Popular Academia Books

30+ [Hand Picked] Popular Books On Academia

Discover the list of some best books written on Academia by popular award winning authors. These book on topic Academia highly popular among the readers worldwide.

3.6/5

The Finishing School by Joanna Goodman

In this suspenseful, provocative novel of friendship, secrets, and deceit, a successful writer returns to her elite Swiss boarding school to get to the bottom of a tragic accident that took place while she was a student twenty years earlier. How far would you go to uncover the truth? One spring night in 1998 the beautiful Cressida Strauss plunges from a fourth-floor balcony In this suspenseful, provocative novel of friendship, secrets, and deceit, a successful writer returns to her elite Swiss boarding school to get to the bottom of a tragic accident that took place while she was a student twenty years earlier. How far would you go to uncover the truth? One spring night in 1998 the beautiful Cressida Strauss plunges from a fourth-floor balcony at the Lycée Internationale Suisse with catastrophic consequences. Loath to draw negative publicity to the school, a bastion of European wealth and glamour, officials quickly dismiss the incident as an accident, but questions remain: Was it a suicide attempt? Or was Cressida pushed? It was no secret that she had a selfish streak and had earned as many enemies as allies in her tenure at the school. For her best friend, scholarship student Kersti Kuusk, the lingering questions surrounding Cressida's fall continue to nag long after she leaves the Lycée. Kersti marries and becomes a bestselling writer, but never stops wondering about Cressida's obsession with the Helvetian Society—a secret club banned years before their arrival at the school—and a pair of its members who were expelled. When Kersti is invited as a guest to the Lycée's 100th Anniversary, she begins probing the cover-up, unearthing a frightening underbelly of lies and abuse at the prestigious establishment. And in one portentous moment, Kersti makes a decision that will connect her to Cressida forever and raise the stakes dangerously high in her own desire to solve the mystery and redeem her past. An unputdownable read as clever as it is compelling, The Finishing School offers a riveting glimpse into a privileged, rarefied world in which nothing is as it appears.  

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4.7/5

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Finally, a novel that puts the "pissed" back into "epistolary." Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled Finally, a novel that puts the "pissed" back into "epistolary." Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can't catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work Accountant in a Bordello, based on Melville's Bartleby. In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. We recommend Dear Committee Members to you in the strongest possible terms.

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4.2/5

The Shakespeare Requirement by Julie Schumacher

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune keep hitting beleaguered English professor Jason Fitger right between the eyes in this hilarious and eagerly awaited sequel to the cult classic of anhedonic academe, the Thurber Prize-winning Dear Committee Members. Once more into the breach... Now is the fall of his discontent, as Jason Fitger, newly appointed chair of the Englis The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune keep hitting beleaguered English professor Jason Fitger right between the eyes in this hilarious and eagerly awaited sequel to the cult classic of anhedonic academe, the Thurber Prize-winning Dear Committee Members. Once more into the breach... Now is the fall of his discontent, as Jason Fitger, newly appointed chair of the English Department of Payne University, takes arms against a sea of troubles, personal and institutional. His ex-wife is sleeping with the dean who must approve whatever modest initiatives he undertakes. The fearsome department secretary Fran clearly runs the show (when not taking in rescue parrots and dogs) and holds plenty of secrets she's not sharing. The lavishly funded Econ Department keeps siphoning off English's meager resources and has taken aim at its remaining office space. And Fitger's attempt to get a mossbacked and antediluvian Shakespeare scholar to retire backfires spectacularly when the press concludes that the Bard is being kicked to the curricular curb. Lord, what fools these mortals be! Julie Schumacher proves the point and makes the most of it in this delicious romp of satire.

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3.4/5

By the Book by Julia Sonneborn

An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion. Anne Corey is about to get schooled. An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to An English professor struggling for tenure discovers that her ex-fiancé has just become the president of her college—and her new boss—in this whip-smart modern retelling of Jane Austen’s classic Persuasion. Anne Corey is about to get schooled. An English professor in California, she’s determined to score a position on the coveted tenure track at her college. All she’s got to do is get a book deal, snag a promotion, and boom! She’s in. But then Adam Martinez—her first love and ex-fiancé—shows up as the college’s new president. Anne should be able to keep herself distracted. After all, she’s got a book to write, an aging father to take care of, and a new romance developing with the college’s insanely hot writer-in-residence. But no matter where she turns, there’s Adam, as smart and sexy as ever. As the school year advances and her long-buried feelings begin to resurface, Anne begins to wonder whether she just might get a second chance at love. Funny, smart, and full of heart, this modern ode to Jane Austen’s classic explores what happens when we run into the demons of our past...and when they turn out not to be so bad, after all.

