Here’s what the GW community has been reading so far this semester.
The semester may be in full swing, but the George Washington University community is still finding plenty of time to do some reading for fun. George Washington Today asked around campus to hear what books students, faculty and staff are loving this fall and received suggestions ranging from a memoir of revolution and a motorcycle diary. Check out the full list:
“The Banjo: America's African Instrument,” Laurent Dubois
The story of the banjo is sobering; it goes hand-in-hand with the experience of enslaved people in America. This lush, carefully researched historical account celebrates this versatile instrument while demanding both introspection and action from its readers.
- GW Law Professor Emily Hammond.
"You Are Not Alone,” Free Women Writers, Noorjahan Akbar and Maryam Laly
Inspired by four years’ worth of conversations with Afghan women facing gender-based violence, this book is a resource and reassurance for women who may feel marginalized in their battle. Written by Afghan women for Afghan women, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the nuanced cultural pressures women face with practical tips to address them. What's even more amazing is 100 percent of the proceeds go to more books and educational opportunities for Afghan women. I highly recommend it!
-Senior Aisha Azimi
“Native Guard,” Natasha Tretheway and “Freedom's Mirror,” Ada Ferrer
My reading list is not too interesting these days—all stuff on leadership, or old classics like Cicero. I would recommend Natasha Tretheway’s “Native Guard” in the fiction category. In the non-fiction category, I would recommend “Freedom's Mirror” by Ada Ferrer.
-Columbian College Dean Ben Vinson III
“The Country Under My Skin: A Memoir of Love and War,” Gioconda Belli
A beautiful firsthand account of what it was like to be part of the Sandinista revolution in Nicaragua. This book left me feeling hopeful and optimistic of what those before me have done and all that is left for me to be a part of to advance human rights for all.
-Jennifer A. Zelaya, Global Women’s Institute Research Associate
"Dreaming of Jupiter,” Ted Simon
It’s the story of Ted Simon, who first rode a motorcycle around the world in the 1970s. Nearly 30 years later at age 69, he decided to do it again and follow his original journey to see how the world has changed. As the book cover says, this covers 59,000 miles, five continents, three years, two broken bones, one romance, and it proves you can go back.
-University Photographer William Atkins
“Invitation to Architecture: Discovering Delight in the World Built Around Us,” Max Jacobson and Shelley Brock
The book engages in a wonderful dialogue about the importance of architecture in our everyday lives—and will appeal to anyone with a curiosity in the built environment.
-Director and Associate Professor of Interior Architecture Stephanie Travis
“Do Not Say We Have Nothing,” Madeleine Thien
Haunting and poignant story of classical musicians during China’s Cultural Revolution and decades after, spanning countries and generations, culminating with Tiananmen Square. Sometimes harrowing, sometimes hopeful, the book explores themes of love, family, art and the price of survival.
-Rachel Muir, Executive Director for Editorial Services