Summer Reading List 2012 | Week 7

What would summer be without a good reading list? Throughout the summer BGSU faculty, staff and students will share their picks for best summer reading. We hope you find time to read some of the selections and share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page!


Also consider the 2012 BGSU Common Read, A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean by Tori Murden McClure.

Ryan Muckerheide, Ph.D.
Department of Humanities
BGSU Firelands

The books that I find most interesting demand some level of active intellectual engagement, and usually have some cultural or historical relevance. I enjoy the confluence of diverse ideas and thought processes that such works engender. American Gods is a perfect example of this, as it combines ancient mythologies with modern American culture and icons. While books like House of Silk and The Dante Club provide the active stimulation of trying to solve the mystery in a historical context. Works like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies are enjoyable because of the collision of cultures they represent--the propriety of Regency England and the modern fascination with zombies and the disorder they represent. And even though my Ph.D. is in English Literature, I'm a science and technology geek. Sagan's Demon-Haunted World and Carr's The Shallows  raise questions about how we integrate science and technology into our culture, and what that means for us going forward.

  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
    A fascinating blend of ancient mythology with modern American cultural icons. It also won the prestigious Hugo and Nebula Awards in 2002.
  • The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan
    A Pulitzer Prize-winning astrophysicist, Sagan wrote The Demon-Haunted World as a way to promote scientific and rational thought. The book includes Sagan's now-famous "baloney-detection kit."
  • The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
    Based in part on events surrounding Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's translation of Dante's Divine Comedy. Matthew Pearl makes these events the center of a murder mystery. If you enjoy mysteries and literature, The Dante Club is a must-read.
  • The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr 
    Carr's book explores how the Internet is changing the way we think and process information. Features Carr's oft-reprinted essay, "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" The Shallows is also Firelands College's All-College Book selection for 2012-2013.
  • House of Silk: A Sherlock Holmes Novel by Anthony Horowitz 
    A new (2011) Sherlock Holmes novel, written in the style of Holmes' original author, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It's also the only modern novel to be endorsed by Conan Doyle's estate.   
  • Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
    Austen's original novel, with an added subplot--the katana-wielding Bennet sisters fighting off a zombie infestation of England!
  • Dubliners by James Joyce
    A collection of short stories revolving around the lives of a diverse segment of Dublin's population in the early 20th century, Dubliners is Joyce's most accessible work.

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