What Are You Reading This Summer?
Each year students, incoming and returning alike, ask me “What should I read over the summer to better prepare myself for YDS?”
My default answer used to be “Whatever you want,” but noting the recurrent looks of confusion and betrayal, I had to come up with a more concrete response.
“Orthodoxy, by G.K. Chesterton," I would say. "It's the best argument for being religious I've ever read. And of course Dante’s Divine Comedy. You shouldn't go anywhere, much less Divinity School, without having read Dante." (Both are available for free at the links provided)
But those are just my personal favorites. It would take a community-wide effort to get a truly representative list of books that are recommended for the YDS student. “That’s far too large a task to do with any accuracy,” you say.
Behold! The wonderful folks at the Student Book Supply have achieved this marvelous feat!
The Reading Wall (pictured at the SBS) contains books for sale that are hand-picked by students, faculty, and staff at YDS. Each comes with a small descriptor written by its advocate detailing why you should read this book. These books rotate throughout the year, and I’ve never heard of anyone who recommended a book that didn’t eventually wind up on the Wall.
Titles up right now include The Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X & Alex Haley, Umberto Eco’s The Name of the Rose, and Janet Soskice’s The Sisters of Sinai: How Two Lady Adventurers Discovered the Hidden Gospels, amongst others.
When asked about the Reading Wall, stalwart SBS Manager Micah Luce MAR ’07 & STM ’08 said “Insert amazing quote here.” We know he would have said more, but he was too busy getting a head-start on his summer reading, what with the fabulous Reading Wall’s plethora of suggestions.
Remember, when you join YDS, you’re joining a community, one that works to broaden the mind of its participants through the wonderful conversations that take place here. The Reading Wall is one of those conversations, and this summer we invite you to join!