Summer is finally here, bringing with it plenty of opportunity for reading – by the pool, at the park, on your couch- you get the picture. So we asked NAU-Yavapai staff and faculty what was on their “Must Read” list for summer and this is what they said…
Dr. Mark Shelley suggests:
The Smart Swarm: How Understanding Flocks, Schools and Colonies Can Make Us Better at Communicating, Decision Making and Getting Things Done, by Peter Miller. (Avery/Penguin, 2010)
Peter Miller is a Senior Editor for National Geographic, and he draws on research about ants, honeybees, termites, birds, fish, caribou and locusts to illuminate how we can run organizations better. The insect and animal examples are fascinating, and the application to human organizations are insightful.
Obviously, we aren’t ants and bees, so we can’t replicate everything they do. We deal with more complex problems and a lot of unpredictable human factors. Nonetheless, the insights of the book track with what successful organizations are doing, and Miller gives some great examples of that.
Anyone dealing with entrepreneurship, community development, service industry or applied human behavior could really benefit from this book!
Nancy Jensen recommends:
Fascinating story - the book description from Amazon says it all:
The Lost German Slave Girl is a fascinating exploration of slavery and its laws, a brilliant reconstruction of mid-nineteenth-century New Orleans, and a riveting courtroom drama. It is also an unforgettable portrait of a young woman in pursuit of freedom.
Professor Ian Derk suggests:
Per Amazon: At Westish College, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league until a routine throw goes disastrously off course. In the aftermath of his error, the fates of five people are upended. Henry’s fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz realizes he has guided Henry’s career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life.
Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, “The Art of Fielding is mere baseball fiction the way Moby Dick is just a fish story” (Nicholas Dawidoff). It is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment–to oneself and to others.
Susan Johnstad says:
My dad is a proud Norwegian American, and, earlier this year he suggested a book by a Norwegian author named Per Petterson. I haven’t admitted this to my dad, but I loved Out Stealing Horses, and I’ve put more Per Petterson on my must-read list for the summer. Out Stealing Horses is a nuanced story of a man living alone in the countryside, grieving the loss of his wife, and thinking back on a particular summer in his youth. It was a summer he’d spent with his father, and his memories are rich in tragedy and melancholy. There is a coming-of-age story in that summer, but the meaning in his story is based on the years of life that young boy has since lived. I love this book for its sparse and beautiful language, and for a character so quiet and achingly honest that the attentive reader strains to hear more. I guess I love that it is so Norwegian. Take your time with this book; it’s worth it.
Lisa Mauldin recommends:
Per Amazon: Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon. Orphaned by their mother’s death and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution.
Moving from Addis Ababa to New York City and back again, Cutting for Stone is an unforgettable story of love and betrayal, medicine and ordinary miracles–and two brothers whose fates are forever intertwined.
Fall On Your Knees – by Ann Marie MacDonald.
I picked this book up on a whim and couldn’t put it down. The writing is just gorgeous, and the story gripping. The book dives into some pretty dark family issues, so it’s not exactly light reading, but there is so much intrigue and the characters so well written that the darkness of the story seems all the more compelling.
Per Amazon: The Piper family is steeped in secrets, lies, and unspoken truths. At the eye of the storm is one secret that threatens to shake their lives — even destroy them. Set on stormy Cape Breton Island off Nova Scotia, Fall on Your Knees is an internationally acclaimed multigenerational saga that chronicles the lives of four unforgettable sisters. Compellingly written, by turns menacingly dark and hilariously funny, this is an epic tale of five generations of sin, guilt, and redemption.