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4.4/5

Beginner's Luck by Kate Clayborn

When three friends impulsively buy a lottery ticket, they never suspect the many ways their lives will change—or that for each of them, love will be the biggest win of all. Kit Averin is anything but a gambler. A scientist with a quiet, steady job at a university, Kit’s focus has always been maintaining the acceptable status quo. A sudden windfall doesn’t change that, with When three friends impulsively buy a lottery ticket, they never suspect the many ways their lives will change—or that for each of them, love will be the biggest win of all. Kit Averin is anything but a gambler. A scientist with a quiet, steady job at a university, Kit’s focus has always been maintaining the acceptable status quo. A sudden windfall doesn’t change that, with one exception: the fixer-upper she plans to buy, her first and only real home. It’s more than enough to keep her busy, until an unsettlingly handsome, charming, and determined corporate recruiter shows up in her lab—and manages to work his way into her heart... Ben Tucker is surprised to find that the scientist he wants for Beaumont Materials is a young woman—and a beautiful, sharp-witted one at that. Talking her into a big-money position with his firm is harder than he expects, but he’s willing to put in the time, especially when sticking around for the summer gives him a chance to reconnect with his dad. But the longer he stays, the more questions he has about his own future—and who might be in it. What begins as a chilly rebuff soon heats up into an attraction neither Kit nor Ben can deny—and finding themselves lucky in love might just be priceless...

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4/5

The Last Enchantments by Charles Finch

The Last Enchantments is a powerfully moving and lyrically written novel. A young American embarks on a year at Oxford and has  an impassioned affair that will change his life forever After graduating from Yale, William Baker, scion of an old line patrician family, goes to work in presidential politics.  But when the campaign into which he's poured his heart ends in disappo The Last Enchantments is a powerfully moving and lyrically written novel. A young American embarks on a year at Oxford and has  an impassioned affair that will change his life forever After graduating from Yale, William Baker, scion of an old line patrician family, goes to work in presidential politics.  But when the campaign into which he's poured his heart ends in disappointment, he decides to leave New York behind, along with the devoted, ambitious, and well-connected woman he’s been in love with for the last four years. Will expects nothing more than a year off before resuming the comfortable life he's always known, but he's soon caught up in a whirlwind of unexpected friendships and romantic entanglements that threaten his safe plans. As he explores the heady social world of Oxford,  he becomes fast friends with Tom, his snobbish but affable flat mate;  Anil, an Indian economist with a deep love for gangster rap; Anneliese, a German historian obsessed with photography; and Timmo, whose chief ambition is to become a reality television star. What he's least prepared for is Sophie, a witty, beautiful and enigmatic woman who makes him question everything he knows about himself. For readers who made a classic of Richard Yates's A Good School, Charles Finch's The Last Enchantments is a sweeping novel about love and loss that redefines what it means to grow up as an American in the twenty-first century.

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3.5/5

The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters by Tom Nichols

The rise of the internet and other technology has made information more easily-accessible than ever before. While this has had the positive effect of equalizing access to knowledge, it also has lowered the bar on what depth of knowledge is required to consider oneself an "expert." A cult of anti-expertise sentiment has coincided with anti-intellectualism, resulting in mass The rise of the internet and other technology has made information more easily-accessible than ever before. While this has had the positive effect of equalizing access to knowledge, it also has lowered the bar on what depth of knowledge is required to consider oneself an "expert." A cult of anti-expertise sentiment has coincided with anti-intellectualism, resulting in massively viral yet poorly informed debates ranging from the anti-vaccination movement to attacks on GMOs. This surge in intellectual egalitarianism has altered the landscape of debates-all voices are equal, and "fact" is a subjective term. Browsing WebMD puts one on equal footing with doctors, and Wikipedia allows all to be foreign policy experts, scientists, and more. As Tom Nichols shows in The Death of Expertise, there are a number of reasons why this has occurred-ranging from easy access to Internet search engines to a customer satisfaction model within higher education. The product of these interrelated trends, Nichols argues, is a pervasive distrust of expertise among the public coinciding with an unfounded belief among non-experts that their opinions should have equal standing with those of the experts. The experts are not always right, of course, and Nichols discusses expert failure. The crucial point is that bad decisions by experts can and have been effectively challenged by other well-informed experts. The issue now is that the democratization of information dissemination has created an army of ill-informed citizens who denounce expertise. When challenged, non-experts resort to the false argument that the experts are often wrong. Though it may be true, but the solution is not to jettison expertise as an ideal; it is to improve our expertise. Nichols is certainly not opposed to information democratization, but rather the enlightenment people believe they achieve after superficial internet research. He shows in vivid detail the ways in which this impulse is coursing through our culture and body politic, but the larger goal is to explain the benefits that expertise and rigorous learning regimes bestow upon all societies.

