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LWC community assembles diversity of titles for summer reading

Lindsey Wilson professors personal reading this summer includes number of Kentucky authors

By Duane Bonifer, LWC Director of Public Affairs

Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21, but members of the Lindsey Wilson College community have already started their reading lists for the season.

Books selected for this summer's reading include titles by former professors and Kentucky authors, as well as a heavy dose of the classics. Science fiction is also a popular genre on this summer's lists, as are books with personal a connection to the reader.

Assistant Dean of Students Curt Lee started his summer list with Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. A recent trip to Europe took Lee to Buxton, England, which is near the book's scenes and where one broadcast version of the Austen novel was filmed.

"Pride and Prejudice is incredibly funny such sarcasm," Lee said. "Austen's insight into the foibles and follies of humanity, both male and female, transcends the pair of centuries since its publication."

Some Lindsey Wilson professors will use their summer break to both take a break from the quotidian and to explore new topics.Associate Professor of English Carolyn Keefe began the summer with Sheila Weller's story about three seminal female pop vocalists and composers, Girls Like Us: Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Carly Simon And the Journey of a Generation.

"That I lived in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, around the same time as Joni Mitchell makes the book additionally interesting," she said.Keefe also plans to read Contested Terrain: A New History of Nature and People in the Adirondacks, by Philip G. Terrie. The book is by one of her graduate school professors that inspired the recent PBS special The Adirondacks.

She then plans to turn to Annie Dillard's The Maytrees: A Novel, which is set on Cape Cod, where she has generations of family ties; followed by two recent books of poetry by Kentucky writers, Frank X. Walker's When Winter Come: The Ascension of York and Erik Reece's Field Work: Modern Poems from Eastern Forests.

"I'm counting on both books to inspire as well as to bring a measure of peace," she said.

Professor of Psychology Steven Scott's list focuses on recent neuroscience research and its relationship to medical hypnosis."Hypnotherapists have always known of the depth of change that often occurs in clients and with ever-improving brain imagining tools we are beginning to understand how such mental activities as hypnotherapy can turn on activity-dependent gene expression, protein synthesis, brain plasticity and physiological processes," he said. "In other words, how the mind can heal the brain and body."

Associate Professor of English Tip H. Shanklin will learn more about the state of affairs in Russia when he reads an important book by the late journalist Anna Politkovskaya.

Politkovskaya a relentless, truth-telling critic of then-Russian President Vladimir Putin and his regime was brutally and mysteriously murdered in 2006 in front of her Moscow apartment building.

Politkovskaya's A Russian Diary: A Journalist's Final Account of Life, Corruption, and Death in Putin's Russia "is proving already to be hauntingly prophetic, particularly about the neo-totalitarianism in and renewed militarism of the Russian federation that she began observing and writing about in 2002," Shanklin said.

Then Shanklin then plans to step back about 2,100 years to examine the new translation of Vergil's The Aeneid by Sarah Ruden. The Aeneid will be part of a major authors course Shanklin will teach in the fall, but that's not the only reason he's going to read it.

"So why is this making international headlines? Because it is the first published translation of the tragic, war-torn Latin epic by a woman since it was written 2,000 years ago," Shanklin said. "Aside from the obvious, my interests in this new translation are that it will be fascinating to compare and contrast her language and meter and her characterization of Aeneas and his struggles with those of her many male predecessors and contemporary male translators."

Associate Professor of English Tim McAlpine will use summer to supplement a perpetual re-reading of Boswell's Life of Johnson with Boswell's Presumptuous Task: The Making of the Life of Dr. Johnson by Adam Sisman. Then he will take time to explore an old interest in U.S. history when he reads Almost a Miracle: The American Victory in the War of Independence by John Ferling.

"It's a chance to explore an old interest in U. S. history," he said.Many Lindsey Wilson students selected lists that blend classics with new works. The list for LWC junior Jared Radford of Columbia includes a story about the war in Iraq balanced by two William Faulkner novels Light in August and Absalom, Absalom!

"I always try to read a few Faulkner books every summer," he said.Lindsey Wilson junior Morgan Reck of Winchester, Ky., also plans to read at least two classics: Emily Bronte's Jane Eyre and Kentucky author Robert Penn Warren's All The King's Men.

"I chose (All The King's Men) because if it was good enough to be made into a movie, then the book must be good," she said.Interlibrary Loan Assistant Susan McDaniel has a diverse list of more than a half-dozen titles. She plans to spend time with Kurt Vonnegut and also to re-visit Beowulf through the new translation by Charles W. Kennedy.

"As time permits, I'm also rereading Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations in order to find out how it all went so terribly wrong," she said.Associate Vice President for Advancement Kevin Thompson hopes to incorporate what he reads in 3:16 The Numbers of Hope by best-selling Christian author Max Lucado into Sunday school lessons he teaches. And he plans to read Led to Follow, by the Rev. Howard Olds and businessman Cal Turner Jr.

"I'm always interested in leadership books with a Christian foundation," Thompson said.

Assistant Professor of Computer Information Systems Rick Hagan plans to read books with spiritual themes, but he also plans to read several science-fiction novels, including titles from the Dune series.And Hagan, along with several dozen LWC faculty and staff and almost all of the incoming freshmen, will take time to read Missing Mountains: We Went to the Mountaintop But It Wasn't There. The anthology which is a collection of pieces by 35 Kentucky writers who address the impact of mountain-top removal in Eastern Kentucky will be used to start off this fall's Freshman Seminar classes.

To see a complete list of summer books, go to 2008 Summerbooks

This story was posted on 2008-06-11 04:58:14
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