9 Books to Read This Summer

Whether you are relaxing on vacation or just need something new to read, we hope you will enjoy this specially curated list of some of the Roan's favorite reads.

Lucas Hitechew '14

Lucas Hitechew '14

the gifts of imperfection

by Brené Brown

Recommended by: Lucas Hitechew '14: I think that as leaders it is easy for us to become both hypercritical of ourselves and protective of our weaknesses. We seek to be perfect in the eyes of those around us while also criticizing our every flaw internally. However, in this book, Dr. Brown discusses the power behind vulnerability while also discussing ways to find our own worthiness in life. A hard read when combined with introspection, but a much needed and worthwhile read for us all.

Scott Jeffress (Director)

Scott Jeffress (Director)

thank you for being late

by Thomas Friedman

Recommended by: Scott Jeffress:Thought-provoking and very readable, this work tackles topics that are all-too-often overwhelming in a way that makes them seem less so - and that inspires optimism about our future..


Dr. Jennifer Axsom Adler (Assistant Director)

Dr. Jennifer Axsom Adler (Assistant Director)

exit west

by Mohsin Hamid

Recommended by: Dr. Jennifer Axsom Adler: What if there was a world where doorways transported us to distant places? That is one of the questions posed by this beautiful novel. Through a light touch of magical realism, it presents an urgent, timely portrait of love, war, and immigration.

Tiffani Carrasco '18

Tiffani Carrasco '18


by Greg McKeown

Recommended by: Tiffani Carrasco ‘18: Essentialism is great for the highly motivated student. It helps to differentiate being highly involved and over involved. It definitely helped me see time and my priorities from a difference perspective. Great for freshman and sophomores especially.

Dr. Heather Cook '04

Dr. Heather Cook '04


by Daniel Pink

Recommended by: Dr. Heather Cook ‘04: Timing is so important and this book allows you to understand how you should structure your day to get the most out of it. I'm a fan of creating space and not waste. This book gives you the plan to do just that.

Sharon Boles    (Steering Committee Chair)

Sharon Boles
(Steering Committee Chair)

The Common Good

by Robert Reich

Recommended by: Sharon Boles (Steering Committee Chair): Best read with an inquisitive mind about the phrase itself, The Common Good is a mix of social and religious themed philosophy that embeds the need for ethical principles in personal and business relationships. If you look at this as simply a “political read,” you’ll lose the message. Instead, use it as a springboard to think/study about the collective impact of character, leadership and intellectual curiosity in all facets of life: personal, business, community and nation. 

Louie Gump (Founder)

Louie Gump (Founder)

George Washington: The Wonder of the Age

by John Rhodehamel

Recommended by: Louie Gump (Founder): This is probably the best book I have ever read about George Washington. In addition to the "usual facts," it addresses his leadership skills, personal philosophy, and obsession with integrity.

Alan Levine (Steering Committee Member)

Alan Levine
(Steering Committee Member)

The Forgotten Man

by Amity Shlaes

Recommended by: Alan Levine (Steering Committee): It’s a great book about how FDR’s big government policies actually extended the depression, and how the free market got snuffed out during that period.

Dr. Brian Noland (Steering Committee Member)

Dr. Brian Noland
(Steering Committee Member)

Born to Run

by Bruce Springsteen

Recommended by: President Brian Noland (Steering Committee): This work compelled me to travel to NYC to see him on Broadway. It is compelling for it tells a true American story of family, adversity, faith, romance, journey, failure, and reclamation.