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Distinctive Summer Reading 2023

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 and audio formats for interested readers. And for even more reading recommendations, here are links to the 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 lists.

From Beaudry Allen, Preservation & Digital Archivist:

The End of White Christian America by Robert P Jones. Inspired to read this from Rev. Naomi Washington-Leapheart’s recent talk “A Womanist Path to Ending White Christian America.”

Crying in H Mart: A Memoir by Michelle Zauner. The book is about growing up Korean American and how Zauner, of Japanese Breakfast, navigates death and identity in adulthood.

Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan. A booktok influenced choice. A fantasy inspired by Chinese mythology and the legend of the moon goddess Chang’e.

From Michael Foight, Director Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement:

The World: A Family History of Humanity / Simon Sebag Montefiore (2023). A just-published global history tome weighing in at 1344 pages!

Knowing What We Know: the transmission of knowledge from ancient wisdom to modern magic / Simon Winchester (2023). Overview of information theory mixed with pop philosophy and computer culture.

The Soviet Century: archaeology of a lost world / Karl Schlogel (2023). A deep dive into the popular culture of the former Soviet Union.

The Lies of Locke Lamora / Scott Lynch. (2006). First in a series of fantasy novels about thieves in the city of Camorr (loosely based on medieval Venice).

From Megan Piorko, Distinctive Collections Librarian:

I Hold a Wolf by the Ears by Laura van den Berg (2020)

Finna by Nino Cipri (2020)

Severance by Ling Ma (2019)

From Christoforos Sassaris, Distinctive Collections Coordinator:

Blood, Sweat, and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Video Games Are Made (2017), by Jason Shreier. A non-fiction book about the fascinating world of video game development, using several games of the past decade as case studies.

The Phantom of the Opera (1909), by Gaston Leroux. I have already read this classic novel, but I will likely re-read it now that the Broadway adaptation sadly ended its 35-year continuous run.

Locke & Key, Volume 1: “Welcome to Lovecraft” (2009), by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez. As a fan of Lovecraftian horror and mind-bending sci-fi, I have had my eye on this comic-book series for a while.

The Multiversity(2015), by Grant Morrison and various artists. Grant Morrison’s comics—such as his run on Doom Patrol and Animal Man, both of which I loved—are always interesting a multilayered. With the notion of the “multiverse” becoming more prominent every day in contemporary popular culture, I wanted to read The Multiversity, perhaps the ultimate DC Universe multiverse story.

From Mike Sgier, Distinctive Collections Coordinator:

Between Two Fires / Christopher Buehlman.

Parable of the Talents / Octavia Butler.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands / Kate Beaton.

Gustave Dore and the Modern Biblical Imagination / Sarah C. Schaefer.



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Last Modified: June 1, 2023

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