Summer Reading 2017

Woah! It’s almost summer already; just a couple more days until the official arrival. We’re half-way through the exam period and the year really is almost over. Everyone’s making plans for their holidays and dreaming of adventure, relaxation, a sandy beach, a busy new city, or a peak to climb.

Every year, we ask staff or students from our department to write about the books they love and think you will love too. These are the books that we recommend you take to your vacation this summer and, just to make sure you do, we will send them to one of you for free!

The theme this year is journey, an adventurous topic that can be described or experienced in very different ways. For many new students being at university will be another journey in their life, for some a scary journey, for others an exciting one. But whichever journey is ahead of you in the future, we will try to enlighten it with this amazing list of books!

To enter for a chance to win all seven books, all you have to do is leave a comment in this post before July 1st.


Maybe you want to share with us your favourite summer book, or one that comes to mind most vividly when you think of this year’s theme. Even a quick hello will do! Whatever you share with us, we will pick one entry at random and send the lucky winner all six books, wherever they are in the world. The competition is open to everyone except the Mindwise editorial teams.

– The Mindwise Editorial Team



By Maya Angelou

“The caged bird sings with a fearful trill,
of things unknown, but longed for still,
and his tune is heard on the distant hill,
for the caged bird sings of freedom.

The first book that popped into my head when I thought about a journey is the Harry Potter series. But I thought I could not get away with that as a librarian, who knows of the best gems in literature of course. So the book I chose to recommend to you is ‘I know why the caged bird sings’ from Maya Angelou. It is the first book in her auto-biography of seven volumes in total. In it she describes her journey of growing up as an insecure black girl in racist America in the 30s to a strong woman who has overcome racism and a trauma. It is a very inspiring to read her story and that is why I would recommend it to you. -Marieke (Bachelor student)



By Ben Lerner

Good stories about a journey are rarely about the journey itself. We don’t want to just read a travel report, a comprehensive list of events and places visited. Like watching other people’s vacation photo’s, there is nothing more boring than this reduction of a journey to a sequence of things that happened.

In Leaving the Atocha Station, a young American poet named Adam spends a year in Spain on a scholarship. That is about all there is to say about the physical journey – most of the travelling happens in his interior world. Naturally Adam loses himself in all the temptations that come with being away from the place where everyone knows who you are. He invents his past as much as his new persona, spews pseudo-profound things in his broken Spanish, hoping that people will chalk it up to the language gap and mistake his inability to express himself for great intellectual depths. But despite all the days spent smoking lots of weed, drinking absurd amounts of coffee and writing very little poetry in a couple square miles around Atocha station, Adam ends up miles and miles away from where he left off. –Jesse Havinga (Philosophy Master student)



By Simone de Beauvoir

The Second Sex was a rather radical book for me which took me, or at least propelled me, on a rather progressive thought journey. As a male, there are a number of challenges I could imagine when being a woman in a patriarchal society. However, the Second Sex was one of the most eloquent and insightful analyses I have ever read and it took me to a new level of understanding the psychological and physical impact of being ‘The Second Sex’. Through detailed analyses of power relations and oppression, the book also radically changed the way I conceive of society and its functioning.

There is a ridiculous amount of misunderstanding about Feminism and while Simone de Beauvoir is not the spokesperson for the Feminist movement, and is also not without her critics, it is a great and accessibly written book to help develop your understanding about the topic. Her ability to see the bigger picture means she is not blaming men like so many men seem to fear about Feminism, but blames the structural and historical aspects of society that produce its respective subjects and oppressions. The way she explains Feminism makes you realise the aim of Feminism is not just about the liberation of women, but men too, and that it is in all of our interests to be Feminists. –Angus Smith (Bachelor student)



By Peter Buwalda

When it comes to the journey theme, I would recommend Bonita Avenue by Peter Buwalda. It is a very famous Dutch book, with a story that takes place in both The Netherlands and America. I would recommend reading it, because it contains and interesting and surprising story. It remains thrilling throughout the whole book. It is a long read, so I would say it is best to bring the book on Holiday -Jasmijn Froma (Bachelor student)



By Audrey Niffenegger

“Love the world and yourself in it, move through it as though it offers no resistance, as though the world is your natural element.”

