Thursday, March 12, 2009

Summer Reading for Entering Freshmen

UNM is considering choosing one book each year that they ask entering freshmen to read over the summer before starting classes in the fall. The idea is to give students some common ground to discuss and then be able to connect with each other about. As the Provost's memo explains "The basic concept is a recommended summer reading for all new students, the goal of which is to foster a common experience that will help develop a sense of community with their new environment and introduce them to a part of the academic life they are beginning." Books other institutions have used for such programs include:
Ehrenreich, Nickel and Dimed in America
Levitt and Dubner, Freakonomics
Suskind, A Hope in the Unseen
Kolbert, Field Notes from a Catastrophe
Hosseini, The Kite Runner
Prejean, The Death of Innocents
Salzman, Iron and Silk
Hakakian, Journey from the Land of No
Kidder, Mountains beyond Mountains
Urrea, The Devil's Highway

For a memo about this Lobo Reading Experience program, follow this link.

What do you think? Would this be a good idea? What other books might you suggest for such reading?


maximalideal said...

Of course I might suggest a game to play rather than a book. Maybe someday.

Jynne said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jynne said...

So I like a lot of the books on this list (especially Nickle and Dimed). I would probably add "Kaffir Boy" by Mark Mathabanebut, which has seriously impacted my step-daughter's attitudes towards international events (ie--she's now interested in them).
But as for summer reading in general when, where, and in what context will these new UNM students discuss these shared readings? I could see doing this in Honors because you could sit down with 16 others and thoroughly discuss your "summer reading." But with thousands of other students?