Faculty News

USC Rossier faculty share their summer 2024 reading recommendations

A guide for anyone looking to read this summer.

By Ellen Evaristo Published on

As the summer months approach, many are looking forward to some well-deserved downtime and relaxation. Whether spending time at the beach, traveling or simply enjoying a quiet staycation, reading is often a favorite pastime during the summer. To help inspire and guide others and their reading choices, we’ve complied this list of recommended books from USC Rossier faculty.. From thought-provoking nonfiction to captivating fiction, these books will provide hours of entertainment and intellectual stimulation during the summer break.

Jessica T. DeCuir-Gunby, Professor of Education

“My teenage son is a history buff and loves learning real history. Because of this, my family is currently reading Black AF History: The Un-Whitewashed Story of America by Michael Harriot. Harriot uses humor to challenge the dominant narrative and center the experiences of Black Americans by telling little-known stories of Black heroism, ingenuity and patriotism that were integral to the creation of the United States. We have been reading, or shall I say listening to, books together for years now. We started one time when we were on a road trip. Sometimes we read fiction and other times it is nonfiction. It is a great way for us to do something together as a family.”

Greg Franklin, Professor of Clinical Education 

High Conflict: Why We Get Trapped and How We Get Out by Amanda Ripley is an engaging read about the things that divide us, and how to work through differences. It is especially timely as our cultural and political divide deepens.”

Huriya Jabbar, Associate Professor

“This summer, I plan to finish reading Martyr! by Kaveh Akbar. I’m only about 20 pages in so far, and it is a beautiful novel about death, grief and addiction by an Iranian American poet. For something lighter, I’ll read Tana French’s latest book, The Hunter. Her smart mystery novels are the closest I get to a ‘beach read.’ And since this will be my first full summer in Los Angeles, I do plan to explore the local beaches!”

Pedro Noguera, Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean

Leading with Heart and Soul by Irvin Scott. “Irvin was an outstanding principal and education leader. His insights will be valuable to others who choose to become ed leaders.”

Getting Education Right: A Conservative Vision for Improving Early Childhood Education, K–12, and college. “I’m reading it because I respect the authors (even though I largely disagree with them) and because it’s important to know what conservatives are thinking about education policy.”

The Fifth Wave: The Evolution of American Higher Education by Michael Crow and William Dabars. “I’m reading this because Crow is a visionary leader in higher education and his views have the potential to transform higher ed in the U.S.”

Atheneus Ocampo, Assistant Professor of Clinical Education

Hospicing Modernity by Vanessa Machado de Oliveira is on my reread list as the ability to hold complexity is prominent in my discussions with students. This text is significant in that it offers valuable insights after each read. See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love by Valerie Kaur and Love & Rage by Lama Rod Owens are also in my queue as love as a healing and liberating force are very much central to work in education.”

USC Rossier faculty- and recent alum-authored books that are also available for summer reading:

Books to look forward to:

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