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By: Marian Fragola

Summer can be a great time to catch up on all those books, magazine articles, blog posts and newsletters that you’ve put in your “I really want to/need to read this” pile throughout the year. We’ve asked members of our Red & White community what they’ll be perusing this summer and hope you enjoy getting a glimpse of what’s on their list. Maybe you’ll get an idea for your next summer read. Happy reading!

By: Marian Fragola

Chris Anson is a professor of English and director of the Campus Writing and Speaking Program at NC State.

I’m reading two delightful, funny travel books by Bill Bryson:
In a Sunburned Country (New York: Broadway Books, 2000), about Australia, and Notes from a Small Island (New York: Morrow, 1996), about England.

Professional development reading:
Seven or eight scholarly books on genre research, including Swales, Genre Analysis; and Bawarshi, Genre and the Invention of the Writer.

By: Marian Fragola

Wendy Krause is an assistant professor of textile engineering chemistry and science in the College of Textiles at NC State.

I’m currently reading Lost on Planet China by Maarten Troost. Last year at this time I went to China for a conference (Biotexiles) and this lighthearted travel log has me reflecting, remembering, and laughing at my own experiences. Next up for me is the NCSU common reading, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. A couple of years ago I saw the author give a reading of this (at the time) soon to be published book. The author is a wonderful story-teller and I am anxious to read this book. I guess this book falls into both categories–reading for pleasure and work.

Research-wise, I’ll be reading multiple drafts of two master theses that my two students are writing. They are both planning to defend in July.

By: Marian Fragola

Rupert W. Nacoste is an alumni distinguished undergraduate professor of psychology at NC State a past presenter in NCSU Libraries’ Fabulous Faculty series.

For relaxation and fun:

I already started with The Forgery of Venus, by Michael Gruber (also author of The Book of Air and Shadows…which I also loved). His books are intellectual mysteries; what fun!

Right now, I am finishing Who Fears Death, by Nnedi Okorafor. Nominated for a Nebula award, this is a story of post-apocalyptic Africa, the Okeke people, and the magical shape-shifting female child of rape, Onyesonwu (who fears death). It is dark, funny, disturbing, compelling, and otherworldly. Onyesonwu was born to save the Okeke people and maybe Africa itself.

Other novels on my list are:

Robert Sawyer’s www.Wake three book series. There’s something growing in the internet. It’s a consciousness. Only one person can see it; and she’s blind.

I was going to that series next, but then I discovered books by Mary Doria Russell.

Doc; this is Russell’s new piece of historical fiction about the days of Doc Holliday, his relationship with Wyatt Earp, and not to mention that whole OK Corral thing.

The Sparrow and Children of God. These two novels by Russell are described as taking up big questions. How would we, the people of earth react when an intelligent, alien, species is discovered on another planet? Who would we send for first contact? What would it all mean about our understanding of God? Just the kind of speculative religious science fiction I love.

All of that is in the plan, but since it’s for fun and relaxation, it can and probably will change with new discoveries.

For professional development, three things:

Picking Cotton: Our memoir of injustice and redemption; the joint memoir of the story of racial misidentification in a NC rape case, and the powerful friendship that develops between the incarcerated but innocent black man Ronald Cotton and Jennifer Thompson-Cannino the white woman who now knows she was wrong, but who had sworn that it was he who raped her. [I may use this in a lecture in my “Interpersonal Relationships and Race” course.]

Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America. Simply put there is no one black America, and that is part of the neo-diversity of America today; relevant to my thinking about issues in my “…Interpersonal Relationships and Race” course.

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie: A tale of love and fallout, by Lauren Redniss. Whenever I can read a biography of a relationship I do because I am an interpersonal psychologist. If you go to my website ( you will find my review of White Heat: The Friendship of Emily Dickinson & Thomas Wentworth Higginson; the story of the relationship between Emily Dickinson & Thomas Wentworth Higginson. Biographies of relationships are very interesting to me and useful tests of the concepts I teach. Such biographies are always startling and moving; they keep my teaching about relationships conceptually sharp and emotionally hot.

By: Marian Fragola

Kate Carroll is an assistant professor of fashion in the College of Textiles at NC State.

