Find a book to read this summer

University members recommend books that made an impact on them.
Find a book to read this summer

Summer is an ideal time to build good reading habits and explore new interests, and over the next few months, South Florida library card-holding residents can read to earn prizes, including museum memberships, sporting event tickets, and gift cards. Learn more about Miami-Dade Public Library System’s Summer Reading Challenge, running now through Aug. 12; Broward County residents with active public library accounts can register for Broward County Library’s Summer Learning​ Program, which runs through Aug. 10. 

Both programs are open to all ages and offer participants—individuals or families—the opportunity to earn prizes throughout the summer by logging and submitting hours of reading and attending eligible programs and events. Explore the University Libraries resources to find your next read. Download the Libby app by Overdrive on your mobile device to get started.

Browse the list of books submitted by University community members.

‘Brag Better: Master the Art of Fearless Self-Promotion’
by Meredith Fineman

“This is a wonderful resource for tackling self-promotion. Women especially will benefit from this book and how to brag about themselves better. Self-promotion isn’t solely a marketing or PR tool; ensuring that your supervisor, team, and leadership are aware of your successes and strengths will lead to growth and promotion. This book is vital for those Fineman calls, the ‘Qualified Quiet.’ I borrowed the audiobook from my local library through the free app, Libby.” —Demi Rafuls, associate director, Development Initiatives

Genre: self-help

‘The Buy Nothing, Get Everything Plan: Discover the Joy of Spending Less, Sharing More, and Living Generously’
by Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller

“Great community resource for learning how to upcycle, reduce waste, overconsumption, live more simply, express gratitude, and create connections.” —Natalie Nava, associate director of graduate admissions, School of Law

Genre: self-help, reference work

‘The Comfort Crisis: Embrace Discomfort to Reclaim Your Wild, Happy, Healthy Self’
by Michael Easter

“Beneficial to both physical and mental health and provides scientific and real-world examples to support.” —Michael Dorn, alumnus

Genre: self-help

‘The Demon of Unrest: A Saga of Hubris, Heartbreak, and Heroism at the Dawn of the Civil War’
by Erik Lrason

“I love the author and have an interest in American History.” —MaryEllen Becher, development officer, Development and Alumni Relations

Genre: biography

‘Discourses and Selected Writings’
by Epictetus

“Stoicism is a powerful tool many young people have not been exposed to.” —Andrew Creech, alumnus

Genre: history, ancient Greece

by Tara Westover

“This is a nonfiction biography and it is compelling. It’s an incredible story about a woman raised so particularly through an ideology in the United States and then recommended to study certain subjects in college. Her battles between what she knows from growing up and the uncertainty of the great big world are absolutely mind-blowing, and her upbringing is pretty traumatizing. It's incredible to open your eyes to how other people are raised and live right alongside us and think about what life might be like for them.” —Nicole Curtin, digital marketing specialist, College of Arts and Sciences

Genre: biography, autobiography

‘The Fed Explained, What the Central Bank Does’
by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.)

“The book explains the correlation between the Federal Reserve and Monetary Policy. Relevant to the economic health of the U.S. economy.” —Tiyuna Colbert, graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Administration

Genre: banking, business, economics

‘The Fifth Season’
by N. K. Jemisin

“‘The Fifth Season’ is the first book in the ‘Broken Earth’ sci-fi trilogy. It has the perfect blend of epic adventure, innovative world building, and careful character development. It also includes refreshingly nuanced queer relationships between BIPOC characters. If you like ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ or ‘Game of Thrones,’ then this one's for you!” —Lynée Turek-Hankins, doctoral student

Genre: novel, science fiction, fantasy fiction, apocalyptic fiction

by Lauren Groff

“Craving a deep dive into Florida's soul? Look no further than ‘Florida’ by Lauren Groff, a collection of short stories that immerses you in the Sunshine State's unique culture and history. Groff, a literary heavyweight recently named one of Time's 100 Most Influential People of 2024, weaves a captivating tapestry of Florida life, from its enchanting landscapes to the complexities within its communities.” —April Macadangdang, assistant director, Digital Learning and Design Institute

Genre: Southern fiction

‘Great Expectations’
by Vinson Cunningham

“New Yorker writer's debut. Fictional account similar to a Black man working on a presidential campaign like Barack Obama.” —MaryEllen Becher, development officer, Development and Alumni Relations

Genre: political fiction

‘Hello Stranger’
by Katherine Center

“It's a cozy and light book that’s perfect for a summer beach read!” —Abigail Schcolnik, student

