With final exams now over, students are enjoying some much-needed rest and relaxation over Winter Break. To help you recharge before the next term starts, we recently asked our employees what they have been reading and watching this year. Put on your favorite pajamas, curl up on the couch and enjoy these staff picks. 

Best Books for Those Snowy Sundays

Shakespeare in a Divided America by James Shapiro

“Shapiro’s book is a fascinating excursion into American (literary) history, showing us the many ways in which Shakespeare’s work has been (mis)read and (mis)appropriated over the course of the last two centuries.” – Professor of English Helga Duncan

Atomic Habits by James Clear

“This book offers a realistic and insightful approach to making sustainable and truly transformational changes in our lives. For anyone hoping to develop new routines and implement goal-setting strategies or resolutions that will last beyond January, I cannot recommend this book highly enough!” – Campus Minister Brittany Lorgeree

The Night Watchman: A Novel by Louise Erdrich

“Like all Erdrich’s books it provides memorable characters and totally engrossing plot lines that are at turns heart-breaking, poignant and funny. At its center are both the struggles and triumphs of Chippewa people in 1950’s North Dakota from recent high school grad, Pixie, to Thomas, the night watchman at a local plant.” – Professor of Communication Anne Mattina

Gideon the Ninth by Tamsyn Muir

“The blurb on the cover tells us that in this book ‘lesbian necromancers explore a haunted gothic cathedral in space,’ which hints at the work’s absolutely zany conceit but doesn’t touch on how cleverly Muir plays with genre, tropes, intertextuality and internet memes to create a book that is at once totally off the wall and fully grounded by rich characters with genuine emotion.” – Residence Director Bridget O’Brien

Silly Series and One Fearsome Film

Reservation Dogs (Available to stream on Hulu)

“Reservation Dogs is a comedy about indigenous people presented in a way I've never seen before. Created by Native American director Sterlin Harjo and Taika Waititi, its cast of characters (especially, but not limited to, its four young leads) has stayed with me for a long time. Fearless, funny TV.” – Professor of Communication Ronald Leone

Promising Young Woman (Available to stream on HBO Max)

“It’s a revenge drama/romantic comedy mashup with horror overtones that had my students instantly in awe of this film. It’s the first feature by one of the showrunners from Killing Eve, Emerald Fennell, so viewers of that program will not be surprised that there is a gruesome murder in this film. Yet the cleverness of its script, its visual bravura and an astonishing performance by Carey Mulligan make this a top film of this year for me.” – Professor of English Wendy Peek

Ted Lasso (Available to stream on AppleTV+)

“It’s earnest, funny, sweet and smart. Jason Sudeikis is outstanding as the lead, and the supporting cast is very talented. The writing is excellent, and the story has had some fun twists and turns.” – Associate Dean for Admission Information Systems Geoffrey Smith

Holiday Hits, Both Classic and Current

A Christmas Carol (Available to stream on Hulu)

“The version with George C. Scott is my favorite. We see how Scrooge's transformation doesn’t merely make him more just or more generous, but also makes him more joyful and more relational. Truly attending to other’s situations is the route to virtue, and virtue is the route to joy!” – Rev. Adam Booth, C.S.C.

Black Friday (Available for rental or purchase on Google Play)

“Black Friday was directed by Casey Tebo, who is from Massachusetts. It is the best holiday zombie film ever. It might be the only holiday zombie film ever. Imagine Black Friday in a toy store where the customers turn into alien infected zombies. It just gets better after that. Yes, I do have weird tastes.” – Associate Professor of Communication Maureen Boyle

It’s A Wonderful Life (Available to stream on Amazon Prime)

“Since first seeing it when I was a child, I have not gone a single Christmas season without watching it. It encapsulates what the holiday season truly means - no matter what is going on in someone's life, you have to look around and be thankful for everything you have!” – Assistant Dean of Admission Nicholas Chiocco

Dr. Seuss’ The Grinch (Available for rental or purchase on Google Play)

“The animation is beautiful. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect as The Grinch. The storyline is very sweet while still being true to the original. Max the Dog is still my favorite character. How can you not love Max? And the screaming mountain goat makes me giggle every time.” – Academic Development Administrative Assistant Stephanie DesRosiers

The Nightmare Before Christmas (Available to stream on Disney+)

“Halloween is the best holiday, and the movie is a refreshing departure from typical ‘feel good’ holiday specials.” – Assistant Cross Country/Track Coach Daniel Schwartz


References to specific books, movies and television shows (the “Media”) in this article do not constitute an endorsement of Stonehill College, its trustees, faculty, or employees, by the copyright or trademark owners of the Media, and the references made to the Media are to provide context and examples reasonably necessary to explain the information being conveyed to our readers in this article. No affiliation between the College and the Media owners is intended or implied.