Reading List For New Students

note for everyone who’s not a new student: there’s a new student orientation thingee happening today and on our promo pieces I promised them that we’d have some reading recommendations for them

So you’re coming to Stanford–that’s great! I know you’ve got a lot to read and do before you arrive, but I’d like to suggest some books you really need to check out.

How To Stay Christian In College by J. Budziszewski. If you only read one book from this list, make it this one! The author lost his faith while an undergrad and regained it after attaining his doctorate, and he’s packed this book full of extremely practical advice!

The Diversity Myth by Peter Thiel and David Sacks. This book is all about Stanford and its agenda when it comes to reeducating students (written by two Stanford grads). I need to preface my recommendation with several disclaimers: you should keep in mind that these guys have a huge ideological axe to grind and that there are always two sides to every story. In addition, the book is about a decade old, and so some of the details are no longer accurate. Finally, they’re not writing from a Christian perspective. Even after all those qualifications, I recommend that you read this book before you show up for your first day at Stanford. In case you’re curious, the title comes from the authors’ contention that there is no true diversity on campus.

Finally, consider reading The Spirit of the Disciplines by Dallas Willard. This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. Some people find it dense, and if you fall into that category I recommend The Life You’ve Always Wanted as an alternate. Either of these books will help you learn a life‐changing lesson–that there’s a difference between trying to be like Jesus and training to be like Jesus. If all you do is try, you can kiss your faith goodbye once you go to college. If what do now is begin to train, you can thrive spiritually at Stanford University!

You might also want to check out previous posts we’ve made on Tips for New Students, Becoming Wise In College, and Books Every Educated Christian Should Know.