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4.7/5

The Hundred-Year House by Rebecca Makkai

Meet the Devohrs: Zee, a Marxist literary scholar who detests her parents’ wealth but nevertheless finds herself living in their carriage house; Gracie, her mother, who claims she can tell your lot in life by looking at your teeth; and Bruce, her step-father, stockpiling supplies for the Y2K apocalypse and perpetually late for his tee time. Then there’s Violet Devohr, Zee’ Meet the Devohrs: Zee, a Marxist literary scholar who detests her parents’ wealth but nevertheless finds herself living in their carriage house; Gracie, her mother, who claims she can tell your lot in life by looking at your teeth; and Bruce, her step-father, stockpiling supplies for the Y2K apocalypse and perpetually late for his tee time. Then there’s Violet Devohr, Zee’s great-grandmother, who they say took her own life somewhere in the vast house, and whose massive oil portrait still hangs in the dining room. The Hundred-Year House unfolds a generational saga in reverse, leading the reader back in time on a literary scavenger hunt as we seek to uncover the truth about these strange people and this mysterious house. With intelligence and humor, a daring narrative approach, and a lovingly satirical voice, Rebecca Makkai has crafted an unforgettable novel about family, fate and the incredible surprises life can offer.

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5/5

Lower Ed: How For-Profit Colleges Deepen Inequality in America by Tressie McMillan Cottom

Despite the celebrated history of not-for-profit institutions of higher education, today more than 2 million students are enrolled in for-profit colleges such as ITT Technical Institute, the University of Phoenix, and others. Yet little is known about why for-profits have expanded so quickly and even less about how the power and influence of this big-money industry impact Despite the celebrated history of not-for-profit institutions of higher education, today more than 2 million students are enrolled in for-profit colleges such as ITT Technical Institute, the University of Phoenix, and others. Yet little is known about why for-profits have expanded so quickly and even less about how the power and influence of this big-money industry impact individual lives. Lower Ed, the first book to link the rapid expansion of for-profit degrees to America’s increasing inequality, reveals the story of an industry that exploits the pain, desperation, and aspirations of the most vulnerable and exposes the conditions that allow for-profit education to thrive. Tressie McMillan Cottom draws on her personal experience as a former counselor at two for-profit colleges and dozens of interviews with students, senior executives, and activists to detail how these schools have become so successful and to decipher the benefits, credentials, pitfalls, and real costs of a for-profit education. By humanizing the hard choices about school and survival that millions of Americans face, Lower Ed nimbly parses the larger forces that deliver some of us to Yale and others to For-Profit U in an office park off Interstate 10.

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4.4/5

The Diversity Delusion: How Race and Gender Pandering Corrupt the University and Undermine Our Culture by Heather Mac Donald

By the national bestselling author of The War on Cops a provocative account of the erosion of humanities and the rise of intolerance America is in crisis, from the university to the workplace. Toxic ideas first spread by higher education have undermined humanistic values, fueled intolerance, and widened divisions in our larger culture. Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton? Oppre By the national bestselling author of The War on Cops a provocative account of the erosion of humanities and the rise of intolerance America is in crisis, from the university to the workplace. Toxic ideas first spread by higher education have undermined humanistic values, fueled intolerance, and widened divisions in our larger culture. Chaucer, Shakespeare and Milton? Oppressive. American history? Tyranny. Professors correcting grammar and spelling, or employers hiring by merit? Racist and sexist. Students emerge into the working world believing that human beings are defined by their skin color, gender, and sexual preference, and that oppression based on these characteristics is the American experience. Speech that challenges these campus orthodoxies is silenced with brute force. The Diversity Delusion argues that the root of this problem is the belief in America's endemic racism and sexism, a belief that has engendered a metastasizing diversity bureaucracy in society and academia. Diversity commissars denounce meritocratic standards as discriminatory, enforce hiring quotas, and teach students and adults alike to think of themselves as perpetual victims. From #MeToo mania that blurs flirtations with criminal acts, to implicit bias and diversity compliance training that sees racism in every interaction, Heather Mac Donald argues that we are creating a nation of narrowed minds, primed for grievance, and that we are putting our competitive edge at risk. But there is hope in the works of authors, composers, and artists who have long inspired the best in us. Compiling the author's decades of research and writing on the subject, The Diversity Delusion calls for a return to the classical liberal pursuits of open-minded inquiry and expression, by which everyone can discover a common humanity.

