For these summer reads, all you need is love

illustration of person reading a book in a hammockCommuting to work or enjoying the day off? Relax into a book that allows the mind to learn or escape.

We’re asking UIC readers for their summer reading recommendations. Send yours (and why you like them), plus what you’re doing this summer, to ncardo2@uic.edu

 

Steve Jones, distinguished professor of communication, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

For Steve Jones, summer means spending time with family — and learning more about British pop music.

Jones, who studies the cultural impact of new media, is reading separate memoirs by Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt, members of the pop duo Everything But the Girl.

He recently finished Thorn’s Bedsit Disco Queen: How I Grew Up and Tried to Be a Pop Star. “It was an interesting look back at the ’80s and ’90s UK pop music scene in particular,” Jones said. “And the ups and downs associated with being variously at the center and periphery of it.”

Still, he wished there was more about the business side of the music industry. “It would only add to the story for music nerds like me.”

Now he is reading Watt’s book, Romany and Tom: A Memoir, about the musician’s parents and their unique and sometimes sad relationship. “It provides a fascinating look at British music and life before the Beatles broke through the lens of a single, and singular, British family.”

Jones is recommending these memoirs to friends, along with Tune In: The Beatles: All These Years by Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn. “It’s rather massive,” Jones said of the three-volume biography. “But it’s as complete a telling of the Beatles story as we’ll ever get.”

 

Lilian Paniagua Lepe, senior in urban and public affairs, College of Urban Planning and Public Affairs

What’s the cheapest way to travel? For Lilian Paniagua Lepe, it’s through literature. The CUPPA student visited colonial Colombia and other Latin American countries with Of Love and Other Demons by Nobel Prize winner Gabriel García Márquez.

“Although, it’s not his best selling book, it made me fall in love with his mesmerizing storytelling,” she said. “It moved me and scared me in magical ways.”

Paniagua Lepe is now reading Chronicle of a Death Foretold, a murder mystery by Márquez. “It’s another one of those books you simply cannot put down,” she said.

Paniagua Lepe’s goal for the summer: to read as many books as possible, helped by her 90-minute commute to and from campus part-time jobs at the Social Justice Initiative project and the Office of the Dean of Students.

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