I am reading Mindfulness in Plain English by Henepola Gunaratana for the second time, and The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver for the first time. The mindfulness book is fascinating – it’s helping me with my yoga and meditation practices. The Lacuna is serving dual purposes. I’m a big fan of Kingsolver, and for many years I have always read Latin American authors over the summer as they are such rich authors and give me plenty to think about. The Lacuna has a Latin theme so I think it counts! I will probably go back and re-read The Lotus Eaters for the second time as well – I read it over Christmas and cannot get the imagery out of my head.

I’m teaching a Summer II session class so I’m busy reading a bunch of texts to put on reserve for that class (Major Fashion Designers). Plus I’m trying to read 2 research articles per week for my research areas to catch up on the latest developments in the fields of Inclusive Design and Clothing for Health and Well-Being.

By: Marian Fragola

Helmut H. Hergeth is an associate professor in the College of Textiles at NC State in textile and apparel technology and management.

Getting to Yes (re-reading, since it is recommended for the mediation training participants)
Christiansen’s Innovator’s Solution and Werbach’s Strategy for Sustainability.

By: Marian Fragola

Barbara Sherman is a clinical associate professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at NC State’s College of Veterinary Medicine.

To learn to use on-line methods to support courses that I teach at the College of Veterinary Medicine, I’ve been reading Teaching Online: a Practical Guide (3rd edition) by Susan Ko and Steve Rossen. This excellent book was provided to faculty members participating in the NCSU DELTA 2011 Summer Institute.

I’m also reading Dog Sense: How the New Science of Dog Behavior Can Make you a Better Friend to your Pet (2011) by John Bradshaw. Well-written in a popular style by a scientist who has spent 30 years studying dog behavior, this book explains how dogs are unique creatures that have evolved to socialize and live in harmony with humans. The book debunks popular notions of “dominance” that often undermine our relationship with dogs and compromises their welfare. This book will be of interest of veterinary students at the College of Veterinary Medicine and clients who bring their dogs to the Behavioral Medicine Service (, and is a great read for dog lovers.

By: Marian Fragola

Gary Mathews is a teaching assistant professor and the classics coordinator in the Department of Foreign Languages & Literatures at NC State. He recently lead a book discussion at the NCSU Libraries’ Read Smart series at Cameron Village Regional Library.

In my research, I am reading about the 15th century Japanese noh master Zeami, especially about the influence of Confucian ideas on his theatrical practice. Along with this I am reading about the social purpose of both noh and Greek tragedy in order to compare the two on this score. Outside my professional research, I look forward to reading Amartya Sen’s recent book The Idea of Justice, which I understand from reviews is an important contribution to the debates about the nature of justice in both domestic and global settings.

Other than that, I look forward to keeping up better with the periodicals I subscribe to, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and The Nation, which often sit around unread during the school semesters!

By: Marian Fragola

Kim Chappell is a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences at the College of Veterinary Medicine at NC State. She directs the Clinical Studies Core, a service unit to support and facilitate clinical research.

I recently read How Learning Works in our reading circle sponsored by the Office of Faculty Development.  As a rather new faculty member, I am interested in developing my skills and understanding in the area of teaching and learning.  In addition to being highly informative, this book stimulated excellent discussions in our reading circle sessions.

On my professional read list this summer is Working with Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.  I’ve been exposed to Mr. Goleman’s ideas in several leadership and management seminars, and I’m interested in the full detail.

A recent personal read was 29 Gifts: How a Month of Giving Can Change your Life by Cami Walker.  The book details the personal journey of Ms. Walker, an MS sufferer who took a medicine woman’s life-changing prescription to give away 29 gifts in 29 days.  The book is a quick, easy read, and it has inspired a global giving movement amongst thousands of people all over the world.  You can check out the website at  I’ve encouraged my husband to read the book.  When he’s finished, we plan to take on the 29 day giving challenge together.

Next on my personal read list is Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street by Michael Davis.  As a member of the Sesame Street generation, I’m excited to read about the early vision and evolution of the show.  As a parent of 2 pre-school aged children, I know I’ll find even more to love about the show and its characters.   I actually have an autographed copy from the author.  Although Mr. Davis personalized the entry, I never got to meet him.  One of my children got sick the day of the book signing, and Mr. Davis was gracious enough to sign a copy for me after I phoned the book store in disappointment.

I’m the parent of 2 pre-school aged children.  This means that quite a bit of my reading is in storybook form!  My 4 1/2 year old son is starting to recognize words.  We’ve recently read Ten Apples Up on Top by Dr. Seuss, and he’s been able to recognize word patterns himself.  My 2 1/2 year old daughter, Ruby, is enchanted with all things princess.  She recently enjoyed watching my recorded hours of the royal wedding, so we’ve pulled out Tea for Ruby by Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York.  The book follows a rambunctious girl named Ruby, who tries to remember her manners after receiving an invitation for tea with the Queen.  The illustrations, by Robin Preiss Glasser (of the Fancy Nancy series) are fabulous.

