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Summer Reading Recommendations Part 2: College Success Program Mentors

Categories: Blind or Visually Impaired, General, General

Compiled by: Kristen Witucki, College Success Program Curriculum and Content Editor

The College Success Program has put together a summer reading list so we could encourage our students and each other to gravitate toward good books we've either read or plan to read. I've recently learned about enough great books to start a blog series! I have to admit that hearing about the many recommended books leads me to feeling almost frozen by the thought of all the books I might not get to! We hope these book lists will help give you a sense of who we are and our program, and also offer some reading entertainment for everyone! Part 2 of our series offers recommendations from seven of our mentors. Read Part 1 here.

Please note: These books are not necessarily available in the Learning Ally catalog.

Maureen Hayden, CSP Mentor

No Impact Man by Colin Beaven
It's a bit outdated now, but for any environmentally minded students this book documents the author and his family as they live waste free in New York City for a whole year. This means no travel, no public transportation, no packaged foods, no electricity, and even no toilet paper.


Emily Vasile, CSP Mentor

Some of the books I plan on reading this summer are:
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Yoga for Better Sleep: Ancient Wisdom Meets Modern Science by Mark Stephens
Conjure Women by Aria Atakora


Bryan Duarte, CSP Mentor

I am not sure if my preferred genre, horror, is good for all, but I just finished:
Devoted by Dean Koontz

I am currently reading:
If It Bleeds by Stephen King
Seize The Night by Dean Koontz
Surprise Kill Vanish by Annie Jacobsen


Sam Van Der Swaagh, CSP Mentor

I am currently reading:
Dune by Frank Herbert
The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
World War Z by Max Brooks

Yes, they are all very relevant to what is going on with COVID-19, Black Lives Matter and SpaceX.

Miso Kwak, CSP Mentor

I have read:
The Fortune Cookie Chronicles: Adventures in the World of Chinese Food by Jennifer Lee

I am currently reading:
About Us: Essays from the Disability Series of the New York Times

I plan to read:
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson

And, I also second Mary Alexander's recommendation of Between the World and Me from Part 1 of this blog series!

Megan Dausch, CSP Mentor

I am currently reading:
The Vanishing Half by Britt Bennett

A few books I've enjoyed in the past year or more include:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer


Caitlin Mongillo, CSP Mentor

I fully second Where the Crawdads Sing for it's beautiful depictions of scenery and Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine for those of us who feel like they never fit in to "normal" society.

I also recommend:
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas for its relevance to what's currently going on regarding racial injustice;
The Short Bus: A Journey Beyond Normal by Jonathan Mooney as a poignant and funny look into disability culture;
and The Turn Of The Key by Ruth Ware as a good, solid summer mystery.

Looking for more reading inspiration? Check out Part 1 of this blog series or browse the Learning Ally Audiobooks. And check back in the coming weeks for Part 3 and Part 4!