Phillips Library issues summer reading challenge

Books of Summer DisplayThe official start of summer begins this Saturday, and Phillips Library is marking the season with the release of its 12th annual Books of Summer brochure (pdf) and corresponding book display. The Books of Summer are recommended reads by Phillips Library fans. Anyone from the Aurora University community is invited to suggest a title and write a review for inclusion in the brochure, and each year several students, faculty and staff do so. This summer’s collection includes both fiction and nonfiction on a variety of topics.

New to the Books of Summer program is a contest to find out who reads the most books from the list, and also to determine which reviewer had his or her book read by the most people. “Many of us participated in our public library’s summer reading program as children, I’m sure,” says Kathy Clark, Information Services Librarian. “Those programs encourage participants to set goals and read over the summer. Our contest aims to do the same. We’re proponents of lifelong learning, so this is just a fun way to promote that.”

At the end of the summer, Phillips Library will provide a simple online survey form where contest participants can check off which books they have read. A small prize will be awarded to the person who has read the most books from the list (with a winner chosen at random if there is a tie in the top spot). A small prize will also be awarded to the reviewer whose book has been read by the most contest participants. The contest is open to anyone from the Aurora University community—undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff and alumni.

The 2014 Books of Summer selections are:

• “Still Alice” by Lisa Genova

• “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak

• “Old Man’s War” by John Scalzi

• “Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century” by Sam Kashner

• “Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century” by Kevin Fong

• “Girls of Atomic City” by Denise Kiernan

• “Through a Glass, Darkly” by Donna Leon

• “David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcolm Gladwell

• “Fall of Giants and Winter of the World” by Ken Follett

• “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic” by David Quammen

• “Paradise” by Toni Morrison

• “Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China” by Chang Jung

• “Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes

• “The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains” by Nicholas Carr

• “Democracy in America” by Alexis de Tocqueville

• “The Cuckoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith

• “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” by Elizabeth Kolbert

• “Shotgun Lovesongs” by Nickolas Butler

• “Daring Greatly: How the Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brené Brown

To see who recommended these books and to read the reviews, refer to  this year’s Books of Summer brochure (pdf). Although books recommended in previous years’ Books of Summer lists are not eligible for the contest, readers may consult the online research guide for additional reading suggestions. Books from this year’s list are currently on display in the reference area of Phillips Library and are available for checkout on a first-come, first-served basis.