Event Report | “Let’s hear it for reading” Live

To recommend great books to the students of Class of 2026 and to promote reading at the start of the new academic year, Duke Kunshan University (DKU) Library hosted the live event “Let’s hear it for reading” at the AB Lobby on Tuesday, August 23.

Photo: Sicen Ye

Titles displayed on site were collected from a university-wide survey sent out in late July, in which the Library invited all community members to recommend books to incoming students. A total of 113 submissions were received from faculty, staff, and upper-class students.

During the live event, there were display boards, book exhibition, and flip cards on site, all with the information of recommender and words of recommendation. Participants actively shared their thoughts with librarians aside from browsing the books on display and playing with the flip cards.

Photo: Xiaoyi Kuang

The Library invited a few participants to share their favorite books. You will find the voices from your professors, from librarians, and from your fellow students.

Scott MacEachern 
Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs

Recommended book: 
The Dawn of Everything
by David Graeber & David Wengrow

“It’s a major book to get into archaeology.”
Andrew Lee
Associate Librarian for Research and Instruction

Recommended book: 
Social Origins of Distress and disease
by Arthur Kleinman

“This is a landmark work in medical anthropology.”
Xin Zhang
Assistant Professor in Chinese Language and Intercultural Communication

Recommended book: 
The Why Café
by John Strelecky

“A simple but powerful read. You’ll find the stories of great internals, especially if you are wondering about your purpose of existing.”
Jiangtian Guan
iMEP Class of 2023

Recommended book: 
La Différence invisible
by Julie Dachez & Mademoiselle Caroline

“I think the ‘invisible’ in the title is a metaphor of depathologization of autism, but the Chinese translation puts it back to the focus, and I’m not a fan of it.”

Photos: Sicen Ye & Xin Zhang

What we talk about when we talk about books

With 113 books recommended from different types of community members, there is a great variety of genres. You will find titles of science fiction (e.g. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick), of historical stories (e.g. The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri), and of inspiring books that discusses higher education and its influence (e.g. General Education in a Free Society by Harvard University Committee).

Due to limited space, we were only able to display around 50 print books on site.  But if we look more closely, we can tell you the common taste of reading and some of the most popular genres of the recommended titles.

Photo: Sicen Ye

1. You will be found

The genres with the most picks are psychology and self-awareness. The recommendation list shows that more people are becoming aware of the importance of mental wellness and inner peace.

2. Nothing in between me and the sky

The next popular topics are female power and growing up. No matter if it is an introductory book about feminism or a story about dealing with new stages in life, you can discover your own inspiration.

3. Who will tell your story

Biographies and autobiographies are also popular. From well-known role models to the man who overcomes his disabilities, these people have all shared their stories for us to read.


4. A long time ago in a library far, far away

We expected fiction to be popular, but we didn’t expect science fiction would be a common favorite of DKU readers. You will find titles from famous sci-fi authors all around the world.

All the recommended books can be checked out from the DKU Library or are currently in order. We are hosting many other events and workshops throughout the fall semester, so stay tuned! 

Book covers are extracted from Douban Dushu and Amazon.

A special thank to faculty, staff, and students for giving us permission to use their photos.