If you need a final “summer reading” book recommendation, you should take a look at Gregory M. Colón Semenza’s Graduate Study for the Twenty-First Century: How to Build an Academic Career in the Humanities (9780230100336).
It’s a “must-read” for those entering the PhD program, and you’ll also see I’m going to assign parts of it later in the semester.
Here’s the author’s description:
Five characteristics distinguish Graduate Study for the 21st Century. First, this is a book designed solely for graduate students who wish to become professors on the tenure track; it does not spend time on alternative career paths for terminal M.A.s or Ph.D.s. Second, the unique focus on building a professorial career means that this book dedicates a significant amount of attention to professional development issues, including publishing, attending conferences, and job searching. In a straightforward and non-condescending manner, it emphasizes how a smart and informed “streamlining” approach to graduate study and teaching can lead to both a meaningful (and relatively short) graduate career and the sort of professional accomplishments that will make you a standout on the job market. Third, Graduate Study for the 21st Century is the only guide that recognizes the specific needs of students in the humanities. It does not assume that the concerns of a history student (or professor) are the same as those of an individual specializing in chemistry or engineering. Fourth, this book deliberately counters the tendency of the aforementioned guides to present an image of graduate school as unrelated to and unaffected by the brutal realities of late 20th-century and 21st-century politics and corporate economics. One gets the impression from previous graduate school guides that academe is no different today from what it was fifty or seventy-five years ago. Finally, this book operates at a level of detail simply not found in any of the aforementioned works. Focusing in depth on such important practical matters as selecting the right seminars, making the most of exams, and constructing effective CV’s, teaching portfolios, and job applications, the emphasis of this book is very much on how to succeed in graduate school.