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MIT staff blogger Kris Guay

Summer Reading by Kris Guay

What’s in your beach bag?

In Matt’s latest post he says that MyMIT will be up August 19. This is good news! It means you still have time to get some summer reading in. This is one of the best parts of summer in my mind. Whether you actually get to the beach or not, don’t miss out on the last few weeks of downtime before school and college application season begins.

I don’t know about you, but I love to be reading a few books at the same time, especially in summer. Here are my picks:

In Defense of Food
by Michael Pollan

This is a quick read and I read it one day after complaining on facebook to a friend that I wasn’t able to lose any weight. I think he was sick of my whining, because he shot back a link to this book title and said, “Hey, this helped me. I didn’t fully get the weight loss thing until I learned how to eat.” Hmm, it is a good book. But I’m still eating cupcakes that I find left out for the taking on a table in lobby 10.

Emperor of all Maladies
by Siddhartha Mukherjee


Ok, so I JUST bought this book after a very inspiring talk by Professor Neri Oxman in MIT’s media lab. A bunch of us Admission Counselors had the pleasure of listening to her talk about her lab and her research. She said something like, “This book should be required reading of all MIT students.” Prospective students take note! I went right out and bought it, and then I read the prologue when I was stopped in traffic on the Mass Pike. (I don’t recommend this) But I do recommend the book so far. It is totally engrossing from page one.

Just Kids
by Patti Smith


My partner and I have already read half of this out loud to each other while lounging under an umbrella on the beach. Janyce is a huge Patti Smith fan and I’m a big Robert Mapplethorpe fan. It’s a great read. Totally transports you to NYC in the late 60s. Awesome.

A Widowers Tale
by Julia Glass


I’m savoring this like I do with all of her novels. Yes,  its really ok to read a novel once in awhile!

So what books are in your beach bag? I’d love to know. Happy Summer!

12 responses to “Summer Reading”

  1. Moe says:

    Unfortunatly reading and I are not close friends. Do you think this will be a problem during the admission process ?
    Thanks smile

  2. Moe says:

    * I mean, in the eyes of the admission committee.

  3. JV says:

    Well, I was reading science fiction stuff all right, till I ran out of books and now I’m into graphic novels! Besides I like so much the art in them smile

  4. Lydia '14 says:

    I *love* Michael Pollan!!! I’ll definitely be reading In Defense of Food very very soon. Thank you for sharing. =)

  5. Sammy '15 says:

    I’m enjoying my first summer without “required” reading. So far, I’ve finished “Kitchen Table Wisdom” by Dr. Rachel Remen (highly recommended) and am working on “Anatomy of the Spirit” and two other books. These two are pretty incredible, though! If your looking for some somewhat inspirational books or an enjoyable way to learn about yourself and why you are who you are, read these books!

  6. Mag says:

    Tina Fey’s Bossypants made me laugh more than any book ever has, and currently I’m enjoying Julia Child’s My Life in France. Her unique voice just jumps out of the pages.

  7. Yes, second on Bossypants!

    I’ve been reading a bunch of Douglas Coupland‘s novels. He’s like… Jon Stewart’s and Franz Kafka’s bastard brother.

    Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark is on my to-read list.

    I’m almost done with Tao of Physics, because I’m both into zen and quantum physics. raspberry

  8. In Defense of Food! yay!
    Michael Pollan is awesome – the Omnivore’s Dilemma is very good too,
    Botany of Desire was alright too :]

  9. Shank says:

    Books by Isaac Asimov are also great! Highly stimulating and entertaining.

  10. Sam says:

    I love reading but most of the time i only read novels >_< i hope this isnt a problem

  11. Mag says:

    Oh, also just finished up “The White House Doctor” by Dr. Connie Mariano, who worked in the White House Medical Unit for 9 years, mostly during Clinton’s presidency. Fascinating insider’s look!

  12. Great list,I would add the 4 hour workweek to the list and the Blue Zones as well.