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Summer Reading, Fifty Shades of...

06/11/2012 10:55 am ET | Updated Aug 11, 2012

OK -- now we've got your attention! Summer reading conjures up visions of white sand, tall drinks, and books with titles that remind us of the Pantone color scale or a typical day in the Pacific Northwest (more than 50 shades of grey). But for many of us in higher education, summer reading means picking up that article or book that we haven't had a chance to look at during the academic year. So we have compiled a list of summer must-reads for the academy with suggestions from our colleagues.

Even though this article appeared in the Atlantic four years ago, we think it is still a must read and no -- we don't think Google is making us stupid, but this article does put into perspective the changing landscape of communication and learning.

The Hunger Games
Why do we recommend this summer read? There is a good chance that incoming freshmen will have read this series or seen the movie so get with the program and understand the social and moral implications of this award-winning series. Also, it will take you back to your college days when you skipped class to lounge outside reading dystopian fantasies like 1984 and Stranger in a Strange Land.

This book is literally hot off the press. Author Rebecca S. Nowacek recently visited the University of Puget Sound and presented as part of our annual Center for Writing, Learning and Teaching workshop. In her book, Nowacek provides insight into how we can become agents of integration and help all students transfer knowledge.

The Information: A History. A Theory. A Flood. by James Gleick. Are you kidding? With a title like this it's an obvious must-read for librarians.

The Googlization of Everything (and Why We Should Worry) by Siva Vaidhyanathan. Vaidhyanathan is a professor of media studies and law at UVA, and everything he writes makes you think hard. Also try his earlier publication, Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How It Threatens Creativity.

Academically Adrift -- Limited Learning on College Campuses by Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa. We're all a little politically and academically adrift these days.

Information & Liberation (Writings on the Politics of Information & Librarianship) by Shiraz Durrani. All about the power of information -- having it, using it, seizing it, selling it, turning it into an agent for change. Not for the faint of heart.

An Intellectual History of Cannibalism by Catalin Avramescu. This title has been on humanities librarian Peggy Burge's reading list for quite a while and she can't wait to devour it. As she states, the book reviews report that it's a delicious feast of wide-ranging scholarship that makes use of a rich banquet table of philosophy, history, literature, and the arts. Now, that's a summer read!

Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Hahnemann. This title comes recommended by library applications Administrator Wade Guidry. It examines the intersection of human irrationality, rationality, and economic behavior, or at least, that's what he thinks it's about! Given our current economic crisis -- sounds like a must read for all.

If you manage to finish this summer reading assignment, then by all means, consider those 50 shades... We will be taking a break from blogging next month, as we will be reading!