Some local college students are already hitting the books

Colleges around the country are increasingly assigning summer reading to incoming freshmen. Credit: Fuse
Colleges around the country are increasingly assigning summer reading to incoming freshmen.
Credit: Fuse

Whether while riding SEPTA on the way to an internship or on a lawn chair by the beach, thousands of incoming college freshmen will make time to finish their assigned summer reading before moving in to the dorms. Typically, colleges and universities handpick books that spark conversation and integrate programming into freshman orientation to promote this discussion. Metro took a look at what some schools in the Philadelphia area are reading – we hope at least one of them will pique your interest!

University of Pennsylvania

The Penn Reading Project gives incoming students their first opportunity to participate in an intellectual discussion with faculty, which takes place during New Student Orientation in small groups. This year’s Penn Reading Project book, Anne Fadiman’s“The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down”, was chosen in accordance with the Provost’s announcement that the 2014-2015 theme year topic will be the Year of Health, as it centers on an family immigrating to California from Laos whose young daughter is diagnosed with severe epilepsy. The book, published in 1997, addresses global issues in medicine and the American healthcare system, and cultural misunderstanding in the field is a recurring theme in the story.

Villanova University

All students who will be attending the university in the coming school year – incoming first-years through rising seniors – will receive the book “The Other Wes Moore” by Wes Moore through the One Book Villanova program. The author is scheduled to speak at the university in the fall as the first in a series of programs throughout the academic year involving his New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller. In his nonfiction book, Wes Moore documents his story and that of another man of the same name, both of whom grew up in the same city but led drastically different lives. While the author grew up to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran and White House Fellow, his new acquaintance, with whom he corresponded with for several years, is incarcerated serving a life sentence for murder.

Lehigh University

First-years at Lehigh have the opportunity to choose between two novels as their summer reading book. One, “Class Matters” is the product of more than a year of investigation by a team of New York Times reporters who explored “ways that class – defined as a combination of income, education, wealth and occupation – influences destiny in a society that likes to think of itself as a land of unbounded opportunity” The New York Times wrote on its website. The other, Bathsheba Monk’s “Now You See it … Stories from Cokesville, PA”, is a Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year – a series of short stories about small-town life in the fictional coal-and-steal country town of Cokesville.


Mayor reveals new tech hub Digital.NYC

Mayor Bill de Blasio revealed Digital.NYC on Wednesday, a new online platform aimed at connecting all things tech in New York City. The public-private partnership…


Falling debris hits two men in Times Square

Two men were taken to the hospital Wednesday morning after being hit by falling debris from 110 feet above Times Square. Nancy Greco from the…


Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough accused of misusing campaign…

Queens Assemblyman William Scarborough has been indicted on state and federal charges for allegedly withdrawing campaign funds as cash for personal use. Scarborough, a Democrat…


U.S. Secret Service director Pierson resigns under fire

U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson resigned under fire on Wednesday after a series of security lapses came to light.


TV watch list, Wednesday, Oct. 1: 'Criminal Minds,'…

The "Criminal Minds" team adds some supernatural assistance, as the "Ghost Whisperer" herself, Jennifer Love Hewitt, joins the show. She's playing an FBI agent, but you never know when someone…


See the most popular Pandora station in your…

Who knew Bachata music was so popular?

The Word

The Word: Twilight just won't die

You thought our "Twilight" days were behind us, didn't you? Well think again. Series creator Stephenie Meyer (who would rather you not ask about "Twilight"…

Going Out

Which NYC restaurant lost its three-star Michelin rating?

A record 73 restaurants in New York City collected coveted Michelin stars on Tuesday as a mix of trendy spots and fine-dining stalwarts underscored the…


Rex Ryan fields more questions about Geno Smith,…

The idea Geno Smith will be replaced by backup Michael Vick appears to be all smoke, as the Jets are intent to ride with their second-round draft pick.


Will Beatty playing like franchise left tackle again…

Left tackle Will Beatty, who is the elder-statesman of Giants’ line, has turned around his season and become a consistent force on Manning’s blindside.


John Conner back with Jets for second stint

He'll be back. It's "Terminator 2" for the Jets, who brought back John Conner to the team on Tuesday after placing fullback Tommy Bohanon on…


Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry…

Fantasy football: Ben Tate to break out, Larry Donnell will stay solid


Creating a support system for minority women in…

When Kathryn Finney founded digitalundivided — an organization devoted to engaging minority communities with the tech world — she didn’t know quite what to expect.…


We can learn a lot from animals about…

There’s a lot we can learn about love from the birds and the bees — and the chickens, monkeys and squirrels that we share the…


Saint Laurent

Our review of the Saint Laurent Spring '15 show at Paris Fashion Week.


Céline: Paris Fashion Week Spring 2015

Our review of the Celine Spring '15 show during Paris Fashion Week.