Great Reads: Fiction

What do UW Foster School faculty members like to read for pleasure, not business? Taking a break from our occasional pursuit of serious management titles, we asked them for some favorite works of fiction, and received this wide array of titles. You might find one or two to be ideal summer reads.

I Am PilgrimI Am Pilgrim (Terry Hayes)

“Best thriller in a long time. Warning: do not start this book unless you’ve got an overnight flight to somewhere! You will not be able to stop.”
Stephan Sefcik, Professor of Accounting , Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs

“It is a great thriller that keeps you on the edge of your seat when you read it. Lots of twists and turns.”
Leta Beard, Senior Lecturer in Marketing & International Business (who recommended it to Sefcik)

Gone GirlGone Girl (Gillian Flynn)

“If and when I’m reading fiction, then it’s purely for pleasure and to fill my free time—which is very, very rare! When I am reading for pure pleasure, I like something soapy, brainless, and plot driven.”
Christina Fong, Principal Lecturer of Management


Until Proven GuiltyUntil Proven Guilty (J.A. Jance)

“I like this Seattle author’s entire series of 24 stories about the fictional detective J.P. Beaumont. The stories are good and intriguing, with many mentions of Seattle landmarks. You have to start at the beginning to understand the evolution of the characters.”
Rick McPherson, Lecturer of Management


The Code of the WoostersThe Code of the Woosters (P.G. Wodehouse)

“This book, written in 1938, is one of the great comic novels in English literature. Feature Bertie Wooster and his gentleman’s gentleman, Jeeves, it’s one of the few books that will have you literally laughing out loud!”
Jim Jiambalvo, Dean, Professor of Accounting


One Hundred Years of SolitudeOne Hundred Years of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marques)

“The literary voice established in this novel has withstood the test of time. The literal and the fantastic are interwoven with a seamlessness that amazes. The book is at once funny, sad and tragic; it’s history and fantasy. A true classic.”
Xiao-Ping Chen, Professor of Management, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs

The Count of Monte CristoThe Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)

“If you’ve never read this all-time classic, or haven’t since high school, I would recommend it. It’s a forebear of the modern adventure classics The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown and the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling—which I’d also recommend.”
Frank Hodge, Professor of Accounting


Then We Came to the EndThen We Came to the End (Joshua Ferris)

“A humorous and sardonic story about contemporary office life in an ad agency that’s undergoing layoffs, almost entirely narrated in the first-plural plural.”
Michael Johnson, Associate Professor of Management


Voice of the ViolinThe Inspector Montalbano Mysteries (Andrea Camilleri)

“I LOVE this series of light and very funny mysteries that take place in Sicily.”
Elizabeth Stearns, Senior Lecturer of Marketing & International Business


The GoldfinchThe Goldfinch (Donna Tartt)

“Amazing sweeping story of a young boy whose mother is killed by an explosion at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his life with a Dutch masterpiece. Fabulous characters, and an amazing story that spans continents, and worlds from high art to gangsters.”
Emer Dooley, Lecturer of Entrepreneurship


Ready Player OneReady Player One (Ernest Cline)

“Fun book for anyone who lived in the ‘80s! Read it before the Spielberg adaptation hits theaters next year.”
Jarrad Harford, Professor of Finance


Notes from the UndergroundNotes from the Underground (Fyodor Dostoevsky)

“This long short story explores the rich inner life of a Russian civil servant, and we find the resentful, petulant part of our own brain. The exposure of inner lives is something fiction is uniquely good at, and Dostoevsky is uniquely good at it among fiction writers.”
Ed Rice, Associate Professor of Finance and Business Economics


All the Light We Cannot SeeAll the Light We Cannot See (Anthony Doerr)

“Endearing characters, a compelling (and suspenseful) storyline, and an interesting, historically important setting (WWII Europe). The story of goodness emanating from the darkest of circumstances is both beautiful and heart-wrenching.”
Dawn Matsumoto, Professor of Accounting


Winnie the PoohWinnie the Pooh and The House at Pooh Corner (A.A. Milne)

“I am not the first to notice that the original A.A. Milne stories are not only delightful but are full of allegorical life lessons. The books are lyrical and funny. They embody kindness. The characters have an every-person quality. And Pooh is a timeless hero. The ‘bear of very little brain’ proves to be most brilliant.”
Jonathan Karpoff, Professor of Finance

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