暑期阅读书单 Reading List in Summer Vocation

2021/07/06 21:53












Our teachers recommended a series of classic books to enrich students’ summer vacation life. In addition, it can also prepare for further enrollment as a part of professional reading program.


The book list is recommended in combination with students’ practical learning progresses and in accordance with the characteristics of different grades.


IGCSE Students


House of Hollow


By Krystal Sutherland


A dark, twisty modern fairytale where three sisters discover they are not exactly all that they seem and evil things really do go bump in the night.
Iris Hollow and her two older sisters are unquestionably strange. Ever since they disappeared on a suburban street in Scotland as children only to return a month a later with no memory of what happened to them, odd, eerie occurrences seem to follow in their wake. And they’re changing. First, their dark hair turned white. Then, their blue eyes slowly turned black. They have insatiable appetites yet never gain weight. People find them disturbingly intoxicating, unbearably beautiful, and inexplicably dangerous.

I would recommend this for grade 9 or 10. It would appeal to readers who like authors such as Amelie Wen Zhao or Julie C. Dao. (Creepy and Dark)





Amazing Physics



This book covers physics and dark technology in the life, such as 5G, glasses-free 3D, Pneumatic Tubes. The book includes not only macroscopical physics principles like gravitational waves, black holes and the Big Bang theory, and but also microcosmic philosophy, such as Schrodinger’s cat, quantum entanglement and uncertainty principle. There are also summaries of major laws of physics, covering the law of conservation of energy, Einstein’s equations and the entropy increase principle. Each story is designed to satisfy curiosity and tackle questions about the world, helping you discover the charm of rational and logical thought by transforming your thinking mode to make life easier.



We Have No idea



Curiosity drives us constantly to explore and make progress. This is a popular science book that evokes curiosity. You will be amused by its language style and illustrations. You will find the theory not boring or dry because this book encourages the science-enthusiasts to explore the wonderful world by a series of unsolved mysteries of the universe, rather than focus on explanation and conclusion. Reading the book, you will understand that there are many unknown areas to explore, and feel excited about it. This book will tell you why mysteries of the universe mean a lot to humanity, and the miraculous facts behind it. By doing so, you will learn about how to view the world from different perspectives, and make sense that the future is full of amazing possibilities through realizing our own ignorance.


Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World


By Jack Weatherford


It is a well written and well-read book on the Mongol Empire from the time of Genghis Khan through the reign of Kubulai Khan. This book gives great detail into the early life of Tenmugen and the struggles and realities of living during a tumultuous period. Highly recommended for an understanding of this period.



A-Level Students


Thinking, Fast and Slow


By Daniel Kahnemann


Written by a Nobel Prize-winning economist, this book appears on the Oxbridge recommended reading list for psychology. However, it is useful far beyond just studying psychology, as it looks into the relationship between making logical decisions and making decisions based on feeling. Use the insights in this book to push yourself to be more a more considered and careful person, and achieve the best you are capable of.



The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer


By Siddhartha Mukherjee


Looks at the history of cancer  – looking the ways to cure, control and conquer it.







The hit movie Interstellar released a few years ago was presented in the background of time travel. The popular science book with the same name helps us have deeper understandings of this fancy concept of “time travel”. The author shows us a reverse process by carefully popularizing and explaining the physical concepts such as black holes, wormholes, singularities and high-dimensional space in the movie Interstellar one by one, and transforming the metaphysical science fiction concepts into modern science close to life. If the movie version of Interstellar is as wonderful as an unreal dream attracting infinite fascination with the universe, this book provides you a real entrance into that dream.


Think Like an Engineer


学生Caesar Chen推荐

Recommended by Caesar Chen



Introduction: This book describes the work experience of several famous engineers in history and some major projects they involved. Through these stories, the author introduces the potential difficulties that an engineer may encounter in his work and how a qualified engineer should think, communicate and solve problems.

This book is suitable for the high school students interested in becoming engineers. You can learn about the responsibilities, needs and the thinking mode as an engineer in advance if you would like to learn professional knowledge without the fundamental ability and knowledge. It can be said that the cultivation of a reasonable way of thinking, a correct attitude facing problems and a sufficient sense of responsibility are significantly helpful and important for university study and work in the future. At the same time, interviewers  and university professors more prefer to these engineer-quality students.


