Joseph Vogel

Assigned reading in high school — specifically, the book "My Name Is Asher Lev," by Chaim Potok — jump-started Joseph Vogel's love for reading.

Now 26 and working on a master's degree in American literature at Brigham Young University, Vogel has compiled "The Obama Movement: Why Barack Obama Speaks to America's Youth," 25 essays by young people singing the praises of the presidential candidate.

"I have like a huge library of books now," Vogel said. "It was about my junior year of high school, I was really into sports and a lot of stuff, I had a really good teacher who kind of brought books to life and I was converted."

A year ago, Vogel wrote "Free Speech 101," describing his experience as a student government vice president at Utah Valley State College responsible for inviting controversial filmmaker Michael Moore to campus before the 2004 presidential election.

In all, he has written six books, some published by small book presses and some self-published .

Right now, Vogel has two books going. For fun, he's reading "Life of Pi," by Yann Martel. For school, he's reading "A House for Mr. Biswas" by V.S. Naipaul.

Vogel also recommends work by Dave Eggers — who happens to be the subject of Vogel's master's thesis — author of "What is the What," "You Shall Know Our Velocity" and "Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius," which Vogel calls "the most innovative novel in the past 10 years."

Vogel discovered Eggers in an English class at UVSC. Eggers is famous for his independent publishing company, McSweeney's.

"I think Dave Eggers is the writer of my generation," he said.