Since 1985, the University has offered the UC Berkeley Summer Reading List for New Students as one of the welcomes to the incoming classes of freshmen and transfer students. Whether you’re a new student at Cal, an alum, a UC Berkeley employee, or an avid reader who’s found your way to our site (in which case, welcome!), we invite you to have a look at the current list of suggestions as well as an archive of past years’ reading lists.
These readings aren’t required; they’re offered for pleasure. They’ve been suggested by Cal faculty, staff, and students as great readings that will introduce incoming students to a small slice of the intellectual life of the university and perhaps send them exploring the library’s rich collections. Also, the readings aren’t selected by us, the list’s curators. Instead, we ask people on the Cal campus for their suggestions of great readings that would fit within a given theme, and then see what we get. (Also, we don't accept suggestions from publishers or authors.) The list is always potluck, always eclectic, and always full of worthwhile readings. We feel sure you’ll find something on one of these lists that will spark your interest.
We wish you good reading!