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3.3/5

Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

People’s Book of the Week “The Devil Wears Prada meets Primates of Park Avenue.” —The New York Times “Perfect for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep.”—Booklist Top 6 Books You Need to Read—BuzzFeed Best Books to Give Every Book Lover on Your List—Town and Country One admission can change your life...forever. When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson’s handsome French “almost fianc People’s Book of the Week “The Devil Wears Prada meets Primates of Park Avenue.” —The New York Times “Perfect for fans of Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep.”—Booklist Top 6 Books You Need to Read—BuzzFeed Best Books to Give Every Book Lover on Your List—Town and Country One admission can change your life...forever. When ambitious grad student Kate Pearson’s handsome French “almost fiancé” ditches her, she definitely does not roll with the punches, despite the best efforts of family and friends. It seems that nothing will get Kate out of pajamas and back into the world. Miraculously, one cringe-worthy job interview leads to a position in the admissions department at the revered Hudson Day School. Kate’s instantly thrown into a highly competitive and occasionally absurd culture, where she interviews all types of children: suitable, wildly unsuitable, charming, loathsome, ingratiating, or spoiled beyond all measure. And then there are the Park Avenue parents who refuse to take no for an answer. As Kate begins to learn there’s no room for self-pity or nonsense during the height of admissions season or life itself, her sister and friends find themselves keeping secrets, dropping bombshells, and arguing with each other about how to keep Kate on her feet. Meanwhile, Kate seems to be doing very nicely, thank you, and is even beginning to find out that her broken heart is very much on the mend. Welcome to the world of Small Admissions.

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4.3/5

Talent by Juliet Lapidos

A wickedly funny debut in which the niece of a legendary and enigmatic writer forever alters the life and work of a young student writing about--and desperately searching for--inspiration. Anna Brisker is a 29-year-old graduate student in English at Collegiate University who can't seem to finish her dissertation. Her project: an intellectual history of inspiration. Her take A wickedly funny debut in which the niece of a legendary and enigmatic writer forever alters the life and work of a young student writing about--and desperately searching for--inspiration. Anna Brisker is a 29-year-old graduate student in English at Collegiate University who can't seem to finish her dissertation. Her project: an intellectual history of inspiration. Her take: that the way writers and artists describe the moment of inspiration - that it strikes indiscriminately, that it's handed down from on high and entirely out of their control - is really just self-serving bullshit designed to elevate the artist above the rest of us. To Anna, whose academic prowess has never before been in question, inspiration is just another name for good old fashioned work. Plain and simple. And yet, for the first time, Anna has found herself utterly and truly uninspired. Rather than work on her thesis, she spends her days eating strawberry Pop-Tarts and wandering the streets of New Harbor in a state of perpetual procrastination. It's amidst this unnerving stasis that Anna meets and strikes up a tenuous friendship with Helen Langley, a strangely compelling, free-spirited woman with a penchant for rare book forgery, who just so happens to be the niece of the legendary short story writer Frederick Langley. Freddy quickly penned three wildly successful collections as a young man in the 1960s, then published exactly nothing for the rest of his wayward, hermetic life. A possibly fatal case of writer's block, or so say the critics; as Helen confides to Anna, Freddy actually kept secret notebooks in the last years of his life that are now under lock and key at Collegiate's Elston Library, viewable at Helen's sole discretion. Inspired, uninspired, potentially reinspired-a perfect case study for Anna's dissertation, and one she simply cannot pass up. But as her initial fascination with Freddy Langley and his notebooks blooms into zealous obsession, Anna finds herself falling irrevocably into the criminal machinations of his sole living heir.

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3.7/5

The Headmaster's Wife by Thomas Christopher Greene

Inspired by a personal loss, Greene explores the way that tragedy and time assail one man’s memories of his life and loves. Like his father before him, Arthur Winthrop is the Headmaster of Vermont’s elite Lancaster School. It is the place he feels has given him his life, but is also the site of his undoing as events spiral out of his control. Found wandering naked in Centra Inspired by a personal loss, Greene explores the way that tragedy and time assail one man’s memories of his life and loves. Like his father before him, Arthur Winthrop is the Headmaster of Vermont’s elite Lancaster School. It is the place he feels has given him his life, but is also the site of his undoing as events spiral out of his control. Found wandering naked in Central Park, he begins to tell his story to the police, but his memories collide into one another, and the true nature of things, a narrative of love, of marriage, of family and of a tragedy Arthur does not know how to address emerges. Luminous and atmospheric, bringing to life the tight-knit enclave of a quintessential New England boarding school, the novel is part mystery, part love story and an exploration of the ties of place and family. Beautifully written and compulsively readable, The Headmaster’s Wife stands as a moving elegy to the power of love as an antidote to grief.

