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Still Hitting the Books

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					                                         Still Hitting
                                         the Books
                                         School is out, but that doesn’t
                                         mean the Denison community
                                         trades in its books for beach
                                         towels. The brains around here
                                         are too hungry for that.
                                         So we asked students, faculty,
                                         and staff for summer reading
                                         suggestions, and the replies
                                         included everything from the
                                         Twilight series to the Bible.
                                         So consider these faves while
                                         you’re catching your rays, and
                                         don’t forget your sunscreen.
                                         photography by sarah wilson

                                                         Seeds of Terror: How Heroin is
                                                         Bankrolling the Taliban and al Qaeda
                                                         by Gretchen Peters
                                                         An investigative breakdown of how the heroin trade funds
                                                         the al Qaeda in Afghanistan. As Afghanistan becomes the
                                                         primary battleground in the war on terror, this book gives
                                                         an inside look at the different challenges the U.S. faces
                                         there—challenges not often shown on the evening news. —julie dean ’10



                                                                  Turtle Island
                                                                  by Gary Snyder
                                                                  A book of poems that was published more
                                                                  than 30 years ago, but continues to haunt me.
                                                                  Snyder’s words describing nature are quiet,
                                                                  simple, and command attention. These poems
                                                                  help me understand ecology through a non-
                                                                  scientific lens, which can be very good for a
                                                                  scientist! —andy mccall,
                                                                  assistant professor of biology


B   d eniso n magazin e   wint er 2007                                                                            1
                 Asian American Dreams: The
                 Emergence of an American People
                 by Helen Zia
                  This book details personal and political issues that
                  surround Asian-American women. It is historical and
                  undercover—most of the depicted events are not well
                  known, but they are brought to light here with clarity,
                  passion, and intelligence. Asian American Dreams
illuminates the strength of making the political personal and, sometimes,
the personal political. —jessica wang ’11



                 Still Alice
                 by Lisa Genova
                 Alice Howland, a cognitive psychologist at Harvard,
                 is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
                 This graceful and candid book reveals the two years
                 of Alice’s life (and that of her family) immediately
                 following her diagnosis. —mary tuominen,
                 professor of sociology and anthropology



                          The Hitchhiker’s Guide
                          to the Galaxy
                          by Douglas Adams
                          The Hitchhiker’s Guide trilogy is all
                          you ever wanted to know about everything
                          that ever existed in the history of existence,
                          and it’s delivered in the most excellent
                          style of Douglas Adams. He’s witty.
                          He’s insightful. He’s British. Enough said.
                          —kaitlyn grissom ’12



                Some of It Was Fun:
                Working with RFK and LBJ
                by Nicholas de Bellevile Katzenbach
                 Katzenbach was the product of a prominent family, attend-
                 ing Princeton, Oxford University (as a Rhodes Scholar),
                 and Yale Law. He exemplifies the “Establishment.” In 1961,
                 he was selected as legal counsel to the Department of
                 Justice, under Bobby Kennedy. Among his many tasks was
to play key roles in opening Ole Miss and the University of Alabama to
black Americans. Upon JFK’s death, Katzenbach became Attorney General
of the United States under Lyndon Johnson. His book provides fascinating
insights into the 1960s and the evolution of American politics—some points
have a strong message for the contemporary scene. —ken bork,
professor emeritus of geoscience



               Dune
               by Frank Herbert
               Academics tend to knock science fiction for its lack
               of literary content. Frank Herbert’s masterpiece has more
               content than any sci-fi book I’ve ever read, including a
               delicious allegory to our current dependency on foreign oil.
               —rob flax ’10

2
                 Straight Man
                 by Richard Russo
             If you really want to know what college life is like on the
             other side of the desk, read Straight Man. It’s so accurate
             (it’s fiction, but Russo is a college professor), that I try to
             re-read it every other August right before classes start, just
             to get me in the right frame of mind. —dave boyd,
associate professor of economics



