Whether you’re lounging out in the sun or staying in to beat the heat, a good book can be the perfect companion. If you’re looking to pick up a new one, try these suggestions from University of Chicago faculty.
Below, the latest winners of UChicago’s annual Quantrell and Graduate Teaching awards share which books brought them comfort, joy, or insight in the past year. For those who want to sit down with their families, the multi-genre list includes selections suitable for all ages—plus a bonus music pick.
And the People Stayed Home by Kitty O’Meara
Recommended by Assoc. Prof. Persis Berlekamp
“I bought this book for my six-year-old daughter, but I love it too. It’s really beautiful, and was originally written as a poem for adults.”
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
Recommended by Assoc. Prof. Monika Nalepa
“[Ibsen’s play] is the ultimate work about blackmail and its consequences.”
The Three-Body Problem (part of the Remembrance of Earth’s Past trilogy) by Cixin Liu
Recommended independently by Assoc. Prof. Daniel Arnold and Prof. Patrick Jagoda
“This book is just stupefyingly imaginative. And somehow, even as the cosmic and temporal scale becomes ever vaster as the series goes on, it also becomes ever more humane, too. That’s a profound trick he pulled off.” —Daniel Arnold
“The truly transdisciplinary creativity and ambitious temporal scale [of this work] felt genuinely joyful amidst pandemic lockdown.” —Patrick Jagoda
Showa: A History of Japan by Shigeru Mizuki and Ôoku by Fumi Yoshinaga
Recommended by Assoc. Prof. Ada Palmer
“Both series expect a reader with some familiarity with manga, but not too much, and both are very mature, intelligent works, nothing like the kids' action series which most people who are less familiar with manga think of first.”