The Great Mathematical Problems 


By Ian Stewart


There are some mathematical problems whose   significance goes beyond the ordinary – like Fermat’s Last Theorem or   Goldbach’s Conjecture – they are the enigmas which define mathematics. This   book explains why these problems exist, why they matter, what drives   mathematicians to incredible lengths to solve them and where they stand in   the context of mathematics and science as a whole.

It contains solved problems – like the Poincaré Conjecture,   cracked by the eccentric genius Grigori Perelman, who refused academic   honours and a million-dollar prize for his work, and problems which, like the   Riemann Hypothesis, remain baffling after centuries. Stewart is the   guide to this mysterious and exciting world, showing how modern   mathematicians constantly rise to the challenges set by their predecessors,   as the great mathematical problems of the past succumb to the new techniques   and ideas of the present.




Mathematical Puzzles: A Connoisseur’s Collection 


By Peter Winkler


Collected over several years by Peter Winkler, dozens of elegant, intriguing challenges are presented in this book. The answers are easy to explain, but without this book, devilishly hard to find. Creative reasoning is the key to these puzzles. No involved computation or higher mathematics is necessary, but your ability to construct a mathematical proof will be severly tested – even if you are a professional mathematician. For the truly adventurous, there is even a chapter on unsolved puzzles.



Towards Higher Mathematics: A Companion


By Richard Earl



Containing a large and varied set of problems, this rich resource will allow students to stretch their mathematical abilities beyond the school syllabus, and bridge the gap to university-level mathematics. Many proofs are provided to better equip students for the transition to university. The author covers substantial extension material

using the language of sixth-form mathematics, thus enabling students to understand the more complex material. There are over 1500 carefully graded exercises, with hints included in the text, and solutions available online. Historical and contextual asides highlight each area of mathematics and show how it has developed over time.




By George Orwell


This dystopian novel by George Orwell was written 35 years before the date referenced by the title. In this book, Orwell tells a story that warns readers about the possible consequences of complacency in the face of rising dictators (think Hitler and Stalin) and burgeoning technology ripe for misuse.



The Grapes of Wrath


By John Steinbeck


The Grapes of Wrath centers around the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in American history. It’s a story of hope and despair, moving from one to the other and back again seamlessly throughout the novel. While loaded with biblical allusions, it is not heavy-handed with them, and the writing is often praised as realistic and beautiful.



How the Irish saved Civilization


By Thomas Cahill


The untold story of Ireland’s role in maintaining   Western culture while the Dark Ages settled on Europe. Every year millions of   Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but they may not be aware of how great   an influence St. Patrick was on the subsequent history of civilization. Not   only did he bring Christianity to Ireland, he instilled a sense of literacy   and learning that would create the conditions that allowed Ireland to become   “the isle of saints and scholars” — and thus preserve Western culture   while Europe was being overrun by barbarians. In this entertaining and   compelling narrative, Thomas Cahill tells the story of how Europe evolved   from the classical age of Rome to the medieval era. Without Ireland, the   transition could not have taken place. Not only did Irish monks and scribes   maintain the very record of Western civilization — copying manuscripts of   Greek and Latin writers, both pagan and Christian, while libraries and   learning on the continent were forever lost — they brought their uniquely Irish   world-view to the task. As Cahill delightfully illustrates, so much of the   liveliness we associate with medieval culture has its roots in Ireland. When   the seeds of culture were replanted on the European continent, it was from   Ireland that they were germinated.



IGCSE & A-level



The Cellist of Sarajevo


By Steven Galloway


This is an extraordinary story based on one true event during the siege of Sarajevo. The characters are fictional, but their stories show the extraordinary heroism of ordinary people in times of hardship. Dragan, and Kenan go on seemingly normal journeys to find water and get food in a war-torn city, encountering the terrible decisions they must make to stay human. Meanwhile, the sniper Arrow takes on an impossible task that challenges her knowledge of herself. I recommend this for students in Year 10 and up – it will broaden your vocabulary.



The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime


By Mark Haddon


A young autistic boy is intrigued by the mysterious death of his neighbour’s dog. He investigates the dog’s death, but learns far more than that, coming to understand the relationships between adults and his family life. For the reader, this is a wonderful look at how autistic people interact with the world, showing a side that is not often seen. This is a good book for Year 9 and up: everyone has something that they can learn from it.



Bad Science


By Ben Goldacre


The book looks at how the general public determine if claims are scientifically based or if its just bad science.



The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers  




Looks at the history of how dead bodies   (cadavers) have helped science over the last 2000 years!



