition)
  6. 2:46: Aftershocks: Stories from the Japan Earthquake – William Gibson, Yoko Ono, Barry Eisler, et al.



Texts to help students develop their understanding in preparation for A2

  1. The debate on Black Civil Rights in the USA – Kevern Verney (ISBN-13: 978-0719067617)
  2. The Autobiography of MLK Jr (ISBN-13: 978-0349112985)
  3. The Cold War – John Lewis Gaddis (ASIN: B00666VA9M)


Texts students should have read by the start of their study of History at undergraduate level (Classic texts)


  1. What is History? – EH Carr (ISBN 978-0333977019)
  2. The Pursuit of History – John Tosh (ISBN 978-0582894129)
  3. The Histories of Herodotus (ASIN: B001C0JBU2)
  4. The Communist Manifesto and Other Works – Karl Marx (ASIN: B002C758MY)
  5. Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War (ASIN: B002RI99EQ)
  6. The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire – Edward Gibbons (ASIN: B007CM4EV0)


  1. I live in the future and here’s how it works – Nick Bilton
  2. Presentation Zen – Garr Reynolds
  3. Future Minds – How the digital age is changing our minds, why this matters and what we can do about it – Richard Watson
  4. The Cult of the Amateur: How blogs, MySpace, YouTube and the rest of today’s user-generated media are killing our culture and economy – Andrew Keen
  5. In the Plex: How Google thinks, works and shapes our lives by Steven Levy
  6. A history of the Internet and the digital future – Johnny Ryan
  7. The Net delusion – how not to liberate the world – Evgeny Morozov


  1. Seventeen Equations that Changed the World  – Ian Stewart
  2. The Man Who Knew Infinity – Robert Kanigel
  3. Gödel, Escher, Bach – Douglas Hofstadter
  4. The Colossal Book of Mathematics – Martin Gardner
  5. The Man Who Loved Only Numbers: An Original BiographyPaul Erdős,
  6.  Fermat’s Last Theorem Simon Singh
  7. The Code Book: The Science of Secrecy from Ancient Egypt to Quantum Cryptography : — Simon Singh



  1. The Outsider – Albert Camus
  2. Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert
  3. Confessions – Rousseau
  4. Les misérables – Victor Hugo
  5. Old Goriot – Balzac
  6. Dangerous Liaisons – Laclos
  7. Candide – Voltaire
  8. A Bag of marbles – Josef Joffo (short stories)
  9. Essays – Montaigne
  10. L’avare ( the miser) – Molière
  11. Les fleurs du mal/ Flowers of evil  – Baudelaire (poetry)


  1.  Spring – Ba Jin
  2. Mist Over Dream Lake – Qiong Yao
  3. My Hometown – Lu Xun


The following texts are are available in English.

  1. Elephant Vanishes – Haruki Murakami
  2. 10 Dreams – Soseki Natsume
  3. Kokoro –Soseki Natsume
  4. Doctor’s wife – Sawako Ariyoshi
  5. Women in the dune – Kobo Abe
  6. Out – Natsuo Kirino

It might be tricky to find books by the following authors in English, but they are great writers and very popular amongst Japanese High School students.

  • Kotaro Isaka
  • Keigo Higashino
  • Atsuko Asano
  • Shion Miura
  • Naoki Hyakuda

The following non-fiction books would help any reader understand contemporary Japan.

  1. Underground – Haruki Murakami
  2. Let’s do what we can do – Shigesato Itoi

*     Any other books about Earthquake and Tsunami in 2011


  1. Music: A Very Short Introduction – Nicholas Cook
  2. Rhinegold Focus Guides (Baroque, Classical, Romanticism, Modernism)
  3. Stephen Fry’s Incomplete and Utter History of Classical Music — Stephen Fry
  4. A History of Western Music — Grout/Palisca


  1. Touching The Void – Joe Simpson
  2. Into Thin Air – Jon Krakauer
  3. Born To Run – Christopher McDougall
  4. Perfection Point – John Brenkus
  5. The Running Man – Gilbert Tuhabonye
  6. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running – Haruki Murakami
  7. Bounce: How Champions Are Made – Matthew Syed 


  1. How the Mind Works – Steven Pinker (Cognitive Psychology)
  2. Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
  3. The 6 Thinking Hats – Edward de Bono
  4. Jigsaw Man – Paul Britton (Criminal Psychology-offender profiling)
  5. A Child Called It – David Pelzer (Child Psychology-the importance of attachments and deprivation/privation and its reversibility)
  6. Sybil – Flora Rheta Schreiber (Clinical Psychology-multiple personality disorder, the powerfulness of the unconscious mind and the use of psychotherapy)
  7. Anorexic–Anna Paterson (Clinical Psychology-Eating disorders as a mental health disorder, and also on treatments/therapy for eating dirorders)
  8. A Beautiful Mind – Sylvia Nasar (Clinical Psychology-Schizophrenia)




  1. Aquatic Ape Theory –Elaine Morgan (available on kindle)
  2. Naked Ape – Desmond Morris (available on kindle)
  3. Genome – Matt Ridley (available on kindle)
  4. Paradigms Regained –John L Casti  (In the library)
  5. The Pig That Wants to be Eaten – Julian Baggini. (available on Kindle)
  6. Six Easy Pieces – Richard Feynman (In the library)
  7. QED the strange theory of light  – Richard Feynman (In the library)
  8. Chemical Storylines (Salters Advanced Chemistry) Heinemann publishers (In the library)
  9. Earth Odyssey – Mark Hertsgaard (2000)  (In the library)
  10. The Periodic Table – Primo Levi (In the library)
  11. Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements – Hugh Aldersey-Williams (available on Kindle)
  12. A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking (In the library)
  13. The Selfish Gene – Richard Dawkins (available on Kindle)
  14. The Origins of Virtue or The Red Queen – Matt Ridley(available on Kindle)
  15. Guns, Germs and Steel – Jared Diamond (more anthropology than pure Science though) (available on Kindle)
  16. The Fabric of Reality – David Deutsch(available on Kindle)
  17. Science: A history – John Gribbin (available on Kindle)
  18. The Age of Wonder – Richard Holmes (available on Kindle)
  19. Surely you’re Joking Mr Feynman – Richard Feynman (available on Kindle)
  20. A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L’Engle (can be found in Physics dept and Maths have a copy too.)
  21. The Cosmic Onion – Frank Close (available on Kindle)