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Read Read Read   Tags: books, browsing_collection  

Recommended reading from the librarians at the University of Michigan Undergraduate Library. The 2012 edition of Read Read Read was assembled by Amelia Mowry, University Library Associate.
Last Updated: Jun 5, 2012 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Fiction Print Page

About Read Read Read

The staff of the Shapiro Undergraduate Library at the University of Michigan compiled this list of books in response to requests from incoming students for summer reading suggestions. You may use the list in several ways:

  • as a fresh approach to a subject studied in high school
  • as an introduction to a field to be studied at U of M
  • as informal learning and pleasure reading

Above all, the Library staff hopes the list will provide a stimulating glimpse into the intellectual and cultural world awaiting you at the University of Michigan.


Print a Copy of Read Read Read



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Salvage the Bones - Jesmyn Ward
ISBN: 978-1608195220
Publication Date: 2011-08-30
A fourteen year old girl in Mississippi discovers she is pregnant in the eve of Hurricane Katrina. This book, written by a UM alum, won the National Book Award in 2012.

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The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven - Sherman Alexie
ISBN: 978-0802141675
Publication Date: 2005-02-08
Native American writer Alexie shines in this short story collection of dark, comedic vignettes set in and around an American Indian reservation in Spokane, Washington.

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Catch-22 - Joseph Heller; Christopher Buckley (Intro and Notes by)
ISBN: 978-1451626650
Publication Date: 2011-04-05
This satiric novel has long engaged readers with the wildly funny panorama of characters surrounding Captain John Yossarian, a World War II soldier trying to define sanity in a crazy world.

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Please Look after Mom - Kyung-Sook Shin
ISBN: 978-0307739513
Publication Date: 2012-04-03
A woman disappears from a train station in Seoul. As her family searches for her, they are forced to wonder how well they ever knew her. This is the English translation of an extremely popular Korean novel.

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White Teeth - Zadie Smith
ISBN: 978-0375703867
Publication Date: 2001-06-12
Smith vividly explores a bevy of topics, including race, gender, and cultural traditions among Bengali and Jamaican immigrant communities in North London.

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How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents - Julia Alvarez
ISBN: 978-1565129757
Publication Date: 2010-01-12
This story of four sisters who must adjust to life in America after fleeing the Dominican Republic is told through a series of episodes beginning in adulthood and moving backwards to their wealthy childhood.

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The Importance of Being Earnest and Other Plays - Oscar Wilde; Peter Raby (Editor)
ISBN: 978-0199535972
Publication Date: 2008-06-15
The Importance of Being Earnest, a classic Victorian farce, is still uproariously funny. It’s about a man who pretends to be his non-existent brother Ernest in order to avoid unpleasant social responsibilities.

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Michael Chabon
ISBN: 978-0312282998
Publication Date: 2001-08-25
Chabon’s 2001 Pulitzer prize-winning novel traces the lives of two cousins, Brooklyn-born Sam Clay and Josef Kavalier, a refugee from Nazi occupied Prague.

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The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
ISBN: 978-0618706419
Publication Date: 2009-10-13
Drawing on his personal experiences, Tim O’Brien explores the terror and unreality of war in this powerful collection of stories about the Vietnam War.

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The Road - Cormac McCarthy
ISBN: 978-0307387899
Publication Date: 2007-03-28
A man and his son wander through the harsh, cold, violent, and dark landscape of post-apocalyptic America. In the midst of the bleakness, McCarthy creates a heartbreaking tale of love and redemption.

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The Cellist of Sarajevo - Steven Galloway
ISBN: 978-1594483653
Publication Date: 2009-03-31
The title character is a cellist who plays his instrument at the site of a mortar attack in honor of the victims. This novel tells the story of four people attempting to survive and hold on to their humanity during the siege of Sarajevo.

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Bel Canto - Ann Patchett
ISBN: 978-0061565311
Publication Date: 2008-06-10
A dinner party of the rich and powerful in an unnamed South American country takes a turn when rebels storm in, but are then trapped. The rebels and hostages form unexpected bonds as they are isolated from the wider world.

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Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri
ISBN: 978-0395927205
Publication Date: 1999-06-01
This Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of short stories explores the lives and relationships of Indian immigrants.

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Winesburg, Ohio - Sherwood Anderson; Irving Howe (Introduction by); Dean Koontz (Afterword by)
ISBN: 978-0451529954
Publication Date: 2005-11-01
A classic in the style of interrelated short stories, Anderson explores the dreams and desperation of the inhabitants of a small town in Ohio.

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The Tiger's Wife - Téa Obreht
ISBN: 978-0385343848
Publication Date: 2011-11-01
A young woman in Eastern Europe attempts to understand her late grandfather’s life through the stories he told her as a child.

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Old School - Tobias Wolff
ISBN: 9780375701498
Publication Date: 2004-08-31
This novel takes place in a New England prep school. The boys have a chance for a private audience with famous authors when they visit, if they write the best manuscript. The narrator is an outsider at the school, from a very different background than his classmates, but he hopes to win and meet Ernest Hemingway.

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Kafka on the Shore - Haruki Murakami
ISBN: 978-1400079278
Publication Date: 2006-01-03
Romping magical realism from an award-winning author, replete with fish raining from the sky, an appearance from fried chicken guru Colonel Sanders, and WWII Japanese soldiers who never age. Runaway teenager Kafka Tamura finds love and belonging on a road trip through modern Japan.

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The Beat Book - Anne Waldman (Editor); Allen S. Ginsberg (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-1590304556
Publication Date: 2007-07-10
This anthology of the best of the Beats includes poetry and prose excerpts, brief biographical sketches, an introduction by Ginsberg, a recommended beat vacation guide of the places where the gang passed out or recovered, and more scholarly references.

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The Vintage Book of Contemporary American Poetry - J. D. McClatchy
ISBN: 978-1400030934
Publication Date: 2003-04-08
This anthology includes representative poems from both established and emerging poets, including Sylvia Plath, Robert Creeley, Robert Bly, Amy Clampitt, and Audre Lorde.

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Their Eyes Were Watching God - Zora Neale Hurston; Edwidge Danticat (Foreword by)
ISBN: 978-0061120060
Publication Date: 2006-05-30
Janie Crawford, a young Black woman, searches through three marriages for her inner self until she learns to live and experience love without relinquishing her heart and spirit.

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Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close - Jonathan Safran Foer
ISBN: 978-0547735023
Publication Date: 2011-11-01
After his father dies on September 11th, nine year old Oskar goes on a quest around New York City to find the lock that matches a key he found in his father’s things.

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Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
ISBN: 978-0312427733
Publication Date: 2007-06-05
This modern American epic follows the lives of Cal Stephanides and three generations of family from a village near Mount Olympus to suburban life in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and from Cal’s early life as the girl Calliope to his adulthood as the man Cal.

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Breath, Eyes, Memory - Edwidge Danticat
ISBN: 978-0375705045
Publication Date: 1998-05-18
Haitian writer Danticat pens a highly lyrical story about a twelve-year-old girl, Sophie Caco, living in Haiti, who is reunited with her mother, living in New York.

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The Bayou Trilogy - Daniel Woodrell
ISBN: 978-0316133654
Publication Date: 2011-04-28
These critically-acclaimed crime novels follow a detective through the dark side of rural Louisiana.

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