Long time no see!....Well, for me, anyway.....As to BF, we had a very bad experience with it last year. The "guide" turned out to be a list of titles and comprehension questions for SOME of the titles but not all. We tried the US and World History one, BTW, and felt like I'd wasted my money.
Answers to your questions: There are no set number of books that have to be read for high school credit, although most colleges expect one year of American lit, one of British lit, and one of mixed or "genre exposure" - usually done through short stories. And most "programs" that you see require three to four full novels minimum, with poetry and a few shorter pieces thrown in. Yes, analysis is typically done through essays, in preparation for the analytical essays required in college. As to grammar, you should really only need one year or so of a review. The rest of his "language arts" should come in the form of writing - essays, reports, narrations of his readings, creative writing, etc. - and these assignments could come from ALL his subjects, not just "English". You'd have to check for proper grammar, spelling, etc. and correct any mistakes you found, but really, it would be enough. Do some sort of vocabulary building work, or simply have him keep a list of words when he finds them in his reading - create his own personal glossary, if you will, of words he doesn't know, and/or misspells when writing.
As to alternatives to BF - I like the looks, but not the price, of Lightning Literature by Hewitt Homeschool. And since I didn't like the price, I went searching elsewhere. I found an OK resource in GA Virtual Online courses. I say OK because I don't really like online learning, or public school based stuff, but it worked as a resource for ideas. I copied and pasted to create a "real" book we could use offline, and supplemented where the videos are (half of the ones we tried wouldn't work for us.) I'll share the link, just in case you want to give it a try: GA Virtual Online 9th Grade Literature and Composition.
You can see other courses in the little nav box on the left of the page. Another option for you might be Learning language Arts Through Literature's two high school courses. You could also check out some of the Charlotte Mason sites - Ambleside Online, Simply Charlotte Mason, Charlotte Mason Help - and peruse their high school literature choices and come up with your own reading list for each year.
One option to the reading/literature dilemma would be to use the "point system". Create a book list of various titles - you'll want a nice selection for him to choose from. Then assign each book a point value - 1/2 point for less than 100 pages, 1 point for 100 - 200 pages, 1 1/2 points for 200 - 300 pages, 2 points for over 300 - and then come up with a total number of points he has to read for the year. (For my kids, I asked for 10 points.) We did this all through middle school, and for the life of me I can't think of why we aren't using it for high school.....May have to change that next year! LOL