Published: April 25, 2019

Trust us when we say that our To-Read lists at the University Libraries are extensive and never-ending. Let us help you take advantage of summertime energy and relaxation, and find you that book you never knew you always wanted to read.

If you’re not one of those people who keeps a reading list, take a look at a few of our favorites, complete with classic and contemporary fiction and nonfiction:

 A Season in Wilderness” by Edward Abbey.Yessa Hargono, intake specialist for the Government Information Library recommends the nonfiction book “Desert Solitaire: A Season in Wilderness” by Edward Abbey.

His first nonfiction book depicts the seasons Abbey spent working as a ranger at Arches National Park near Moab, Utah. Hargono describes it as “a classic nature writing about Canyonlands National Park in Moab, Utah that will make you long to go out, explore, and appreciate the natural wonders."




 Difference + Design” by Tara McPherson.Dean of University Libraries Robert H. McDonald recommended the book “Feminist in a Software Lab: Difference + Design” by Tara McPherson.

Published in 2018, McPherson’s work outlines the history of a software lab and what it shows about computation in the humanities and tensions around the role of theory. McPherson was also a recent speaker at the "What is a Feminist Lab?" Symposium, hosted by the Center for Research Data & Digital Scholarship. Dean McDonald called it a great book, especially relevant in this time of digital scholarship, software development, and the #MeToo movement.




 Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech” a tryScience and Engineering Librarian Emily Dommermuth suggests we all give “Technically Wrong: Sexist Apps, Biased Algorithms, and Other Threats of Toxic Tech” a try this summer, calling it a compelling read from Gemmill Library’s new Popular Science Reading collection.

“It looks at a variety of ways that technology has perpetuated racial, gender, and other biases to the detriment of technology users and society as a whole,” said Dommermuth. “This is a great book to read to start thinking about the kinds of questions that need to be asked as new technologies are developed, in order to make sure technology truly benefits every kind of user.”





Interim Associate Dean of Libraries Jennifer Knievel commends Victor Hugo’s French historical novel “Les Miserables,” set in Paris in the mid 1800s, following several characters including ex-convict Jean Valjean, who served 19 years for stealing a loaf of bread.

Knieval reminding us that this story is much more than a musical and that its cultural significance remains strong.

“The story and the characters are complex,” said Knievel. “The book shows you society in the mirror of poverty, and hammers home why people make their choices.”




Photographic Archivist Jennifer Sanchez recommends readers check out “Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger” by  The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger” by Rebecca Traister and The Golden Compass by Phil PullmanRebecca Traister because its approach in following the gender issues of today is thorough.

“It is a clear explanation of why women are dissatisfied with the status quo of how they are treated and viewed,” said Sanchez. “It talks about the #MeToo movement, the Women’s March, and other frustrations women have with the past and present social culture and norms.”

Sanchez said she would recommend any of Traister’s other books to those who enjoy “Good and Mad.” Another book Sanchez suggested as a great summer read is the classic young adult fantasy adventure “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman.

“I love Pullman’s Dark Materials series because they are clever, insightful, and gave me a new way of viewing the meaning of life, the afterlife, and our universe,” she said. “For those who love to imagine other worlds and want to delve into what might happen to them when they die, then these are your books.”


 Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth” by Adam FrankScience Librarian Liz Novosel encourages those intrigued by the unknown and possibilities of life beyond Earth to give “Light of the Stars: Alien Worlds and the Fate of the Earth” by Adam Frank, an astrophysicist, a chance this summer.

“This book presents an interesting take on climate change and the extreme likeliness that there are other technologically advanced civilizations out there,” said Novosel. “There is a large historical component to the book as Frank discusses the history of the scientific search for extraterrestrial life.”



Eric Harbeson, a music and special collections librarian suggest readers check out “What Is Relativity: An Intuitive Introduction to Einstein's Ideas, and Why They Matter” by Jeffrey Bennett. He said that though this book is more than 100 years old, it profoundly affects the world we all live in, and makes the complicated subject matter easy to understand.

“This book is for adults, but it makes relativity seem as normal as gravity,” said Harbeson. “No math, just thought experiments, written for adults who are curious.”


Kate Wright, business outreach and student success coordinator, recommends you read, “The Power of Moments” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.Kate Wright, business outreach and student success coordinator, recommends you read, “The Power of Moments” by Chip Heath and Dan Heath.

“Was there ever a moment that had an enormous impact on your life? How many of those moments happened by sheer coincidence? ‘The Power of Moments’ is an engaging look into how experiences can change us and by identifying traits that they have in common, we can start to create those moments for a more meaningful life and work.”




Did you know Norlin's Popular Reading Collection has about 300 titles with subjects that run the gamut? And most of the books mentioned above can be found in our stacks!

The Gemmill Library’s new Popular Reading section contains over 60 titles that cover topics from ethics in robotics to the fascinating histories of women in STEM.

From misadventures in Silicon Valley to biographies on great innovators and leaders, the Biz Lite collection contains a selection of bestselling books in business. During the renovation of the Business Library, you can find Biz Lite selections on display in Gemmill.

If there is a book we don’t have that you’re craving, go to Prospector, a unified catalog of academic, public, and special libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. Prospector has around 30 million books, journals, DVDs, CDs, videos and other materials you can request and have delivered to your local library.