Each department at Brooks School has its own summer reading requirements for students. Current students and parents can access those lists by logging into their OnBrooks accounts and navigating to Groups > Summer Reading & Assignments. Below, we have posted the English Department summer reading expectations, so you can get a sense of what our students will be doing over the summer. Click on the book titles for additional information.
The teachers of the Brooks School English Department believe that reading is a fundamental part of a student’s education, and it is our responsibility to communicate our joy in reading books of all types. While we acknowledge that reading for school involves a unique set of needed skills, we also understand that reading for pleasure is perhaps more important to becoming a life-long reader.

The English Department’s summer reading program attempts to blend the pure joy of choosing one’s own book to read at one’s leisure, and the skill of close reading for an academic setting.

Students must choose two (2) books from the following titles to read before the opening of school in September. The books have been organized into categories to make the decision easier. One (1) of the books must come from the category Classics, but the second book can be chosen from any of the lists.

To aid in students’ decisions, books marked with an (*) are offered with younger readers in mind, though we place no restriction on choice. We hope that this process will prompt discussion at home about reading and literature!

English classes in the fall will devote an early writing assignment to the analysis and review of these summer books.

The English Department would also like to introduce the Summer Reading Challenge! Students who read four, eight or twelve books from the lists will receive prizes and be recognized publicly for their enthusiasm and accomplishments! We will also recognize the student who has read the most books from our lists: the Summer Reading Champion!

*NOTE: AP English Literature students are required to read three (3) books: two (2) from the Classics category, and one from any of the other categories. Students in non-English AP courses (any grade level) that require summer work may limit their required English Department books to one, chosen from any of the categories. This must be cleared with the English Department Chair. 


List of 12 items.

  • 1984*

    By George Orwell
    This classic dystopian tale introduces the idea that our government may have the power – and the desire – to keep its citizens under close surveillance…very close. How many of us hear the echoes of Big Brother in the various elements of our digital life today?
  • Beloved

    By Toni Morrison
    Sethe, born a slave but escaped to Ohio, cannot break free of the memory of bitter slavery and the beautiful farm where such horrible things happened. Suspenseful and poetic, Morrison’s classic novel tells the tale of a woman fleeing the demons of her past and the ghost of her baby, who died nameless. Morrison confronts grand themes like slavery and the internal conflicts of her protagonist with the same powerful prose.
  • Bless Me, Ultima*

    By Rudolfo Anaya
    Antonio is six when Ultima comes to stay with his family. Considered a curandera, one who heals with herbs and magic, she takes Antonio under her wing where he discovers himself in magical secrets as real as the Catholic tradition in Latin America. Set against family and community turmoil in New Mexico, Anaya’s prose is lyrical and haunting.
  • Catch-22

    By Joseph Heller
    Fifty years after its original publication, Catch-22 remains a cornerstone of American literature and one of the funniest—and most celebrated—books of all time. In recent years it has been named to “best novels” lists by Time, Newsweek, the Modern Library, and the London Observer. 
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls

    By Ernest Hemingway
    This classic has it all: love, honor, courage and defeat. Perhaps the greatest war novel of all time. Hemingway packs this novel with stuff like, “No animal has more liberty than the cat, but it buries the mess it makes. The cat is the best anarchist.” 
  • Invisible Man

    By Ralph Ellison
    Ellison’s novel offers a nightmare journey across the racial divide, telling unparalleled truths about the nature of bigotry and its effects on the minds of both victims and perpetrators. One of the most audacious and dazzling novels of the 20th century. 
  • Pride and Prejudice

    By Jane Austen
    A shrewd and witty satire that doubles as a tale of rural romance set in the English countryside. This book has become one of the most beloved books in the English language.
  • Silas Marner

    By George Eliot
    A gentle linen weaver is accused of a heinous crime. Exiling himself, he becomes a recluse, only to find redemption in his love for an abandoned child who mysteriously appears one day in his isolated cottage. Somber yet hopeful, Eliot's stirring tale continues to touch the human spirit.
  • The Bell Jar

    by Sylvia Plath
    An intense, emotional novel about a young woman’s descent into insanity caused by the suffocating expectations of society. Plath at her grittiest and most emotionally intense.
  • The Call of the Wild*

