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Distinctive Summer Reading

Front cover, Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America
by Candacy Taylor

Here are the books that top the reading piles of the Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement staff this summer. Most if not all of these titles can be found via stocked online booksellers while some are also available in digital formats for interested readers.

From Beaudry Allen, Preservation and Digital Archivist:

The Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab.
Fantasy! Parallel Londons! Magic! Thieves!

Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women That a Movement Forgot by Mikki Kendall.
Essays examining how mainstream feminism in the United States has not been inclusive.

The Black Prism by Brent Weeks.
More Fantasy!

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.
An alternate history of the underground railroad.

From Laura Bang, Distinctive Collections Librarian Archivist:

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin.

So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo.

Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy Taylor.

Thinking Inside the Box: Adventures with Crosswords and the Puzzling People Who Can’t Live Without Them by Adrienne Raphel.

An Unconditional Freedom by Alyssa Cole.

From Michael Foight, Director Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement:

Book Parts: edited by Dennis Duncan & Adam Smyth. An anthology of essays on the diverse elements that make up the physical book, this broadly ranges on topics from dust jackets and frontispieces to running heads and endleaves.

The Invention of Rare Books: private interest and public memory, 1600-1840 by David McKitterick. McKitterick answers the question: “when does a book that is merely old become a rarity and an object of desire?”

The Man in the Red Coat by Julian Barnes. This rich, witty, work provides a revelatory tour of Belle Époque Paris, via the remarkable life story of the pioneering surgeon, Samuel Pozzi, who is the eponymous man in the red coat.

A Passion for Nature: The Life of John Muir by Donald Worster. The most recent biography of the noted conservationist and founder of the Sierra Club, this is the first to be based on Muir’s full private correspondence.

Semicolon: the past, present, and future of a misunderstood mark by Cecelia Watson. Invented by Italian humanist Aldus Manutius in 1494 Venice, the semicolon paired up the comma and colon; Manutius created many publishing innovations including one of the most controversial of punctuation marks!

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann, translated from the German by Ross Benjamin. Newly translated, this work of magical realism and adventure tells the story of the vagabond 17th century performer and trickster Tyll Ulenspiegel.

From Rebecca Oviedo,Distinctive Collections Librarian Archivist:

With so much time spent at home with family these days, I am thrilled that my son enjoys reading together the same classic children’s books that I enjoyed as a kid. Current favorites are The Berenstain Bears and Curious George books, Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson, and Millions of Cats by Wanda Gag. This summer we’ll look to add new stories that celebrate multiculturalism and inspire kindness, empathy, and inclusion.

Outside My Window / by Linda Ashman, illustrated by Jamey Christoph. “This beautiful book will spark readers’ curiosity and imagination with its celebration of global diversity.”

Pancakes to Parathas: Breakfast around the World / by Alice B. McGinty, illustrated by Tomoko Suzuki. “With rhythm and rhymes and bold, graphic art, Pancakes to Parathas invites young readers to explore the world through the most important meal of the day.”

The Big Umbrella / by Amy June Bates. “This sweet extended metaphor uses an umbrella to demonstrate how kindness and inclusion work…A lovely addition to any library collection, for classroom use or for sharing at home.”

As for me, I am currently reading:
Back to the Land: Alliance Colony to the Ozarks in Four Generations / by Ruth Weinstein. ­Published by the South Jersey Culture & History Center at Stockton University. A memoir by Ruth Weinstein, a relative of mine and descendant of one of the founding families of Alliance Colony, the first successful Jewish farming community in America. (See Also: The Alliance Heritage Center)


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Last Modified: June 3, 2020