Person look at books in the Center for Teaching Lending Library

Stock up on your summer reading list with the Office of Teaching, Learning & Technology book recommendations – some available for checkout in the Center for Teaching’s Lending Library, located in 2080 UCC.   

If you’re looking to read something new or re-read an old favorite, we hope one of our picks will spark your interest.

Books and other media in the Center for Teaching Lending Library are available for check-out Monday-Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm by faculty, graduate students, and instructional staff.

A pick from special guest Andrew Forbes, Associate Professor of Biology:

Julie Schumacher. Dear Committee Members

An irascible, self-centered professor writes a collection of short (fictional) letters about his many personal and professional hurdles, many of which he has brought upon himself. The book is absolutely hilarious and captures (in a funny way) some of the darker aspects of academic life.

OTLT staff picks:

James Lang. Small Teaching: Everyday Lessons from the Science of Learning (2016)

Associate Professor of English and Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Assumption College James Lang explores a wide range of research-based teaching strategies that instructors can use immediately.

Sara Goldrick Raab. Paying the Price

This is a good book about how college students try to navigate the financial aid system and how working for pay during college can affect their academic outcomes. It is not really a book about learning, per se, but rather about how the financial aid system is a critical part of many students’ hopes for being able to do well in college.

Brookfield & Preskill. The Discussion Book: 50 Great Ways to Get People Talking (2016)

This book will help invigorate classroom discussions and increase student participation. It includes 50 ideas for classroom discussion activities, including instructions for implementation and sample questions for each strategy.

Nyquist & Wulff. Working Effectively with Graduate Assistants (1996)


Graduate assistants are valued resources for courses, their pre-professional training needs require careful design. This succinct guide details the skills necessary for academics working with graduate assistants at different stages of their development. The authors describe important aspects of graduate assistant professional preparation and assessment, with special attention to the needs of international graduate assistants.


A just-for-fun summer pick about Iowa:

John Darnielle. Universal Harvester: A Novel

In John Darnielle's second novel Universal Harvester, powerful memories of place, people and, above all, family tug relentlessly at the interior lives of the principle characters as they grapple to understand mysterious images embedded in VHS rental tapes. The main character here, though, is Iowa and the deep gravitational pull of obligations, hand-me-down norms, and personal landscapes that are captured in vivid, lucid prose.


If you are interested in sharing ideas with fellow instructors, or simply need an excuse to read more, consider joining the Center for Teaching’s “Low-Prep Reading Group,” led by Specialist in Teaching and Learning, Anna Flaming. This group meets monthly to discuss short but dense readings on an array of topics related to teaching and learning. If you are interested in joining or learning more about the Low Prep Reading Group, please contact the Center for Teaching at