Summer Reading List — 2018

Build your poolside reading stack.

July 22, 2018

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Summer Reading List — 2018

Photo: Westend61/Getty Images

Ready to move your reading stack from bedside to poolside? We collected recommendations from SAA’s Book Salon faculty hosts, Stanford’s new-student Three Books program, Stanford Bing Overseas Studies Program and STANFORD magazine’s book editor, and sorted them for your summer reading.

We’re also collecting community (that’s you) recommendations. Tweet or Instagram your favorite books using #CardinalBookClub and find great reads that will keep you happy all season.

Reading a book on the edge of a fountain.


Dive into some fiction.

Recommended by Michaela Bronstein, professor of English

An Act of Terror
By André Brink

Sometimes a Great Notion
By Ken Kesey

The Bone Clocks
By David Mitchell

Cover images of recommended books.

Recommended by Karla Oeler, associate professor of art & art history

Hadji Murad
By Leo Tolstoy

By John Williams

Recommended by STANFORD editors

The Removes
By Tatjana Soli, ’87

They Come in All Colors
By Malcolm Hansen, ’95

Cover images of recommended books


For days when you’re in a non-fiction mood.

Recommended by Gavin Jones, Rehmus Family Professor in the Humanities

Travels with Charley in Search of America
By John Steinbeck

Cover images of recommended books

Recommended by STANFORD editors

Queer Nuns: Religion, Activism and Serious Parody
By Melissa M. Wilcox, ’93

Teacher: Two Years in the Mississippi Delta
By Michael Copperman, ’02

Wild Things: The Joy of Reading Children’s Literature as an Adult
By Bruce Handy, ’80

Cover images of recommended books in the Arizona Cactus Garden


These are the 2018 Three Books selections for new students, moderated by José David Saldívar, MA ’79, PhD ’83, professor of comparative literature.

Brother, I’m Dying
By Edwidge Danticat

Native Speaker
By Chang-rae Lee

Signs Preceding the End of the World
By Yuri Herrera
*Sign up to read along with Stanford Book Salon in September.

Cover images of recommended books.


Going somewhere? Try these recommendations by the Bing Overseas Study Program.


In a Sunburned Country
By Bill Bryson, Ellen Titlebaum

Santiago, Chile

A Nation of Enemies: Chile Under Pinochet
By Pamela Constable and Arturo Valenzuela


Age of Ambitions: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China
By Evan Osnos


Memories of a Nation
By Neil MacGregor

The Reader
By Bernhard Schlink

The Reluctant Meister: How Germany’s Past is Shaping Its European Future
By Stephen Green

Cover images of recommended books.


The Italians
By John Hooper


A Geek in Japan: Discovering the Land of Manga, Anime, Zen and the Tea Ceremony
By Hector Garcia

Cape Town, South Africa

Keeper of the Kumm
By Sylvia Vollenhoven


The New Spaniards
By John Hooper

Need more? Here are other Stanford reading lists.

#CardinalBookClub alumni community recommendations

Stanford Law School Faculty 2018 Summer Reading List

Freeman Spogli Institute, Center for International Security and Cooperation faculty summer reading selections

Stanford’s School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences 2018 faculty summer reading selections

What to read this summer, 2017

SCOPE blog, Stanford Medicine, A medical student’s reading list 
(published in 2017)

Graduate School of Business, Twelve Business Books to Read 
(published in 2017)

What to read this summer, 2016

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