Dear USC Students,

As we welcome the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books back to our University Park Campus this weekend, I want to encourage you to take advantage of the weekend’s many offerings, which will include author readings, panel discussions, and musical performances. This is a much-beloved annual event in southern California, and I hope you fully enjoy it.

As we prepare for this weekend, I also want to share this year’s summer reading list. These books are available in our bookstore, but are not required for your classes. They are simply a list of outstanding works that we can read together, creating a common ground for discussions on our campuses. Next year, we’ll have ample opportunities to reflect on these works as a community, and I’m confident our discussions will be illuminating:

Copenhagen, a play by Michael Frayn
Golden Child, a play by David Henry Hwang
Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare by Stephen Greenblatt
Thomas Paine by A. J. Ayer
The Buried Mirror: Reflections on Spain and the New World by Carlos Fuentes

I look forward to seeing you at the Festival of Books this weekend!