Happy Holidays, Wildcats! Looking for some reading recommendations for the semester recess? The Falvey Memorial Library staff shares a few suggestions below.
Roberta Pierce, Access & Collections Coordinator:
- The Invited by Jennifer McMahon.
Darren Poley, Associate Director of Research Services:
- Franz Jägerstätter: Letters and Writings from Prison edited by Erna Putz and translated by Robert A. Krieg.
- The Tiger’s Wife by Téa Obreht.
- Dirty Work: Essential Jobs and the Hidden Toll of Inequality in America by Eyal Press.
- Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America by Alec MacGillis.
- No One is Taking About This by Patricia Lockwood.
Michael Foight, Director of Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement:
- The Library: A Fragile History by Andrew Pettegree and Arthur der Weduwen.
- Burning Boy: The Life and Work of Stephen Crane by Paul Auster.
- The Education of Corporal John Musgrave: Vietnam and Its Aftermath by John Musgrave.
Meg Schwoerer-Leister, Access and Collections Coordinator:
Sarah Wingo, Librarian for English Literature, Theatre, & Romance Languages:
- My recommendation is for Harry Potter fans, who love the world but maybe wish there was better more inclusive representation in the Harry Potter world. The Simon Snow book series (currently three books Wayward Son, Carry On, and Any Way the Wind Blows), by Rainbow Rowell are pretty literally Harry Potter fan fiction. Characters have different names and not everything is the same, but it’s not that these books are like Harry Potter, they are directly commenting on and engaging with Harry Potter. Rowell is herself a prolific award-winning author, and I’ve really enjoyed this series. The audiobooks are excellent if that is more your speed. Link to series: https://bit.ly/3pw3LPI
Deborah Bishov, Social Sciences & Instructional Design Librarian:
- My reading recommendation is The Hidden Palace (2021), long awaited sequel to The Golem and the Jinni (2013), both by Helene Wecker. They’re magical realist fantasy that immerse you completely in a richly detailed world where mystical beings end up in turn of last century New York City and face otherworldly obstacles and human dilemmas.
Shawn Proctor, Communication & Marketing Program Manager:
- Aristole and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz. This is a unique and memorable novel about friendship and self-discovery. A book that both reads quickly and lingers in your memory for a long time. Bonus: the sequel book just came out.
- Enola Holmes: The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer. A tightly written mystery by a master puzzle maker and author. It feels a part of the time in which it is set and refreshingly modern, using Sherlock Holmes as inspiration and foil to Enola’s ingenuity and pluck. If you’ve been wanting to see what the Netflix movie’s buzz is about, this is the best place to start.
Ethan Shea, Communication & Marketing Graduate Assistant:
- The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I’ve heard endless praise about The Picture of Dorian Gray, so this winter, I’m finally taking the plunge and checking this novel off my to-read list. The story follows a young and beautiful Dorian Gray as he sells his soul to ensure he will never age or lose his beauty. Gray continues to live a worry-free but sinful life while the consequences of his actions become visible in his portrait.
- The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I hope to read Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles over winter break, a fresh take on the story of the relationship between Achilles and Patroclus. A couple of my friends have recommended Miller’s books to me, and this particular text aligns with my interest in Greco-Roman mythology.
- Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. In anticipation of a class on the African novel I’ll be taking next semester, I’m excited to read Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart. I’ve heard Achebe’s depiction of colonialism and masterful use of language is incredibly moving to say the least, so I can’t wait to read this classic novel.
Joanne Quinn, Director of Communication & Marketing:
- At Christmas time, not only do I like to eat cookies, I like to read about them, too. That’s why I’m excited to see several delicious looking new cookie cookbooks on the horizon, including one by legendary baker Rose Levy Beranbaum. When Rose titles a book with a food item and then the word Bible after it, you know The Cookie Bible will be a must-read. The pandemic has affected its delivery date, but you can pre-order it on Amazon.
- Also on my cookie-cooking radar is Sweet Talk Cookies, by Hayley Callaway. This one teaches you all the tools to ice/stencil and uber-customize cookies to feature any art that you wish–including an amazing turkey from a peace sign cookie cutter–which of course, every Villanovan should own.
- And finally, It’s Not Just Cookies, by Tiffany and John Chen tells the story of two college sweethearts and entrepreneurs who began a multi-million dollar cookie business, Tiff’s Treats, in an off-campus apartment at the University of Texas, Austin. Sound like they’re two smart cookies, for sure.
Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. While you won’t be able to read it during the semester recess, Stahl recommends Dolly Parton and James Patterson’s book Run, Rose, Run (available March 7, 2022.) Parton is also releasing a new album of the same name in conjunction with the novel. Dolly Parton, Songteller: My Life in Lyrics is available to read over the holidays.
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