University Honors Program

Common Reading 2020

Presenting the Summer Reading book options for Summer 2020:

First Year UHP Students:

 

Cover of Educated by Tara WestoverEducated by Tara Westover

Electronic copy given to first year students

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when Tara’s older brother became violent.

Then, lacking a formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

(Author website description)

All UHP Students:

 As is our tradition, the UHP has selected a few books to keep everyone engaged over the summer.  To break from our trying times, Drs. Doyle and Miller have chosen two classic works of literature—Edith Wharton’s Summer and Jane Austen’s Persuasion to help pass the long days. We will schedule discussions closer to the start of the fall semester.  As a follow-up for David Wallace-Wells' lecture during Spring 2020, we have included his book. We have a few extra copies and you can request one! Stay tuned for updates!
  

Cover of Summer by Edith WhartonSummer by Edith Wharton

Considered by some to be her finest work, Edith Wharton’s Summer created a sensation when first published in 1917, as it was one of the first novels to deal honestly with a young woman’s sexual awakening.

Summer is the story of Charity Royall, a child of mountain moonshiners adopted by a family in a poor New England town, who has a passionate love affair with Lucius Harney, an educated man from the city. Wharton broke the conventions of women’s romantic fiction by making Charity a thoroughly independent modern woman—in touch with her emotions and sexuality, yet kept from love and the larger world she craves by the overwhelming pressures of heredity and society.

Praised for its realism and honesty by such writers as Joseph Conrad and Henry James and compared to Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, Summer remains as fresh and powerful a novel today as when it was first written.

(Penguin Randomhouse description)

Click here for E-Book courtesy of Project Gutenberg

 

Cover of Persuasion by Jane AustenPersuasion by Jane Austen

Of all Jane Austen’s great and delightful novels, Persuasion is widely regarded as the most moving. It is the story of a second chance.

Anne Elliot, daughter of the snobbish Sir Walter Elliot, is woman of quiet charm and deep feelings. When she was nineteen she fell in love with—and was engaged to—a naval officer, the fearless and headstrong Captain Wentworth. But the young man had no fortune, and Anne allowed herself to be persuaded to give him up. Now, eight years later, Wentworth has returned to the neighborhood, a rich man and still unwed. Anne’s never-diminished love is muffled by her pride, and he seems cold and unforgiving. What happens as the two are thrown together in the social world of Bath—and as an eager new suitor appears for Anne—is touchingly and wittily told in a masterpiece that is also one of the most entrancing novels in the English language.

(Penguin Randomhouse description)

Click here for E-Book courtesy of Project Gutenberg

 

The Uninhabitable Earth by David Wallace-Wells

It is worse, much worse, than you think. If your anxiety about global warming is dominated by fears of sea-level rise, you are barely scratching the surface of what terrors are possible—food shortages, refugee emergencies, climate wars and economic devastation.

An “epoch-defining book” (TheGuardian) and “this generation’s Silent Spring” (The Washington Post), The Uninhabitable Earth is both a travelogue of the near future and a meditation on how that future will look to those living through it—the ways that warming promises to transform global politics, the meaning of technology and nature in the modern world, the sustainability of capitalism and the trajectory of human progress.

The Uninhabitable Earth is also an impassioned call to action. For just as the world was brought to the brink of catastrophe within the span of a lifetime, the responsibility to avoid it now belongs to a single generation—today’s.

(Penguin Randomhouse description)

Request a copy

Common Reading 2019:


For First Year students:

In Defense of Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria

All UHP students:

This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War by Drew Gilpin Faust

Strangers in their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right by Arlie Russell Hochschild

Tomlinson Hill by Chris Tomlinson

Pride by Ibi Zoboi