The Exceptional Applicant

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Campus Visit Questions

You’re in…Now what do you do?

If you want to be on a similar wavelength and have a similar lexicon as your classmates and professors, here’s a list of books you should kick back and read this summer:

Recommended Reading List

•    Silent Spring by Rachel Caron (environmental)
•    Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, and Maus by Art Spiegelman (graphic novels on different social and political combustible issues)
•    Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
•    The Complete Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson (clever and irreverent wit that makes you smile)
•    Anil’s Ghost, by Michael Ondaatje
•    A Chronicle of a Death Foretold and 100 Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
•    The Honor Code, Kwame Anthony Appiah
•    The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat by Oliver Sacks
•    Abundance, Peter Diamandis
•    Sapiens, Homo Deus, and 21 Lesson for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari
•    Antifragile by Nassim Nicholas Taleb
•    Thinking Fast and Slow and Noise by Daniel Kahneman
•    The Pleasure of Finding Things Out, by Richard Feynmann
•    1984 by George Orwell
•    Brave New World, Aldous Huxley.
•    The Jungle by Upton Sinclair (protest literature)
•    The Dew Braker by Edwidge Danticat
•    Beasts of No Nation by Uzodinma Iweala
•    Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
•    Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
•    The Tools of Titans by Tim Ferris
•    Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
•    Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse,
•    Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
•    Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
•    Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor E. Frankl
•    Atomic Habits by James Clear
•    The Future of Humanity, by Michio Kaku
•    Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande
•    Linchpin by Seth Godin
•    The Future of Humanity by Michiu Kaku
•    Why Trust Science by Naomi Oreskes
•    The Art of the Good Life, by Rolf Dobelli
•    The Prince and Other Writings, Niccolo Machiavelli
•    (Play) Our Town, Thornton Wilder
•    (Play) A Raisin in the Sun, Lorraine Hansberry
•    (play) Death of a Salesman, Arthur Miller
•    (play) The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams
•    (play) Waiting for Godot (an example of Theater of the Absurd), Samuel Beckett
•    (play) A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
•    (play) The Crucible by Arthur Miller
•    (play) Hamlet by William Shakespeare
•    (play) King Lear by William Shakespeare
•    Old Man and the Sea and All Quiet on the Western Front by Earnest Hemingway
•    The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
•    A Guide to the Good Life (the ancient art of stoic joy) by William B. Irvine
•    Crime and Punishment and The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoevsky

You’ve got time now, and if you’re looking for a way to spend it, you could do worse than with the fascinating works I’m suggesting here.

Don’t forget to let us know about other books that are must-reads!

What to Watch & What to Do

Now, what else might you enjoy watching and doing that your equally worldly and educated classmates might reference?:



Dr. No – James Bond

The Way We Were

The Godfather Trilogy

Citizen Kane

On the Waterfront

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea

Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Roman Holiday

Singin’ in the Rain

An American in Paris

Sophie’s Choice

Schindler’s List

Hidden Figures

Cinema Paradiso

Life is Beautiful

12 Angry Men

To Kill a Mockingbird

The Sound of Music

A Streetcar Named Desire

Some Like It Hot

North by Northwest

Apocalypse Now

 A Star is Born

Buena Vista Social Club


The Right Stuff

ON BROADWAY (If you are in town and get the chance)

Westside Story

Fiddler on the Roof

Company, Sondheim

Candide, Bernstein

Once on This Island


My Fair Lady

Phantom of the Opera

Don Quixote



The Crown

Downton Abby

The 1966 Series: Mission Impossible

I Love Lucy


The Office, 2005 with Steve Carrell


West Wing



Boardwalk Empire

The Sopranos

Breaking Bad

Better Call Saul

Ted Lasso

The Hand Maid’s Tale

Band of Brothers

House of Cards


Mind Hunter



In the Kitchen!

  • Make sourdough from scratch
  • Make pizza from scratch
  • Try any new recipe (and hope it works)
  • Bake a souffle (good luck with that!)

Exchange recipes with friends of different cultural backgrounds and then make those recipes together!

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