Looking for some leisure reading suggestions? Check out some of the library staff’s favorite recent reads.
Lindsey Gumb, Instructional Technology Librarian
The Namesake & Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
I focused the majority of my summer reading on local and acclaimed author Jhumpa Lahiri. I heard Lahiri speak at Roger Williams University while I was a student here in 2006, and fell in love with her novel, The Namesake (2004). Ironically, it took me over ten years to finally read the book of short stories which her talk focused on, Interpreter of Maladies (1999). I loved this book so much that I immediately picked up a copy of her newer collection of short stories, The Unaccustomed Earth (2007).
Both Interpreter of Maladies and The Unaccustomed Earth are beautiful collections of short stories that blend the mundane struggles of human relationships with the often overlooked hardships that first and second generation American citizens endure while assimilating in the United States. Lahiri’s prose is simultaneously direct and illustrative, which when combined with her excellent character development makes it hard to put either book down. Each story includes some element of Indian culture (typically Bengali), which may turn off some readers looking for cultural variation, however, I found it extremely interesting to be able to learn about a new culture through the lens of so many different characters. I would highly recommend anything written by Jhumpa Lahiri, especially my two summer reads, Interpreter of Maladies and The Unaccustomed Earth.
John Fobert, Electronic Resources Librarian
Patriotic Murders by Agatha Christie
A visit to the dentist by Hercule Poirot ends with, what else? A dead body. Was it suicide or murder? In true Christie fashion, it is unclear if the motive was love, money, or national security. The story is set at the beginning of the Second World War and was originally published in November 1940 under the title One, Two, Buckle My Shoe. It is hard to put this book down as the storyline moves along quickly and the characters are intriguing. Christie worked in a hospital pharmacy during WWI so, as in many of her books, her knowledge of chemicals is apparent. A thoroughly pleasant read with enough twists to keep you wondering what will happen next.
Christine Fagan, Collections Management Librarian
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
This book has been selected as the Professor John Howard Birss, Jr. Memorial Book for 2017. Engaging story! I cannot put this book down!
“Alternately reverential and comical, One Hundred Years of Solitude interweaves the political, personal, and spiritual, bringing a new consciousness to storytelling; this radiant work is a masterpiece of the art of fiction.” – Harper Collins Hardcover edition
Liz Hanes, Acquisitions Assistant
The Obsession by Nora Roberts
This book was a great summer read. Nora Roberts’ books are always good, but this one was better than usual because it has a little bit of everything. It’s a romance, but also includes some elements of mystery, and some thrilling, slightly scary moments.
Hannah Goodall, Learning Commons Coordinator
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
Fates and Furies tells the story of a marriage through the narration of both the husband and the wife. While the majority of the book is told through the perspective of Lotto, the charming, eccentric, actor and playwright husband, it is resolved through the narration of his seemingly quiet and reserved wife, Mathilde. The novel twists through the lives of Lotto and Mathilde as they meet at the end of college at Vassar and ends with a sneaky twist set in the country side of New York. I found this book captivating and humorous, as well as a little heartbreaking.