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Looking for a good book to read?

Summer's here. Time to curl up on the couch or the beach with a good book.

Here are some unusual reading suggestions - from fiction to religion to the drug epidemic - from Old Dominion University administrators, professors, staff members, students and alums:

Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church, by N.T. Wright

"I found this to be a refreshing return to many familiar New Testament passages that I thought I understood. For anyone who is willing to experience significant paradigm shifts to their understanding of some of the most oft-quoted Biblical verses, I heartily recommend this book!

John Adam, professor of mathematics

Generation on a Tightrope: A Portrait of Today's College Student, by Arthur Levine and Diane R. Dean

A must read for anyone in a higher-education setting or the workplace. This book provides a detailed and well-researched perspective of today's college-aged students and shows how they are wired vs. how we are wired and the generational disconnect that exists.

Stephanie Adams, dean, Batten College of Engineering and Technology

Everything, Everything, by Nicola Yoon

You can relate to the daughter - who loves her mother but also wants to experience life, love and the world like a normal teenage girl - and to the mother, who lost her husband and son and didn't think she could handle losing her daughter, too. This story was heartfelt and real, and I think it's a great summer read.

Domonique Burke '08, transfer evaluation coordinator for Office of Admissions

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho

This is a personal favorite, which I have read only a time or two (or three). The main character is a young Spanish shepherd whose journey to Egypt is told in such a magical way that the reader is propelled through his wanderings and traveling along with him.

Kristyn Danson (M.P.A. '10), director of constituent relations, alumni relations

Dreamland: The True Tale of America's Opiate Epidemic, by Sam Quinones

Quinones connects the historical dots on a drug crisis that continues to tear through the lives of families across the United States and does so in a compelling, thorough fashion. Dreamland is a gripping, must-read piece of nonfiction!

Irvin B. Harrell, coordinator of strategy and marketing, College of Health Sciences

Mother Night, by Kurt Vonnegut

This book got me hooked on Vonnegut and his black and satirical outlook on life. It makes you question the classic definitions of "good" and "evil," and will make you realize that human nature, whether good or bad, is the same everywhere, regardless of borders or nationalities.

Zach Moeller '16

The Vegetarian, by Han Kang

It's a novel in three acts about a woman who gives up eating meat after a troubling dream, told from the perspectives of her husband, then her brother-in-law and, finally, her sister. Though the title aptly describes the book, it's really more about consumption and power, about the desires we feed and the desires we deny.

Sheri Reynolds, chair of English department and Morgan Chair of Southern Literature

A Beautiful Constraint, by Adam Morgan and Mark Barden

They say that necessity is the mother of invention. What Morgan and Barden do is show you how to build business processes that transform constraints from barriers that stifle solutions to necessities that give birth to invention.

Jeff Tanner, dean, Strome College of Business


One Turn Around the Sun, by Tim Seibles (Etruscan Press). The latest collection of poetry by Seibles, professor of English and Virginia's poet laureate, focuses on his parents' lives and the effect of America's turbulence on its citizens.

White Collar Crime: The Essentials, by Brian Payne (Sage Publications). The second edition of this textbook for undergraduates covers industries from health care to entertainment and reviews theories behind white-collar crime and its handling in the courts. Payne is vice provost for academic affairs.

East Asian Business in the New World: Helping Old Economies Revitalize, by Shaomin Li (Elsevier). The professor and eminent scholar of management offers tips on how to conduct business in East Asia - and how the United States can draw lessons from the region in revitalizing its economy.

The Trouble with Tea: The Politics of Consumption in the Eighteenth-Century Global Economy, by Jane Merritt (Johns Hopkins University Press). Merritt, an associate professor of history, explores the impact of tea trade on colonial politics and the finances of merchant companies, sometimes challenging the previous assumptions of economic historians.

Skills and Techniques for Human Service Professionals, by Ed Neukrug (Cengage Learning). The professor of counseling and human services helps aspiring mental health professionals gain proficiency in working with clients from a variety of settings.

Stairway to Death, by Daniel Hennelly (iUniverse). The academic services analyst's second self-published murder mystery solves the death of a professor at the fictional Chesapeake Bay University.

No matter your distance from campus, discover new books with the ODU Alumni Big Blue Book Club. The exclusive online discussion space allows all Monarchs to participate and features a new book every two months. For more information about the BBBC, contact Kristyn Danson at kdanson@odu.edu or 757-683-3097.

This article appears in the upcoming issue of Monarch magazine. To see more of the spring issue, go to www.odu.edu/monarchmag

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