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Our Summer 2024 Reading List

It’s summer and the Galin team has book recommendations for both students and parents alike to crack open by the pool. Check out this year’s summer reading list below!

Lights All Night Long by Lydia FitzpatrickLights All Night Long

by Lydia Fitzpatrick

Recommended by Liz

“Not only was the story gripping and the writing really vivid, this book made me think about what life in the American suburbs might seem like to someone coming from a totally different context.”




The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer

by Siddhartha Mukherjee

Recommended by Wesley

This book is an incredibly well-written, narratively focused account of the history of cancer. It tells an inspiring narrative that elegantly captures the long and fascinating history of humanities relationship with cancer. Given the prevalence of the subject matter, it’s definitely worth a read!”



The Picture of Dorian Gray

by Oscar Wilde

Recommended by Madeline

This is a short novel written in a gothic horror style that tells the story of a man who lets his good looks destroy his soul…very literally. An exciting and dramatic tale, and a quick read!”





While You Were Out

by Meg Kissinger

Recommended by Paula

Compelling and well-written memoir addressing mental illness’s impact on a family during a time when it wasn’t as talked about as it is now. Author was longtime reporter for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and a Pulitzer finalist. Noted as one of 2023’s best memoirs.”




The Lies I Tell

by Julie Clark

Recommended by Jenn

“This book provides two perspectives/points of view regarding the same moments in time. Without beating the reader over the head with it, the novel tackles the female perspective and some of the struggles that come with that. This novel shows that even when we think we understand a situation, there is always another side.”




The Mathematician's Shiva by Stuart RojstaczerThe Mathematician’s Shiva: A Novel

by Stuart Rojstaczer

Recommended by Sanchita

Great fiction book about a mathematician in Madison! It also has a protagonist who’s a female mathematician which are far and few in between!”





Ice Rivers

by Jemma Wadham

Recommended by Ben

While many students read about science without direct applicability to the world at large, Ice Rivers provides a first hand account of the scientific process through the study of glaciers. Wadham’s book is well written and approachable while discussing critical environmental issues.”




A Brightness Long Ago

by Guy Gavriel Kay

Recommended by Beth

Terrific historical fantasy novel evoking early Renaissance Italy. Beautifully written!”






The Nightingale

by Kirstin Hannah

Recommended by Ena

A great read, I couldn’t put it down! The story-telling is well-done and super engaging. It’s based off real history events but the story itself is fiction. Definitely a tear-jerker towards the end.”





Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow

by Gabrielle Zevin

Recommended by Erin and Ellen

This book was so moving and entertaining! A very quick pace with excellent characters.” – Erin

I loved this book because it was such a powerful story of friendship and growing up. This story follows how two very different childhood friends turn their decades long passion for video games into a successful business.” – Ellen



The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Recommended by Ama

“This book was one of the best fiction books I’ve read in the past few years, where I was hooked and entertained and surprised all in one.”





The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

by James McBride

Recommended by Ashley

“This novel explores community, race, religion, and family by following the residents of a small town in PA in the early 20th century. You will find characters to love, characters to hate, and friendships to root for. Gripping from the very first page!”




A Walk in the Woods

by Bill Bryson

Recommended by Jeff

Bryson brings history, comedy, and pitch perfect writing to his real life trek along the Applachian Trail. It is an fantastic summer read and will, no doubt, lead you to seek out his other books!”




Co-Intelligence by Ethan MollickCo-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI

by Ethan Mollick

Recommended by Michael

Generative AI has caused a commotion (I know, understatement of the year) and Ethan Mollick does a phenomenal job of grounding our current progress in generative AI usage while encouraging us to dream forward. Regardless of if you’re a burgeoning college student or an experienced professional, you should read this if you’re looking for actionable insights on the coming wave of redefined productivity.”



Politics and the English Language

by George Orwell

Recommended by Ethan

This book is a deep dive into how a great mind thinks about the essential tool of his craft – a tool all students need to learn to use to the best of their ability: language itself!”


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