Written by Erin Lobner. Media by Courtney Murphy
In between the time you dedicate to your assigned readings, have you ever wondered if your professors ever pick up a book themselves? Professors are busy people, but between grading papers, fielding emails, developing lessons and balancing their personal lives, some of them find a minute to delve into a book just for fun.
When I asked some of Greenville’s professors “What is your favorite book?” the variety of responses was very interesting. Their answers included biographies, classics, YA fiction, and informative books on topics like relationships, finances and basketball. If you’re looking for some books that come highly recommended, or if you want to gain some brownie points with your professors, make sure to check out this list!
1. “The Book of Basketball: The NBA According to the Sports Guy” by Bill Simmons
Recommended by Math Professor Stephen Groves, this book is a great pick for any sports-lover. Written by former ESPN columnist, Bill Simmons, “The Book of Basketball” is a solid guide to the NBA. Simmons discusses everything from the NBA Hall of Fame to the best basketball players of all time to the major debates in pro basketball. Be sure to check this out if you are interested in basketball or if you want to improve your game as Simmons reveals “The Secret of Basketball.”
2. “John Adams” by David McCullough
One of the book choices that surprised me a bit, the biography of John Adams is Dr. George Barber’s favorite.
McCullough’s work examines the personal and professional life of our second president and covers some of the difficult and amazing decisions he made for the country. For anyone with even a slight interest in history, this book seems like a great choice. Dr. Barber’s honorable mentions: “Steve Jobs” by Walter Isaacson and “Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln” by Doris Kearns Goodwin.
3. “Les Miserables” by Victor Hugo
Dr. Karlene Johnson’s favorite book has gained some major popularity since the movie adaptation came out in 2012. Set in France in 1832, the dramatic tale takes place during the Paris Uprising and explores themes such as crime, punishment and desperation. Overall, it is one of those classics that remains relevant today.
4. “As I Lay Dying” by William Faulkner
A 20th-century tale, Dr. Daryl Cox’s favorite novel has been considered one of the more influential American works of fiction. The book is narrated by each member of the Bundren family as they travel across Mississippi to bury Addie. A challenging but rewarding read, this book is sure to make your heart ache.
5. “The Giver” by Lois Lowry
A book that I’ve been wanting to read, Music Business Professor Danara Moore recommends “The Giver”. Dystopian novels are definitely popular right now, so it’s a good time to read the first book in the quartet. To briefly summarize a complex plot, the main character, Jonas, gets his job as the Receiver of Memory and learns the truth about the hypocrisy and corruption in his community. Check out the reviews on Amazon and take a look at “The Giver” if you’re interested in an adventurous story.
6. “Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead” by Brene Brown
Dr. Lisa Amundson’s favorite book centers around relationships. Dr. Brown’s transformative work will inspire you to view vulnerability not as a weakness, but as a courageous action. This book is perfect for all Greenville students because it really encourages us to move past ourselves and build better connections with those around us. If you’re interested, check out the review on Barnes&Noble.
7. “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” by Alex Haley and Malcolm X
Dr. Teresa Holden provided her own summary of her favorite book, so I’ll let her tell you about it. “The book that
changed my life and that I think everyone should read: “The Autobiography of Malcolm X” as told to Alex Haley. This books holds a mirror up to American culture and shows us where we’ve been and helps us to understand (to some extent) where we are now.” The book has high ratings on Barnes&Noble and Goodreads, and it is another excellent choice for history buffs. Dr. Holden’s honorable mentions: “The Hemingses of Monticello: An American Family” by Annette Gordon-Reed; “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass” by Frederick Douglass; and “The Magician’s Nephew” by C.S. Lewis.
8. “Whirligig” by Paul Fleischman
A fitting choice for our Children’s Literature professor, the children’s book “Whirligig” is Dr. Alexandria LaFaye’s favorite. After 17-year-old Brent accidentally kills someone, he has to go to the corners of the United States to set up whirligigs in her memory. According to Fleischman’s website , the book deals with themes of “connections, forgiveness, and the power of art.” Overall, “Whirligig” is a powerful story for people of all ages.
9. “Stocks for the Long Run: The Definitive Guide to Financial Market Returns & Long-Term Investment Strategies” by Jeremy Siegel
Last on our list is Dr. Larry Sayler’s favorite. Personally, I would have trouble making it through this. But it is a great choice for Accounting or Business majors or anyone who is considering investing. With almost a 5-star rating, this book provides reliable, helpful financial advice.