Summer Reading

One of the pleasures of being a history teacher is being able to assign myself some sweet summer reading. Here’s a rundown of what’s on my list:

Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond
A really fascinating, broad look why European culture emerged as such a dominant force, rather than African, Asian, or Native American.

101 Elephant Jokes
These jokes are freaking hilarious! Bridgette says I spend more time reading my elephant jokes than I do talking to her! Then she gets mad.

A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century
by Barbara W. Tuchman
The Black Death, the Hundred Years’ War, papal schisms, Chaucer, feudalism’s decline – all these and more in the lovely 1300s!

My Thoughts on Government Conspiracies, Fast Food, Shopping Carts, and Other Assorted Topics
by Clem, a local homeless man of some repute.

The Name of the Rose
by Umberto Eco
A fiction novel (a rarity for me) about a series of murders and theological debates in a 14th century abbey. A dark look into the religious medieval perspective.

I Can Eat 96 Cheese-Filled Hot Dogs in One Hour
a pamphlet by my father, Chet Welle

by David McCullough
This was a birthday gift from my in-laws, and although it seems like everybody has already read this, I’m still anxious to pick it up, even if only because I’m a fan of McCollough’s John Adams.

It Stings When I Poop and Other Revelations
by Dan Brown

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10 Responses to Summer Reading

  1. Pingback: What to do this Summer? *Healthifica* - Health Newsletter, Articles and Blogs.

  2. Nadine says:

    Wow, such a long list of books.

    You might inspire other to read during summer, too. So, if you don’t minf, I’ve just linked you up in my blog. I wrote about “What to Do This Summer?”

  3. Chris says:

    I should send you the final draft of “I Have Slevin Kids: Drunken Ramblings of a Desperate Man: the Memoirs of Chet Welle in Chris Brenna’s Front Lawn.”

    Most of the original draft was scrawled on the inner walls of the makeshift lean-to we built for your father to keep him from freezing to death in the cold winter months of his alcoholism. By the way, the copy has been picked up by Zondervan.

  4. Roger says:

    I haven’t read the Name of the Rose, but I’ve seen the movie. It’s one of Christian Slater’s lesser known films. That and Kuffs.

  5. Thom says:

    Kuffs is a classic.

    I think the interesting fact that Peter left out is that Clem had no pens handy…and wrote the entire manuscript on old newspapers with his own feces. He’s an inspiration to us all.

  6. Sarah says:

    Dan Brown sure seems to have an ecclectical taste in writing.

  7. peter says:


    My father’s years spent drunk on your front lawn were prolific ones for him, no doubt.

  8. Elephants says:

    That book was taken COMPLETELY out of context.

  9. peter says:

    Elephants, I have several copies of a recording of you delivering those exact jokes, so don’t try that route on me.

  10. peter d says:

    I already read the Chet Welle pamphlet and I have to tell you, I don’t believe it. I think we have another Jimmy Frey on our hands. Nice try, Chet, we all know you didn’t wake up an hour after finishing the 96th cheddar dog on a plane to Quito with a black eye, carrying nothing but an empty “21 Jump St.” Trapper Keeper. I’m going to tell Oprah.

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