Add this one item to your new year’s resolution, please!

By admin December 19, 2016 BS/MD Admissions Consulting

As 2016 is coming to an end, we begin 2017 thinking of our New Year’s resolutions. What goals can we set to make ourselves a better person? Well, I have a goal for you to add to your list. READ MORE!

As a SAT instructor for many years, I see first-hand the power of reading. Most top SAT scorers have one thing in common – voracious readers. They start reading young and read often.

Well, no matter your age/grade, it’s not too late. Set a goal of one book a month. Not sure where to get started? Below we have compiled the recommended reading lists from some of the country’s top universities.

Make this resolution the one you actually stick to!

Read more!Read more!

Berkeley, University of California

• Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption – Bryan Stevenson

• The First Collection of Criticism by a Living Female Rock Critic – Jessica Hopper

• The Left Hand of Darkness – Ursula K. Le Guin

• My Brilliant Friend – Elena Ferrante (Translated by Ann Goldstein)

• The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

• The Sirens of Titan – Kurt Vonnegut

• First Confession – Montserrat Fontes

• Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell: Adventurer, Adviser to Kings, Ally of Lawrence of Arabia – Janet Wallach

• The Sparrow – Mary Doria Russell

• The Innovators: How a Group of Inventors, Hackers, Geniuses, and Geeks Created the Digital Revolution – Walter Isaacson

• Outside Lies Magic: Regaining History and Awareness in Everyday Places – John R. Stilgoe

• The Making of the Atomic Bomb – Richard Rhodes

• Alan Turing: The Enigma – Andrew Hodges

• Undoing the Demos: Neoliberalism’s Stealth Revolution – Wendy Brown

• School Days (Chemin d’école) – Patrick Chamoiseau

• Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress – Dai Sijie

• Essential Keats: Selected by Philip Levine – John Keats

• Blindsight – Peter Watts

• Class: A Guide Through The American Status System – Paul Fussell

• Madame de Pompadour – Nancy Mitford

Stanford University

• We Need New Names – NoViolet Bulawayo

• A Paradise Built in Hell – Rebecca Solnit

• We the Animals – Justin Torres

Georgia Tech

• Lucky Jim (1958) – Amis, Kingsely

• Ravelstein (2000) – Bellow, Saul

• The Da Vinci Code (2003) – Brown, Dan

• Angels and Demons (2001) – Brown, Dan

• Possession (1990) – Byatt, A. S.

• The Rule of Four (2004) – Caldwell, Ian and Dustin Thomason

• The Emperor of Ocean Park – Carter, Stephen L.

• “The Cornish Trilogy” – Davies, Robertson

o The Rebel Angels

o The Lyre of Orpheus

o What’s Bred in the Bone

• The Name of the Rose (1983) – Eco, Umberto

• Sophie’s World (1995) – Gaarder, Jostein

• A Tenured Professor (1990) – Galbraith, John Kenneth

• Lecturer’s Tale (2001) – Hynes, James

• Ex Libris – King, Ross

• Handmaid of Desire (1996) – L’Heureux, John

• Luchessi and the Whale (2001) – Letricchia, Frank

• Changing Places – Lodge, David

• Small World: An Academic Romance – Lodge, David

• Nice Work (1990) – Lodge, David

• The Groves of Academe (1951) – McCarthy, Mary

• Killing the Shadows – McDermid, Val

• Calling Bernadette’s Bluff (2002) – McGowan, Dale

• A Beautiful Mind (1998) – Naser, Sylvia

• The Dante Club (2003) – Pearl, Matthew

• An Instance of the Fingerpost – Pears, Iain

• Blue Angel (2001) – Prose, Grancine

• The Golden Compass – Pullman, Phillip

• Japanese by Spring – Reed, Ishmael

• The Human Stain – Roth, Philip

• Straight Man – Russo, Richard

• Porterhouse Blue – Sharpe, Tom

• Moo – Smiley, Jane

• Doomsday Book (1993) – Willis, Connie

Ivy League Universities:

Brown University

• My Beloved World – Sonia Sotomayor

Columbia University

• Homer’s Iliad – Richmond Lattimore

Harvard University

• 1491 and 1493, by Charles C. Mann. (Joe Bellavance).

• Aftermarketing: How to Keep Customers for Life through Relationship Marketing, by Terry G. Vavra. (Jacqueline Giordano).

• Aging Well, by George Vaillant. (Rod Skinner).

• American Demographics, published by Advertising Age magazine. Required monthly reading. (William Fitzsimmons).

• A Mind at a Time, by Mel Levine. (Rod Skinner).

• The Anatomy of Racial Inequality, by Glenn Loury. (Dean Whitla).

• Anna Karenina, by Leo Tolstoy. Powerfully addresses issues of gender and socioeconomic class. (William Fitzsimmons).