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4.8/5

PhD: An uncommon guide to research, writing & PhD life by James Hayton

“I started my PhD in September 2003, but it wasn’t long before I realised that it’s much easier to get onto a PhD programme than it is to complete one…” If the aim of a PhD is to develop the skills of a professional academic researcher, how should you go about it? Using the principles of skill development as a foundation, this book provides a unique approach to the most com “I started my PhD in September 2003, but it wasn’t long before I realised that it’s much easier to get onto a PhD programme than it is to complete one…” If the aim of a PhD is to develop the skills of a professional academic researcher, how should you go about it? Using the principles of skill development as a foundation, this book provides a unique approach to the most common challenges of PhD research, including: Getting to know the literature in your field Developing your research ideas Becoming a better academic writer Coping with the stress and unpredictability of research Publications and presentations Writing, submitting and defending your thesis

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3.5/5

Small Blessings by Martha Woodroof

From debut novelist Martha Woodroof comes an inspiring tale of a small-town college professor, a remarkable new woman at the bookshop, and the ten-year old son he never knew he had. Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he spends his days browsing the Shakespeare shelves at the campus bookstore, ma From debut novelist Martha Woodroof comes an inspiring tale of a small-town college professor, a remarkable new woman at the bookshop, and the ten-year old son he never knew he had. Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he spends his days browsing the Shakespeare shelves at the campus bookstore, managing the oddball faculty in his department and caring, alongside his formidable mother-in-law, for his wife Marjory, a fragile shut-in with unrelenting neuroses, a condition exacerbated by her discovery of Tom's brief and misguided affair with a visiting poetess a decade earlier. Then, one evening at the bookstore, Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the shop's charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to their home for dinner, out of the blue, her first social interaction since her breakdown. Tom wonders if it's a sign that change is on the horizon, a feeling confirmed upon his return home, where he opens a letter from his former paramour, informing him he'd fathered a son who is heading Tom's way on a train. His mind races at the possibility of having a family after so many years of loneliness. And it becomes clear change is coming whether Tom's ready or not. A heartwarming story with a charmingly imperfect cast of characters to cheer for, Small Blessings's wonderfully optimistic heart that reminds us that sometimes, when it feels like life has veered irrevocably off track, the track shifts in ways we never can have imagined.

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3.2/5

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last - Under the influence of their charismatic classics professor, a group of clever, eccentric misfits at an elite New England college discover a way of thinking and living that is a world away from the humdrum existence of their contemporaries. But when they go beyond the boundaries of normal morality they slip gradually from obsession to corruption and betrayal, and at last - inexorably - into evil.

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4.6/5

Stoner by John Williams , John McGahern (Introduction)

William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage William Stoner is born at the end of the nineteenth century into a dirt-poor Missouri farming family. Sent to the state university to study agronomy, he instead falls in love with English literature and embraces a scholar’s life, so different from the hardscrabble existence he has known. And yet as the years pass, Stoner encounters a succession of disappointments: marriage into a “proper” family estranges him from his parents; his career is stymied; his wife and daughter turn coldly away from him; a transforming experience of new love ends under threat of scandal. Driven ever deeper within himself, Stoner rediscovers the stoic silence of his forebears and confronts an essential solitude. John Williams’s luminous and deeply moving novel is a work of quiet perfection. William Stoner emerges from it not only as an archetypal American, but as an unlikely existential hero, standing, like a figure in a painting by Edward Hopper, in stark relief against an unforgiving world.

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3.7/5

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

Finally, a novel that puts the "pissed" back into "epistolary." Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled Finally, a novel that puts the "pissed" back into "epistolary." Jason Fitger is a beleaguered professor of creative writing and literature at Payne University, a small and not very distinguished liberal arts college in the midwest. His department is facing draconian cuts and squalid quarters, while one floor above them the Economics Department is getting lavishly remodeled offices. His once-promising writing career is in the doldrums, as is his romantic life, in part as the result of his unwise use of his private affairs for his novels. His star (he thinks) student can't catch a break with his brilliant (he thinks) work Accountant in a Bordello, based on Melville's Bartleby. In short, his life is a tale of woe, and the vehicle this droll and inventive novel uses to tell that tale is a series of hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is endlessly called upon by his students and colleagues to produce, each one of which is a small masterpiece of high dudgeon, low spirits, and passive-aggressive strategies. We recommend Dear Committee Members to you in the strongest possible terms.

