The ‘Big Book Initiative’ update

I am really getting a kick out of the fact that an increasing number of my students want to undertake the “Big Book Initiative.”

Right now I have a student reading Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy and another who is considering reading War and Peace. I have a third student who is currently looking over a list of books that includes Thomas Pynchon’s Against The Day, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest and Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.

I love their ambition.


A sample of books I am (& have been) reading with my students lately

Here is a sample of some of the books my students and I have been reading lately. I’m immensely proud of them for undertaking all of these:

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky

A Complicated Kindness, by Miriam Toews

A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth

Logicomix, by Apostolos Doxiadis & Christos Papadimitriou

Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ecological Imperialism, by Alfred W. Crosby

The Birth of Tragedy, by Friedrich Nietzsche

Selections from The American Political Tradition, by Richard Hofstadter

In all cases my students have enthusiastically embraced these challenging readings. I could not be more proud of them.