What to Read This Summer


Victor Rogers

Institute Communications

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Summary Sentence:

We asked a few avid readers for book recommendations, and they delivered.

Full Summary:

We asked a few avid readers for book recommendations, and they delivered.

  • Summer reading 2019 Summer reading 2019

Searching for a good book to read while on vacation (or staycation)? Look no further. We asked a few avid readers for recommendations, and they delivered. The books range from the telling of Teddy Roosevelt’s scientific expedition of an unknown Amazon River tributary to the story of a rebellious teen forced to spend the summer with her father.

The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey

By Candice Millard, Broadway Books, Anchor Books (2005)

“I’m happy to recommend a book I thought I wouldn’t like, but actually had trouble putting down: River of Doubt. It’s the story of Theodore Roosevelt’s scientific expedition to chart what was, at the time, an unknown tributary of the Amazon The River of Doubt. What is history reads like fiction, and the development of personalities as well as the actual story behind the almost fatal (to him) exploration of this piece of South America is really fascinating. A great summer read that still feeds the brain and won’t have you feeling guilty!”

—Marta Garcia, associate vice president for International Development, Office of Development

An American Marriage

By Tayari Jones, Riverhead Books (2018)

An American Marriage was a really good read exciting from start to finish. The story is about a newlywed couple who had it all until one night their world was turned upside down. While visiting family, the husband has a nonsexual encounter with a woman at the hotel where they were staying. Something happens to the woman that very night, and now the husband is being accused. His marriage and entire world are changed forever.”  

Nikkia Walker, human resources coordinator, College of Design

The Last Song

By Nicholas Sparks, Grand Central Publishing (2009)

The Last Song is a very emotional book. It tells the story of Ronnie, a rebellious teenager who hates her father but is forced to spend the summer with him. It will be a summer full of tests, trials, pain, and joy that will change her life forever. I love the writing style; it’s so real, yet poetic. The book reminded me of what is important in life. Overall, a highly recommended read.”

Melissa Buchanan, program and operations manager, Advanced Technology Development Center 

Lincoln in the Bardo

By George Saunders, Random House (2017)

“A story of a father’s love for his son and the depth and power of mourning are woven together through a series of fictional first-person accounts told through the eyes of the living and the dead. This is one of the most outlandish yet somehow believable novels I’ve ever read. You will connect with each and every character as you meet them, and laugh and cry as you hear their stories.”

Emily Takieddine, director of development, Parent Giving and Student Life

Bel Canto

By Ann Patchett, Perennial, HarperCollins (2001)

“Ann Patchett’s masterpiece, in my opinion. In the story, a famous American soprano is taken hostage when she performs for a wealthy industrialist in South America. It’s a heartbreaking story driven by human connection in the face of danger and uncertainty, and it highlights the importance of understanding people’s varying experiences and paths through life. The world around me vanished while I was reading this book a few years ago, and it’s stuck with me ever since.”

Jessie Brandon, graphic designer, College of Design 


By Neal Stephenson, William Morrow, Brilliance Audio (2011)

“Having liked some of Neal Stephenson’s other books, I decided to listen to Reamde on a whim without reading the description. It was 38.5 hours/1,056 pages of non-stop action, drama, and humor with a wonderfully unique cast of characters. It was my favorite book of 2018, and it was over too soon. I encourage you to just dive in, but if you must know: The plot manages to combine a draft-dodger-turned-drug-smuggler’s retirement, a multimillion-dollar Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game (MMORPG), a farm girl from Iowa, Chinese hackers, a terrible boyfriend, Russian mobsters, a British spy-girl, and a Love Actually DVD.”

Lauren J.R. Lange, event coordinator, Advanced Technology Development Center 

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  • Created By: Victor Rogers
  • Workflow Status: Published
  • Created On: May 22, 2019 - 2:16pm
  • Last Updated: May 28, 2019 - 9:36am