Suggest a Book for Duke’s Summer Reading Program


The Class of 2017's summer reading book: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann
The Class of 2017’s summer reading book: Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann

The summer before they arrive on Duke’s campus, every incoming freshman is sent a copy of the yearly summer reading book. Once they have settled into their new dorm, the students will spend time discussing the book in small groups.

This yearly tradition provides the diverse class of freshmen a piece of common intellectual ground. It helps to spark discussion and conversation among a group of unfamiliar faces. It makes the awkward, halting conversations with near strangers just a bit easier, helping to transform those encounters into meaningful friendships.

The Duke Summer Reading Committee is currently seeking book nominations that will facilitate all of these experiences. The book should stimulate debate and discussion among students, encourage thought and personal reflection, engage the intellect of the student population, and grab the attention and interest of the reader.

Past summer reading titles have included The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, My Sister’s Keeper by Judy Picoult, and most recently Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann. All nominations will be reviewed by a committee of faculty, staff, and students.

The deadline for nominating a book is October 15, 2013, so if you know of the perfect book—one that will engage, puzzle, and fascinate the Class of 2018—be sure to submit if for consideration using the online nomination form.

One thought on “Suggest a Book for Duke’s Summer Reading Program”

  1. I suggest Benediction by Kent Haruf. In spare but lyrical prose, Mr. Haruf tells the story of a group of neighbors in the small Colorado town of Holt (scene of his earlier novels Plainsong and Eventide). It is summer, brutally hot and dry, and Dad Lewis, proprietor of the town’s hardware store, is dying. The book weaves such current social issues into the plot as the morality of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and homosexuality and the generational divide; but mostly it focuses on the kindness and generosity of his principal characters and the power of love to resolve so many human problems. It’s a very thought-provoking and hopeful book.

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