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McCombs Faculty's Summer Reading Guide 2017

Book cover mashup

What should you add to your reading list this summer? For both the avid bookworm and the casual reader today, the amount of choices can be overwhelming. Luckily, we have theperfect summer reading guidefor every reader.

Every year faculty members at The University of Texas at Austin handpick books for the Freshman Reading Round-Up — a campus-wide summer book club that connects new students with outstanding faculty and fellow Longhorns.

The 2017 Freshman Reading Round-Up is a celebration of knowledge for knowledge's sake. You need to be a freshman to join the event, but you don't have to be a student to enjoy the books.

Whether you're looking to sharpen your mind or just escape into a story for a while, the titles below are a good bet. (You can find the full list of 58 books on the UT News website.)

"Blindness" book cover

"Blindness"

By Jose Saramago

Recommended by Professor Robert Prentice, chair of the Business, Government, and Society department

"How would people react if everyone went blind almost simultaneously? What would these reactions tell us about the human spirit? About our strengths and weaknesses of character? A Nobel Prize-winning author, Portugal's Jose Saramago explores these issues in 'Blindness.'"

 

"Go Set a Watchman" book cover

"Go Set a Watchman"

By Harper Lee

Recommended by Professor Paula Murray,Business, Government, and Society

"In this controversial sequel, set two decades after the events in Pulitzer Prize-winning novel 'To Kill a Mockingbird,' 26-year-old Jean Louise 'Scout' Finch returns home to Maycomb, Alabama, to visit her aging father, Atticus. Set against the backdrop of the civil rights era that was transforming the South, Scout's homecoming turns bittersweet when she learns disturbing truths about her close-knit family and the small town that shaped her."

 

"Our Iceberg is Melting" book cover

"Our Iceberg is Melting"

By John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber

Recommended by Professor Linda Golden, Marketing

"'Our Iceberg is Melting' focuses on adapting to change and leading to accomplish group survival. Through penguin characters the authors represent stakeholders' roles and processes for leading in the face of change and uncertainty. In our dynamic and turbulent world this interesting book, with many levels of thought, is a must read."

 

"Quiet" book cover "Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking"

By Susan Cain

Recommended by Professor Ross Jennings, Accounting

"At least one-third of the people we know are introverts. They are the ones who prefer listening to speaking; who innovate and create but dislike self-promotion; who favor working on their own over working in teams. It is to introverts — Rosa Parks, Chopin, Dr. Seuss, Steve Wozniak — who we owe many of the great contributions to society.

"In 'Quiet,' Susan Cain argues that we dramatically undervalue introverts and shows how much we lose in doing so. She charts the rise of the 'extrovert ideal' throughout the 20th century and explores how deeply it has come to permeate our culture. She also introduces us to successful introverts — from a witty, high-octane public speaker who recharges in solitude after his talks, to a record-breaking salesman who quietly taps into the power of questions. Passionately argued, superbly researched, and filled with indelible stories of real people, 'Quiet' has the power to permanently change how we see introverts and, equally important, how they see themselves."

"The Sun Also Rises" book cover "The Sun Also Rises"

By Ernest Hemingway

Recommended by Professor Keith Brown, Finance

"What do you do when everything that brings you any sense of contentment in life has suddenly gone missing? Can you outrun the physical and emotional pain you feel with a constant cycle of debauchery? Is it even possible to experience true love under those circumstances?

"These are a few of the themes explored in this classic work depicting the 'Lost Generation.' Widely hailed as one of the best and most influential novels written in the 20th century, this is the book that helped establish the Nobel Prize-winning author's reputation as a master of modernist literature."

A version of this article originally appeared on the UT News website.

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