U Reads 2006: 10 more books
University of Minnesota program offers choices for summer reading
By Pauline Oo
March 7, 2006; updated June 27
Editor's note: We ran a version of this story in March, but with the dog days of summer approaching we felt it was a great time to share again a few of the books that a some University faculty, staff, and students are reading. The U Reads 2004 and U Reads 2005 lists are also available for review. On Tuesday, August 8, CCE will offer Books that Changed My World, a daylong Curiosity Camp that will delve deeper into books from the 2006 U Reads list.
When Britt Johnsen was 12, she fell in love with Holden Caulfield, the fictional teenaged protagonist in J.D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye. "He's funny, introspective, and full of adventures," says Johnsen, former editor in chief of The Minnesota Daily.
Today, more than 10 years later, Johnsen has chosen The Catcher in the Rye for the 2006 U Reads list. Now in its fourth year, the College of Continuing Education's (CCE) U Reads offers a list of books recommended by U faculty, staff, and students.
According to CCE marketing coordinator Liz Turchin, the University of Minnesota may be the only university to offer its community a recommended reading list.
"As far as we know, there are no other schools with this type of program," she says. "We looked around at other schools during the U Reads inception and did not come across anything similar."
Each year, CCE dean Mary Nichols invites a group of University faculty, staff, and students to contribute book titles, and "the only people who have turned us down are those who simply didn't have the time to choose a title and write their comments before the deadline," says Turchin. "We just hang on to those people for next year and try again."
Summer learning with Split
If you're looking for more than books to captivate your mind, register for a University of Minnesota Split Rock Arts Program. Through August 4, the College of Continuing Education will host more than 40 weeklong and three-day workshops in creative writing, visual arts, and design on the Twin Cities campus and at the Cloquet Forestry Center in northern Minnesota. To learn what's still available, see 2006 Split Rock Arts schedule or attend a Split Rock Soir?e.
The 10 books on the 2006 U Reads list are
- In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. Recommended by Anne Taylor, professor of medicine and associate dean for faculty affairs
- The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. Recommended by Kathleen O'Brien, vice president, University Services
- It's Your Ship: Management Techniques from the Best Damn Ship in the Navy by Captain D. Michael Abrashoff. Recommended by Steven Rosenstone, dean, College of Liberal Arts
- The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman. Recommended by Gerald Fischer, president and CEO, U of M Foundation
- Strangers from a Different Shore: A History of Asian Americans by Ronald Takaki. Recommended by Erika Lee, professor of history
- Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed by Jared Diamond. Recommended by Charles Muscoplat, vice president and dean, College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences
- The Eternal Frontier: An Ecological History of North America and Its Peoples by Tim Flannery. Recommended by G. David Tilman, Regents Professor, ecology
- The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri. Recommended by Kenneth Keller, Denny Professor of Science, Technology, and Public Policy
- Conversations with Jack Cardiff: Art, Light and Direction in Cinema by Justin Bowyer. Recommended by Jane Kirtley, Silha Professor of Media Ethics and Law
- The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. Recommended by Britt Johnsen, editor in chief, The Minnesota Daily
To learn more about these titles and read their impact on the people who recommended them, see U Reads 2006.