Great Summer Reads – The Stonehill List
June 15, 2011
Interested to know what books Stonehill faculty and staff members weren't able to put down recently? Over 50 members of the Stonehill community sent in their summer reading recommendations. Below is a sampling of books sure to satisfy your reading hunger this summer.
#1 Snakewoman of Little Egypt by Robert Hellenga
This is the book I've enjoyed the most lately. It's a great book about, among other things, the joie de vivre that comes from learning and how that can be a source of renewal and hope at any stage of life. The fact that it features an anthropologist undertaking research in Appalachia doesn't hurt either.
-Erica Tucker, Assistant Professor of Anthropology
#2 The Condition by Jennifer Haigh
The summer of 1976 was the last ordinary year for the McKotches. They discovered that Gwen (the daughter) has Turner syndrome and the family starts to deteriorate. The writer explores how the lack of communication makes five people who grew up under the same roof to become strangers to each other, and how they overcome this situation. The characters are unique and believable. The perfect book for a summer reading!
-Gabriela Roias , Facilities Management
#3 Lords of Finance: The Bankers Who Broke the World by Liaquat Ahamed
This Pulitzer Prize winner considers the relationships between, and decisions made by, the central bank leaders from the US, England, France, and Germany around the time of the Great Depression. As we confront an on-going recession, Ahamed's insightful book reminds us that what's past is prologue.
-Chris Wetzel, Assistant Professor of Sociology
#4 The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer
This is a very riveting and bone chilling story about survival. An asteroid hits the moon and the city of New York goes into shock. The book focuses on one family and how some of them survive. Will there be enough food and electricity?
-Shelley Leahy, Associate Director of Academic Services
#5 Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
The book deals with Alzheimer's and gives a fascinating view from the person who has it. It touches us with a wonderful love story and endears us to an intelligent warm elephant from the "circus of old." I will read this one over and over throughout my life. And now you can precede it or follow it with the movie that is out.
-Silvina Miller, Recreational Sports Administrative Assistant
This is just an overall well crafted story with a lot of heart and strongly developed characters that you really care about. It features fantastic insight to the workings and dynamics of a circus train. Very thought provoking!
-Jacquie Gouveia, Manager of Finance Information System
#6 In Zanesville by JoAnn Beard
This is a novel of two junior high school friends set in small-town Illinois in the 1970s. The main characters' voices are so true to life it was like going back in time. Plus, a book that makes you laugh out loud this much is a perfect summer read.
- Anne Mattina, Associate Professor of Communication
#7 This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun
This is the story of a political prisoner who was buried alive in a tiny tomb-like cell for years, and lived to tell about it. Amid the terrible details of the ordeal comes a strange sense of spiritual initiation and maturity, from a Muslim's perspective.
-David Sander, Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
#8 Just Kids by Patti Smith
This is the Godmother of Punk Patti Smith's memoir of her time with Robert Mapplethorpe. It is well written and full of people of the 60s. Well worth your time!
- Kathy McNamara, Assistant Professor and Director of Licensure, Placement & Supervision for the Department of Education
#9 Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
Situated in Seattle during World War II, this is the story of a first (and forbidden) love between a Chinese American boy and a Japanese American girl, whose family is evacuated to an internment camp. The story is beautifully written and you learn so much about this painful time in American history.
-Jane Nash, Professor of Psychology
#10 Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Set in the Pacific theater of World War II, this is a great story of overcoming adversity and battling against all odds. It offers a little perspective into our daily lives. Hillenbrand is the author who brought us Seabiscuit.
-Nick LaFontaine, Assistant Football Coach
#11 The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood
It's a quick and easy read---good for the beach. It's a story about a group of female friends who all go through independent tragedies and grief, but are bound together by their love of knitting. It tells about the true meaning of friendship. I read it on a plane ride home from Florida a few years ago and have recommended it to many friends since.
- Margaret Carr, Assistant to the President for Enrollment Management and Marketing
#12 A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
This is not just a book for "dog" people. It chronicles the dog's journey through life, searching for its purpose and meaning. The book shows the special relationship that exists between owner and the dog as seen through the dog's perspective. I laughed and I cried. Awesome!
-Janice McGovern, Office Manager of Student Affairs
To see a list of all the recommendations click here.
For more information, contact Communications and Media Relations at 508-565-1321.