Tag Archives: prize winner

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

book coverSet during the events before and after the Trojan War, TSOA is about the love story of Patroclus and Achilles, and their tragic ending. It is incredibly written in a way that makes you feel for the characters, and it will definitely make you want to keep reading. This book is perfect for Greek mythology and Ancient Greece fans, as well as those who want to read books with LGBT romances and don’t mind endings that will make you cry.

Availability: COSMOS, USMAI
Review Submitted by:  Esther Markov
Rating:  Must Read

In the Country by Mia Alva

book coverIn the Country by Mia Alvar is a recommended read. Nine distinct stories reveal intriguing, sometimes gritty views into various women and men from the Philippines. Whether living at home or abroad, in opulence or alarming poverty, the characters have an interwoven connection to their homeland and their desire to fit in wherever they may be. I learned many curious details about Filipino culture.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by: M Denise Brace nee Lerch (’82)
Rating:  Recommended

The Power by Naomi Alderman

booik coverThe Power is a book within a book. One story is letters between the author and his editor, while the inner book is about a world where women around the world suddenly develop electricity conducting abilities. This book presents an interesting premise, however there are some concepts that could have been fleshed out more such as how trans people would fit in this new world dynamic. The characters are very interesting and well rounded, and the different story lines cross in satisfying ways.

Availability:  COSMOS
Review Submitted by:  Joanne Hoppe
Rating:  Recommended

Holes by Louis Sachar

HolesI remember reading holes in elementary school when it first came out, and enjoying the creative, odd story of Stanley Yelnats. I recently found my copy and decided to re-read the book now that it has reached the age of 22. The story is still as amusing and entertaining as ever. Holes has elements to appeal to young readers – themes of being misunderstood, of consequences and peer pressure, of blame, forgiveness, and acceptance. It has humor, it has adventure, and a great villain (make that two). Sachar takes an idea that seems simple and a bit far-fetched and makes it feel just real enough to wonder if you should google “Is Camp Green Lake based on a real event?”

On this reading what struck me was the feeling that Holes feels like a folktale. It is set in a real enough world, but coincidence, fate, and a subtle magical quality surround the characters and the story. It feels like a myth set in our own times. While it is labeled a young adult novel, I would say the reading level lays in the range of late child to middle schooler, but the themes and messages are heavy enough for young adults to appreciate and connect to. For adults it will feel like a story for kids. Still, this book is as relevant and fresh as ever, and for someone looking for a modern fable, this book is as refreshing as a full canteen halfway through digging a 5 foot by 5 foot hole.

This story is recommended for people who:
1. Enjoy books with fun villains and anti heroes.
2. Off beat humor and scenarios with kind hearted messages.
3. Stories set in the real world but feel like a myth of folktale.

Availability:  COSMOS, SMCM, USMAI
Review Submitted by:  Nick Huber 2013
Rating:  Rating: For Adults: Recommended For YA: Highly Recommended
Challenge: A book with a one word title, Book to Film