Based on the hype around this novel, I had fairly high expectations. However, I don’t feel that those expectations were met. I was unprepared for the heaviness of the novel, with topics of toxic relationships, abuse, and mental health; and felt that the novel took an unhealthy side of these topics, rather than creating beneficial conversation around them. Personally, this book was not my cup of tea and I would recommend reading a few reviews before diving into it.
Availability: COSMOS, USMAI Review Submitted by: Sarah Gleason Rating: Recommended with reservations Challenge: Book made into TV show
Young Irish Eilis can’t find suitable work in her small town, so her vivacious sister and a priest friend arrange her travel to Brooklyn, work there in a department store, and lodging in a boarding house. As she slowly finds her way, Eilis must make many difficult and life changing decisions. I watched the movie, then ironically found the book two days later in a mini free library while biking on Kent Island. The movie is nice, but the book was a delightful beach read.
Availability: COSMOS, SMCM, USMAI Review Submitted by: Maggie D. Brace ’82 Rating: Highly Recommended Challenge: Book to film
Meeting your partner’s parents for the first time can be a bit tense, especially if you’re contemplating ending the relationship. That’s the premise for this amazing story, which on the outside seems relatively simple but is actually a very interesting and compelling dive into the mind of someone suffering from depression and grappling with the meaning of one’s life, among other things.
Availability: COSMOS, USMAI Review Submitted by: Emily Nelson Ringholm ’07 Rating: Highly Recommended Challenge: Book to film and audiobook
A truly eye opening book about how the United States has failed a generation, and how older Americans have been forced to survive without stability. The resilience shown by the people in this book is inspiring, as is their reclamation of what it means to be “houseless.” Yet, amid people’s expressions of joy at the communities they have developed and their shirking of capitalism, this book made me deeply sad about how much the U.S. has failed its citizens and continues to do so, and how quickly we are turning into a manipulative corporatocracy. My only reservations in regards to this book would be its lack of discussion (about 3 pages in all), of the lack of Black nomads, and why that is.
Availability: USMAI and COSMOS Review Submitted by:Izzy Lott Rating: Must Read Challenge: book to film, book with a one word title
Something Wicked This Way Comes feels like a 20th century folk tale. A coming of age story that influenced numerous successful writers in the horror and fantasy genres, it has long been praised as a masterpiece of its genre.
I remember my best friend in 6th grade reading A Wrinkle in Time and absolutely LOVING it. She would carry it around and try to convince me to read it. When I saw the audiobook available on Libby I decided to finally give it a try. With grand depictions of other dimensions and creatures throughout, this would have been a good first introduction to science fiction. I am happy that I was able to listen to this book in audio format because it had a afterward read by Madelleine L’Engle’s granddaughter. It was nice to hear her speak about the author’s thoughts on the book and how she would brag in her classes that her grandmother wrote the book they were reading. Honestly, I probably would’ve enjoyed it more if I read it as a kid, but it was still fun to listen to as an adult. It’s a fairly quick read (or listen) and I recommend it to anyone like me who felt that they missed out on something big as a kid.
Availability: COSMOS, SMCM, USMAI Review Submitted by: Erin Crawford Rating: Recommended Challenge: Book to Film and Audiobook
This book features a mystery within a mystery: federal investigator Aaron Falk returns to his small hometown of Kiewarra, Australia for the death of a childhood friend, who supposedly murdered his family before turning the gun on himself. Aaron is asked by the family to look into the matter to determine if it’s as cut and dry as it seems. However, Aaron has a few secrets of his own, namely, why he left the town 20 years ago. That story also began with the mysterious death of a friend.
This is such a readable book. It really grabs you from the start and keeps you guessing, both about the current mystery and the one from Aaron’s childhood 20 years ago. It also explores how we remember the past and thoughts of what might have been. The community is suffering through the worst drought in a century, which colors so many of their decisions, good and bad. The Dry was the author’s debut novel and I already plan to pick up her second.
Availability: USMAI, COSMOS Review Submitted by: Kaylie Jasinski ’14 Rating: Must Read Challenge: Books adapted to Film or TV
The Dry is a compelling read. Jane Harper’s debut mystery has everything you could look for in not only a debut, but a mystery from someone at the height of their career. The book has plenty of stories to tell – heartbreaking stories – and while the premise seems simple and familiar, the telling and twists are satisfying. The location is a fresh one for me, and small farm town Australia in the middle of a year long drought gives Harper plenty to play with to crank the casts’ tension high.
Availability: USMAI, COSMOS Review Submitted by: Nick Huber 2013 Rating: Must Read Challenge: Books adapted to Film or TV
The Birds is a horror story by the British writer Daphne du Maurier, first published in 1952. It is the story of a farmhand, his family, and his community that are attacked by flocks of birds. Unlike the movie interpretation by Hitchcock, the main character is aware of the danger he and his family are in and prepares his house accordingly. I enjoyed this book very much.
Availability: USMAI Review Submitted by: Maggie D. Brace ’82. Rating: Recommended Challenge: Book to film