By: Marian Fragola

Kwesi Craig Brookins is an associate professor of psychology and Africana studies at NC State and a past presenter in NCSU Libraries’ Fabulous Faculty series.

Pleasure reading:

Gurnah, Abdulrazak (2001). By the sea.
Mosley, Walter (2010). The Last Days of Ptolemy Grey.
Sawyer, Robert J. (2007). Rollback.
Bamforth, Charles W. (2010). Beer is Proof that God Loves Us: Reaching for the Soul of Beer and Brewing.

Professional reading:

Kenrick, D. T. (2011). Sex, Murder, and the Meaning of Life.
Eastman, C A. (1980). The Soul of the Indian: An Interpretation.

Both of these books will contribute to the research I’m doing for a book manuscript I’m working on entitled: A Life Lived: Psychology and the African Experience.  The 1st is a kind of state-of-the-art book on evolutionary psychology and the 2nd looks at American Indian spirituality.

By: Marian Fragola

Eileen Taylor is an assistant professor of accounting in the Poole College of Management.

For professional development, I am reading Giving Voice to Values by Mary C. Gentile. It is an ethics book that teaches one how to practice responses to ethical dilemmas, so that we may be better prepared to take action.

I am also going to finish No One Would Listen by Harry Markopolous, the Madoff whistleblower. Much of my research focuses on whistleblowing, and this first hand account is intriguing and current.

For pleasure, I picked up some books at the Friends of the Library book sale and will read those – they looked interesting, but I cannot vouch for them until I read them:
1. An Unfinished Season, Ward Just
2. Life and Death are Wearing Me Out, Mo Yan

I read a great book last summer, The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafon – amazing.

By: Marian Fragola

Lynne Baker-Ward is a professor and director of the graduate programs in the Department of Psychology at NC State. She is a a past presenter at the NCSU Libraries’ Read Smart series at Cameron Village Regional Library.

There’s a bit of overlap in my personal and professional reading–guess I chose the right field! I found Still Alice by Lisa Genova an absorbing and enlightening book. It’s the account of a 50-year-old college professor’s descent into early-onset Alzheimer Disease, a novelized account written by a neuro-scientist and told from the victim’s perspective. I was pleased to see that the author has a new novel, Left Neglected, about a young mother’s experience with a brain injury following a car crash, which resulted in her disregard of everything on her left side. I’ll definitely read that one this summer.

Based on a friend’s recommendation, I’m also looking forward to reading The Spiral Staircase, by Karen Armstrong. Armstrong is best known for her books on comparative religion, most notably, a History of God. The Spiral Staircase is a memoir, in which Armstrong describes the spiritual struggle she experienced after she left life as a nun and the understanding she finally obtained. Part of the story is her battle with temporal lobe epilepsy–I seem to be gravitating toward brain disorders! Interestingly, it’s the second time Armstrong has written about this period of her life. I’ll probably have to read the first memoir, Beginning the World , to compare them.

By: Marian Fragola

Lauren Demanovich graduated from NC State this May with a degree in Communications. She was on the common reading selection committee that chose The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as the 2011 book for incoming freshman to read.

This summer I’m looking forward to reading The Bluest Eye, Song of Solomon, and Jazz by Toni Morrison. I enjoyed reading Morrison’s Beloved and Sula in my literature classes this past semester, so I’m eager to read more of her books. At the recommendation of a friend, I am also planning to read The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon. Currently, I’m reading Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff. Though I’m not normally a fan of non-fiction, I like what I’ve read so far!

By: Marian Fragola

Nan Fleming is a proud parent of an NC State grad and an incoming NC State student. She was on the common reading selection committee that chose The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as the 2011 book for incoming freshman to read.

My list for summer is totally pleasure reading.  I really haven’t given it much thought yet, as summer seems far away since I have a high school senior who won’t graduate until June 11.  However, there are four books on my list that immediately come to mind:

1. The Year of Living Biblically by A.J. Jacobs (not saying I can do it but I’m going to read about it and maybe get up the nerve to TRY!!:):))

2. The Queen of Palmyra by Minrose Gwin (Wilson County Reads selection for 2011 and I didn’t get around to reading it)

3. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (just curious because I’ve heard so much hype about it)

4. The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (one of the main characters has Parkinson’s as does my dad)

Well, that’s it . . . simple and fun . . . just what summer should be!

