While summer marks the end of the academic year, it also marks the beginning of when the SCIR editors have time to catch up on their reading.

We asked our editorial board what they’re reading this summer and why – and the reasons why you should read them. Here they are, in no particular order.

1) Counterinsurgency Field Manual by General Petraeus

Written by USC’s own Judge Widney Professor Pertraeus, the COIN Field Manual is a text that editor Cristina Patrizio believes that someone who is interested in foreign service and government operations should be familiar with.

2) Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche

“I find him fascinating, and would like to get a deeper understanding of his qualms with morality,” says Cristina Patrizio.

3) In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
Natalie Tecimer looks forward to reading this award-winning book this summer, stating that “after taking my genocide class, I’m really interested to read about the American family that was wined and dined by the Nazis even though they were in full awareness and contempt of what was going on and the danger of Hitler.”
4) Theodore Boone by John Grisham

Because even IR junkies need something fun to read at the beach. Besides, Grisham’s books have been translated into 29 different languages. That’s classic soft diplomacy.

5) The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John Le Carré

After attending IR 304: Espionage and Intelligence, Brad McAuliffe can’t wait to read about the cloak-and-dagger plots written by one of the world’s finest spy novelists.

6) The International Relations of Middle-earth by Patrick James

Another book by a USC Professor made our editors’ summer reading lists. When looking for new ways to look at international relations, why not consider the world of Tolkien?

7) Poverty Amid Plenty in the New India by Atul Kohli
Dhwani Thapar hopes to continue her studies in South Asian affairs with her summer reading. In her words, “India still has a long way to go because the economy is stretching in either direction, as top socioeconomic tiers make progress and lower tiers do not. I am interested to see what Kohli has to say about the sustainability of India’s socioeconomic rise as it takes on further international responsibilities but must contend with major domestic challenges in a growing population.”
8) Blink by Malcolm Gladwell
Dhwani also expressed some interest in psychology. “This book delves into how we use subconscious decision-making as a tool to understand the world around us. I would like to read it because we touched upon these ideas in both my writing and organizational management courses at USC. As a young individual, it’s important for me to understand the barriers (and shortcuts) I might construct in perceiving my colleagues and environment,” says Dhwani.
9) From the Ruins of Empire by Pankaj Mishra
“As we enter into an age of Asian dominance, I am interested in studying the original thinkers who disseminated an intellectual tradition that has informed and inspired the continent’s anticipated rise,” says editor Elise Steinberg.
10) Foreign Policy Begins at Home by Richard N. Haass

Also interested in American affairs, Elise aims to learn more about the U.S. as well. “Haass’ doctrine of restoration for a U.S. facing complex and critical global and domestic challenges should prove an interesting read.”