• The Autobiography of Malcolm X. Still highly relevant. (William Fitzsimmons).

• The Beautiful Struggle: A Memoir, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The life that led to the man. (Rod Skinner).

• Between the World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates. An essential voice in the current conversations around class, race, freedom of speech, and Black Lives Matter. Called the new James Baldwin by Toni Morrison. (Rod Skinner, Ana Henriquez)

• Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters, by Michael Roth. (Rod Skinner).

• The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home, by George Howe Colt. An inside view of some of New England’s (and Harvard’s) historical founding families. (William Fitzsimmons).

• Binge: Campus Life in an Age of Disconnection and Excess, by Barrett Seaman discusses life outside of the classroom and “what your college student won’t tell you.” (Gloria Mueller).

• The Black-White Test Score Gap, edited by Christopher Jencks and Meredith Philips. (Dean Whitla).

• The Blessings of a B Minus, by Wendy Mogel (Gloria Mueller).

• Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, by Malcolm Gladwell. (Joe Bellavance).

• Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams, by Alfred Lubrani (Ana Henriquez).

• Bobos in Paradise: The New Upper Class and How They Got There, by David Brooks. Examines the role of education in shaping the new meritocracy. (William Fitzsimmons).

• Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, Robert Putnam. One of the first works of social research to quantify the disintegration of community in the U.S. (Rod Skinner).

• Breakpoint: The Changing Marketplace for Higher Education, Jon McGee. Published by Johns Hopkins University Press. (Jacki Giordano).

• The Case for Affirmative Action, by Jesse Jackson and Bob Laird. (Richard Shaw).

• The Childhood Roots of Adult Happiness, by Edward Hallowell. (Rod Skinner).

• The Children of the Kibbutz, by Melford Spiro. Insights into human development and adolescence. (William Fitzsimmons).

• Choosing Students: Higher Education Admissions Tools for the 21st Century, by Wayne J. Camara and Ernest W. Kimmel (Editors). Vital research on college admission today and tomorrow. (William Fitzsimmons).

• The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton, by Jerome Karabel. (William Fitzsimmons)

• The Chronicle of Higher Education. Required weekly reading. (William Fitzsimmons)

• Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, by Jared Diamond. (Rod Skinner)

• The College Administrator’s Survival Guide, by C. K. Gunsalus.

• The College Application Essay, by Sarah Myers McGinty. (Gloria Mueller)

• College of the Overwhelmed, by Dr. Richard Kadison, M.D. and Theresa Foy DiGeronimo discusses the campus mental health crisis and what to do about it (Gloria Mueller).

• Colleges That Change Lives, by Loren Pope. (Gloria Mueller).

• Composing a Life, by Mary Catherine Bateson. A look at how discontinuity and change can be a source of great energy and creativity in our lives. (Rod Skinner).

• Counselors and Mentors Handbook on Federal Student Aid: 2015-16 (Duane Quinn).

• Crafting a Class: College Admissions and Financial Aid, Elizabeth A. Duffy and Idana Goldberg, Princeton University Press, 1998. This is historical research which puts a good perspective on the influence of financial aid on admissions and includes a good cross section of institutions and how they dealt with the impact of aid on enrollment. (Duane Quinn).

• Crossing the Finish Line, by William Bowen, Matthew Chingos, and Michael McPherson. A comprehensive analysis of the problem of college students’ failure to complete their baccalaureate degrees. (Dean Whitla).

• The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now., by Meg Jay. (Rod Skinner).

• Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss what Matters Most, by Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen, Roger Fisher. (Rod Skinner)

• The Economist. Required weekly reading. (William Fitzsimmons) The Economist website.

• Emotional Branding, by Marc Gobe. (Jacqueline Giordano)

• The End of Equality, by Mickey Kaus.

• Enlightened Power: How Women are Transforming the Practice of Leadership, editors: Linda Coughlin, Ellen Wingard, Keith Hollihan. (Jacqueline Giordano).

• Ensouling Language: On the Art of Non-Fiction and the Writer’s Life, by Stephen Harrod Buhner. (Rod Skinner).

• Equity And Excellence In American Higher Education (Thomas Jefferson Foundation Distinguished Lecture Series), by William G. Bowen, Martin A. Kurzweil, Eugene M. Tobin, Susanne C. Pichler. (Rod Skinner).

• For Discrimination: Race, Affirmative Action, and Law, by Randall Kennedy. A clear-eyed, precisely principled, and thorough deconstruction of and defense for affirmative action. (Rod Skinner).

• The Game of Life: College Sports and Educational Values, written by former Princeton University president William Bowen and co-author James Shulman. This study covers not only the big time Division I schools but also delves into the growing impact of athletics in small liberal arts colleges. (William Fitzsimmons).

• Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success, by Adam Grant. (Rod Skinner).