                Atlas Shrugged
                by Ayn Rand
                This masterpiece is a must-read for anyone with a vested
                interest in freedom and living a just, moral life. Rand
                paints the picture of the ideal man, and the events of this
                amazing novel eerily mirror those of our lives today as
                government control continues to expand and freedom
                is eroded. —nic ennen ’12



                 Whatever It Takes:
                 Geoffrey Canada’s Quest to
                 Change Harlem and America
                 by Paul Tough
                  Whatever It Takes describes Canada’s efforts to create
                  an education system for Harlem that would effectively
                  move children through a sound development process
toward their participation in higher education. But that makes it sound like
a dry read. It’s great non-fiction: incisive history, touching profiles of both
people who struggle against the odds and people who struggle to change
the odds, inspiration, and a thoughtful reporting of research on a program
that appears to be working. —laurel b. kennedy, director,
alford center for service learning



                          Middlesex
                          by Jeffrey Eugenides
                          The story of a Greek family, as narrated by Cal,
                          the grandchild afflicted with sexual dimorphism,
                          a condition that would define his adult life. The
                          story deals with immigration in the early 20th
                          century, the automobile assembly line, prohibition,
                          the Detroit riots, a pilgrimage to San Francisco,
                          and the connections and secrets of a family
                          through it all. —paige kercher ’10



                   Hot, Flat, and Crowded:
                   Why We Need a Green Revolution—
                   and How it Can Renew America
                   by Thomas L. Friedman
                   This book is timely because of the urgent global and
                   environmental challenges it deals with, and Friedman is an
                   incisive and entertaining writer. —lyn boone, senior
                   development officer, major and planned giving


4                                                                                 d eniso n magazin e   spring 2009   5
                          Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s
                          Mission to Promote Peace ...
                          One School at a Time
                          by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
                          Mortenson was a mountain climber who happened
                          upon a rural Pakistani village called Korphe. He prom-
                          ised the Korphe people that he would return and build
                          them a school. An incredibly inspirational book about
                          Mortenson’s commitment to literacy in Pakistan.
                          —emily nemeth ’04, admissions counselor



                Predictably Irrational:
                The Hidden Forces That Shape
                Our Decisions
                by Dan Ariely
                 Written by an MIT behavioral economist, this book is not
                 “about your grandfather’s dismal science,” as noted in The
New York Times Book Review. Rather, it is filled with examples of how
consistently our economic choices belie the iconography of rational behavior.
That is, it explains why “people tend to behave irrationally in a predict-
able fashion.” Read this book and you will be extra wary the next time you
either make a significant financial expenditure or go shopping for the most
insignificant item. —keith boone, associate provost



                Breath: A Novel
                by Tim Winton
                  Winton has crafted a compact and powerful coming-of-age
                  tale centered around surfing. Breath explores how
                  risking death ultimately pales in comparison to confronting
                  the vicissitudes of one’s life, even the apparent monotony
                  of taking the next breath. Although Winton has long been
                  acknowledged as Australia’s foremost novelist, Breath
distills his gifts: compelling yet lyrical prose, an abiding interest in
plumbing the depths of the human condition, and an almost spiritual
engagement with the untamed nature of western Australia.
—andrew law, director of international and off-campus study



                 The Pillars of the Earth and
                 World Without End
                 by Ken Follett
                  I have gazed and wondered at some of the world’s great
                  cathedrals and thought about the “how” of them, but I
                  had never considered the “why.” Follett addresses the
                  subject masterfully in his historical novels, The Pillars
                  of the Earth and World Without End. Although he is a
fiction writer, Follett offers a fantastic glimpse into life in the Middle Ages
and both books are full of characters you will miss when you are through
reading. Think life is a challenge right now? A whiff of the 12th century
will cure that. —jacqueline pelasky, visual resource curator,
departments of art and art history


And if you plow through these in one week at the beach, you can find even
more suggestions at magazine.denison.edu.

6                                                                                  d eniso n magazin e   spring 2009   7

				
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