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Summer Reading Picks from APU Faculty

by Kimberly Rios '13

Summertime can provide much needed relief for undergraduate students, who find themselves immersed in classes, papers, group projects, and social activities during the academic year. It's a breath of fresh air and a time when it’s perfectly acceptable to spend a day relaxing without worries. While many students spend time engaged in summer jobs, classes, volunteering, and missions, they often still have extra time on their hands.

For some, summer offers a time to read a books for fun outside their academic focus. But with so many books available, it may to hard to pick the perfect one. Azusa Pacific University professors come the rescue with their summer reading suggestions.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
(Recommended by Karen Sorensen-Lang, assistant professor of communication studies)

“I’m reading Jane Eyre right now,” said Sorensen-Lang. “I read this book twice during the summer before I started high school and am enjoying reading it again as an adult. Jane Eyre was among my early literary examples of strong women characters in a line up of Pippi Longstocking, Anne of Green Gables, and Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird. I recommend it for the great language and for the reflections about God forming our character. Read stories about people you can admire and study those who have a strong sense of self!”

The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan
(Recommended by Joseph Bentz, Ph.D., professor, Department of English)

“Students (and their professors) who have just completed a tough semester might enjoy fiction that offers escape, adventure and mystery,” said Bentz. “I think Holmes is one of the most appealing characters in literature. According to Klinger, Holmes is also the third most recognizable character in the world (behind Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse). I love the friendship between him and Watson. I love watching how Holmes’ mind works. I love the way the stories draw you in and make you feel part of that Victorian world. For me, reading a Sherlock Holmes tale is a great way to end the day.”

Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Who Ever Lived by Rob Bell
(Recommended by Bill Catling, MFA, chair and professor, Department of Art)

Catling recommended Love Wins: A Book About Heaven, Hell, and the Fate of Every Person Ever Lived. In the book, author Rob Bell presents a biblical vision for rediscovering a richer, more spiritually satisfying way of understanding heaven and hell, God and Jesus, and salvation and repentance. Bell strives to help Christians answer the difficult and faith-testing questions that they have about the meaning of salvation.

The Social Animal by David Brooks
(Recommended by Brooke Van Dam, Ph.D., assistant professor of communication studies)

“David Brooks is my absolute favorite op-ed columnist. I look forward to logging on to nytimes.com every Tuesday and Friday when I can read his column,” said Van Dam. “His new book uses social science research to show that what makes us successful in life, is ultimately the social aspect of our lives. It should be fabulous!”

What’s So Great About Christianity by Dinesh D’Sousa
(Recommended by Jon Milhon, Ph.D., professor, Department of Biology and Chemistry)

“D’Sousa is unapologetic about his defense of Christianity, he attacks the current atheistic rhetoric with concise well researched arguments,” said Milhon. “His goal is not show that Christianity is not obsolete, that it has THE answer the world is looking for even though they don’t know it. He does a great job pointing out how the culture is relying on science to disprove Christianity and yet has failed. I would recommend it to any Christian, not just scientists.”

The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay
(Recommended by Jennifer Walsh, Ph.D., professor, Department of History and Political Science)

“Originally appearing as 85 individual newspaper essays, this compilation volume reveals the brilliant insights behind our country's constitutional design,” said Walsh. “Although the Declaration of Independence reminds us of why we have government, the essays contained in The Federalist Papers explains how our Constitution was intentionally structured to do just that. The structure of The Federalist Papers makes it easy to read over the summer: One essay a day for 85 days is all it takes to be a more informed citizen!”

What are you reading this summer?