Summer Reading, Vol.12: Roger Sangburm Nam

As the summer intercession comes to a close, Pitts wraps up its Summer Reading Recommendation blog series by consulting a brand new face to the Emory and Candler faculty! Roger S. Nam will join us this fall as professor of Hebrew Bible. Dr. Nam formally served as dean and professor of biblical studies at Portland Seminary at George Fox University in Oregon. A financial analyst before turning his attention to biblical studies, Nam focuses his research on the economies of the ancient Near East and the book of Ezra-Nehemiah, applying traditional historical-critical methods within social-scientific frameworks. He has also served as a pastor in Seoul, Korea. 

While Dr. Nam notes that fiction isn’t typically on his reading list, he admits that his friends’ ravings about Pachinko by novelist Min Jin Lee were warranted. This New York Times Bestseller set in the early 1900s follows the story of teenaged Sunja, the daughter of a crippled fisherman, whose decision to abandon her home and to reject her son’s powerful father sets off a dramatic saga that echos down through the generations. Readers can find this profound story of love, sacrifice, ambition, and loyalty at Emory libraries or at local public libraries.

If you’d rather set down your book and pick up the remote, Dr. Nam recommends the Hulu series Taste the Nation with Padma Lakshmi. Take a journey across America with this award winning cookbook author, host and executive producer to explore the rich and diverse food culture of various immigrant groups. From indigenous communities to recent immigrant arrivals, Padma uncovers the roots and relationship between one’s food, one’s humanity and one’s history. Stream this show on Hulu to find out exactly how “a (wheat flour) burrito is tradition wrapped in colonization.”

For those long drives or flights, Dr. Nam suggests one of his favorite Freakonomics podcasts, No Stupid Questions with Stephen Dubner and Angela Duckworth. During each episode, Dubner as a journalist and writer and Duckworth as an academic and researcher ask each other questions leading to lively conversations on research, literature, philosophy, and history. Whether you’re inquiring if charisma can be taught, or if familiarity really breeds contempt, you’re in for a wild but intelligent ride. Looking to the future, Dr. Nam “holds hope that hallway conversations at Candler will be this much fun and productive.” Listeners can subscribe to the series on Apple PodcastsStitcherGoogle PodcastsSpotify, or use the R.S.S. feed.

Thanks for joining us on this exciting ride through recommendations in literature, non-fiction, podcasts, documentaries, and more! Remember that these posts remain available on the Pitts Librarians’ Blog to revisit whenever you’re searching for something new to add to the shelf. We’d like to thank each and every one of our contributors for sharing their suggestions and finds, and we look forward to hearing from more library and Candler faculty and staff next summer!