Summer – a time for catching up, relaxing, exploring, starting new projects, or perhaps completing work in progress.  

Reading, of course, is key in all of these.  With this in mind, we asked some faculty members at St. John’s about books that have influenced them personally or professionally.

Dr. Dolores Augustine, a professor in the History Department, writes:

I read The Art of Loving by Erich Fromm at the age of 19 or 20, and it has had a tremendous impact on me down through the years.  Written in a lucid, compelling way, the book argues that what is most important in life is a sense of meaning, and that meaning does not derive from consumerism, fame, or even admiration.  Rather, we make our own meaning through our creative activity—our work, our love for others.  Fromm says that love comes in many forms, and (unlike many philosophers) he does not look down on romantic love.  However, it is our act of loving that makes us the happiest.  I found this book subversive when I read it because it rejected many of the values of the suburban America I grew up in.  And in an era of narcissism and loneliness, it is as relevant and as important as ever.