Introducing the CGIS Study Abroad Book Club

Follow along with literary travelers to prepare for your study abroad adventure!

Watch your inbox every other week for our newsletter that will link to recommendations of books, short stories, and essays carefully selected by CGIS staff to inspire, provoke, and encourage you on your own travels.

Grab one or more of these texts for your plane, train, or bus ride and let your imagination take flight.

Too busy to read through a full book on your journey? We recommend reading local news in your destination country and seeking out inspiration from music and visual art.


Image by Harvest/HBJ

This Week's Recommendation

Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino

"In a garden sit the aged Kublai Khan and the young Marco Polo — Mongol emperor and Venetian traveler. Kublai Khan has sensed the end of his empire coming soon. Marco Polo diverts his host with stories of the cities he has seen in his travels around the empire: cities and memory, cities and desire, cities and designs, cities and the dead, cities and the sky, trading cities, hidden cities. As Marco Polo unspools his tales, the emperor detects these fantastic places are more than they appear."

After you read: Calvino’s cities represent possible ways of thinking and living more than actual places; which of his cities do you find intriguing, and why?

Tweet us your thoughts!

Week of November 19, 2017

A Small Place by Jamaica Kincaid (2000)

"A brilliant look at colonialism and its effects in Antigua...Lyrical, sardonic, and forthright by turns, in a Swiftian mode, A Small Place cannot help but amplify our vision of one small place and all that it signifies."

After you read: What does Kincaid have to say about the toll of travel on local life? How can you keep her insights in mind on your own journey?

Week of December 11, 2017

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (1979) 

"Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor."

After you read: What do the travelers learn and gain in their exploration of the galaxy?

Week of December 25, 2017

CGIS Book Club: Howard Tsai (GCC Peru - Cusco)

We sat down with Howard Tsai, Lecturer in Latin American and Caribbean Studies and program leader for Global Course Connections (GCC) in Cusco, Peru (Indigenous Communities and Globalization), to discuss several fascinating texts on the ancient city of Cusco!

Follow the links below to read for yourself, and join the discussion with us on twitter @cgisumich!

Watch our interview on YouTube here

Rowe, John Howland. “WHAT KIND OF A SETTLEMENT WAS INCA CUZCO?” Ñawpa Pacha: Journal of Andean Archaeology, no. 5, 1967, pp. 59–76. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Bauer, Brian S. “Ritual Pathways of the Inca: An Analysis of the Collasuyu Ceques in Cuzco.” Latin American Antiquity, vol. 3, no. 3, 1992, pp. 183–205. JSTOR, JSTOR,