    By Jack London
    Follow Buck, a domesticated ranch dog, as he is stolen and introduced into the violent, primitive world of sled dogs in Alaska. Buck is forced to adapt and tap into primal instincts in order to survive. 
  • The Nick Adams Stories

    By Ernest Hemingway
    A thinly-veiled autobiography, this collection of beautifully-written short stories follows a young man named Nick Adams as he fishes in northern Michigan, skis in the Alps, and learns about life from his physician father.
  • The Razor’s Edge

    By M. Somerset Maugham
    Larry Darrell is a young American in search of the absolute. The progress of his spiritual odyssey involves him with some of Maugham's most brilliant characters. Maugham himself wanders in and out of the story to observe his characters struggling with their fates.

Literary Fiction

List of 10 items.

  • A Prayer for Owen Meany*

    By John Irving
    In the summer of 1953, an eleven-year old boy hits a foul ball that kills his best friend’s mother. The batter doesn't believe in accidents; he believes he is God's instrument. What happens next is extraordinary: beautifully written, hilarious, and heart rending.
  • All The Light We Cannot See*

    By Anthony Doerr
    A beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller. A blind French girl and a German boy collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.  Doerr’s lyrical use of language makes for gripping prose packed with striking metaphors.
  • Americanah*

    by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    Ifemelu, a Nigerian immigrant, struggles with her adjustment to the U.S.: the culture shock, the hardships, the racism. Irreverent and sharp, Ifemelu begins a blog exploring what she calls “Racial Disorder Syndrome.” Adichie is a fantastic writer, exposing stereotype and facing issues head-on.
  • How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents*

    By Julia Alvarez
    Alvarez’s debut novel tells the story of four sisters growing up across two cultures as their family flees tyranny in the Dominican Republic and arrives in New York City in 1960.
  • Interpreter of Maladies

    By Jhumpa Lahiri
    Winner of the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, this collection of short stories follows the emotional journeys of characters seeking connection beyond the barriers of cultures and generations. Lahiri insightfully captures the lives of first-generation Indian Americans and immigrants with subtlety and clarity.
  • My Name is Lucy Barton

    By Elizabeth Strout
    The past indeed bends the present in this novel of a charged mother/daughter relationship. The New York Times describes it as “powerful and melancholy.”
  • Sacred Hunger

    By Barry Unsworth
    A failing Liverpool merchant makes a last ditch effort to recoup his fortunes by building and outfitting a slave ship. This is the story of the ship’s voyage, the mutiny which results in the establishment of a multi-racial utopian community on the coast of Florida, and ship owner’s son’s dark lust for revenge.
  • The Ciderhouse Rules

    By John Irving
    Set in rural Maine in the first half of the last century, this is the story of Dr. Wilbur Larch -- saint and obstetrician, founder and director of the orphanage in the town of St. Cloud's. It is also the story of Dr. Larch's favorite orphan, Homer Wells, who is never adopted. A deeply moving and compelling story that explores the abortion debate with humor and evenhandedness.
  • The Orphan Train*

    By Christina Baker Kline
    Molly is getting too old for the foster care system, and performing community service is the only way to stay out of juvie. Through that service, Molly forms an unlikely friendship with the elderly Vivian, and their two stories become inextricably and fascinatingly intertwined.
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower*

    By Stephen Chbosky
    This cult-favorite coming of age story is honest, hilarious and heartbreaking, navigating the troubled waters of loss, love, friendship and relationships in the world of an eclectic collection of adolescents.

Mystery and Suspense

List of 7 items.

