Fiat Lux: “Let there be light”
Welcome to you--incoming Cal freshmen and transfer students, and avid readers everywhere!
As UC Berkeley marks its sesquicentennial (that’s a fancy way of saying “150th birthday”), we’ve taken the university’s motto, Fiat Lux (“Let there be light”), as inspiration for this year’s
UC Berkeley Summer Reading List for New Students.
Every year, we ask Cal faculty, staff, and students to recommend some great books for the incoming classes to read. On this year’s list, you’ll find a splendid array of fiction, memoir, journalism, history, and engaging
research to choose from that offer journeys of discovery and inspiration; narratives of personal transformation and insight; moments of humor and deep humanity; and stories of dark, difficult times in personal or societal history
where people found their way to “light” of different kinds.
Fear not, those of you who might be worried that these readings constitute summer homework. The list is offered simply for you to explore at your leisure, and to welcome you to the community of scholars, thinkers, and readers you’ll
soon be joining here at Cal. (You can see past suggestions from reading lists dating back to 1985, and find your way to most of these suggestions in one of Cal’s
many libraries once you arrive on campus.)
So read on, and let there be light...and inspiration, discovery, and hope.
College Writing Programs
First Year Coordinator
UC Berkeley Library