Over the last few weeks, many 18-year-olds came home to a surprise. For those of us who like reading, it was a serendipitous one. For everyone else, it might have been unwelcome.
While many recent high school graduates, myself included, are spending their respective summers pursuing a variety of activities, many of them have one thing in common -- required reading. As I eagerly began the book sent to me by the school I will be attending next fall, I found myself asking some of my friends about the books that they will be reading over the course of these upcoming weeks. Below, you will find the list that I compiled as a result of these conversations (in tandem with some help -- well, a lot of help -- from Google):
- Boston College -- Make the Impossible Possible: One Man's Crusade to Inspire Others to Dream Bigger and Achieve the Extraordinary by Bill Strickland
- Brown University -- Beautiful Souls: The Courage and Conscience of Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times by Eyal Press
- Claremont McKenna College -- The Gardens of Democracy by Eric Liu
- Cornell University -- When the Emperor Was Divine by Julie Otsuka
- Columbia University -- The Iliad by Homer (translated by Richmond Lattimore)
- Dartmouth College -- The River Why by David James Duncan
- Duke University -- Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
- New York University -- Eat the City: A Tale of the Fishers, Foragers, Butchers, Farmers, Poultry Minders, Sugar Refiners, Cane Cutters, Beekeepers, Winemakers, and Brewers Who Built New York by Robin Shulman
- University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill -- Home by Toni Morrison
- Princeton University -- The Honor Code: How Moral Revolutions Happen by Kwame Anthony Appiah
- Tufts University -- Whistling Vivaldi: How Stereotypes Affect Us and What We Can Do by Claude Steele
- Virginia Commonwealth University -- Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Industry Hooked Us by Michael Moss
- Williams College -- Crescent: A Novel by Diana Abu-Jaber
Naturally, most of the authors listed above have some sort of connection with the schools that respectively assigned their books. For example, Eyal Press, who authored the book assigned by Brown, is an alumnus of the school. Many of these schools, such as Claremont McKenna, host lectures led by the authors of the books they have given to their incoming classes. Similar among all of them, however, is that they comprise these students' first college assignments.
Happy reading, Class of 2017!