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4.9/5

Straight Man by Richard Russo

In this uproarious new novel, Richard Russo performs his characteristic high-wire walk between hilarity and heartbreak. Russo's protagonist is William Henry Devereaux, Jr., the reluctant chairman of the English department of a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt. Devereaux's reluctance is partly rooted in his character--he is a born anarchist-- and part In this uproarious new novel, Richard Russo performs his characteristic high-wire walk between hilarity and heartbreak. Russo's protagonist is William Henry Devereaux, Jr., the reluctant chairman of the English department of a badly underfunded college in the Pennsylvania rust belt. Devereaux's reluctance is partly rooted in his character--he is a born anarchist-- and partly in the fact that his department is more savagely divided than the Balkans. In the course of a single week, Devereaux will have his nose mangled by an angry colleague, imagine his wife is having an affair with his dean, wonder if a curvaceous adjunct is trying to seduce him with peach pits, and threaten to execute a goose on local television.  All this while coming to terms with his philandering father, the dereliction of his youthful promise, and the ominous failure of certain vital body functions. In short, Straight Man is classic Russo--side-splitting and true-to-life, witty, compassionate, and impossible to put down.

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4.6/5

How to Write a Lot: A Practical Guide to Productive Academic Writing by Paul J. Silvia

All academics need to write, but many struggle to finish their dissertations, articles, books, or grant proposals. Writing is hard work and can be difficult to wedge into a frenetic academic schedule. How can we write it all while still having a life? In this second edition of his popular guidebook, Paul Silvia offers fresh advice to help you overcome barriers to writing a All academics need to write, but many struggle to finish their dissertations, articles, books, or grant proposals. Writing is hard work and can be difficult to wedge into a frenetic academic schedule. How can we write it all while still having a life? In this second edition of his popular guidebook, Paul Silvia offers fresh advice to help you overcome barriers to writing and use your time more productively. After addressing some common excuses and bad habits, he provides practical strategies to motivate students, professors, researchers, and other academics to become better and more prolific writers. Silvia draws from his own experience in psychology to explain how to write, submit, and revise academic work, from journal articles to books, all without sacrificing evenings, weekends, and vacations. The tips and strategies in this second edition have been updated to apply to academic writing in most disciplines. Also new to this edition is a chapter on writing grant and fellowship proposals.

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3/5

Possession by A.S. Byatt

Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire—from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany— Possession is an exhilarating novel of wit and romance, at once an intellectual mystery and triumphant love story. It is the tale of a pair of young scholars researching the lives of two Victorian poets. As they uncover their letters, journals, and poems, and track their movements from London to Yorkshire—from spiritualist séances to the fairy-haunted far west of Brittany—what emerges is an extraordinary counterpoint of passions and ideas. Man Booker Prize Winner (1990)

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4.6/5

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

It's the early 1980s - the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to the Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the It's the early 1980s - the country is in a deep recession, and life after college is harder than ever. In the cafés on College Hill, the wised-up kids are inhaling Derrida and listening to the Talking Heads. But Madeleine Hanna, dutiful English major, is writing her senior thesis on Jane Austen and George Eliot, purveyors of the marriage plot that lies at the heart of the greatest English novels. As Madeleine tries to understand why "it became laughable to read writers like Cheever and Updike, who wrote about the suburbia Madeleine and most of her friends had grown up in, in favor of reading the Marquis de Sade, who wrote about deflowering virgins in eighteenth century France," real life, in the form of two very different guys, intervenes. Leonard Bankhead - charismatic loner, college Darwinist, and lost Portland boy - suddenly turns up in a semiotics seminar, and soon Madeleine finds herself in a highly charged erotic and intellectual relationship with him. At the same time, her old "friend" Mitchell Grammaticus - who's been reading Christian mysticism and generally acting strange - resurfaces, obsessed with the idea that Madeleine is destined to be his mate. Over the next year, as the members of the triangle in this amazing, spellbinding novel graduate from college and enter the real world, events force them to reevaluate everything they learned in school. Leonard and Madeleine move to a biology laboratory on Cape Cod, but can't escape the secret responsible for Leonard's seemingly inexhaustible energy and plunging moods. And Mitchell, traveling around the world to get Madeleine out of his mind, finds himself face-to-face with ultimate questions about the meaning of life, the existence of God, and the true nature of love. Are the great love stories of the nineteenth century dead? Or can there be a new story, written for today and alive to the realities of feminism, sexual freedom, prenups, and divorce? With devastating wit and an abiding understanding of and affection for his characters, Jeffrey Eugenides revives the motivating energies of the Novel, while creating a story so contemporary and fresh that it reads like the intimate journal of our own lives.