Euclid’s Window: The Story of Geometry from Parallel Lines to Hyperspace


By Leonard Mlodinow


Anyone who thought geometry was boring or dry should prepare to be amazed. Despite its worthy cover this book is exactly what its title says – a story – and the plot of this story involves life, death and revolutions of understanding and belief. It stars the some of the most famous names in history, from Euclid who laid the logical foundations, to Albert Einstein, who united space and time in a single non-Euclidean geometry. It offers an alternative history of mathematics, revealing how simple questions anyone might ask about space – in the living room or in some other galaxy – have been the hidden engines of the highest achievements in science and technology.





By Ian Stewart


In 1884, Edwin A. Abbott published “Flatland”; a brilliant novel about mathematics and philosophy that charmed and fascinated all of England.  Now, Ian Stewart has written a fascinating, modern sequel to Abbott’s book. Through larger-than-life characters and an inspired story line, “Flatterland” explores our present understanding of the shape and origins of the universe, the nature of space, time, and matter, as well as modern geometries and their applications.



Things to Make and Do in the Fourth Dimension


By Matt Parker


This is the complete guide to exploring the fascinating world of maths you were never told about at school. Stand-up comedian and mathematician Matt Parker uses bizarre Klein Bottles, unimaginably small pizza slices, knots no one can untie and computers built from dominoes to reveal some of the most exotic and fascinating ideas in mathematics. Starting with simple numbers and algebra, this book goes on to deal with inconceivably big numbers in more dimensions than you ever knew existed. And always with something for you to make or do along the way.



Excursions in Number Theory


By C. Stanley Ogilvy and John Anderson


This delightful volume, by two well-known mathematicians, invites readers to join a challenging expedition into the mystery and magic of number theory. No special training is needed – just high school mathematics, a fondness for figures and an inquisitive mind.

Beginning with familiar notions, the authors skillfully transport the reader to higher realms of mathematics, developing the necessary concepts along the way. Included are thorough discussions of prime numbers, number patterns, irrationals and iterations and calculating prodigies, among other topics.




The Adventures of Ibn Battuta


By Ross Dunn


An interesting view into the vast and diverse world of islam during the 14th century. Dunn does an excellent job of interweaving the narrative of Ibn Battuta’s itinerary with a brief history of the area he was traveling in, while also peppering in his own analysis and explanations of where the scholarship currently resides on this figure. Well-paced and never really dull, Dunn gives you just enough details and background info without bogging the reader down in dry facts, and the pictures/maps are well woven into the book itself.



The Odyssey


By Homer


The Odyssey is an epic poem nearly three thousand years old that’s attributed to the blind poet Homer. It tells the story of a war hero’s ten-year quest to return to his home, wife, and son. He encounters a number of varied setbacks along the way, and the trouble isn’t over when he gets home. The Odyssey deals with human interactions with the gods, bringing up questions of righteousness, wrongdoing, and pride as well as ideas of faithfulness and patience.

《奥德赛》是一部距今近3,000年的史诗作品,相传为盲诗人荷马所作。 作品讲述了一个战争英雄10年后重返故园,回到妻儿身边的故事。一路上,他遇到了各种各样的困难,即便回到了家,麻烦也没结束。本书围绕人神间的交流,引发一系列关于正义、恶行、傲慢的思考,以及对于忠诚和坚忍的看法。


The Art of War


By Krystal Sutherland


The Art of War dates back to the fifth century BC, and is an ancient Chinese military handbook. Attributed to the intelligent military strategist Sun Tzu, the title of the work is Master Sun’s Rules of Warfare when literally translated from Chinese. The book contains 13 chapters, each of which are dedicated to a single aspect of warfare strategy. Emperor Shenzong of Song deemed it the most important of China’s Seven Military Classics in 1080 and it is still one of the most influential strategy texts in East Asia. Leaders such as Mao Zedong, General Douglas MacArthur, and General Vo Nguyen Giap are said to have drawn inspiration from Sun Tzu’s famous work.

《孙子兵法》可追溯到公元前5世纪,是一部古老的中国兵书,作者为中国古代军事战略家孙武(孙子)。该书原英文名按照字面意思译为Master Sun’s Rules of Warfare. 书中共设13章节,每一章讲述某一方面的具体兵法策略。元丰三年(公元1080年),宋神宗将该书列为中国《武经七书》之首。今天,该书在东亚地区仍是一本最具影响力的军事战略书籍。中国伟大领袖毛泽东、美国陆军上将道格拉斯·麦克阿瑟和越南前党政军领导人武元甲大将等均曾从此书中获取灵感。