When this book found me – I say it found me and not the other way around because it literally fell on me – I was traveling and working on organic farms throughout the UK. I started reading in the park of Colchester, sat down next to the beautiful castle, surrounded by wild squirrels and was immediately sucked into this unusual love story and a journey through time.

Imagine you’re a little girl, playing in the garden, and you grow up meeting a man that appears and disappears randomly, at one point telling you that you’re his wife in the future. Clare grows up to love this man that shows up in different ages, in different stages of their shared life together in the future. Henry has a genetic disorder causing him to time travel uncontrollably, often triggered by stress and sometimes in the most beautiful moments when there is nothing more important to him than to stay in the present. He never knows when he leaves, where he will go and how long he will stay.

When Clare as a young woman in the present meets Henry, he does not know her although she has known him her entire life. They need to get to know and love each other on a completely different level. Waiting and worrying for him, she copes with his disappearances through art and gives life to wonderful creations that are so vividly described I could see them in front of me.

“Long ago, men went to sea, and women waited for them, standing on the edge of the water, scanning the horizon for the tiny ship. Now I wait for Henry. He vanishes unwillingly, without warning. I wait for him. Each moment that I wait feels like a year, an eternity. Each moment is as slow and transparent as glass. Through each moment I can see infinite moments lined up, waiting. Why has he gone where I cannot follow?”

Their lifelong journey through love, waiting and the struggles of their unusual circumstances took me in turn on a journey through an intense contemplation about what it means to love, how we interact with significant others, how we cope with longing for things we cannot have – and how we define ourselves. The Time Traveler’s Wife is one of my all-time favourite stories. It made me deeply think and philosophise, but it doesn’t force its way of looking at the world upon you. Instead, it gives you room to think your own thoughts.

This story is written as a metaphor about the author’s failed relationships. I prefer seeing it as a metaphor on how to learn to be happy, whole and complete on your own – a metaphor on how to learn to welcome someone in your life that is also whole on their own, to learn how be even more together. -Ebby Shirazi (Bachelor student)



By Raymond E. Feist

Raymond Feist’s – Magician is the start of a summertime supply of fantasy reading.
If you should know a fantasy author, you should know him. Raymond Feist wrote till today multiple fantasy books, which all play in the same world of Midkemia and over several century’s. The story begins with a boy called Pug who becomes an apprentice of a Master Magician. He experienced learning problems and just can´t find his right place in the whole magical world.
I don´t want to spoiler that much, that’s why I leave it like that. The books of Raymond Feist are interesting and really addicting. Sometimes they switch from happy and friendly to dark and brutal really fast.
It is one of my favourite books because it combines real world problems with a sense of magic. The story of Pug reminds me of some many people who are really talented and creative, but didn’t reach their full potential due to the way society looks on them. I learned from that book that sometimes you should switch the environment to achieve what you want to become. As I went to all the books I saw that not only the characters develop themselves, but also the author progresses in the years of writing. In the end I would really recommend this book, because it is not that only a killer of boring hours, but also a good introduction into the genre of fantasy.
-Hannes Schilling (Bachelor student)



By Sam Harris

In this book, Sam Harris not only eloquently describes and explains what some of the latest research in neuroscience has found out about our brains and their relation to subjective experience, but also offers a compelling philosophical framework in which to interpret these findings. This, in turn, creates an opportunity for the reader to live a life informed by these scientific advances and make sense out of the experiences that are an integral part of what it means to be human, experiences that could adequately be described as spiritual.

The reasons why I associate this book with the theme of journey are manifold.

