10 Books to Read This Summer

Summer 2022 books to read

Now that it’s summertime, are you seeking some good reads? Here are ten of the many books published by Pomona College alumni and faculty members in the last year for your reading pleasure.

“1000 Years of Joys and Sorrows: A Memoir”

by Ai Weiwei, translated by Prof. Allan H. Barr

Professor of Chinese Alan Barr translates Ai’s recounting of his path from artistic unknown to art world superstar and international human rights activist, as well as how his work has been shaped by living under a totalitarian regime. Editions of Ai’s book published in other languages are all translations of Barr’s English translation.


by Prof. Lisa Anne Auerbach

This collection of photographs was taken by Associate Professor of Art Lisa Auerbach at Chicago punk and hardcore shows in 1985, in particular of the crowds, when Auerbach was a teenager. The publication begins with an introduction by Auerbach. 

“True Blue: White Unionists in the Deep South during the Civil War and Reconstruction”

by Clayton Butler ’10

Butler investigates the lives of white Unionists in three Confederate states, focusing on three Union regiments recruited from among the white residents of the Deep South. He writes about who they were, why and how they took their Unionist stand, and what happened to them as a result.

“Big Feelings: How to Be Okay When Things Are Not Okay”

by Liz Fosslein ’09 and Mollie West Duffy

In this approachable guide, Fosslein, head of content and communications at Humu, and Duffy weave science with personal stories and illustrations. Each chapter examines an uncomfortable feeling and lays out strategies for turning unwieldy emotions into manageable ones.

“The Perfect Sound: A Memoir in Stereo”

by Garrett Hongo ’73

Hongo was the recipient of the 2022 Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, awarded to a writer who has had a substantial and distinguished career. This soulful memoir is delivered vis-à-vis his decade-long quest for the ideal stereo setup.

“The Kaoma Theorem”

By Prof. Jordan Kirk

Bringing together fragments on philology, mind and eras drawn from notebooks spanning two decades, Associate Professor of English Jordan Kirk records the search for a book that can function as a memory palace and as a guide for pilgrims.

“Japan’s Aging Peace: Pacifism and Militarism in the Twenty-First Century”

by Prof. Tom Phuong Le

Since the end of World War II, Japan has not sought to remilitarize, yet many have asked whether the country should or will return to commanding armed forces. Associate Professor of Politics Tom Le offers an explanation of Japan’s reluctance to remilitarize that emphasizes the relationship between demographics and security.

“West Side Rising: How San Antonio’s 1921 Flood Devastated a City and Sparked a Latino Environmental Justice Movement”

by Prof. Char Miller

W.M. Keck Professor of Environmental Analysis and History Char Miller focuses on San Antonio’s relationship to floods, which have in particular had severe consequences for its communities of color. Miller shows that disasters can expose systems of racism, injustice, and erasure, and impel activists to dismantle these inequities.

“Dhol: Dummers, Identities, and Modern Punjab”

by Prof. Gibb Schreffler

In this engaging ethnography, Associate Professor of Music Gibb Schreffler draws on two decades of research to investigate the dhol drum’s place among the cultural formations within Punjabi communities and reveals a beloved instrumental form and the musical and social practices of its performers.

“Keywords for Gender and Sexuality Studies”

edited by Profs. Kyla Wazana Tompkins, Aimee Bahng, et al.

Associate Professor of English and Gender and Women’s Studies Kyla Tompkins and Associate Professor of Women’s Studies Aimee Bahng were editorial collective members, and Tompkins served as the managing editor, of this this collection of seventy essays in gender and women’s studies by scholars and activists. Tompkins and Bahng bill it as a textbook meant to travel from the classroom to the kitchen table.