Home » Culture of the Book » From The Nightstand (Page 2)

From The Nightstand

From the Nightstand: Susan Pasquarelli

Interview conducted by Ryan Monahan


Dr. Pasquarelli, Professor of Literacy Education in the School of Education, has been on faculty for 21 years.

SusanPasquarelliCurrent Reads

The Wedding Shroud: A Tale of Ancient Rome by Elisabeth Storrs fits neatly into Dr. Pasquarelli’s collection of historical fiction centered on Ancient Rome. The  story follows a Roman woman named Caecilia who, in 406 BC, has been wedded to an Etruscan noble to help create a truce between the two warring nations.Although she moved just twelve miles from Rome, the Etruscans are dramatically different than the Romans, and Caecilia must learn to adapt to a pleasure-seeking Hedonistic society.

Dr. Pasquarelli was drawn to this novel in an attempt to continue her education about Ancient Rome and Roman artwork. The Romans conquered Etruscan civilization, but many elements of Roman artwork can be traced to Etruria, located along Italy’s western coast. For Dr. Pasquarelli, Roman artwork is of high interest, as every summer she visits Rome with a group of students from RWU, exploring the history, culture, and artwork of the ancient city.

 Memorable Reads

Dr. Pasquarelli’s favorite book by Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves, is narrated by a 22 year old girl named Rosemary, who gradually reveals more and more of her childhood relationship with her sister. Dr. Pasquarelli is adamant that those who read this book should shy away from book jacket summaries to allow the book to unfold naturally. Readers who do so will have a pleasant surprise a third of the way through the book, one that made Dr. Pasquarelli jump up onto her bed and scream aloud! Another novel from her collection of Ancient Rome, Michelangelo: A Life in Six Masterpieces by Miles J. Unger analyzes the life of the renowned Renaissance artist Michelangelo through his works of art.

Upcoming Reads      

High on Dr. Pasquarelli’s list is Ian McEwan’s latest novel The Children Act, a suspenseful novel about a devoutly religious teenage boy refusing a treatment that could save his life and the efforts of a compassionate judge to convince him otherwise. Also on her bookshelf is Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher, a “hilarious book about professors for professors,” which details the humdrum and woeful life of a dispirited creative writing professor.

 

_________________________________________________

What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.

__________________________________________________

 

 

 

From the Nightstand: Adam Braver

Adam_Braver_zps29dfac9d.jpgabraver_books_zps64f848ed.jpgOver the past year, the “From the Nightstand” section of the Connecting With Your Library website has asked staff and faculty from around the RWU community to share the books they are reading, as well as recall meaningful reads from the past. Through these snapshots, we have seen a wide variety of titles, as vast as the campus community itself.As I look over at what my own nightstand has held this summer, among the many I see a half dozen biographies centered on an era of the 1930s I have been researching; the first volume of Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgård’s six-book autobiographical series that has been nothing short of a literary sensation this year; Thomas Beller’s smart and engaging essays on J.D. Salinger; Joanna Scott’s upcoming novel, De Potter’s Grand TourThe Snow Queen—a beautiful and haunting novel by Michael Cunningham; this year’s common reading, The CircleMy Grandfather’s Gallery—a biographical memoir about stolen art in Nazi occupied France; short stories and essays in various magazines and journals, as well as those sent to me by students from RWU and other workshops from over the years.

All of that is a way to say that as a new academic year is set to begin, all of us here at the library look forward to a new season of “From the Nightstand;” where we can be introduced to, and be inspired by, new books.

 

_________________________________________________

What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.

_________________________________________________

 

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

facebook_trimmed_zps597e8aea.png twitter_zpsa2ab1483.png

Connect with the RWU Library on Facebook and Twitter!

