Common Reading Program: Recommended Reading List

Great reads recommended by members of the Tufts Community. Compiled specifically for the Class of 2013 as part of the Common Reading Program.

beloved.JPG Beloved
Written by Toni Morrison

Recommended by Jean Herbert, Lecturer in English and Assoc. Dean of Undergraduate Education (last names A-E in Arts & Sciences)

Dean Herbert says “Beloved is a powerful and compelling story of America written in language that is pure poetry.”

Find it at Tisch Library: PS3563.O8749 B4 1987
Find it at your local library

blink.JPG Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking
Written by Malcolm Gladwell

Recommended by Sam Sommers, Asst. Professor of Psychology and Tufts Professor of the Year

Professor Somers says, “Blink engagingly explores how unconscious and automatic thoughts shape daily life and the ways we respond to the world around us. Plus, it describes research conducted by one of my departmental colleagues here at Tufts, Nalini Ambady.”

Find it at Tisch Library: BF 448 .G53 2005
Find it at your local library

blowntobits.JPG Blown to Bits: Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion
Written by Hal Abelson, Ken Ledeen, and Harry Lewis

Recommended by Diane Souvaine, Professor of Computer Science

Professor Souvaine says, “This is a wonderful book about the social and political issues that arise as we become dependent on the internet.”

Find it at Tisch Library: QA76.9.C66 A245 2008
Find it at your local library

ethicsofidentity.JPG The Ethics of Identity
Written by Kwame Anthony Appiah

Recommended by Laura Doane, Director of Advising & Scholarships, Undergraduate Education

Director Doane says, “Appiah offers a wonderful introduction to moral philosophy, explained in an unusually accessible manner. This book is truly interdisciplinary, with a little something for everyone.”

Find it at Tisch Library: BJ1031 .A64 2005
Find it at your local library

freeyourmind.JPG Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth and their Allies
Written by Ellen Bass and Kate Kaufman

Recommended by Tom Bourdon, Director of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Center

Director Bourdon says, “This book is a practical guide for GLBT youth containing the stories and experiences of more than fifty GLBT youth.”

Find it at Tisch Library: HQ76.2.U5 B38 1996
Find it at your local library

genderknot.JPG The Gender Knot: Unraveling Our Patriarchal Legacy
Written by Allan Johnson

Recommended by Steph Gauchel, Director of the Women’s Center

Director Gauchel says, “Why should gender equity matter to women and men? How do our ideas and rules about what it means to be a man or woman affect all of use? What is patriarchy and how does it hurt all of us? This book answers these questions and asks all of us to envision and create a world in which we are free of pressures to be anything other than ourselves.”

Find it at Tisch Library: HQ1075 .J64 2005
Find it at your local library

hotflatandcrowded.JPG Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution and How it Can Renew America
Written by Thomas L. Friedman

Recommended by Lewis Edgers, Professor, Dept. of Civil & Environmental Engineering, and Assoc. Dean of the School of Engineering

Dean Edgers says, “It describes the present time as an ‘energy-climate era’ and makes strong arguments for the development of sources of renewable energy.”

Find it at Tisch Library: GE197 .F76 2008
Find it at your local library

inheartofthesea.JPG In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex
Written by Nathaniel Philbrick

Recommended by James Glaser, Professor of Political Science and Dean of Undergraduate Education

Dean Glaser says, “Set partially in New England, a harrowing true story of the Whaleship Essex which was the basis for Moby Dick. A quick read, perfect for summer.”

Find at Ginn Library: G530.E76 2000
Find it at your local library

omnivoresdilemma.JPG Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Written by Michael Pollan

Recommended by Regina Raboin, Science Librarian, Tisch Library

Ms. Raboin says, “Michael Pollan, an investigative journalist and author of The Botany of Desire, writes a book about the timeless American family question: ‘What should we have for dinner?’ He chooses four ingredients and then follows each of the food chains, industrial, organic/alternative, or foraged food from the source to a final meal. Along the way he reveals how food is raised/grown, stored, handled and marketed. The final question for the reader is ‘What and how should we eat?'”

