PAST EVENTS: Books That Shaped My World

If you wish to research any books named below, please search the Fondren Library catalog at Fondren Library catalog.


On January 12, 2011, Dr. Allen Matusow inaugurated a new Friends of Fondren Library event entitled, "The Books That Shaped My World."
The books chosen by Dr. Matusow were:

Atomic Diplomacy by Gar Alperovitz

The Uprooted by Oscar Handlin

Capitalism and Freedom by Milton Friedman

The second event in the series, on October 5, 2011, featured Dr. John Boles.
The books chosen by Dr. Boles were:

The Jefferson Image in the American Mind by Merrill D. Peterson

Religion in Primitive Society by Edward Norbeck

Out of Our Past by Carl Degler

To view the entire lecture, go to October 2011 event.

The third event in the series, on March 28, 2012, featured Dr. Robert Curl.
To view the entire lecture, go to March 2012 event.


The fourth event on November 7, 2012 featured Dr. Ron Sass, Professor Emeritus, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology.
The book chosen by Dr. Sass was:

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The fifth event on March 14, 2013 featured Dr. Terry Doody, Professor of English and Interim Faculty Director of the Program for Writing and Communication.
The book chosen by Dr. Doody was: 

Ulysses by James Joyce

October 22, 2013 featured Dr. John S. Hutchinson, Dean of Undergraduates and Professor of Chemistry.
The book chosen by Dr. Hutchinson was: 

Time-Life Books on Science, Chemistry

View the entire lecture.

April 8, 2014 featured Dr. Mary McIntire, Dean of the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies. 
Authors cited in Dr. McIntire's presentation were:

 Favorite Writers - Margaret Atwood, Justin Cronin (Summer Guest and The Passage Book 1), Adam Johnson, Cormac McCarthy, Hillary Mantel, Ann Patchett, Richard Russo (Straight Man), Helen Wecker  - Mystery Writers - Nevada Barr, James Lee Burke, Lee Child, Harlan Coben, Gillian Flynn, Tana French, P.D. James, Elmore Leonard, Henning Mankell, Jo Nesbo, Thomas Perry - Fantasy Writers - J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter series), J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings)

October 8, 2014 featured Geoffrey Winningham, Professor of Visual and Dramatic Arts, Photography, School of Humanities. 
The book chosen by Mr. Winningham was:

In the Eye of the Sun by Ahdaf Soueif 

April 8, 2015 featured Alexander X Byrd, School of Humanities, Associate Professor of History, School of Humanities. 
The books chosen by Mr. Byrd were:

Dispatches by Michael Herr, Agnes of God by John Pielmeier, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, Fences by August Wilson, Bury the Dead by Irwin Shaw, Zooman and the Sign by Charles Fuller, Black Feeling/ Black Talk /Black Judgement by Nikki Giovanni, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Oladah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African (autobiography), Blacks in the Americas by E.A.S. Atieno Odhiambo, So Long a Letter by Mariama Bâ, The Five Books of Moses by Robert Alter, Ancient Israel by Robert Alter, An Introduction to the Gospel of John by Raymond E. Brown, Black Majority by Peter H. Wood

October 27, 2015 featured Joe Karlgaard, Director of Rice University Athletics, Recreation & Lifetime Fitness. 
The books chosen by Mr. Karlgaard were:

Built to Last by Jim Collins and The Speed of Trust by Stephen M. R. Covey, that he has recently read.
Another favorite of his is Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville.

April 5, 2016 featured Dr. Sarah Whiting, Dean of the School of Architecture and William Ward Watkin Professor of Architecture. 
The books chosen by Dr. Whiting were:

Woman Destroyed by Simone De Beauvoir One Day A Year by Christa WolfEat the Document by Dana Spiotta; My Struggle: Books One-Six by Karl Ove Knausgaard Tristes Pontiques, a collection of Ovid’s letters to his wife and friends from exile, translated into contemporary French by the novelist Marie Darrieussecq. 

On February 20, 2018,  David Leebron, Rice University President spoke at our event, "The Books That Shaped My World."
The books chosen by President Leebron are as follows:

The Cat in the Hat Comes Back – Dr. Seuss
Dictionary; Thesaurus; Atlas
The Way Things Work –
An Illustrated Encyclopedia of Technology
Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

Abuse and Oppression:
Oliver Twist – Charles Dickens
Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Written by Herself – Harriet Ann Jacobs
Night – Elie Wiesel
The Metamorphosis – Franz Kafka

The Copernican Revolution – Thomas S. Kuhn
The Life of Galileo – Bertolt Brecht

What to Read in Paris:
Down and Out in Paris and London – George Orwell
Le Miserables – Victor Hugo
Eiffel’s Tower – Jill Jonnes

Problems of the Mind:
Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer
An Unquiet Mind – Kay Redfield Jamison

Human Rights:
The Age of Rights – Louis Henkin
Political Theory and International Relations – Charles R. Beitz
Black Panther – the recent movie

Fighting for Justice:
Michael Kohlhaas – Heinrich Von Kleist
Ragtime – E.L. Doctorow

Family Matters:
In the Middle of All This – Fred G. Leebron

Everyone’s World:
Silent Spring – Rachel Carson
The Sixth Extinction – Elizabeth Kolbert

Crime, Guilt, Punishment & the Obligatory Russian Novel:
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoevsky
An American Tragedy – Theodore Dreiser

Books That Shaped Me (Literally):
Michelin Guide to France
Zagat Survey New York City Restaurants

Rice University books:
Edgar Odell Lovett and the Creation of Rice University – Edgar Odell Lovett
University Builder – John B. Boles