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3.3/5

Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis , David Lodge (Introduction)

Regarded by many as the finest, and funniest, comic novel of the twentieth century, Lucky Jim remains as trenchant, withering, and eloquently misanthropic as when it first scandalized readers in 1954. This is the story of Jim Dixon, a hapless lecturer in medieval history at a provincial university who knows better than most that “there was no end to the ways in which nice Regarded by many as the finest, and funniest, comic novel of the twentieth century, Lucky Jim remains as trenchant, withering, and eloquently misanthropic as when it first scandalized readers in 1954. This is the story of Jim Dixon, a hapless lecturer in medieval history at a provincial university who knows better than most that “there was no end to the ways in which nice things are nicer than nasty ones.” Kingsley Amis’s scabrous debut leads the reader through a gallery of emphatically English bores, cranks, frauds, and neurotics with whom Dixon must contend in one way or another in order to hold on to his cushy academic perch and win the girl of his fancy. More than just a merciless satire of cloistered college life and stuffy postwar manners, Lucky Jim is an attack on the forces of boredom, whatever form they may take, and a work of art that at once distills and extends an entire tradition of English comic writing, from Fielding and Dickens through Wodehouse and Waugh. As Christopher Hitchens has written, “If you can picture Bertie or Jeeves being capable of actual malice, and simultaneously imagine Evelyn Waugh forgetting about original sin, you have the combination of innocence and experience that makes this short romp so imperishable.”

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4/5

On Beauty by Zadie Smith

Howard Belsey, a Rembrandt scholar who doesn't like Rembrandt, is an Englishman abroad and a long-suffering professor at Wellington, a liberal New England arts college. He has been married for thirty years to Kiki, an American woman who no longer resembles the sexy activist she once was. Their three children passionately pursue their own paths: Levi quests after authentic Howard Belsey, a Rembrandt scholar who doesn't like Rembrandt, is an Englishman abroad and a long-suffering professor at Wellington, a liberal New England arts college. He has been married for thirty years to Kiki, an American woman who no longer resembles the sexy activist she once was. Their three children passionately pursue their own paths: Levi quests after authentic blackness, Zora believes that intellectuals can redeem everybody, and Jerome struggles to be a believer in a family of strict atheists. Faced with the oppressive enthusiasms of his children, Howard feels that the first two acts of his life are over and he has no clear plans for the finale. Or the encore. Then Jerome, Howard's older son, falls for Victoria, the stunning daughter of the right-wing icon Monty Kipps, and the two families find themselves thrown together in a beautiful corner of America, enacting a cultural and personal war against the background of real wars that they barely register. An infidelity, a death, and a legacy set in motion a chain of events that sees all parties forced to examine the unarticulated assumptions which underpin their lives. How do you choose the work on which to spend your life? Why do you love the people you love? Do you really believe what you claim to? And what is the beautiful thing, and how far will you go to get it? Set on both sides of the Atlantic, Zadie Smith's third novel is a brilliant analysis of family life, the institution of marriage, intersections of the personal and political, and an honest look at people's deceptions. It is also, as you might expect, very funny indeed.

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3.3/5

Moo by Jane Smiley

The hallowed halls of Moo University, a midwestern agricultural institution (aka "cow college"), are rife with devious plots, mischievous intrigue, lusty liaisons, and academic one-upsmanship. In this wonderfully written and masterfully plotted novel, Jane Smiley, the prizewinning author of A Thousand Acres, offers a wickedly funny, darkly poignant comedy.

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3.3/5

The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell , Dustin Thomason

An ivy league murder, a mysterious coded manuscript, and the secrets of a Renaissance prince collide memorably in The Rule of Four -- a brilliant work of fiction that weaves together suspense and scholarship, high art and unimaginable treachery. It's Easter at Princeton. Seniors are scrambling to finish their theses. And two students, Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris, are a hai An ivy league murder, a mysterious coded manuscript, and the secrets of a Renaissance prince collide memorably in The Rule of Four -- a brilliant work of fiction that weaves together suspense and scholarship, high art and unimaginable treachery. It's Easter at Princeton. Seniors are scrambling to finish their theses. And two students, Tom Sullivan and Paul Harris, are a hair's breadth from solving the mysteries of the Hypnerotomachia Poliphili--a renowned text attributed to an Italian nobleman, a work that has baffled scholars since its publication in 1499. For Tom, their research has been a link to his family's past -- and an obstacle to the woman he loves. For Paul, it has become an obsession, the very reason for living. But as their deadline looms, research has stalled -- until a long-lost diary surfaces with a vital clue. And when a fellow researcher is murdered just hours later, Tom and Paul realize that they are not the first to glimpse the Hypnerotomachia 's secrets. Suddenly the stakes are raised, and as the two friends sift through the codes and riddles at the heart of the text, they are beginnning to see the manuscript in a new light--not simply as a story of faith, eroticism and pedantry, but as a bizarre, coded mathematical maze. And as they come closer and closer to deciphering the final puzzle of a book that has shattered careers, friendships and families, they know that their own lives are in mortal danger. Because at least one person has been killed for knowing too much. And they know even more. From the streets of fifteenth-century Rome to the rarified realm of Princeton, from a shocking 500 year-old murder scene to the drama of a young man's coming of age, The Rule of Four takes us on an entertaining, illuminating tour of history--as it builds to a pinnacle of nearly unbearable suspense.

