This summer's must-read books

A trip to Barcelona, Spain or Rio de Janeiro, Brazil is not in a college student’s budget. A trip to Barnes and Noble, however, is. Take a well-earned vacation and escape with a book this summer.

Cameron Copland, a senior actuarial science major at Eastern Michigan University, recommends Freakonomicsby Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner. Each chapter explores the hidden side of some simple but unconventional question. According to the book, Levitt and Dubner “show that economics is, at root, a study of incentives.…”

“Even if you don't come from an economics-loving background —which, let's be honest, is pretty rare— the book makes you see things in a whole new perspective,” Copland said. “They look at situations from a different view than most people have, which is essential for anyone who wants to expand their thinking. Plus, it's a relatively short read and, although I would recommend reading the entire book, you can pick chapters that interest you and just read those without missing anything.”

Senior Tiffany Browne, who is majoring in English, said Louise Erdrich’s The Round House is riveting. The book looks at a family living on the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota and how they deal with the American justice system.

“It's real, it's gripping and it gets you thinking about the injustices that are happening all around us,” Browne said.

Gemma Perrotta, a sophomore majoring in art history, recommends The Gurnsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer. The post-World War II novel is comprised completely of letters. Members of a literary society on the island of Gurnsey begin corresponding with a journalist in London about the importance of reading. The relationships take a personal turn when the journalist decides to move to Gurnsey.

“It’s a moving novel full of joy,” Perrotta said. “I feel like I’m actually in Gursney in the year 1946. You get to follow these funny, realistic and beautifully flawed characters as they go on personal journeys.”

A final book to consider is Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedarisis, a collection of essays centered on Sedaris’ life. He recounts different parts of his life from childhood to adulthood. The jumping back and forth between the different parts of his life keep the book exciting while his sharp wit keeps it funny.


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