  • Everything I Never Told You

    By Celeste Ng
    A teenage girl goes missing and is later found to have drowned in a nearby lake, and suddenly a once tight-knit family unravels in unexpected ways. A common story type with a unique perspective examining stereotypes.
  • Mystic River

    By Denis Lehane
    A gritty Boston tale of an unspeakable crime coming back years later to haunt three men. Lehane’s intricate detective story reveals truths about human nature – some that are difficult to face. A tragedy of Shakespearean proportion, set in Brooks' backyard.
  • Road Dogs

    By Elmore Leonard
    From the quintessential master of smart dialogue, Leonard pays out a tight plot and unforgettable characters. No one does this genre better than Leonard.
  • Rule of the Bone

    By Russell Banks
    Though not a mystery in the strict sense, this story of a punk from upstate New York who runs from his crimes only to find himself on a journey of self-discovery is an adventure on several levels.
  • The Count of Monte Cristo*

    By Alexandre Dumas
    Thrown in prison for a crime he has not committed, Edmond Dantes is confined to the grim fortress of If. There he learns of a great hoard of treasure hidden on the Isle of Monte Cristo, and he becomes determined not only to escape, but also to unearth the treasure, using it for a complex plot of revenge.
  • The Cutting Season

    By Attica Locke
    Locke confronts matters of race and conscience in this powerful novel. Intertwining two mysteries, one contemporary and one a hundred years old, Locke tells us the story of Caren Gray, rooted to a Louisiana plantation by her family and by a murder investigation into which she is reluctantly drawn. What family secrets will she learn?
  • The Whites

    By Richard Price
    Back in the 1990s, when Billy Graves worked in the South Bronx as part of an anti-crime unit known as the Wild Geese, he made headlines by accidentally shooting a ten-year-old boy. Branded a cowboy, Billy spent years in one dead-end post after another. Now, called to a fatal slashing of a man in Penn Station, his investigation uncovers connections to the former members of the Wild Geese. The bad old days are back in Billy’s life with a vengeance.


List of 8 items.

  • A Confederacy of Dunces

    By John Kennedy Toole
    The picaresque novel of the modern age, masterfully blending the elements of ribald farce and sophisticated intellect. The New York Times calls it “an epic comedy -- nothing less than a grand, comic fugue.” 
  • A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again

    By David Foster Wallace
    Cruise ships, tennis, state fairs and more — this is a collection of essays by Wallace, whose wit, humor and prose are a powerful combination.
  • Bossypants

    By Tina Fey
    Television personality and writer Tina Fey hilariously walks us through her ascent to stardom, including all the obstacles and pitfalls faced by women in the entertainment industry. If you think she’s funny and perceptive on screen, she’s even better in print.
  • Into the Heart of Borneo

    By Redmond O'Hanlon
    The story of a 1983 journey to the center of Borneo, which no expedition had attempted since 1926. O'Hanlon, accompanied by friend and poet James Fenton and three native guides, brings wit and humor to a dangerous journey.
  • Me Talk Pretty One Day

    By David Sedaris
    Humorist Sedaris moves to France and chronicles his adventures learning the language, while continuing to turn his laser wit on his family along with the rest of humanity. Sedaris’ language and graphic situations make this a book for the mature reader.
  • Naked

    By David Sedaris
    The essay collection that solidified David Sedaris' preeminent role as cultural critic and self-deprecating humorist. His descriptions of growing up in a wildly dysfunctional family are hilarious and pointed. NOT your typical memoir, and more for the mature reader.
  • The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven*

    By Sherman Alexie
    This collection of short stories has been described as a cultural love story, a hilarious and heartbreaking ode to Alexie’s Coeur d’Alene Native American background. 
  • Thereby Hangs a Tail*

    By Spencer Quinn
    This or any others in this series about a private eye, Bernie Little, and his dog, Chet, will keep you amused and intrigued. Chet — the dog — is the narrator.

Non-Fiction and Memoir

List of 11 items.

