Grove City College faculty get a break from classroom teaching over the summer, but that doesn’t mean they lay off the books. Professors across the disciplines all have packed reading lists, some specific to their department but others just for fun.
Dr. Andrew J. Mitchell, associate professor of History, will be reading an “eclectic” selection of books this summer. Some of his readings include selections to help him finish and submit a manuscript, prepare an article and improve his classes at the College. They include: “The Story of Art” by E. H. Gombrich, “The Armies of Philip IV of Spain 1621-1665: The Fight for European Supremacy” by Pierre Picouet, “Antoni Gaudi, 1852-1926: Architecture, Ideology, and Politics” by Juan José Lahuerta and “The Centurions” by Jean Lartéguy.
For his own spiritual growth, his list includes the complete works of each William Shakespeare, George Herrick and George Herbert. A not-so-standard book on his list includes a cookbook: “Catalan Food: Culture and Flavors from the Mediterranean” by Daniel Olivella. “This is the most authentic Catalan cookbook in English I have found to date, and I anticipate working my way towards mastering paella, carpaccio, and crema catalana not only for my family, but for the next time I teach HIST 265: History of Spain,” Mitchell said.
Dr. Carl R. Trueman, professor of Biblical and Religious Studies, has been using the quarantine time to read novels, and plans to expand his list as summer begins. He is currently reading classics like “Catch-22” by Joseph Heller, “Doctor Zhivago” by Boris Pasternak, “East of Eden” by John Steinbeck and “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” by James Joyce. “Given that I can't get to the UK or do very much else,” the native of England said, he will add many books to his summer reading list.
“For history, I hope to read Adam Zamoyski's new biography of Napoleon, and Charlotte Gordon's ‘Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley’,” he said. “For anticipating – and hopefully improving – fall courses at Grove, I'm reading Eugene McCarraher's new book, ‘The Enchantments of Mammon: How Capitalism Became the Religion of Modernity,’ Remi Brague's ‘The Kingdom of Man’ and Erich Fromm's ‘Escape from Freedom’.”
Dr. Mike W. Bright, chair and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, uses GoodReads, a social cataloging website that allows individuals to search freely its database of books, to keep track of his reading. He has recently read the “Chronicles of Narnia” series by C.S. Lewis, “Barrio America: How Latino Immigrants Saved the American City” by A.K. Sandoval-Strausz, “Flatlander (Known Space)” by Larry Niven and “21 Lessons for the 21st Century” by Yuval Noah Harari.
“Neuroscience research suggests that when we read –a novel, for example – activity occurs in those brain areas that would be active if we were actually doing what the character in the book is doing. In this way reading transports us to places we may never visit and simulates experiences we may never physically have,” Dr. Kevin S. Seybold, chair and professor of Psychology and Social Work said.
His reading list includes 18 books currently. A few highlights include: “The Lost Art of Scripture: Rescuing the Sacred Texts” by Karen Armstrong, “Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas” by Stephen Budiansky, “Dying of Whiteness: How the Politics of Racial Resentment is Killing America’s Heartland” by Jonathan Metzl and “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson.
David M. Butler, assistant professor of Management, plans to read “The World is Flat 3.0: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century” by Thomas Friedman, adding to his research of the trends in business over the past 25 years. “In seeking God’s continued direction in my walk with Him, I plan to read ‘The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry’ by John Mark Comer,” he said. Furthering his interest in spiritual disciplines, he plans to read “The Common Rule: Habits of Purpose for an Age of Distraction” by Justin Whitmel Earley.
“Now,” Butler said, “Let’s see how far I get.”