• The Guide to Federal Student Aid, 2016, U.S. Department of Education; Student Financial Assistance Programs. This is one of the few government documents which is readable and understandable. It is the basic starting point for a novice interested in Financial Aid. (Duane Quinn).

• The Hero’s Trail, by T. A. Barron.

• Higher Education and the Color Line: College Access, Racial Equity, and Social Change, by Gary Orfield (Editor), Patricia Marin (Editor), Catherine L. Horn (Editor). (Janet Rapelye).

• Hold Fast to Dreams: A College Guidance Officer, His Students, and the Vision of a Life Beyond Poverty, by Beth Zasloff and Joshua Steckel. (Rod Skinner).

• A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League, by Ron Suskind.

• Horace’s Hope: What Works for the American High School, by Theodore Sizer. This book, and The Schools We Need, by E.D. Hirsch are two contrasting and powerful volumes about American education. Hirsch strongly believes that the progressive movement has robbed our school of the knowledge that students need to be effective in the modern world; the evidence he provides is persuasive. Sizer has in his Horace trilogy brought us insights about the American school seldom voiced elsewhere or as effectively presented. He strongly believes that students need to see the inter-relatedness of the disciplines and suggests interdisciplinary learning for more authentic understanding. Both books are provocative and thoughtfully written. (Dean Whitla).

• How She Really Does It; Secrets of Successful Stay at Work Moms, by Wendy Sachs. (Jacqueline Giordano).

• Imagine: How Creativity Works, by Jonah Lehrer. (Rod Skinner).

• The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch. (Gloria Mueller).

• Learning to Fall: The Blessings of An Imperfect Life, by Philip Simpson. A series of essays that consider how to distinguish the essential from the circumstantial. (Rod Skinner).

• Lessons Learned: Reflections of a University President, by William Bowen. (Janet Rapelye).

• Letting Go: A Parents’ Guide to Understanding the College Years, by Karen Coburn and Madge Lawrence Tregger. (Gloria Mueller).

• The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization, by Tom Friedman. The role of education in globalization. (William Fitzsimmons).

• Lives of Moral Leadership, by Robert Coles. Coles examines the ways in which acts of courage by leaders and, more profoundly, by ordinary citizens had a powerful impact on the civil rights movement of the 60s. It shows us the way we can be leaders to our worlds. (Rod Skinner).

• Making Good: How Young People Cope with Moral Dilemmas at Work, by Howard Gardner and others. (William Fitzsimmons).

• Making the Most of College, by Richard Light. Students tell us how learning can be enhanced. We gain insight into how to help make the “fit” between applicants and colleges work. (William Fitzsimmons).

• Men We Reaped, by Jesmyn Ward. This powerful memoir chronicles the lives and deaths of five black men, including the author’s brother. (Rod Skinner).

• Millenials Go To College, by Neil Howe and William Strauss. This is a quick read and follow-up to Millenials Rising. It gives interesting insight into what the traditional 18–22 year-old is thinking when choosing a college. (Duane Quinn).

• Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, by Michael Lewis. How the “new” empiricism is re-shaping baseball (and the world?). (William Fitzsimmons).

• On Paradise Drive: How We Live Now (And Always Have) in the Future Tense, by David Brooks. More on the new America and American character.

• On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, by Stephen King. (Rod Skinner).

• Originals: How Non-Conformists Move the World, by Adam Grant. (Rod Skinner).

• Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, by Robert Putnam. A powerful, sobering look at the growing inequality gap in the U.S. (Rod Skinner).

• Place not Race: A New Vision of Opportunity in America, by Sheryll Cashin. (Joe Bellavance).

• Play Their Hearts Out: A Coach, His Star Recruit, and the Youth Basketball Machine, by George Dohrmann. (Greg Roberts).

• Portrait of a Lady, by Henry James. American character and sensibility. (William Fitzsimmons).

• The Price of Admission, by Daniel Golden.

• Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman, Richard Boyatzis, and Annie McKee. (Rod Skinner)

• Questions and Admissions, Jean H. Fetter, Stanford University Press, Stanford, CA, 1995. Jean, when she was Dean of Admissions at Stanford, was a member of the Summer Institute staff. Her book is a thoughtful reflection on her years in admissions at Stanford. She addresses tough questions on admissions with good humor and style. (Dean Whitla).

• Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, by Susan Cain. (Rod Skinner).

• Race Matters, by Cornell West. This is a well-reasoned, easily read treatise; he handles well tough issues e.g. African Americans and sexuality. (Dean Whitla).

• Richistan: A Journey Through the American Wealth Boom and the Lives of the New Rich, by Robert Frank. (William Fitzsimmons).

• “SAT’s Racial Impact,” by Scott Jaschik. Inside Higher Ed, October 27, 2015. (Ted Spencer).