  • Between the World and Me

    By Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Coates gives a profound and disturbing meditation on what it’s like to be black in America. The title is taken from a poem by Richard Wright.
  • I Am Malala

    By Malala Yousafzai
    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. When she was fifteen, she was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's recovery has taken her on a journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she became a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.
  • I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings*

    By Maya Angelou
    Here is a book as joyous and painful, as mysterious and memorable, as childhood itself. Angelou’s debut work captures the longing of lonely children, the brute insult of bigotry, and the wonder of words that can make the world right.
  • In Cold Blood

    By Truman Capote
    Capote reconstructs a small-town Kansas murder and the investigation that led to the capture, trial, and execution of the killers, generating both mesmerizing suspense and astonishing empathy. This is a work that transcends its moment, yielding poignant insights into the nature of American violence.
  • Steve Jobs*

    By Walter Isaacson
    The complex story of a man who changed the world and who now stands among the greatest inventors and thinkers in history. This biography sheds light on Jobs’ strengths, weaknesses and contradictions. 
  • The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to his White Mother*

    By James McBride
    The author’s mother, a Polish immigrant and daughter of an itinerant rabbi in the South, flees to New York and lands in Harlem, where she meets and marries a black man in 1941. The author realizes that the key to finding peace within himself is exploring the story of the most interesting person he has ever known: his own mother.
  • The Glass Castle*

    By Jeanette Walls
    Walls details with loving sensitivity her nomadic childhood, including poignant and sharp depictions of parents suffering from mental illness and alcoholism. You’ll be amazed at Walls’ determination to rise above incredible challenges to become a successful writer and television producer.
  • The Other Wes Moore: Two Names, One Fate*

    By Wes Moore
    Two Wes Moores, born blocks apart within a year of each other. Both grow up fatherless in similar Baltimore neighborhoods; both hang out on street corners and run into trouble with the police. How, then, does one grow up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader, while the other ends up a convicted murderer serving a life sentence? 
  • Townie

    By Andre Dubus III
    After his parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III grew up with his overworked mother in a depressed Haverhill, Massachusetts saturated with drugs and everyday violence. Ultimately, he decided to take up his pen and write his way up from the bottom and into a new relationship with his famous father.
  • Unbroken*

    By Laura Hillenbrand
    This mesmerizing book tells the story of Louis Zamperini, who channels his delinquent tendencies into running, discovering a talent that carries him to the Berlin Olympics. But when the athlete becomes an airman it leads to a doomed flight on a May afternoon in 1943. When his Army Air Forces bomber crashes into the Pacific Ocean, against all odds, Zamperini survives, adrift on a foundering life raft. But his challenge after that might be even greater. 
  • We Should All Be Feminists*

    By Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    In this personal, eloquently-argued essay—adapted from her much-admired TEDx talk of the same name—Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, award-winning author of Americanah, offers readers a unique definition of feminism for the twenty-first century, one rooted in inclusion and awareness. 


List of 11 items.

  • Brown Girl Dreaming*

    By Jacqueline Woodson
    In vivid, image-rich free verse, Woodson tells the story of growing up in both the South and the North in the 60s and 70s, facing the remnants of Jim Crow with a growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement. 
  • Citizen: An American Lyric*

    By Claudia Rankine
    Rankine’s work has been described as groundbreaking, urgent, and vital to our discussion of race in this country -- quite an accomplishment for poetry!
  • Dewdrops on a Lotus Leaf*

    By Ryokan
    Despite the gulf of time and culture, Zen monk Ryokan’s spare snapshots of the natural world and the human one from his hermit’s perspective strip life down to its most basic, and resonate even today, centuries later. 
  • Donkey Gospel

    By Tony Hoagland
    Hoagland's generous effervescence and jujitsu cleverness sparkle through line after line as he confronts negotiation and compromise, gender and culture, sex and rock music, sons and lovers, truth and beauty. This often funny and always thoughtful book of poems offers fresh, surprisingly frank meditations on the credentials for contemporary manhood.
  • Dream Work*

    By Mary Oliver
    Poet Mary Oliver has been called “the indefatigable guide to the natural world,” and has turned her attention in these poems to the solitary and difficult labors of the spirit, to accepting the truth about one's personal world, and to valuing the triumphs while transcending the failures of human relationships.
  • Let Evening Come (collected poems)*

    By Jane Kenyon
    Jane Kenyon’s deceptively simple poems are almost meditations; they succeed in transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. Kenyon’s work is so accessible as to lull the reader into considering the meaning of our very lives.
  • Open House*

