Book Recommendation – Ariana Orne (Class of 2015)

Thanksgiving has come and gone, and yet, you still have all of this free time on your hands. Planning on going to the movies? Before you do, check out this book review from Ariana Orne:

Catching Fire (Book 2 in the Hunger Games trilogy)
by Suzanne Collins


A book I would recommend is Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. Last weekend, the movie came out. After seeing the movie, It made me realize how much more value a book can have then something on a screen. The book portrays different meanings behind things and gives the story more meaning. It includes scenes that may not be as vital in a movie, but in the book there is much more emphasis and importance on this story. If you are looking for a quick enjoyable read, this is one for you.

Book Recommendation – Jamey Cullinan (Class of 2015)

Jamey’s book recommendation marks the first student entry that we received for this webpage. If you wish to endorse one of your favorite books on our page, please send Mr. Lally your recommendation (5-10 sentences on why people would like this book) and we will post it when we can. Thank you, Jamey, for your book recommendation!

Silver Linings Playbook
by Matthew Quick


This is book is very well written. Quick makes the narration of the main character Pat Peoples very believable. Pat Peoples does tend to swear and even get a little violent but Quick makes you sympathize with Pat because the the way his thoughts and opinions are written and described. After reading this book you will find yourself thinking like Pat Peoples. Maybe after reading about Pat’s story you will begin to recognize silver linings in life.

Mega-List of the Top 100 Books of All Time

On his blog in 2008, Neil Bowers compiled ten lists of “top 100 books” into one master list, based on what books showed up how often and how well on each of the ten lists. The lists themselves ranged from the purely academic to public opinion polls, and considered lists from the US, UK, Canada and Australia.

If you are looking for a good read over the upcoming vacations, here is a great place to start!

We are pleased to see 12 core BHS titles on this list, including three of the top four, now that 1984 has become a core text for British Literature (starting within the next 2 years). If you include books that have recently been used in our AP courses, or that have been taught within the past 5 years at BHS, then our list is around 17 or 18 titles.

Where possible, book titles are linked through to the Project Gutenberg free ebook.

Rank Book Author
1. Nineteen Eighty-Four George Orwell
2. The Great Gatsby F. Scott Fitzgerald
3. The Grapes Of Wrath John Steinbeck
4. The Catcher in the Rye J.D. Salinger
5. Catch-22 Joseph Heller
6. One Hundred Years Of Solitude Gabriel García Márquez
7. Gone with the Wind Margaret Mitchell
8. Ulysses James Joyce
9. On The Road Jack Kerouac
10. The Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
11. To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee
12. Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
13. Wuthering Heights Emily Brontë
14. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe C.S. Lewis
15. Great Expectations Charles Dickens
16. War and Peace Leo Tolstoy
17. Lolita Vladimir Nabokov
18. Animal Farm George Orwell
19. Crime And Punishment Fyodor Dostoyevsky
20. Anna Karenina Leo Tolstoy
21. Lord Of The Flies William Golding
22. Brideshead Revisited Evelyn Waugh
23. Midnight’s Children Salman Rushdie
24. Love In The Time Of Cholera Gabriel García Márquez
25. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams
26. Jane Eyre Charlotte Brontë
27. The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien
28. To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf
29. Middlemarch George Eliot
30. Rebecca Daphne du Maurier
31. Dune Frank Herbert
32. Brave New World Aldous Huxley
33. A Prayer For Owen Meany John Irving
34. Watership Down Richard Adams
35. The Sound and the Fury William Faulkner
36. Little Women Louisa May Alcott
37. Invisible Man Ralph Ellison
38. Anne Of Green Gables LM Montgomery
39. Emma Jane Austen
40. Memoirs Of A Geisha Arthur Golden
41. Beloved Toni Morrison
42. Of Mice And Men John Steinbeck
43. The Heart of Darkness Joseph Conrad
44. Les Miserables Victor Hugo
45. The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame
46. The Da Vinci Code Dan Brown
47. Tess Of The D’Urbervilles Thomas Hardy
48. Winnie the Pooh A.A. Milne
49. Birdsong Sebastian Faulks
50. Captain Corelli’s Mandolin Louis de Bernieres
51. Slaughterhouse Five Kurt Vonnegut
52. Life of Pi Yann Martel
53. A Clockwork Orange Anthony Burgess
54. The Count Of Monte Cristo Alexandre Dumas
55. A Passage to India E.M. Forster
56. Moby Dick Herman Melville
57. A Suitable Boy Vikram Seth
58. The Stand Stephen King
59. Possession A.S. Byatt
60. Madame Bovary Gustave Flaubert
61. A Tale Of Two Cities Charles Dickens
62. The Trial Franz Kafka
63. I, Claudius Robert Graves
64. The Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood
65. The Secret History Donna Tartt
66. His Dark Materials Philip Pullman
67. The Harry Potter Series J.K. Rowling
68. The Brothers Karamazov Fyodor Dostoyevsky
69. Don Quixote Miguel de Cervantes
70. Sons and Lovers D.H. Lawrence
71. The Pillars Of The Earth Ken Follett
72. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce
73. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn Mark Twain
74. The Kite Runner Khaled Hosseini
75. An American Tragedy Theodore Dreiser
76. Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland Lewis Carroll
77. Bleak House Charles Dickens
78. The Time Traveller’s Wife Audrey Niffenegger
79. A Fine Balance Rohinton Mistry
80. The Sun Also Rises Ernest Hemmingway
81. Nostromo Joseph Conrad
82. Under the Volcano Malcolm Lowry
83. The Golden Notebook Doris Lessing
84. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter Carson McCullers
85. The Stranger Albert Camus
86. Native Son Richard Wright
87. Gravity’s Rainbow Thomas Pynchon
88. The Poisonwood Bible Barbara Kingsolver
89. Perfume Patrick Süskind
90. Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe
91. David Copperfield Charles Dickens
92. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory Roald Dahl
93. Pale Fire Vladimir Nabokov
94. Persuasion Jane Austen
95. Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand
96. The Tin Drum Gunter Grass
97. Vanity Fair William Makepeace Thackeray
98. Atonement Ian McEwan
99. Light in August William Faulkner
100. The Secret Garden Frances Hodgson Burnett

