April 23, 2018
A book that explores the role popularity plays in human development is this year’s choice for the Carolina Summer Reading Program. The selection of UNC Professor Mitch Prinstein’s book, Popular: Finding Happiness and Success in...Read More
May 4, 2017
Freshmen and transfer students set to enter Carolina this fall are being asked to read How Does It Feel to Be a Problem? — a 2008 book that introduces readers to young men and women...Read More
Feb. 10, 2017
Carolina and N.C. State are launching a joint online program for people who have been hired to teach in N.C. schools but haven’t yet been fully certified to work in classrooms. The program is intended...Read More
Being Mortal, a physician’s reflection about the medical field’s challenge in addressing end-of-life issues, is the University’s 2016 selection for its Carolina Summer Reading Program.
Atul Gawande’s book, which has been on The New York Times’ best-seller list for 63 weeks, was described by the Times in November 2014 as “a personal meditation on how we can better live with age-related frailty, serious illness and approaching death.”
It was selected for UNC’s reading program by a nine-person panel consisting of equal parts faculty, staff and students.
Gawande, who was Carolina’s spring 2014 Commencement speaker, also writes about the choices people can make together to fulfill a good life.
Tim Marr, distinguished associate professor of American studies and chair of the committee, said Being Mortal uses interviews with doctors, stories about health care and Gawande’s experiences during his own father’s death to explore “crucial questions about how we humanize our capacity to choose autonomy and dignity at all stages of living.”
“Dr. Gawande is a practicing surgeon who models the important stakes of lifelong multidisciplinary inquiry in writing this empowering book,” Marr said. “He helps us confront death by encouraging open discussion about important matters faced by every family for which medicine can ultimately provide no answer. The book is an eloquent and informative celebration of life that contrasts three generations of a South Asian family and emboldens our appreciation of everyone’s need to exist with integrity until the end.”
First-year and transfer students who enroll at UNC this fall are encouraged to read the book this summer and participate in small group discussions the Monday before fall 2016 semester classes begin.
The Carolina Summer Reading Program, now in its 18th year, aims to stimulate critical thinking outside the classroom and give new students intellectual common ground. An academic icebreaker, it encourages students to engage with the scholarly community and come to their own conclusions about the material.