Binge On Books Over Break

Looking for a good book to read over break! We’ve got some ideas. Read our recommendations below, then look in the Leisure Reading section on 2nd floor to see if there is anything else that appeals to you.

the-nixThe Nix, by Nathan Hill (recommended by Anne Earel,  Leisure Reading Collection)

 This novel is a commitment. That said, moving through its 600+ pages has never felt like a slog; author Hill deftly moves among first-person accounts from his protagonists and moves back and forth in time as well, sharing backstory and providing context for the novel’s “present-day” of 2011.  The stories of the individuals he’s created are fascinating enough – the relationship between a young English professor and the mother who abandoned him; the mother’s development of her own sense of self, before and after she became a mother; a gamer caught in a psychological downward spiral – but all the while, Hill deftly uses his characters to explore and comment on some of the confusing, complicated issues that underscore our lives: addiction, loneliness, injustice, and others.

 wicked-boyThe Wicked Boy, by Kate Summerscale (recommended by Stefanie Bluemle, Leisure Reading Collection)

I’ll admit it. I haven’t read this one. But on a recent vacation I happened to pick up one of Summerscale’s earlier books, and I couldn’t put it back down. That book was called The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher; it’s the true story of a child’s murder, and the detective assigned to solve it, that fascinated England in the 1860s and inspired many of the tropes we now associate with detective novels. Well-paced and novelistic in its narration, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher will appeal to anyone who likes a good mystery. The Wicked Boy, from what I hear, deals with another murder in Victorian England, this time of a woman whose young son confessed and was sent to an asylum. If this new book is anything like the one I’ve already read, it will be another page-turner that enlightens at the same time.

thrice-catThrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’d, by Alan Bradley (recommended by Connie Ghinazzi, Leisure Reading Collection)

Thrice the Brinded Cat Hath Mew’dis the eighth book by Alan Bradley in his Flavia de Luce series. You don’t have to read the previous books to be able to thoroughly enjoy this spitfire of a 12 year old. Tormented by two older sisters and left largely to her own devices by her father, motherless Flavia tries to blow things up in her chemistry lab and solves mysteries and murders across the countryside. When you want something fun and lighthearted to read, choose Flavia. If you fall in love with Flavia’s antics and adventures, the other books in this series can easily be requested through I-Share.

bossypantsBossypants by Tina Fey (recommended by Connie Ghinazzi, Leisure Reading Collection)

Bossypants by Tina Fey. Tiny Fey has been a long time favorite of mine since I first saw her on Saturday Night Live and Thirty Rock. Her autobiography helps us see the talent and humor of this wonderful writer and comedienne. Bossypants will entertain and inspire you as you see how this self-proclaimed nerd became one of the most recognized comedy talents of her generation.


one-more-thingOne More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, by B. J. Novak (recommended by Christine Aden, Leisure Collection)

By turn amusing, perplexing, and thought-provoking, this collection of short stories is perfect for someone who wants to be able to fit in some leisure reading in just a few moments at a time. Whether telling us why wearing a red shirt could help your love life or why a boy who wins a prize on a box of Frosted Flakes might not want to claim it, the author (and acclaimed actor) keeps you entertained.


 portable-veblenThe Portable Veblen, by Elizabeth McKenzie (recommended by Amanda Makula, available via I-Share)

A hypochondriac mother. An evil pharmaceutical empire. A mischievous (talking) squirrel. If you’re not already intrigued, there’s also “The Pneumatic Turbo Skull Punch,” quirky pictures that accompany the text, and a title identical to a 1948 compilation of the writings of Thorstein Veblen, an economist and outspoken social critic who first coined the term “conspicuous consumption.” (Note to the enterprising reader: we own that 1948 compilation in Tredway library; see HB171. V4 1948 on 3rd floor.) This book is weird, sweet, and a lot of fun. Enjoy!




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