Last week, we shared summer reading recommendations by Villanova’s English Department faculty. This week, we’re happy to share reading recommendations by the staff at Falvey Memorial Library. Once you’ve explored the list below, check out some summer reads suggested by Falvey’s Distinctive Collections and Digital Engagement. Have a great summer, Nova Nation!
Sarah Wingo, Librarian for English Literature, Theatre, and Romance Languages and Literature
- Planning to read: Heartstopper by Alice Oseman. After watching the incredibly heartwarming Netflix series based on this graphic novel series I’m looking forward to checking out the books for myself. Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel. I’ve been a fan of Emily St. John Mandel’s for a while now and I’m looking forward to reading her latest book this summer. Probably her most well known book, Station Eleven, was recently made into a great HBO miniseries. I highly recommend both the book and the series.
- Already Read: The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye by A.S. Byatt. This is a collection of four short stories and one novella length story of the same name as the title of the collection. I just read it last week, George Miller (Director of “Mad Max: Fury Road”), has a new movie coming out this summer staring Tilda Swinton and Idris Alba. The movie is titled “Three Thousand Years of Longing” and is based on the Novella The Djinn in the Nightingale’s Eye.
Darren Poley, Theology, Classics and Humanities Librarian
- The Fall of the West: The Slow Death of the Roman Superpower by Adrian Goldsworthy.
- Death at the Chateau Bremont (A Verlaque and Bonnet Mystery) book one in Provençal Mystery series by M. L. Longworth.
- Travels With My Aunt (Vintage Voyages) by Graham Greene.
- As Always, Julia: The Letters of Julia Child and Avis DeVoto edited by Joan Reardon.
- Song for Almeyda & Song for Anninho by Gayl Jones.
Demian Katz, Director of Library Technology
When I’m looking for recreational reading, I turn to Falvey’s dime novel collection—these books show what people were reading for fun more than a century ago. Some of them remain fun in their own right, while some do not—but either way, they offer a fascinating, enlightening (and sometimes disturbing) window into the past. To make the books more accessible, I volunteer for the Distributed Proofreaders project and in my spare time work to convert some of our Digital Library scans into free Project Gutenberg eBooks—if you follow the Blue Electrode blog you can read about some recent releases.
Shawn Proctor, Communication and Marketing Program Manager
- Ana on the Edge by A.J. Sass—A middle grade novel about a young skater who must balance competitive skating aspirations against the realization they are non-binary.
- Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain—This selection of the Villanova Alumni Association’s book club explores the value of introversion when so much of society is geared toward people who talk first (and most.)
- Heartstopper by Alice Oseman—Now a popular streaming show, this young adult graphic novel series navigates love and friendship from a LGBTQIA+ point-of-view.
- The Words of My Father: Love and Pain in Palestine by Yousef Bashir.
- The Pianist from Syria by Aeham Ahmad.
Mike Sgier, Access and Collections Coordinator
- Circe by Madeline Miller—A great and page-turning retelling of Greek mythology from the point of view of Circe, the witch daughter of a Titan and nymph who is exiled to the island of Aiaia, and who becomes intertwined in the fates of Daedalus, Medea, and most famous of all, the wanderer Odysseus.
Luisa Cywinski, Director of Access Services
Now that summer is here, I will be spending every free moment gardening for food, wildlife, and relaxation. The books on my reading list are:
- No Dig: Nurture Your Soil to Grow Better Veg with Less Effort by Charles Dowding.
- The Wildlife Pond Book by Jules Howard.
- Field Guide to Urban Gardening by Kevin Espiritu.
I’ll also be reading the author’s blogs, watching their YouTube videos, and sharing my results on social media.
Should I be ashamed to admit that my “Want To Read” list on Goodreads is close to 4,500 books? But I promise not to list them all here. I will, though, let you know of two on the list that, appropriately, each have library in their title:
- I hope to finally tackle Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library, a fantasy novel published in 2020, which was the inaugural selection for the Villanova Alumni Book Club, if memory serves me.
- The other one, The Woman In the Library, by Sulari Gentill, is coming out this week and is being hyped as a smashing, closed-room mystery that’s as much fun as a game of Clue. So look for me reading it in the Library, with a lead pipe by my side!
Caroline Sipio, Access and Collections Coordinator
- I recommend People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry! It is full of heart, travel, and overall summer goodness that encourages readers to embrace new experiences and appreciate loved ones near and far.
Kallie Stahl ’17 MA is Communication and Marketing Specialist at Falvey Memorial Library. She recommends Hello, Molly! by Molly Shannon. “Always proud to support a fellow Ohioan,” she says.