Winners of the 2014 Books of Summer Reading Challenged Announced!

Friends of Phillips Library reviewed nineteen books last spring for the most recent Books of Summer brochure. At the end of the summer, Phillips Library staff wanted to know who had read the most recommended books and which book was read by the most people. So they held a contest and invited students, faculty, staff, and alumni to participate in a survey to find out. Winners received a $25 gift card that would allow them to do, what else—buy books!

Whitney Warren, the program secretary for the Collaborating Academic Partnership Program (CAPP) in the department of education, read more books than any other respondent—an impressive twelve out of the nineteen books on the list! Warren says, “I found the books fascinating, and I love to read!” A total of 63 people responded to the survey. Almost half were students: 18 undergraduates and 12 grad students. Thirty-two faculty/staff members filled out the survey, and even one alum participated in the challenge. The mean number of books read was 2.48 per respondent. The student who had read the most books was Anna Pierce, who read seven books from the list.

The Book Thief All of the books from the list were read by at least one respondent, but which book was read by the most people? The clear winner was The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, with 63% of the respondents (38 people) saying they’ve read this book. It was recommended by Sherry Becker, a recent graduate of Aurora University. She wrote her review of this book last spring when she was a senior English and secondary education major. She is thrilled to win and to know that so many people read and enjoyed this book. Rounding out the top five for most-read are Still Alice by Lisa Genova (read by 15 people), Paradise by Toni Morrison (read by 13 people), David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell (read by 11 people), and Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (read by 10 people).

Do you want to see how you stack up against the Books of Summer list? How many of the following books have you read?:

  • Still Alice by Lisa Genova
  • The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • Old Man’s War by John Scalzi
  • Furious Love: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and the Marriage of the Century by Sam Kashner
  • Extreme Medicine: How Exploration Transformed Medicine in the Twentieth Century by Kevin Fong
  • Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II by Denise Kiernan
  • Through a Glass, Darkly by Donna Leon
  • David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Fall of Giants and Winter of the World by Ken Follett
  • Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen
  • Paradise by Toni Morrison
  • Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Chang Jung
  • Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
  • The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains by Nicholas Carr
  • Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville
  • The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith
  • The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
  • Shotgun Lovesongs by Nickolas Butler
  • Daring Greatly: How the Courage To Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead by Brené Brown