Ron Carlson's novel "The Signal"
Compiling a summer reading list? Check out recent offerings from UC Irvine faculty, such as Ron Carlson's novel "The Signal." Daniel A. Anderson / University Communications

It’s summertime, and temperatures are rising. One of the best ways to beat the heat is by relaxing with a good book. The latest from UC Irvine faculty have something for everyone.

Tired of reality? Lose yourself in The Signal or Five Skies, the most recent novels by Ron Carlson, director of the M.F.A. program in fiction.

Looking to add some pizzazz to your daily routine? Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things, by Chancellor’s Fellow and English professor Julia Lupton and her twin sister, Ellen, offers some amusing insights. Or if you need to keep little hands busy, the Luptons’ D.I.Y. Kids is full of projects for the wee ones.

Interested in the Internet and all things digital? Try Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistake,s by Humanities Core Course writing director Elizabeth Losh, or anthropology professor Tom Boellstorff’s Coming of Age in Second Life: An Anthropologist Explores the Virtually Human.

Does the economy have you planning a “staycation”? Travel to faraway continents with the fictional Wizard of the Crow and nonfictional Something Torn and New: An African Renaissance, by Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Distinguished Professor of English and comparative literature and director of the International Center for Writing and Translation. Or stay up to date on current events in the Middle East with history professor Mark LeVine’s Impossible Peace: Israel/Palestine Since 1989 and Heavy Metal Islam: Rock, Resistance, and the Struggle for the Soul of Islam.

Catching the newest blockbuster film? Walter B. Gerken Professor of Enterprise & Society Richard B. McKenzie’s Why Popcorn Costs So Much at the Movies , and Other Pricing Puzzles will explain why your wallet’s shrinking faster than you can say “Transformers.”

Here’s a sampling of other recent books by UCI faculty:

For more books by UCI faculty, browse the shelves at The UCI Bookstore and UCI Libraries.