Summer Reading

person reading under tree with dog sleeping at side

Summer term is shorter than Fall and Spring, and classes can be intense! We are all grateful for the breaks between semesters. This is the perfect time to read a book just for fun – no citations, annotations, or discussion post required! I asked our staff for reading recommendations, suggesting a classic and a recently published book.

Elizabeth Metz (Librarian): I just finished Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman, it was excellent (but then I’m biased towards his works!). It is available to borrow in our Baker & Taylor collection. My second book, it’s not a classic per se, but it’s one of my all-time favorites: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This is available in our Fiction collection.

Elina Puckett (evening librarian): Summer is not exactly the time to think about cold and ice, yet two books – The Way of the Iceman by Wim Hof and What Doesn’t Kill Us on cold training may significantly improve your summer by teaching you how to “dramatically enhance energy levels, improve circulation, reduce stress, boost the immune system, strengthen the body and successfully combat many disease.”

Ann Spinney (afternoon librarian): A classic summer book for me is Ulysses by James Joyce, a story about a man going about his day on June 16th, 1904 worrying about his wife’s infidelity. Obviously, this is not a book for kids! Joyce was an accomplished singer and the book is full of the sounds of Dublin in summer; it is a wonderful book to read aloud. It is based on the classical story of Ulysses the mariner, with events that are parallel: for example, the Cyclops monster of the original is a racist man holding forth in a pub in Joyce’s retelling. The book is available to borrow in our fiction collection.
A new book I am recommending is Taduno’s Song by Odafe Otogun. It also is based on a classical story, the myth of Orpheus the musician who tries to rescue his wife from Hades. Otogun’s retelling is based in modern Nigeria. His writing sparkles with the precision of poetry. I could not put this book down and read it twice over, it is so enchanting, sad, and beautiful. We have it available to borrow in our Baker & Taylor collection.

Carol Gibbs (library assistant/ILL): Carol recommended a series of fiction books by Sarah Addison Allen, all set in rural North Carolina and centering around family mysteries. Several are available in our fiction collection.

Diana Dudley (library assistant): Diana submitted a long list, so feel free to ask her for more recommendations! She included The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas as her classic read; and City of Light, City of Poison: Murder, Magic, and the First Police Chief of Paris by Holly Tucker, which is a new nonfiction book available to borrow in our Baker & Taylor collection.

Jean Adkins (library assistant): My classic favorite is The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (in our fiction collection) and a new book that I enjoyed is Ghosts of War by Brad Taylor (in our Baker & Taylor collection).

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