Posted in Books & Film News, Staff Pick Books

Must Read This Summer: How to Breathe Underwater

If you have time to read one book this summer, we recommend How to Breathe Underwater by Julie Orringer.  Yes it is the 2011 pick for the Agnes Scott College Common Read, so you may be thinking that we are trying to trick you into doing some “required reading,” but even if it were not the book that all the incoming students are reading this summer we would be strongly urging you to pick it up.

How to Breathe Underwater is a collection of short stories that will pull you back to moments in your life where you felt challenged, overwhelmed, confused and perhaps alone.  Don’t worry, it is not depressing.  Somehow it is cathartic and you are left satisfied that someone has finally put to words the feelings and experiences you have carried with you all these years.   Most likely you will be left wanting more.

McCain Library has four copies to check out on reserve at the Circulation Desk.  Since they are short stories you have nothing to lose.  If you don’t like the first one you read, return it.  We bet you’ll love it and find it to be a great companion on any vacation you have planned this summer.

To enhance your reading pleasure, we also recommend that you take a look at the How to Breathe Underwater LibGuide to find book reviews, interviews with the author, and much more.  Also, be sure to visit the Common Reading Program Blog.  There you will find reflections submitted by members of the ASC community including: Susan Dougherty, Jim Diedrick, Suzanne Onorate, and Kijua Sanders-McMurtry.  The Common Read Committee would LOVE to post your reflection on the book.  Just send your reflection to Casey Long at

Whatever you are reading, we hope you are enjoying your summer!

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