Firstly, it has been the beginning of a journey of my own. It inspired me to discover the ever-expanding landscape of mind that had been there all along, but that I had never probed myself. Ever since I read this book I have been continuously exploring this landscape, which not only helped my understanding of the human condition, but has also brought me great pleasure in the process.

The second resemblance to a journey that this book constitutes for me is the fact that spirituality is now being discussed with intellectual honesty and free of dogma. This book represents, at least for me, one of the first steps the Western World takes on a path towards discussing this, in our society, generally disregarded dimension of human experience. The fact that spiritual experiences have, until now, mostly been used to control people, only helps to appreciate their reinterpretation and the incredible potential they bare for human flourishing even more. It’s a path that we are still at the beginning of, but a path worth walking nonetheless. -Lukas Lohr (Bachelor Student)



Tassos Sarampalis on Twitter

Dr. Sarampalis is a lecturer at the Psychology department of the University of Groningen. He began his career in psychoacoustics in the UK where he worked with Deb Fantini and Chris Plack, before moving to California to work on hearing devices, first with Monita Chatterjee and then with Erv Hafter. His current research interests involve understanding the contributions of cognition in complex hearing situations and the interactions of cognition and hearing impairment. For more information, you can visit his website.

Select Publications

  • Everhardt, M. K., Sarampalis, A., Coler, M., Başkent, D., & Lowie, W. (2020). Meta-Analysis on the Identification of Linguistic and Emotional Prosody in Cochlear Implant Users and Vocoder Simulations. Ear Hear, 1. pdf

  • Pals, C., Sarampalis, A., Beynon, A., Stainsby, T., & Başkent, D. (2020). Effect of Spectral Channels on Speech Recognition, Comprehension, and Listening Effort in Cochlear-Implant Users. Trends in Hearing. pdf

  • Everhardt, M. K., Sarampalis, A., Coler, M., Başkent, D., & Lowie, W. (2019). “Perception of L2 lexical stress in words degraded by a cochlear implant simulation.” Proceedings of the 19th International Congress of Phonetic Sciences (ICPhS). Melbourne, Australia. pdf

  • Pals, C., Sarampalis, A., van Dijk, M, Baskent, D. (2018). “Effects of Additional Low-Pass–Filtered Speech on Listening Effort for Noise-Band–Vocoded Speech in Quiet and in Noise.” Ear and Hearing, pdf

  • Baskent, D., Clarke, J., Pals, C., Benard, M.R., Bhargava, P., Saija, J., Sarampalis, A., Wagner, A., & Gaudrain, E. (2016). “Cognitive Compensation of Speech Perception With Hearing Impairment, Cochlear Implants, and Aging: How and to What Degree Can It Be Achieved?” Trends in Hearing, 20, 1-16. pdf

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  • David June 19, 2017'

    Hi, great books!

  • Cris June 19, 2017'

    Let’s not forget the journey to self-destruction and letting go of all hope ( journey to freedom?)
    Fight Club, by Chuck Palahniuk,

  • Boris June 19, 2017'

    Sam Harris, here I come!

  • Alex June 19, 2017'

    Those books get me all schwifty

  • Lukas Basedow June 19, 2017'

    I’ll share my favourite book to read on holidays: The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan. A fantastic, inspiring and deeply moving read

  • klaud June 19, 2017'


  • Valeria June 19, 2017  
  • Anneroos June 20, 2017'

    I am very curious about these books! Nice selection.

  • merv June 20, 2017'

    These are a great selection of books. They will definitely ease this ambivalent journey towards the ambivalent future. Dankjewel

  • Alec Rowell June 20, 2017'

    I love books that I can read with my eyes

  • Dena June 20, 2017'

    Would Love to read these books!

  • Claudi June 20, 2017'

    What a great giveaway 🙂

  • Hilka June 20, 2017'

    Good books make summertime even more enjoyable! And I mean – who does not enjoy a good read in the sun.

