What is on Your Summer Reading List?
The sun is shining, the temperature is rising and school is out. It is summer and that means soaking up the rays and catching up on all that reading you did not have time for during the year. What books are you planning to read? For some suggestions, we asked around Kent State University's Campuses:
I am reading several books from Brazil, in Portuguese, this summer: O Sol na Cabeca by Giovani Martins, a novel by a young Brazilian writer raised in a slum in Rio de Janeiro; Porque Perdeu? by Marcelo de Mello, a study of Brazil’s annual samba competition during Carnival; O Preto que Falava Idiche by Nel Lopes, a novel about Jews and Afro-Brazilians in Rio de Janeiro in the early 20th century; 1968: o Ano que nao Terminou by Zeunir Ventura, an historical study of protests and cultural currents in Brazil in 1968. The year ended with a draconian military decree suspending the right to trial, and the implementation of censorship.
The leadership team is reading Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education by Nathan D. Grawe. I also plan on reading The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn. I read the first four pages while leafing through it in the book and magazine section of the grocery store and haven’t stopped thinking about it. I also have The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware, on my list.
I’m reading Calypso by David Sedaris; 12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson and The Soul of America by Jon Meacham.
I will be reading The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson. It is 500+ pages. This book is likely be a summer, fall, and spring read!
This summer, I have started to read Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson, a wonderfully well written and fascinating look at the life of the great Master. I have read several books on Leonardo, but this by far is the best. I am much more a reader on non-fiction, but this summer, inspired by the terrific television series The Terror, I have added the book of the same name by Dan Simmons to my beach bag. It is a true story sprinkled with a bit of fiction regarding Captain Sir John Franklin's real-life lost expedition of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror to the Arctic, in 1845–1848, in their quest to locate the Northwest Passage. If the book is half as good as the series, I will be thrilled!
My summer book reads are not for pleasure but will include: Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education by Nathan D. Grawe; and Reframing Academic Leadership by Lee G. Bolman and Joan V. Gallos. Any other reads will include whatever children's books my son picks out at the Hudson library.
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloots. I've read this book before, but I want to settle in and savor every word. Much of what we have learned in studies related to cancer and other diseases are because of this woman who gave so much - should be a must read of all who desire to be biomedical researchers; Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin. This (hidden) autobiography will capture his essence and keep me turning the pages.
I plan to read the Seat of the Soul by Gary Zukav and Originals by Adam Grant. They will both provide personal and professional nourishment this summer and challenge me to think deeper and differently. I am hoping to “read” them sitting by a body of water, but if not, I will “listen” to them while walking, running or riding!
I will be reading an oldy: How We Think by John Dewey; as well as The Soul of America by Jon Meacham; and Measure What Matters by John Doerr. I will also finish Walter Isaacson’s Leonardo Da Vinci.
A mix of work and pleasure -- my summer reads include: Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In by Roger Fisher and William Ury; The Power of Noticing: What the Best Leaders See by Max Bazerman; The Western Reserve: The story of New Connecticut in Ohio by Harlan Hatcher; The Medici Effect by Franz Johansson; Best American Poetry 2017 ed. By David Lehman (for the beach).
I am an avid literary fiction fan. I'm currently really interested in stories about displacement (due to war, natural disasters) and immigration. I am planning to read: We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo; The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma; Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. For those of you who are non-fiction fans, I highly recommend Weapons of Math Destruction by Cathy O'Neil. The book tackles an important issue---“the dark side of data science” -- in a thoughtful way. The author convincingly and passionately argues that math is not just for solving the world's problems; it is responsible also for fueling some of them. Her discussion of ethical issues and how mathematical models, data, and algorithms are used to manipulate society is very interesting.
I’ve made it my mission for the past few summers to focus my summer readings on books and authors that have either won Pulitzer Prizes in fiction (or those who were named “finalists) in the past 25 years. It surprises me how many great works I’ve somehow missed over the last 2.5 decades.
Right now, I’m reading The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark. I also have American Gods by Neil Gaiman and The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, on my list for the summer. I think the last funny book I read was Skinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen….it’s a good vacation read, if you’re interested. I also used to re-read the whole Harry Potter series every summer…not sure there’s time this year, but you never know!
For fun, I’m reading Jake Tapper’s The Hellfire Club and Mark Sullivan’s Beneath a Scarlet Sky, a novel (based on a true story). I’ve had three books on my shelf staring at me for months now about technology and media that also touch on my research area of the First Amendment, protest and political communication. I’ll read them this summer, too. They are Whose Global Village: Rethinking How Technology Shapes our World by Ramesh Srinivasan; #Republic: Divided Democracy in the Age of Social Media by Cass Sunstein; and, Zeynep Tufekci’s Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest.
One of the great advantages to working in academia is that I have friends who also are scholars. This summer I have four books on my must-read list and three are by friends. One is The Defiance of Global Commitment by my sociology colleague Brian Castellani, which constructs complex social psychology about how people are responding to globalization. The other two are an edited volume, British Queer History, which includes an article Films and Filming by my friend Justin Bengry, who heads up the Queer History MA at Goldsmiths in London, and Queen and Country: Same-Sex Desire in the British Armed Forces, 1939-45, by my friend Emma Vickers, who is a history professor at Liverpool John Moores University. The final book is a return to a favorite—Paul Thompson’s The Voice of the Past: Oral History. I am in the initial stages of beginning a major research project in the UK, and these books all will guide me.
The Destiny Thief by Richard Russo -I like his writing and have read all his previous works; Factfulness: 10 Reasons We're Wrong About the World -- and Why Things are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling, Anna Rosling Ronnlund and Ola Rosling. I'm in the middle of this on my Kindle. It was on a list of books recommended by Bill Gates and I wanted something optimistic. It's a surprising look at how we perceive things based on preconceptions; The News Sorority: Diane Sawyer, Katie Couric, Christiane Amanpour and the (Ongoing, Imperfect, Complicated) Triumph of Women in TV News by Sheila Weller. I read Weller's book Girls Like Us about female icons in rock music and enjoyed it. I want to see how she chronicles broadcast journalists; Bunk -- The Rise of Hoaxes, Humbug, Plagiarists, Phonies, Post-Facts, and Fake News by Kevin Young. I usually knock off 10 books over summer. I just finished The Nazi Officer's Wife, How One Jewish Woman Survived the Holocaust by Edith Hahn Beer and read Katharine Graham's Personal History on my trip to Dubai in April. Reread One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez over spring break.
My summer reading includes: A More Beautiful and Terrible History: The Use and Misuses of Civil Rights History by Jeane Theoharis; Bonhoefer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas -- both are amazing and very needed in today's fractious times.
This is an easy one for me! Right now I’m finishing up reading The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson, it’s a book about being consistent and disciplined in every day choices to achieve success. Wonder Woman, Warbringer is next on my list. My daughter bought this book for me for Mother’s Day. Afterwards, I just realized that Lisa Gardner has a series of short stories that I didn’t know about. She is my favorite author, and I have read all of her novels so I’m really looking forward to reading all of the short stories by the end of summer.