From the Nightstand: Robin Beauchamp

RobbinBeauchamp2_zps23c1e128.jpg

Current reads: Right now, there are two books going. First is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. It’s a novel set in the early-19th century South that deals with a morally sound young girl confronting her family’s support and use of slavery. The second, Orphan Train, is by Kristina Baker Kline—a tale about a poor Irish immigrant-turned-orphan trying to make it in 20th century America. It centers on the cruel act of sending orphans out west, where people “often adopted them to work, not to raise a family.”
Upcoming reads: Beauchamp is very eager to read two critically acclaimed books that have been turned into movies: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which is set in Nazi Germany at the height of the Holocaust; and 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, the legendary account of a man’s arduous path from freedom to slavery. “While I haven’t seen either movie or read the books, they are both a bit intimidating to me as I expect them to be disturbing due to the cruelties that the subjects have endured.  I need to be brave enough to start reading them.”beauchamp_collagejpg_zpsdb32fd85.jpg

Memorable reads: “I enjoy a good crime drama/mystery.” And standing out are the Alex Cross series by James Patterson, as well as Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp books.  “I really like the characters. Alex Cross, a middle-aged African American man with a PhD in Psychology, is trying to raise his family and care for his elderly grandmother in what is now a difficult part of Washington DC.  He is doing this as a single dad (because his wife was murdered), while solving both D.C. and federal crimes. Mitch Rapp is more ‘Black Ops,’ but he too is a flawed character.  Rapp is a ‘one man’ show, doesn’t trust anyone, and yet he still solves the crimes.”

Essential reads: The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a book that “explores the way people treated each other, and allows you to see events in others’ eyes. Any book based on the history of how we treated our folks in the past is important to read.”

 

Robbin Beauchamp is Director of the Career Center. She has been at RWU since June 2002.

 

_________________________________________________

What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.

_______________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

facebook_trimmed_zps597e8aea.png twitter_zpsa2ab1483.png

Connect with the RWU Library on Facebook and Twitter!

From the Nightstand: Dr. Kamille Gentles-Peart

KPeart_zpsdfaefedf.jpg

Current Reads: These days, Gentles-Peart’s reading is split between research and leisure. “The books on postcoloniality and resistance inform my current book project on how immigrant women from the English-speaking Caribbean navigate/negotiate neo-imperialistic spaces. On the other hand, for leisurely reading, I do have a predilection for books set in cultures and historical times that are removed from my everyday reality.” She is intrigued by societal mores/norms, how people live, speak, dress, and conduct themselves in other cultures and times. “I am particularly fascinated by the Victorian era royal courts and upper-class social life.”

gentlespeart_collage_zps64e05204.jpg

Upcoming Reads: “I’m just looking for books that can teleport me to a different time and culture . . . Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie has some fascinating novels that should be good reads.”

Memorable Reads: Jane Austen’sPride and PrejudiceHow the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accentsby Julia Alvarez, Anita Diamant’s The Red Tent, and Snow Flower and The Secret Fan by Lisa See. “These books, in their own way, transport me to other times and places, and give insight into the other ways that people live(d). On the simplest level, they satisfy my anthropological curiosity, but they also demystify peoples and cultures, and help to further challenge the ‘otherness’ that is often ascribed to cultures that are unfamiliar.”

Essential Reads: “The Help by Kathryn Stockett accurately captures history and some modern issues as well. Where the Girls Are by Susan Douglas dives into the subject of women’s images in mass media.”

Dr. Kamille Gentles-Peart has been on the Communication faculty since 2007.

Interview conducted by Zachary Mobrice

__________________________________________________

Connect with the RWU Library on Facebook and Twitter!

 

_________________________________________________

What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.

_________________________________________________

From the Nightstand: Dean Robert Eisinger

Interview conduction by Zachary Mobrice

Dr. Robert Eisinger is the Dean of the Feinstein College of Art and Sciences. He has been at Roger Williams University since 2013.

 

eisenger_zpse7ed8a6e.jpg

Current Reads: How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia by Mohsin Hamid, and Dave Eggers’ dystopian novel The Circle. Dean Eisinger also is studying a large collection of scholarly works about the myth of “hot hands,”

eisinger_collage_zps17478c8e.jpg

which takes the psychological aspect of cause-and-effect in sports like basketball and relates it to the big picture of success. “The question to look in to,” Dean Eisinger says, “is not what causes happiness, but what happiness causes.”

