“I like really long books as well as very short ones,” says the architect who runs her eponymous architecture firm, Deborah Berke Partners, in New York City. A little more than three years ago, Berke also became dean of the Yale School of Architecture, making her the first female dean in the institution’s 100-year history. Here, she shares the titles that possess both literary flair and design underpinnings, in varying degrees—recommended for book lovers and architects alike.

Sing to It: New Stories, by Amy Hempel

I’ve loved Amy Hempel’s work for decades, so much so that I once asked her to advise on a short-story reading list for an architecture-design studio I taught at Yale. We looked at the underbelly of the American suburb, which is a theme that runs through many of her stories, including several in her marvelous new collection, Sing to It. Taut and telling, they reveal uncomfortable truths about ourselves and the lives we build and sometimes destroy.