Find it at Tisch Library: GT2850 .P65 2006
Find it at your local library

pillarsoftheearth.JPG The Pillars of the Earth
Written by Ken Follett

Recommended by Dale Bryan, Asst. Director, Peace & Justice Studies Program

Director Bryan says, “Lengthy but hard to put down, a terrific tale of the building of a cathedral in 12C England during the struggle for the crown. This is a great vacation read.”

Find it at Tisch Library: PR6056.O45 P55 1989
Find it at your local library

pursuitsofhappiness.JPG Pursuits of Happiness: The Hollywood Comedy of Remarriage
Written by Stanley Cavell

Recommended by Nancy Bauer, Professor of Philosophy

Professor Bauer says, “In his virtuosic reading of seven film comedies from Hollywood’s ‘golden age,’ Cavell shows us both how philosophy can illuminate our everyday lives and how films can shed light on the human condition.”

Find it at Tisch Library: PN1995.9.C55 C38
Find it at your local library

rapt.JPG Rapt: Attention and the Focused Life
Written by Winifred Gallagher

Recommended by Martha Kelehan, Social Sciences Bibliographer, Tisch Library

Ms. Kelehan says, “An easy-to-read introduction to the neuroscience of paying attention, this book explains why it’s good for your brain (and your happiness) to stop multitasking and focus on one thing at a time.”

Find it at Tisch Library: BF321 .G25 2009
Find it at your local library

renegade.JPG Renegade: The Making of a President
Written by Richard Wolffe

Recommended by Bill Gehling, Director of Athletics

Director Gehling says, “Whether you are a Democrat or Republican this account of Obama’s unlikely journey from relative unknown to President of the United States is a fascinating read.”

Find it at Tisch Library: E908 .W65 2009
Find it at your local library

siddhartha.JPG Siddhartha
Written by Hermann Hesse

Recommended by Lindsay Helfman, AB11, Political Science, Academic Programs Coordinator for Undergraduate Orientation 2009

Lindsay says, “With a stimulating plot, and exemplary writing style, this book conveys an important message about finding meaning in the lives we lead. It is one of my favorite books, which I think is a perfect, inspiring read to share – especially for the students about to embark on their undergraduate journeys here at Tufts.”

Find it at Tisch Library: PT2617.E85 S513 1971
Find it at your local library

soloist.JPG The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music
Written by Steve Lopez

Recommended by Laura Walters, Assoc. Director for Teaching, Research, and Information Resources, Tisch Library

Director Walters says, “A compelling and engaging true story about a gifted young cellist, Nathaniel Ayers, who ends up on the streets of Los Angeles due to mental illness. It’s a non-flinching and unsentimental look at the state of mental health care in America by the journalist who moves beyond seeing Ayers as just a story line to a human being in desparate need of help.”

Find it at Tisch Library: ML418.A96 L66 2008
Find it at your local library

soulfulscience.JPG The Soulful Science: What Economists Really Do and Why it Matters
Written by Diane Coyle

Recommended by David Garman, Assoc. Professor of Economics

Professor Garman say, “Dr. Coyle skips the mechanical presentation of introductory economics that you may have see in AP or IB economics and describes how economists approach some of today’s most important issues.”

Find it at Tisch Library: HB74.P8 C58 2007
Find it at your local library

threecupsoftea.JPG Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace…One School at a Time
Written by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

Recommended by Alaina McGillivray, BS07 Civil Engineering

Alaina says, “It touches upon interfaith relations, political relations between the West and Arab nations of the Middle East, the role of Islam in Middle Eastern politics and education, and Mortenson’s strong position that non-fundamentalist education is the key to peace in these countries. These themes are discussed from Mortenson’s perspective as an educator for the children of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Find it at Tisch Library: LC2330 .M67 2007
Find it at your local library