Hot times, hot reads


Whether it’s on the subway, right before bed at night, or during a lunch break on Locust Walk, Penn staff and faculty are squeezing in the last bit of summer reading. From contemporary fiction and local newspapers to sociological studies and, yes, even children’s literature, the Penn community is reading it all. For suggestions on what to read and what to strenuously avoid, check out what these Penn members had to say.

Irene Laird, Intern, VHUP

“I like [‘Confessions of a Shopaholic’ by Sophie Kinsella]. It’s cute in a Bridget Jones sort of way. It’s a good subway read. ‘Tropic of Cancer’ [by Henry Miller] is also good in a very different way — it’s much more intellectual.”

Charles McCarry, Police Officer, Penn Police Department

“I liked ‘The Hobbit’ [by J.R.R. Tolkien]. I started reading it because somebody recommended it to me. Plus, the movie is coming out soon. “I also liked ‘Lonesome Dove’ by Larry McMurtry. It’s a Western novel. I started reading it because I liked the movie — they made it into a miniseries.”

Calvin Nodine, Research Professor of Radiology, School of Medicine

“‘Infamy: Pearl Harbor and Its Aftermath’ by John Toland. This is an excellent book. Toland gathers historical facts from sources like naval intelligence and congressional hearings. The central question is whether F.D.R. knew about the attack prior to when it happened or was it a mix-up between the navy and the army.”

Robin Rozen, Manager, Facilities Planning and Operational Services, School of Medicine

“‘The Man Who Loved Children’ by Christina Stead. Don’t read it. It’s very confusing, depressing and dated. It’s about a dysfunctional family living in the ’30s in Baltimore with an abusive father.”

Adam Kandon, Research Associate in Linguistics, School of Arts & Sciences

“‘An Inventory of Memory’ by Michele Prisco. It’s a very interesting book written by a Neapolitan writer. I’ve also read the first volume of Harry Potter [‘Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone’ by J. K. Rowling]. It’s quite good. I’m tempted to read the rest [of the series].”

Jim Roundtree, Film and Records Librarian, HUP

“‘The Left-Behind Series’ by Tim LeHaye. They’re fantastic. I can’t put them down. They’re about end-time events. It’s a take-off of the biblical perspective of the apocalypse.”

Robert Smalls, Security Officer, School of Medicine

“I haven’t had time to read anything except the local paper, things like the Philadelphia Inquirer. I’m trying to keep in touch with what’s going on, but it’s always bad news.”

—Trinh Tran

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Originally published on August 30, 2001