We Asked Professors: What Book do you Recommend?

Screen grab via GooReads.com "The Namesake" by Jhumpa Lahiri.
Laura Kieselbach
Assistant Professor of Engish

“I would say that I have personal reading lists that are driven by my professional interest but then also by my personal interest. A recommendation I just received by a student was The Namesake (by Jhumpa Lahiri) because of some texts and what we were talking about in class regarding power, who has it, and who doesn’t.”Anything Vonnegut is also on my personal reading list.

“I also have a lot of personal interests that are driven by professional interests. Not Light But Fire (by Matthew R. Kay) is more of a professional reading about identity and race and culture.”

Jeffrey Ruth
Co-Department Chair modern Languages

“We have two apps that mostly didn’t have no idea about but they are free because they have an ESU email address. We got them for students and they’re on our website. 

I am really super enthusiastic about these because the button to get them says learn 100+ languages and if you click that button from our website, we go to this page with two apps on it and they are fantastic. There’s a selection of languages that opens the world up to you.

I mean, you can download them on your phone and it’s like a corner of ESU that nobody knows about.”

Jan Selving
Associate Professor of English

“(I’d Recommend) Normal People by Sally Rooney, it’s a novel. My husband and I recommend books to each other. And then there’s another one, it’s a memoir called Education by Tara Westover.

I’m teaching a 319 non-fiction class now and so I love reading memoir. And then The Screwtape Letters (by C.S. Lewis). 

I like going through a range of books and then I’ve got tons of poetry in a stack as well.”

Sandra Eckard
Professor of English

“I think my favorite recommendation is Invasion of the Body Snatchers by Jack Finney. I think it’s one of the first true sci-fi horror movies. 

It’s been adapted several times and I think it’s a great story because it can be molded for each generation to be the fear of society. 

So you get a lot of history, time period and whatever we are most worried about. So I think it’s a quick read that students would enjoy but it’s also fun and pleasure reading rather than feeling like you’re reading another book.”

Richard Madigan
Associate Professor of English

“I would recommend The Short Stories of Anton Chekhov. He is one of the all-time greatest writers. He died at the age of 44 of tuberculosis in 1900. He wrote plays and short stories. Echo Press has re-released all his stories in 13 volumes, translated by Constance Garner.

She’s great but she makes him sound like an Englishman. There have also been selected stories that have just come out. His stories are fantastic.

When I was a high school kid, my dad had a paperback copy. I read them when I was about 15 or 16.” 

Timothy Connoly
Co-Department Chair of Modern Languages

“This is a book about servant leadership that we’re talking about in my Philosophy of Leadership class. Usually, the leader is up here, people are down here.

The leader is someone at the top of the pyramid that climbed the ladder to the top. Most contemporary theorists, they try to change that by making the leader closer to the people. 

Servant leadership says the leader is actually below, lifting them up through empowerment.”

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