Summer Reading List: Dr. Simon Morgan-Russell
What would summer be without a good reading list? Throughout the summer BGSU faculty, staff and students will share their picks for best summer reading. We hope you find time to read some of the selections and share your thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of the page!
WEEK 7 SELECTIONS BY
Dr. Simon Morgan-Russell
Dean, College of Arts and Sciences
As a lifelong, avid reader, I'm never without a pile of books I'm reading all at once. My interests are pretty diverse, but I mostly read contemporary British fiction; books about Buddhist spirituality and practice; nonfiction that helps me understand people and cultures around me; books about food; and, well, more or less anything that someone recommends!
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain
As an introvert myself, I very much like Cain's analysis of how introverts develop and thrive in a culture structured by an extrovert ideal. An interesting book for both introverts and extroverts alike.
- Sky Above, Great Wind: The Life and Poetry of Zen Master Ryokan by Kazuaki Tanahashi
Famous Japanese poet Ryokan captures the profundity of ordinary life in his poems. Too few people read poetry: find a favorite poet and keep a copy of her or his work close by!
- How to Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
There's not much of a plot . . . but Bittman's book contains many great suggestions about how to prepare healthy, great-tasting food.
- Drood by Dan Simmons
Contemporary horror fiction featuring an ancient vampire, secret Egyptian cults, a plot to kill Charles Dickens, and a creepy subterranean labyrinth beneath Victorian London. An 800-page monster!
- The Unstrung Harp, Or, Mr Earbrass Writes a Novel by Edward Gorey
A book about writing a novel. I like Gorey's sense of humor and his style of illustration, and in this short piece of graphic storytelling he satirizes the trials of a literary life.
- If You're Lucky, Your Heart Will Break: Field Notes from a Zen Life by James Ishmael Ford
Short autobiographical vignettes and insightful reflection on zen Buddhist practice in America from my zen teacher's zen teacher.
- Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
A haunting novel by a contemporary British novelist that reflects on the nature of the soul and its relationship to art.