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4.5/5

The History of Sexuality, Volume 1: An Introduction by Michel Foucault , Robert Hurley (Translator)

Michel Foucault offers an iconoclastic exploration of why we feel compelled to continually analyze and discuss sex, and of the social and mental mechanisms of power that cause us to direct the questions of what we are to what our sexuality is.

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4.8/5

That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo , Arthur Morey (narrator)

Following Bridge of Sighs—a national best seller hailed by The Boston Globe as “an astounding achievement” and “a masterpiece”—Richard Russo gives us the story of a marriage, and of all the other ties that bind, from parents and in-laws to children and the promises of youth. Griffin has been tooling around for nearly a year with his father’s ashes in the trunk, but his moth Following Bridge of Sighs—a national best seller hailed by The Boston Globe as “an astounding achievement” and “a masterpiece”—Richard Russo gives us the story of a marriage, and of all the other ties that bind, from parents and in-laws to children and the promises of youth. Griffin has been tooling around for nearly a year with his father’s ashes in the trunk, but his mother is very much alive and not shy about calling on his cell phone. She does so as he drives down to Cape Cod, where he and his wife, Joy, will celebrate the marriage of their daughter Laura’s best friend. For Griffin this is akin to driving into the past, since he took his childhood summer vacations here, his parents’ respite from the hated Midwest. And the Cape is where he and Joy honeymooned, in the course of which they drafted the Great Truro Accord, a plan for their lives together that’s now thirty years old and has largely come true. He’d left screenwriting and Los Angeles behind for the sort of New England college his snobby academic parents had always aspired to in vain; they’d moved into an old house full of character; and they’d started a family. Check, check and check. But be careful what you pray for, especially if you manage to achieve it. By the end of this perfectly lovely weekend, the past has so thoroughly swamped the present that the future suddenly hangs in the balance. And when, a year later, a far more important wedding takes place, their beloved Laura’s, on the coast of Maine, Griffin’s chauffeuring two urns of ashes as he contends once more with Joy and her large, unruly family, and both he and she have brought dates along. How in the world could this have happened? That Old Cape Magic is a novel of deep introspection and every family feeling imaginable, with a middle-aged man confronting his parents and their failed marriage, his own troubled one, his daughter’s new life and, finally, what it was he thought he wanted and what in fact he has. The storytelling is flawless throughout, moments of great comedy and even hilarity alternating with others of rueful understanding and heart-stopping sadness, and its ending is at once surprising, uplifting and unlike anything this Pulitzer Prize winner has ever written. From the Hardcover edition.

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4/5

The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach

At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended. Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly At Westish College, a small school on the shore of Lake Michigan, baseball star Henry Skrimshander seems destined for big league stardom. But when a routine throw goes disastrously off course, the fates of five people are upended. Henry's fight against self-doubt threatens to ruin his future. College president Guert Affenlight, a longtime bachelor, has fallen unexpectedly and helplessly in love. Owen Dunne, Henry's gay roommate and teammate, becomes caught up in a dangerous affair. Mike Schwartz, the Harpooners' team captain and Henry's best friend, realizes he has guided Henry's career at the expense of his own. And Pella Affenlight, Guert's daughter, returns to Westish after escaping an ill-fated marriage, determined to start a new life. As the season counts down to its climactic final game, these five are forced to confront their deepest hopes, anxieties, and secrets. In the process they forge new bonds, and help one another find their true paths. Written with boundless intelligence and filled with the tenderness of youth, The Art of Fielding is an expansive, warmhearted novel about ambition and its limits, about family and friendship and love, and about commitment - to oneself and to others.

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3.7/5

Orientalism by Edward W. Said , Jean-Leon Gerome (Cover Artist)

More than three decades after its first publication, Edward Said's groundbreaking critique of the West's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East has become a modern classic. In this wide-ranging, intellectually vigorous study, Said traces the origins of "orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East and, More than three decades after its first publication, Edward Said's groundbreaking critique of the West's historical, cultural, and political perceptions of the East has become a modern classic. In this wide-ranging, intellectually vigorous study, Said traces the origins of "orientalism" to the centuries-long period during which Europe dominated the Middle and Near East and, from its position of power, defined "the orient" simply as "other than" the occident. This entrenched view continues to dominate western ideas and, because it does not allow the East to represent itself, prevents true understanding. Essential, and still eye-opening, Orientalism remains one of the most important books written about our divided world.

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