Upcoming Reads: Open City by Teju Cole—“An urban novel about travel, emotion, and consciousness.” Dean Eisinger also looks forward to reading In the Shadow of the Banyan by Vaddey Ratner, and Geoff Dyer’s But Beautiful.

Memorable Reads: “I’m not a good re-reader, and my favorites always change.” But if forced to choose, he’d pick Southern Politics in State & Nation by V.O. Key, Jr., The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer, and The Golden Gate by Vikram Seth—“a novel written in verse about relationships in the Bay Area.”

Essential Reads: “On top of reading the books in the last category, if people read the New York Times every day, then we’d all become much wiser.”

__________________________________________________

What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.

__________________________________________________

From the Nightstand: Professor Renee Soto

Interview conducted by Zachary Mobrice

Professor Renee Soto has been on RWU’s Creative Writing faculty since 2004.

SotoinGeorgia1_zps19a7e5d4.jpg

soto_collage_zps8f3de49a.jpg

Current Reads: Narrow Road to the Interior by Matsuo Basho. At the Drive-In Volcano by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. And Core Samples from the World by Forrest Gander. These three literary works follow the Japanese writing style of haibun, which combines works of prose and haiku into one entity; it is frequently used (as in Basho’s case) to document travel. Professor Soto is also reading Free-Range Chicken Garden, which, as the name may suggest, teaches one how to create an effective chicken friendly yard.

Upcoming Reads: Thoughts to Fold into Birds by Soto’s friend Julie Funderburk—“a sort of chapbook of poetry.”

Memorable Reads: Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and the Henry Huggins series by Beverly Cleary are two important childhood reads. They taught her how to cry and laugh with a story. “I discovered that what happened in the book was both inside of me as well as outside of me.” Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, a sad and beautiful story about Hurricane Katrina, is another important book.

Essential Reads: How to Live by Sarah Bakewell. “It’s a biography addressing questions raised by 16th century essayist Michel Eyquem de Montaigne on how to properly and happily live your life.”

 

_________________________________________________

What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.

_________________________________________________

From the Nightstand: Professor Jeffrey Meriwether

Interview conducted by Zachary Mobrice

Dr. Jeffrey Meriwether is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History and American Studies. He has been at RWU since 2001.

meriwether1_zps16475315.jpg

meriwether1_zps3e6822cb.png

Current Reads:  Wrong Turn by Gian Gentile. Out of the Mountains by David Kilcullen. And the U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Manual. With unique perspectives, each book focuses on the United States’ involvement and strategy in the Middle East—specifically looking at the relationships between counterinsurgency and modern warfare. On a slightly different tact, Simon Harrison’s Dark Trophies explores the macabre subject of soldiers that “collect war trophies taken from POWs and KIAs, and why they do it… it’s a terrible and fascinating story.”

Upcoming Reads: Absolute Destruction by Isabel Hull, which chronicles the rise of the German Imperial Army, from its genocides in colonial Southwest Africa to the battlefields of Europe in the first world war. “Also, in anticipation of the upcoming 100th anniversary of World War I, I can’t wait to read From Boer War to World War by Spencer Jones, and The War that Ended Peace by Oxford Professor Margaret MacMillan, who also wrote Paris 1919.”

meriewther2_zps04571ed6.png

Memorable Reads: Any of the various series of British historical fiction by R.F. Delderfield. God is an EnglishmanA Horseman Riding ByTheirs Was the KingdomAll Over the Town. “And especially To Serve Them All My Days—a true classic about a man who returns from the Great War to work as headmaster at his old school.”

Essential Reads: The Afrika Reich by Guy Saville. “Saville has created an amazing alternate history in which Germany essentially wins World War II and extends its Holocaust to Africa.”

_________________________________________________

What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.

_________________________________________________

From the Nightstand: C. Diana Soares

Interview conducted by Zachary Mobrice

C. Diana Soares isAdministrative Assistant in the Office for Finance and Administration. She has worked at RWU for fourteen years.

