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

Months before the official start of the semester, many of New York City’s incoming first-year college students are already hitting the books.


Several local colleges and universities assign suggested summer readings to freshmen well before they arrive on campus. We take a look at what some of the hundreds of students about to start their college careers in New York are reading.

Columbia University

Liberal arts students at Columbia have traditionally always read the epic Greek poem the Iliad, which is part of the school’s core curriculum. Homer’s Trojan War-era tale of the battles that took place during a dispute between King Agamemnon and Achilles. As for Columbia's engineering and science students, they’ll checking out Jon Gertner's "Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation." The book details the history of the lab that invented the transistor and changed the worlds of laser and cell phone technology.

New York University

Across town, incoming freshman at NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences, students will be picking up a copy of the Pat Barker novel "Regeneration." First published in 1991, the book tells the story of British Army officers being treated for shell-shock during World War I.

Students at NYU’s Steinhart School, who will be studying education or music, will be reading Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling memoir “Wild.” The book covers Strayed’s decision to travel along California’s Pacific Crest Trail in her 20s.

"'Wild' is about a journey to a new place, about the challenges, surprises, and tribulations that make us stronger and that ultimately teach us how to live our lives," says Patricia Carey, Steinhart's associate dean for student affairs in a statement.

St John's University

"Walk in Their Shoes: Can One Person Change the World?" by Jim Ziolkowski is the pick for students about to arrive at St John's. The memoir details Ziolkowski's choice to leave the corporate world in order to found a nonprofit that works with urban youth.

Follow Lakshmi Gandhi on Twitter @LakshmiGandhi.

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