  • Marco June 21, 2017'

    Yuval Harari’s books are a journey worth taking:

    Homo Deus

  • Esther June 21, 2017'

    Those books would make my summer even sunnier

  • Sabine June 21, 2017'

    Hi, I would love to read these books this summer!

  • Katja June 22, 2017'

    Hello! The book list looks great – would love to spend my summer reading the books.

  • Franzi June 22, 2017'

    I’d love to have the books, would be absolutely awesome!

  • Marlies June 23, 2017'

    This is certainly a nice list of books – Bonita Avenue is one of my favorite reads of the last couple of years. I would recommend Kristina Sandberg’s ‘Life at any cost’ or – for those interested in Dutch books – the books by Griet op de Beeck. They do not represent literal journeys but mental journeys of women (in Sandberg’s work it is a housewife in the 50s). Very good reads!

  • Luca June 24, 2017'

    Hello,thank you for the great selection 🙂
    I would love to read them over the summertime !

    ps. great song by the way 😉

  • Andreas June 24, 2017'

    Really need sth to read 😉

  • Andreas June 24, 2017'

    Awesome pls let me win 😀

  • Lena June 24, 2017'

    The topic reminded about a book that I read earlier this year: “The amazing story of the man who cycled from India to Sweden for love” – based on a true story and not only about love, but also art, a strong personal will, poverty and sudden fame and humility. I really recommend it!

  • Annika Menges June 26, 2017'

    Sounds great!
    Have a nice summer 🙂

  • Anne June 26, 2017'

    Would be nice to read something else besides what’s new according to Pubmed!

  • Hannes June 27, 2017'

    Most of them look really nice 🙂

  • Katharina June 27, 2017'

    I just finished “Rubbernecker” by Belinda Bauer and I am looking for some new reading stuff. The books look like a good start into the summer!

  • Bettina Pühringer June 27, 2017'

    I love all of them 🙂

  • Andrew Manousselis June 28, 2017'

    Those books look great 😀

  • Malte June 28, 2017'

    Thanks for the great overview, some of these books I had on my to-read list for ages!

  • Yorick June 28, 2017  

    Yeah great books.

  • Johanna June 28, 2017'

    Gimme books please!

  • Lukas June 28, 2017'


  • Anne June 28, 2017'

    What an awesome opportunity! I would be very happy to be able to get these books for free 🙂

  • sab June 28, 2017'

    would love to read all these books during my summer;-)

  • Nils June 28, 2017'

    They look great. How long do I need to cook these?
    Oops…wrong thread…

    Already one book of this collection would be more than one could ask.
    Have a great summer!

  • Simona June 28, 2017'

    Great selection! <3 Love it!

  • Marlene June 28, 2017'

    Sounds like an inspiring list of books, perfect for the summer 🙂

  • Marlene June 28, 2017'

    Sounds like an inspiring list of books, perfect for the summer :), would love to read them !

  • Jens June 28, 2017'

    These books look very interesting. Let’s see if I’m lucky 🙂

  • Lisa June 28, 2017'

    Finally a book giveaway of English titles in the Netherlands!

  • Joscha June 28, 2017'

    oh wouldnt those make for a swell summer read

  • Shannen Will June 28, 2017'


  • PARI June 29, 2017'


  • Claudia June 29, 2017'

    Boooooooooooks pls

  • Paul Kim June 29, 2017'


  • Paul Kim June 29, 2017'

    cool!!^^ I’m gonna read these books

  • Sina June 29, 2017'

    awesome books for the summer break!

  • Carlot vanWees June 30, 2017'


  • Casper Albers June 30, 2017  

    Interesting books!

    Book tip For those who like statistics and/or books with ridiculously long titles, read SB McGrayne’s “The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes’ Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant from Two Centuries of Controversy.”

  • Evelien June 30, 2017'

    Wherever your journey takes you, make sure to bring your towel!

  • Xenia July 1, 2017'

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    I love mindwise
    So give the books to me

  • BFJ July 1, 2017'

    A Little Life

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