Boy reading book on a dock

Impress Your Teacher & Read These Three Books Over Summer

Shoot! Just do it for you. I know I will be impressed with myself if I settle down long enough to read at least one book before summer is over. That is why I’m excited to try the Three Books program with you! Technically, Three Books is a summer reading program designed for incoming freshman at Stanford University, but these titles are great summer reading choices for any young person with an old soul. #challengeaccepted

This year faculty moderator, Dr. Noaj Diffenbaugh, chose three books that will really have you thinking about important subject matter, talking about diverse perspectives, and engaging in the inspiring process of storytelling. If you’re struggling to complete summer requirements or goals for 2017, then you must check out these titles before school starts.  Don’t have a lot of money to spend on books or live too far away from a library? Many libraries allow you download and read e-books for free on your smart phone, computer, or iPad with the OverDrive app.

Three Books

(Stanford’s Recommend Summer Reading Program For Incoming Freshman)



Homegoing Book Cover

Title: Homegoing
Author: Yaa Gyasi

“Effia and Esi are born into different villages in eighteenth-century Ghana. Effia is married off to an Englishman and lives in comfort in the palatial rooms of Cape Coast Castle. Unbeknownst to Effia, her sister, Esi, is imprisoned beneath her in the castle’s dungeons, sold with thousands of others into the Gold Coast’s booming slave trade, and shipped off to America, where her children and grandchildren will be raised in slavery. One thread of Homegoing follows Effia’s descendants through centuries of warfare in Ghana, as the Fante and Asante nations wrestle with the slave trade and British colonization. The other thread follows Esi and her children into America. From the plantations of the South to the Civil War and the Great Migration, from the coal mines of Pratt City, Alabama, to the jazz clubs and dope houses of twentieth-century Harlem, right up through the present day, Homegoing makes history visceral, and captures, with singular and stunning immediacy, how the memory of captivity came to be inscribed in the soul of a nation.”

Homegoing is Available on Amazon HERE.


The Sixth Extinction Book CoverTitle: The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History
Author: Elizabeth Kolbert

“Over the last half-billion years, there have been Five mass extinctions, when the diversity of life on earth suddenly and dramatically contracted. Scientists around the world are currently monitoring the sixth extinction, predicted to be the most devastating extinction event since the asteroid impact that wiped out the dinosaurs. This time around, the cataclysm is us. In prose that is at once frank, entertaining, and deeply informed, New Yorker writer Elizabeth Kolbert tells us why and how human beings have altered life on the planet in a way no species has before. Interweaving research in half a dozen disciplines, descriptions of the fascinating species that have already been lost, and the history of extinction as a concept, Kolbert provides a moving and comprehensive account of the disappearances occurring before our very eyes. She shows that the sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy, compelling us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.”

The Sixth Extinction is Available on Amazon HERE.


Title: Salvage The Bones
Author: Jesmyn Ward

“A hurricane is building over the Gulf of Mexico, threatening the coastal town of Bois Sauvage, Mississippi, and Esch’s father is growing concerned. A hard drinker, largely absent, he doesn’t show concern for much else. Esch and her three brothers are stocking food, but there isn’t much to save. Lately, Esch can’t keep down what food she gets; she’s fourteen and pregnant. Her brother Skeetah is sneaking scraps for his prized pitbull’s new litter, dying one by one in the dirt. While brothers Randall and Junior try to stake their claim in a family long on child’s play and short on parenting. As the twelve days that comprise the novel’s framework yield to the final day and Hurricane Katrina, the unforgettable family at the novel’s heart–motherless children sacrificing for each other as they can, protecting and nurturing where love is scarce–pulls itself up to struggle for another day. A wrenching look at the lonesome, brutal, and restrictive realities of rural poverty, Salvage the Bone is muscled with poetry, revelatory, and real.”

Salvage The Bones is Available on Amazon Here.


Comments/Discussion: What is it that you enjoy most about reading? Or if you dislike reading, what experience turned you off it? Share your thoughts. I’m interested in them.

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