By: Marian Fragola

Katherine Mellen Charron is assistant professor of history at NC State and a past presenter in NCSU Libraries’ Fabulous Faculty series.

Pleasure reading:

Ready for Revolution: The Life and Struggles of Stokley Carmichael [Kwame Toure] (Scribner, 2003). I met the editor, Ekwueme Michael Thelwell quite by accident at a play at UNC and, both being biographers, we exchanged books. It’s 700+ pages and I’m traveling out of the country so should have time to read it on a long flight.

Professional reading:

Faith S. Holsaert,, Hands on the Freedom Plow: Personal Accounts by Women of SNCC (U of Chicago Press, 2010).
Robert R. Korstad & James L. Leloudis, To Right These Wrongs: The North Carolina Fund and the Battle to End Poverty and Inequality in 1960s America (UNC Press, 2010).

By: Marian Fragola

Donna Burton is assistant director for curriculum and instruction/academic adviser, First Year College at NC State. She was on the common reading selection committee that chose The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as the 2011 book for incoming freshman to read.

Pleasure reading:

A Singular Woman: The Untold Story of Barack Obama’s Mother written by Janny Scott. Since I have already read Dreams From My Father, I am very interested in his mother’s story.

Professional reading:

How Learning Works: 7 Research-Based Principles for Smart Teaching written by Ambrose, et al. I am participating in the Office of Faculty Development Course Design Summer Institute and this fascinating book is our text.

By: Marian Fragola

Marcia Gumpertz is assistant vice provost for faculty and staff diversity and professor of statistics at NC State. She was on the common reading selection committee that chose The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks as the 2011 book for incoming freshman to read.

Pleasure reading:

Wench, a novel by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Professional reading:

Faculty Incivility: The Rise of the Academic Bully Culture and What to Do About It by Darla Twale and Barbara De Luca

By: Marian Fragola

Jeremy Feducia is a lecturer and the demonstrations director and outreach coordinator in the Department of Chemistry at NC State. He coordinated the 2011 International Year of Chemistry demonstrations and lectures in the Tech Sandbox in D. H. Hill Library in April.

This summer I will be reading a handful of books.  To relive some of my childhood reading, I will be reading various collections of Calvin and Hobbes comic strips.  I hope to also tackle Forever on the Mountain, by James Tabor, because I have no problem living vicariously through other thrill-seekers.

On the academic side, I would like to make it through at least half of Ojima’s “Catalytic Asymmetric Synthesis” in an effort to work on the design of a future textbook currently in the planning stage.

By: Marian Fragola

Larry Silverberg is associate head and director of undergraduate programs for the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at NC State and a past presenter in NCSU Libraries’ Fabulous Faculty series.

These days, besides reading pretty technical stuff (which no one out of the field would be interested in), I have been reading about brain injuries and related. Here are two pretty good ones . . .

My Stroke of Insight by Jill Taylor and When Elephants Weep by Jeff Moussaieff & Susan MCCarthy

By: Marian Fragola

Susanna Lee is is an assistant professor of history at NC State and a past presenter in NCSU Libraries’ Fabulous Faculty series.

Pleasure reading:

1) Gary Shteyngart’s Super Sad True Love Story, a dystopic look at our networked future, and Edward Jones’s The Known World, a fictional portrayal of a black slaveholding family.

Professional reading:

2) Manning Marable’s Malcolm X, a long-awaited biography by a pioneer recently departed; Seth Rockman’s Scraping By: Wage Labor, Slavery, and Survival in Early Baltimore, an examination of early capitalism highlighting workers; and Adam Goodheart’s 1861: The Civil War Awakening, narrative nonfiction just in time for the sesquicentennial.

By: Marian Fragola

Sheila Smith McKoy is the Director of NC State’s African American Cultural Center and a past presenter at the NCSU Libraries’ Read Smart series at Cameron Village Regional Library.

Pleasure reading:

This summer I will read several books that are already waiting for me: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives: A Novel by Lola Shoneyin; I Do Not Come to You By Chance by Adabobi Tricia Nwaubani; and Wife of the Gods by Kwei Quartey.


For my work this summer, I will continue to write poetry and work on a collection of essays.