Pick a Winner off the COLA Summer Reading List


Summer time. Rising temps, road trips and (hopefully) a little peace and quiet. As we scramble to start our vacations and find a little relaxation, many of us long to turn off the TV set and pick up a book.

But what’s good? What’s worth reading? An informal poll of College of Liberal Arts faculty and staff – all avid readers, of course – brings you the following recommendations. For example, Professor and Department Chair Bruce Krajewski (English) says you can’t go wrong with a Sherlock Holmes tale by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, while Associate Professor Allan Saxe (Political Science) praises Samuel Huntington’s The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of World Order, a look at foreign relations and international politics.

These fiction and nonfiction selections were made by faculty members Stacy Alaimo (English), Elisabeth Cawthon (History), Chis Conway (Modern Languages), Rebecca Deen (Political Science), Marvin Dulaney (History), Brent Sasley (Political Science) and Laurel Stvan (Linguistics & TESOL), as well as COLA staff members James Dunning and Ami Keller.



  • A Tale for the Time Being: A Novel by Ruth Ozeki
  • Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
  • Arctic Chill by Arnaldur Indridason
  • Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
  • Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
  • Fortunata and Jacinta by Benito Pérez Galdós
  • Gone Girl: A Novel by Gillian Flynn
  • Night Film by Marisha Pessl
  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
  • Sweet by Tammara Webber
  • The Flamethrowers by Rachel Kushner
  • The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Moor’s Account by Laila Leilami
  • The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  • The Paying Guest by Sarah Waters
  • The Scapegoat by Daphne du Maurier
  • The Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel


  • Babel No More: The Search for the World’s Most Extraordinary Language Learners by Michael Erard
  • Civil Rights in the Texas Borderlands: Dr. Lawrence A. Nixon and Black Activism by Will Guzman
  • Small town America: Finding Community, Shaping the Future by Robert Wuthnow
  • Stone: An Ecology of the Inhuman by Jeffrey Jerome Cohen
  • The Arab-Israeli Conflict in American Political Culture by Jonathan Rynhold
  • The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington
  • The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
  • The Unmaking of Israel by Gershom Gorenberg
  • Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes and Politics by Charles Krauthammer
  • What Should We Do with Our Brain by Catherine Malabou
  • Yes, Please by Amy Poehler


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