    By Beth Ann Fennelly
    These poems, like those of Robert Frost, rely on deceptive simplicity to offer a feast for the thoughtful reader. Any of her volumes of poetry are worth reading.
  • Opened Ground: Selected Poems, 1966-1996*

    By Seamus Heaney
    Seamus Heaney is a master poet who connects nature, emotion, and even plot, in a brilliant and particularly Irish poetry. These poems elicit a reaction that begins at emotional imagery, veers into thought, and ends up touching your soul. 
  • Poems*

    By Elizabeth Bishop
    The themes in Bishop’s poetry are geography and landscape -- from New England, where she grew up, to Brazil and Florida, where she later lived. Her poems look at human connection with the natural world, questions of knowledge and perception, and the ability or inability to control chaos.
  • The Coyote’s Trace*

    By Ekiwah Adler-Belendez
    Mary Oliver writes in the introduction: “His poems exist beyond the empirical, the rational, the obedient, the quiet, or, even worse, the quieted.” Belendez, from Amatlan in Central Mexico and confined to a wheel chair by cerebral palsy since birth, has produced an incredible collection of work that deftly explores the boundaries between our physical and spiritual worlds. 
  • The Rose That Grew in Concrete*

    By Tupac Shakur
    Discovered only after his death, this handwritten collection reveals deeply personal reflections on Tupac’s contradictory world. The poems are ultimately hopeful while at the same time exploring dark emotions.


List of 11 items.

  • Eleven Seconds*

    By Travis Roy
    A devastating injury just eleven seconds into his college hockey career left Travis Roy in a wheelchair for life. This is the story of a remarkable spirit of determination, courage and perspective.
  • Every Day I Fight*

    By Stuart Scott
    In his posthumously released memoir, the ESPN anchor chronicles the battle with cancer that ultimately claimed his life but never took his spirit. There is no quit in Stuart.
  • Into Thin Air*

    By Jon Krakauer
    Journalist-climber Jon Krakauer chronicles his attempted ascent of Mt. Everest, abruptly thwarted by storm and tragedy. Krakauer sorts through complex emotions including guilt and anger over the lost lives of friends and rivals. A riveting and honest memoir.
  • King of the World: Muhammed Ali and the Rise of The American Hero*

    By David Remnick
    Remnick’s masterful biography of the man behind the myth and stereotype: Muhammed Ali, perhaps the most controversial and greatest boxer of all time.
  • Open

    By Andre Agassi
    Andre Agassi had his life mapped out for him before he left the crib. Groomed to be a tennis champion by his demanding father, Agassi had won the first of his eight grand slams and achieved wealth and fame by the age of twenty-two. A treat for ardent fans, it is also a wrenching chronicle of Agassi’s lifelong search for identity and serenity as he wrestles with a sport he comes to resent.
  • The Art of Fielding

    By Chad Harbach
    A college baseball star, Henry Skrimshander seems destined for the big leagues until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended, and they are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties and secrets. 
  • The Old Man and the Sea*

    By Ernest Hemingway
    Maybe not a sports book in the strict sense, but if you’re a fisherman or a baseball fan, you’ll love this classic battle of wits between human and fish.
  • The Power of One*

    by Bryce Courtenay
    In 1939, hatred and the seeds of apartheid took root in South Africa. There, a small, weak boy was born. He spoke the wrong language: English. He was nursed by a woman of the wrong color: black. His childhood was marked by humiliation and abandonment. Yet he vowed to survive and gained strength through boxing, ultimately becoming champion of the world. 
  • The River Why*

    By David James Duncan
    The sport of fishing provides the bait in this humorous novel about young Gus, whose goal of fishing for hours is derailed by a host of misadventures. Duncan’s characters and deftly crafted plot set the hook.
  • Wait Till Next Year

    By Doris Kearns Goodwin
    The story of a young girl growing up on Long Island in the 1950s, weaving a number of levels of experience: Catholicism, friends, neighbors, and family. Her mother teaches her a love of books, and her father teachers her a love of baseball. A lyrical story that deals with big issues like love, death and growing up. 
  • Zen and the Art of Archery*

    By Eugen Herrigel
    In a short, concise narrative, Herrigel identifies the heart of Zen with perfect clarity. Herrigel’s writing is subtle and profound, and Bryan Bruya calls it a “simple artistry that itself carries the signature of Zen.” 

