The nostalgia of summer reading is ever-present as the school term comes to an end. Whether you loved or detested a summertime read, this collection of well-rounded books is sure to spark the interest of readers and non-readers alike. Dr. Amy Qualls of the english department, Justin Lillard, reference librarian in the Brackett Library and senior English major Meagan Ogburn compiled their favorite page-turning recommendations. From gripping thrillers to inspiring classics, there is something for everyone here.
“Into the Water” by Paula Hawkins — A suspense thriller, almost gothic in nature, about a river and the mysterious drowning of several women in the British town of Northumberland. With more than a dozen viewpoints, the reader is left to sift through the different secrets and voices until the truth is revealed.
“The Road” by Cormac McCarthy — A post-apocalyptic novel with an unknown time and place. What stands out the most in this story is the bond between a nameless father and son as they search for a shred of humanity in a world that has been forever changed. Will the two make it together to the end?
“Gilead, Home, Lila” by Marilynne Robinson — A Series: These books are not plot-driven, but they are beautiful meditations on God, life, love, family and community.
“The Hate U Give” by Angie Thomas — A timely, engrossing, and often heartbreaking tale about a sixteen-year-old girl, Starr Carter, who witnesses the police shoot and kill her best friend, Khalil, who was unarmed.
“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak —A beautiful but emotional tale from the point of view of a child, Liesel Meminger, in Germany during WWII. With a decree to burn all books of Jewish authors, the curious Liesel begins to steal literature with an ever-growing itch to learn to read. With the help of her adoptive family and a Jewish friend named Max, Liesel begins to experience the power of language.
“Emma” by Jane Austen —Everyone’s go-to Austen book is Pride and Prejudice, but give this fun read about a feisty and meddlesome matchmaker a go. After many failed attempts to be cupid, Emma finds love for herself with a neighborly friend. This is one of Austen’s more humorous novels.
“The Happiness of Pursuit: Finding the Quest That Will Bring Purpose to Your Life” by Chris Guillebeau —Guillebeau’s basic idea is that everyone needs some kind of quest to enjoy life to the full. Throughout the book he profiles various people in their different quests: from the woman dying of cancer who set out to personally see more birds than anyone else in history, to the housewife who sought to bring the world to her little Oklahoma house by cooking a meal from every country in the world, to Guilleabeau’s own quest to personally visit every country on earth.
“The End of the Affair” by Graham Greene — It seems strange that a book about an affair ending could make readers think about God, about faith, and about doubt, but Greene accomplishes this feat and more in a story about, among other things, God’s pursuit of His people.
“A Little Life” by Hanya Yanagihara —A novel that follows four different individuals who endure separate hardships but are brought together by friendship. Their stories of healing and redemption provide a light at the end of a tunnel in a broken world.