I e-mailed a former professor a few weeks ago not realizing that it was in the middle of the summer to see if he had the summer recommendations for the English Department. As an English Major I had always enjoyed getting the yearly list of books that the various professors recommend as summer reading. I've discovered some good books this way. Professor Fynaardt replied after a couple of weeks and sent the newsletter out in the mail.
Here are the 2006 Summer Recommendations:
Fledgling - Octavia E. Butler (Trapp)
Collected Works - Flannery O'Connor (Trapp)
Brother to a Dragonfly - William D. Campbell (Turnwall)
The Lighthouse - P. D. James (Westerholm)
I Heard the Owl Call My Name - Margaret Craven (Van Es)
A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemingway (Van Es)
The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway (Van Es)
Timothy; or Notes of an Abject Reptile - Verlyn Klinkenborg (Fynaardt)
Everything is Illuminated - Jonathan Safran Foer (Fynaardt)
A River Runs Through It and Other Stories - Norman Maclean (Lundberg)
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (Menning)
I did include in parenthesis the professor who recommended each book. The only book I've read from this list is The Kite Runner, which is excellent. We all know about Hemingway and Flannery O'Connor has been recommended for years as a short story writer. I've been enjoying Octavia Butler's work this summer, and I've been interested in Fledgling for a couple of months now. The most interesting part of the list is Dr. Westerholm recommended a mystery/detective novel. The man teaches the most difficult and academic courses in the department (though Van Es wasn't part of the department when I was at NWC, and Dr Kensak is on sabbatical and he's a tough prof as well), and his Seminar in Interpretation is the single most difficult class I had taken. It's a class all about the theory of criticism of literature. So, we learned about the theories that various critics and thinkers use behind their criticism. It's not the criticism we read, it's the theory. The true positive from that class was that Dr. Westerholm is an excellent baker, so he always had treats for the break in the middle of the night class.
I probably do not "need" another reading list, but I don't think I have can have too many. I will start work on this list during the winter this year.