Science Fiction and Fantasy

List of 13 items.

  • Brave New World*

    By Aldous Huxley
    Far in the future, the World Controllers have created the ideal society. Through clever use of genetic engineering, brainwashing and recreational sex and drugs, all its members are happy consumers. Huxley's ingenious fantasy of the future sheds a blazing light on the present.
  • Ender’s Game*

    By Orson Scott Card
    In order to develop a secure defense against a hostile alien race's next attack, government agencies breed child geniuses and train them as soldiers. Ain this skillful coming of age story, the title character battles loneliness, fear, and his complex relationship with his sister.
  • Frankenstein

    By Mary Shelley
    The story of Victor Frankenstein's terrible creation and the havoc it caused has enthralled generations of readers and inspired countless writers of horror and suspense. Considering the novel's enduring success, it is remarkable that it began merely as a whim.
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children*

    By Ransom Riggs
    As a child, Jacob lived for his grandfather's stories. After his grandfather's death, 16-year-old Jacob receives a mysterious letter that propels him to visit the remote Welsh island where his grandfather grew up. There, he finds the children from the stories -- alive and well. Part mystery, part fantasy, part adventure, this novel is a great read for the grown up Harry Potter fans who likes their beach reads a bit dark. 
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

    By Seth Grahame-Smith
    A clever send-up of Austen’s classic tale. A deadly plague spreads across the English countryside, wreaking havoc with love and romance.
  • Station Eleven*

    By Emily St. John Mandel
    In one night, a flu pandemic begins to devastate the world’s population, and a Hollywood actor dies on stage during a production of King Lear. Follow Kristen, the young child actor on stage that night, into the dystopian aftermath of the disease. 
  • The Antelope Wife

    By Louise Erdrich
    Pulitzer Prize finalist Erdrich is known as a chronicler of deep themes within the Native American community. This classic novel has enthralled readers for more than a decade with its powerful themes of fate and ancestry, tragedy and salvation. Weaving together multiple storylines and generations, Erdrich ingeniously illuminates the effect of history on families and cultures, Ojibwe and white.
  • The Handmaid’s Tale

    By Margaret Atwood
    In this fable of the near future, the Republic of Gilead (formerly the United States) takes far-right ideals to extremes in its monotheocratic government. The resulting society is a feminist's nightmare, where women are strictly controlled, unable to have jobs or money and assigned to specific classes.
  • The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings*

    By JRR Tolkien
    The Hobbit, a simple but groundbreaking children’s fantasy, set in motion the writing and publication of one of the most popular books ever published in the English language: The Lord of the Rings. Read The Hobbit as prologue, and we bet you won’t be able to stay away from LOTR.
  • The Magicians*

    By Lev Grossman
    This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels (most obviously, those of J. K. Rowling and C. S. Lewis) in order to upend them, and tells a darkly cunning story about the power of imagination itself. As much a coming of age story as a fantasy tale, this book lets us know that our imaginary worlds are not so different than our real ones.
  • The Martian*

    By Andy Weir
    Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there. Drawing on his ingenuity and his engineering skills, he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. 
  • The Passage

    By Justin Cronin
    Do you like zombies? Vampires? Dystopian tales? Cronin’s literary take on these classic horror tropes is riveting and downright terrifying, exploring humans’ innate fear of disease, the dark, and monsters. It makes The Walking Dead look like Dr. Seuss.
  • The Road

    By Cormac McCarthy
    McCarthy with savage beauty unfolds an archetypal journey of a father and his young son through a post-apocalyptic landscape. The horror and wretchedness therein is juxtaposed only by their relationship. Know that this is a bleak read. As for looking toward the future, “There is no later,” the book says starkly. “This is later.” 
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