The Devil’s Advocate is Back!

The Devil’s Advocate, the BHS newspaper, is back in print! The first print edition of the newspaper since 2010 came out today, and it looks great. The Fall 2013 paper features articles on the new staff members at BHS, previews of the fall play and the student government’s 2013-14 plans, reviews, news, games and more!

Congratulations to the Journalism students, and especially to our Journalism teacher, Ms. Graham, for getting this paper out to everyone. And BHS, if you didn’t get a copy this morning, look around – you’ll probably see a teacher or student reading up on what’s going on at BHS.

Newspaper1 2013-11-22 07.48.49

Poetry Out Loud 2014 – Dates are Set!

It’s Coming! The eighth annual Poetry Out Loud competition has declared its official dates for the 2013-14 school year, and this year, our semifinals and our finals find themselves on opposite sides of midterm week. The dates for this year’s competition are as follows:

Semifinals (all-day event, open only to English classes): January 15 (January 16 as snow day)

Finals (School-wide event): January 29 from 9 to 11 AM (January 30 snow date)

This year, all seniors and juniors will attend the finals. Any sophomores or freshmen who have an English class during either of the two periods of the finals will also be in attendance. The Poetry Out Loud print anthology has not been updated this year, so the list of eligible poems that are NOT on the Poetry Out Loud website remains the same as it was last year. That list, as well as the BHS house rules for the competition, the history of the competition and its winners, and more can be found on the BHS Poetry Out Loud page.

Looking for a poem? Check out the Teachers’ Recommendation Page for some good ideas. Gather ye rosebuds, students!

BHS Students: Write a Book Recommendation for This Site!

At the top of this page, you’ll find a “Read It” tab, where BHS English teachers (past and present) have given book recommendations along with a quick description of why you might like to read the book. But not it is your chance to take the reins!

If you would like to write a book review for our Read It! page, we will be accepting submissions between now and December 20th. Provide the title, the author, and a brief (5-10 sentence) explanation of the book (NO SPOILERS!) and why your BHS peers might like to read it. If you can add an image of the book cover, that would be great as well. These recommendations can be classics, beach reads, books that are being turned into movies, or non-fiction. Just tell us what you like, and why it is awesome.

To submit your book recommendation, please email your thoughts to Mr Lally ( and we will get to as many of them as we can. Thanks!

(PS: This offer is also available for teachers and staff as well – let’s see what you have on your must-read list!)

Great Things are Happening at The Devil’s Playlist

If you haven’t checked out the latest BHS after school club, The Devil’s Playlist, then what are you waiting for? The Devil’s Playlist is a music appreciation / music journalism club that meets to discuss music, and that writes reviews and recommendations about different styles of music (the advisor is BHS English teacher, Mrs. Janovitz). They’ve recently begun a series where they have teachers reveal what songs they really likes when they were 16 (The entries by Mr. Whitten and Dr. Nassif are truly excellent), and they also feature recent reviews and essays by Matt Martin, Irina Grigoryeva, Yitzhak Maurer, and Matt Ackerman. So if you are interested in discovering some great new music, or just finding out what everyone else is listening to, check out…


Smith College Poetry Contest for H.S. Girls in Grades 10 & 11

Smith College is running its annual poetry contest for high school girls in New England in grades 10 & 11. If you are interested in submitting your work, please visit their website:

The deadline for submissions is 12/1/13

Top prize is $500, plus the pride you will feel in being an award-winning poet. Good luck!