Summer Reading

Below is a suggested list of reading for summer 2020. The list is only suggested and not required for incoming students. However, we do hope students find time to read one of the books on the list. There will be discussion groups led by Lewis faculty and staff for each book. To join a discussion for any of the books you have read this summer, reach out to the contact listed below the book! 

August Book Discussions

Mohja Kahf, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf.

Monday, August 3 at 2 p.m., Contact: Tara Tuttle

The story chronicles Syrian immigrant Khadra Shamy, a young woman growing up in a devout, tightly knit Muslim family in 1970s Indiana, at the crossroads of bad polyester and Islamic dress codes. Along with her brother Eyad and her African-American friends, Hakim and Hanifa, she bikes the Indianapolis streets exploring the fault-lines between “Muslim” and “American.”


Holly B Rogers, The Mindful 20 Something, check the UK library to access the book.

Tuesday, August 4 at 4 p.m., Contact: Nathan Wilson

A guide for navigating your twenties with clarity and confidence. This book will teach you mindful ways to manage stress, gain a healthier perspective, get in touch with what is important to you and make decisions guided by self-knowledge and understanding. 


Tara Westover, Educated: A Memoir

Wednesday, August 5 at 2 p.m., Contact: Heather Carpenter

Implausible? Harrowing? Elegiac? Proof that education can change one's life--both one's sense of her interior understanding of who she is, how she can think, live and believe as well as her material, lived experience of the world? Educated by Tara Westover does just that. Although this text takes one from the far flung states of Idaho and even more far flung experience of not officially existing (she was born at home and had no birth certificate or status until she is nine years old) to the elite spheres of Cambridge and Harvard, she is, as so many Honors students are, an intensely curious person, open to ideas and ways of thinking that reshapes her sense of self, identity and even her own family history in context of this greater human family.  


Daniel Quinn, Ishmael.

Thursday, August 6 at 4 p.m., Contact: Daniel Kirchner

“Ishmael” is a novel that opens up the opportunity for readers to think at a deeper level about what an education is and how to pursue it, the role that education plays in their own perceptions, experience, and shaping of the world, and the unnoticed frameworks that structure their knowledge and actions. Ultimately, “Ishmael” asks the foundational question, “How are we to live?” and aims to discover why our current culture insists that there is only one way to do so, eliminating any alternative, despite the clear evidence that our approach is causing harm to all life on the planet, including the capacity to sustain our own existence.


Fall Book Discussions

HON 101 required text: Ross Gay, The Book of Delights

Discussion time: TBD 

Ross Gay's The Book of Delights because it's joyful, even when it's sad; wise, even when it's joking; and full of simple, accessible ways a person can remember to be grateful and happy in this challenging life. It's also a once-a-day writing project, the writer's daily journal for a year, so it's easy to read in short bursts, or to even take as a writing prompt! You’re encourage to read the book during summer, as it will be a required text for HON 101.


Karen Swallow Prior, On Reading Well: Finding the Good Life through Great Books

Discussion time: TBD 


College Life: Lerner & Schlecter, U Thrive: How to Succeed in College

Discussion time: TBD