• Season of Life: A Football Star, a Boy, a Journey to Manhood , by Jeffrey Marx. (Rod Skinner).

• Shakespeare, Einstein and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education, by David L. Kirp. (Jacqueline Giordano).

• The Shape of the River: Long-term Consequences of Considering Race in College and University Admissions, Derek Bok and William Bowen. You’ve heard about the Bowen-Bok book, and you really should take time to read it. Their thesis, that we simply must continue race-conscious admissions policies because they create a number of strong and important black professionals and black leaders, is so well-argued and documented that it deserves your attention. They demonstrate that eliminating such admissions policies will reduce by half the number of blacks enrolled in selective colleges while making only the most modest increase, probably less than 2%, in the odds of whites being admitted to these schools. Giving up race-conscious admissions seems a high price to pay for a tiny increase in the probability of admission of white applicants to selective colleges. I know of no other example that so effectively documents this case. I personally found the reading slow but enormously rewarding. Please do take the time to read this piece and we will compare notes when you get to Cambridge. (Dean Whitla).

• The Social Profit Handbook: The Essential Guide to Setting Goals, Assessing Outcomes, and Achieving Success for Mission-Driven Organizations, by David Grant (Rod Skinner).

• The Spiritual Child: the New Science for Parenting for Health and Lifelong Thriving,by Lisa Miller, Ph.D. (Rod Skinner).

• The Sport of Learning, by Vince Fudzie, Andre Hayes, and the Boyz. A comprehensive survival guide for African-American Student-Athletes (Ted Spencer).

• The State of College Admission 2011, by Melissa Clinedinst and David Hawkins. National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). (William Fitzsimmons).

• The Student Aid Game: Meeting Need and Rewarding Talent in American Higher Education, Michael S. McPherson and Morton Owen Schapiro. This is a little dry, but fully explores the fundamental principles of aid in higher education. You really have to want to get into this stuff if you get through this. (Duane Quinn).

• Teacher, by Mark Edmundson. A University of Virginia professor looks at the way one brave, iconoclastic teacher changed him from a thug into an intellect. (Rod Skinner).

• The Tipping Point, by Malcolm Gladwell. An entertaining and especially useful perspective on how things become “hot” or “popular”. (Joe Bellavance).

• Unequal Childhoods: Class, Race, and Family Life, by Annette Lareau. (Kedra Ishop).

• View With a Grain of Sand, by Wislawa Szymborska. These wise, often funny poems restore one’s sense of humor and humanity. Szymborska is very readable; her poems can provide very effective tone moments for workshops, meetings with students, speeches, etc. (Rod Skinner).

• Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness: What It Means To Be Black Now, by Touré. (Rod Skinner).

• Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria, by Beverly Tatum. (Joe Bellavance).

• The Winner Effect: The Neuroscience of Success and Failure, by Ian Robertson. (Rod Skinner).

• The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century, by Thomas L. Friedman. (William Fitzsimmons).

• Writing About Your Life: A Journey into the Past, by William Knowlton Zinsser. (Rod Skinner).

• The Year of Magical Thinking, by Joan Didion. (Rod Skinner).

• You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career, by Katharine Brooks. (Rod Skinner).

• Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth, by Kenneth Keniston. A realistic view of 1960s radicals that provides frameworks, including that of Erik Erikson, for understanding adolescence. (William Fitzsimmons).

• Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers. (Greg Roberts).

University of Pennsylvania

• Citizen Kane – Orson Welles

Princeton University

• How to Win an Election – Quintus Tullius Cicero

• The Spirit of Compromise – Amy Gutmann & Dennis Thompson

• Guesstimation 2.0 – Lawrence Weinstein

• The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking – Edward B. Burger & Michael Starbird

• College – Andrew Delbanco

• Meaning in Life and Why It Matters – Susan Wolf

• Delete – Viktor Mayer-Schönberger

• Create Dangerously – Edwidge Danticat

• Not For Profit – Martha C. Nussbaum

• Ten Hills Farm – C. S. Manegold

• Beyond UFOs – Jeffrey Bennett

• Taming the Gods – Ian Buruma

• The Whites of Their Eyes – Jill Lepore

• Privilege – Shamus Rahman Khan

• Animal Spirits – George A. Akerlof & Robert J. Shiller

• The Soulful Science – Diane Coyle

• Souled Out – E. J. Dionne Jr.

• Lincoln on Race & Slavery – Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

• On Bullshit – Harry G. Frankfurt

• The Invisible Hook – Peter T. Leeson

• Cop in the Hood – Peter Moskos

• The Price of Everything – Russell Roberts

• Scroogenomics – Joel Waldfogel

• Guesstimation – Lawrence Weinstein & John A. Adam

Yale University

*Department-specific summer reading list:

School of Drama

School of Management

Department of Classics and Latin