Genre: romance novel, fiction, contemporary romance

‘The House on Biscayne Bay’
by Chanel Cleeton

“I've long been a fan of Chanel Cleeton and have had the opportunity to see her speak at Books & Books a few times. Her latest novel is set in Miami and, though she writes historical fiction, the reader is treated to mentions of real-life landmarks including Vizcaya and the Biltmore Hotel. No spoilers but the ending really throws in a twist! Pick up the paperback, throw it in your beach bag, and enjoy.” —Megan Ondrizek, executive director of communications and public relations, University Communications

Genre: gothic fiction, horror fiction

‘How to Win Friends and Influence People’
by Dale Carnegie

“It should be essential reading for all students.” —Andrew Creech, alumnus

Genre: self-help

‘How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise, Promotion, or Job’
by Sally Helgesen, Marshall Goldsmith

“I’ve never been seen more as a woman in business than after listening to this book. These 12 habits exist not only in me, but in most women I know who are ambitious and trying to attain more from their careers. I recognize many habits that have been holding me back and this book not only details these habits, but teaches the reader how to identify them and break them for good. I plan to reread this book often and remind myself to push back the habits holding me back. I borrowed the audiobook from my local library on a free app called, Libby.” —Demi Rafuls, associate director, Development Initiatives

Genre: self-help, reference work

‘Infinite Country’
by Patricia Engel

“This is actually written by one of our faculty members, but I had it on my shelf before I started working here so that was very serendipitous. This is fiction but a story that is all too true, especially in South Florida. Thinking about it through this lens really gets you thinking about the humanity that we simply call politics or immigration, without casting a thought about the children who have no control of the situations they are born into and carelessly tossing away the efforts people are literally dying for to get a better life in this country.” —Nicole Curtin, digital marketing specialist, College of Arts and Sciences

Genre: thriller, domestic fiction

‘The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns’
by John C. Bogle

“This book is a gem. ‘The Little Book’ series includes a variety of financial subjects covered by different authors.” —TJ Horrego, alumnus

Genre: nonfiction, finance

‘Mad Honey’
by Jodi Picoult, Jennifer Finney Boylan

“This novel approaches so many areas of life that I would say a majority of people feel some kind of discomfort discussing or starting conversations around, but with it being fictional, there's an opening to contemplate ‘what if that's what life is really like?’ I personally went through that while reading this book, even without having bias towards the opposing side. It was a riveting mystery, the characters took me through many emotions, and it's VERY representative of our current times.” —Nicole Curtin, digital marketing specialist, College of Arts and Sciences

Genre: saga, domestic fiction

‘The Millionaire Next Door: The Surprising Secrets of America's Wealthy’
by Thomas J. Stanley

“Dr. Thomas J. Stanley (1944-2015) was the author of seven award-winning books concentrating on America's wealthy population and was the foremost authority on the affluent.” —Tiyuna Colbert, graduate student pursuing a Master of Public Administration

Genre: business, finance


‘Reminiscences of a Stock Operator’
by Edwin Lefèvre

“This book is a trove of valuable advice for the financial world.” —TJ Horrego, alumnus

Genre: business, economics

‘Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know’
by Adam Grant

“This is a necessary book for anyone in leadership or a decision-making position. The power of learning how to rethink procedures, tactics, and our own ideas is what will lead to true innovation and growth. Too often we are afraid to not only try something new, but rethink what we currently have in place and question what we believe to be true. I borrowed the audiobook from my local library on the free app, Libby.” —Demi Rafuls, associate director, Development Initiatives

Genre: self-help

by Andrew Boryga

“Written by a University of Miami alumnus, the book has great preliminary reviews.” —MaryEllen Becher, development officer, Development and Alumni Relations

Genre: satire

‘Without You, There Is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea's Elite’
by Suki Kim

“It's eye opening.” —Ivan Puente Davalillo, clinical research coordinator, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center

Genre: biography, autobiography, travel literature

‘The Year of Dangerous Days’
by Nicholas Griffin

“Miami born and raised, this was a tumultuous time in my city, and I find it interesting.” —Leticia Tejeda, senior communication specialist, University Communications

Genre: history, nonfiction


Check our previous lists (vol. 1, vol. 2, vol. 3, vol. 4, and vol. 5) to find more suggestions from colleagues and students. Share your book or podcast recommendations for a chance to be included in our next roundup.