Dr. Karen A. Stout Shares 2018 Summer Reading List

For 19 years, Achieving the Dream President & CEO Dr. Karen A. Stout has shared her summer reading list with colleagues and students. A sample of her thoughts on her 2018 books follows.


Lessons Learned from Summer Reading

Summer is a great time to refresh and reenergize. I keep a running list of ‘must-read’ books throughout the year and dive in when July comes. I often choose books because of the clear connection to higher education and the work of our colleges. Other books, which at first glance don’t appear to speak to community colleges or education, illuminate surprising connections.

I've been sharing my reading list for 19 years. When I was president of Montgomery County Community College, it was my tradition to share the list at fall convocation. I share it with you with the hope that you’ll, too, find these books interesting and full of lessons for our shared work in higher education. Here’s a link to my 19th annual summer reading list, and few listed below.

New Power by Jeremy Heimans and Henry Timms 

I found this book because it was part of a new book club I joined (@NextBigIdeaClub). Understanding “new power” is essential for all leaders and organizations. New power “operates like a current. It is open and participatory.” Isn’t this #OER? New power moves sideways, not top down. Strong leaders and strong organizations learn when and how to blend old power and new power; to know when to control and when to release control.




Automating Inequality: How High-tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor by Virginia Eubanks

I first heard Dr. Eubanks speak in early February at a Robin Hood convening in New York City on fighting poverty. After listening to her and reading this book, I am convinced that we may be building decision-management systems in higher education that are punitive toward the poor. There are many lessons here for us around the danger of using algorithms, alone, in making decisions about our students.



The Promise and the Dream: The Untold Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy by David Margolick

Margolick traces the distinct yet converging paths of MLK and RFK through the 1960s, including through the days leading into and through 1968 and their assassinations. I could not put this one down.




To see the complete summer reading list, click here.





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