 

diana_zpse1db73bd.jpg

Current Reads:  A year ago, Diana joined a book club that has been meeting consecutively for twenty-two years. Most recently, after the club finished Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks, a novel about the first Native American to ever attend Harvard College in 1665, Diana then was inspired to read Brooks’ 1994 nonfiction journey through the lives of Islamic women in the Middle East, called Nine Parts of Desire. Diana also has just finished The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty, and Me Before You by JoJo Moyes.

soares3_zps8b01ed87.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

Upcoming Reads:  Khaled Hosseini’s latest bestseller And the Mountains Echoed. Also on the list are two recent Bill O’Reilly books—Killing Kennedy and Killing Jesus. And

because being book club hostess can have its perks, “I have selected The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri as our February read.”

 

soares2_zps592bb6c5.jpg

Memorable Reads:  The Kite Runner. “I loved how Hosseini told a story that covered loyalty, lies, secrets, and violence in a culture that was foreign to me.  Also, I felt it was excellent writing.  To have him on campus in 2005 and discuss the book made reading it even more enjoyable, and stand out in my mind.”  For nonfiction—Thomas Friedman’s That Used to Be Us is “an amazing book about the decline in our country in terms of infrastructure, education, government, and such.”

 

soarescollage_zps5825156e.jpg

Essential Reads: Those that delve into the important political issues of our times. Friedman’s Hot, Flat, and Crowded makes the case for America’s much needed Green Revolution. Salt Sugar Fat by Michael Moss investigates the corruption of the modern food industry.

 

 

_________________________________________________

What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.

________________________________________________

From the Nightstand: Catherine Tobin

Interview conducted by Zachary Mobrice

Catherine “Kate” Tobin is the Assistant Manager of Parking and Transportation in the Department of Public Safety (aka “The Parking Queen”). She has worked at RWU since 2000. She also is nearing completion of her BA in Criminal Justice Studies.

 

KateProfilePic_cropped_zps2ea76f7f.jpg

Current Reads: Fatal Destiny, a novella by my good friend Marie Force.” Tobin describes it as a love story that “helps me relax and take my mind off of things.”

a-game-of-thrones-the-story-continues-th

Upcoming Reads: Tobin says she always looks forward to any new novel by Stephen King. With great “anticipation,” she also is “determined” to continue her literary relationship with Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin.

 

 

 

Memorable Reads:  The works of J.R.R. Tolkien—especially The Lord of the Rings books—is the bestset of literature she has ever read. “Tolkien just created this vast, endless universe; and it just can capture like nothing else.”

ktobin_zpsc1b68458.jpg

 

 

Essential Reads: “The Holy Bible is the ultimate book to read if you want to better yourself.” As someone who regularly reads the Bible, Tobin says it’s “a great and simple guide of what you should and shouldn’t do.”

Holy-Bible_zpsfd8a4ce9.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_________________________________________________

What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.

_________________________________________________

From the Nightstand: Professor Michael Scully

Professor Michael Scully has been on faculty in the Communication Department since 2007. He teaches in the journalism major.

michael_scully_cropped_zps24430443.png

Current Reads: Professor Michael Scully is currently working on getting his PhD in Humanities at Salve Regina University. For his coursework he is reading a large collection of texts that span the humanities, philosophy, and western literature.

scully_books_zps0dd38c92.png

Two books that Professor Scully specifically notes are The Prince by Machiavelli and All That is Solid Melts Into Air by Marshall Berman, the latter of which he describes as a great piece of modernist work illustrating the economic modernization of New York City.

Memorable Reads: The Razor’s Edge by W. Somerset Maugham. Professor Scully recalls it as one of the most poetically written books he’s ever read. He also can’t leave out In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, due to its role in spawning the “potential for great non-fiction storytelling.”

Essential Reads: Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. “An eye-opening read for anyone interested in learning about what they eat.” Another book that Professor Scully notes as “an important read” is John Galbraith’s The Affluent Society, which discusses how post-WWII America is privately rich yet publicly poor.

 

_________________________________________________

What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.

_________________________________________________