By Dorothy Bowerfind

Johnnies read, a lot. Certainly this is true on campus when we are immersed in the reading list, studying Harvey in tandem with Euclid, Plato, and Palestrina. In Annapolis and Santa Fe, voracious reading is part of what defines us as Johnnies. But, one does not simply stop existing as Johnnie when one steps away from one’s Johnnie home– in the same way that one does not stop rooting for the Indians when one leaves Cleveland (go Tribe).

A Johnnie is a Johnnie wherever they are, whether sophomore or senior, near or far.

Some part of this is surely cultivated by our “breaks” at the college. Sprinkled into every vacation is a reading, and summer break is no exception. Freshman are preparing the Iliad, Sophomores will preview Genesis, Juniors peruse Don Quixote, and Seniors pursue War & Peace, but many of us don’t stop at these, and neither do our alumni.


From the fantastical to the mathematical, and everything in between, here is a sample of what some Johnnies are reading right now:

  • Paradiso by Dante Alighieri
  • Death Sentence by Maurice Blanchot
  • Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
  • Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino
  • Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky
  • Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
  • Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer*
  • A China Passage by John Kenneth Galbraith
  • Helter Skelter by Curt Gentry and Vincent Bugliosi
  • Neuromancer by William Gibson
  • The Constitution of Liberty by Friedrich Hayek
  • Science of Logic by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel
  • Witness by Karen Hesse
  • Introduction to Mathematical Statistics by Paul Hoel
  • Berlin Stories by Christopher Isherwood
  • Diaries by Franz Kafka
  • The Trial by Franz Kafka
  • Either/Or by Søren Kierkegaard
  • The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirk
  • Babylon: Mesopotamia and the Birth of Civilization by Paul Kriwaczek
  • Cyndi Lauper: A Memoir by Cyndi Lauper
  • The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
  • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
  • One Dimension Man by Herbert Marcuse
  • Of Love and Other Demons by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy*
  • Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
  • Beloved by Tony Morrison
  • On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche
  • Dreams from my Father by Barack Obama
  • Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust
  • The Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
  • Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson
  • The Witcher: The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski
  • On Being and Nothing by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • My Life is Art by Konstantin Stanislavski
  • The Secret HIstory by Donna Tartt
  • Ideas Have Consequences by Richard Weaver

*My personal picks for the summer. I just finished Here I Am and cannot recommend it enough.

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