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The Library Student Workers’ Summer Reading List- Part II

By the Walsh Library Student Workers: Mackenzie Noonan, Lauren Walczyk, Allison Stover, Emma Liakos, Aurora Morales-Middleton, Zoe Karoub, Emily Anema, Natalie Kamble, Sabrina Fernandez, Michele Tran, Clovis Decarvalho Jr.
& Hannah Herrlich, Emerging Technologies Librarian

Last month, we introduced an exclusive blog series titled, “The Library Student Workers Present… The Summer Reading List! (Part I).” It featured books from the collection that our library student workers read for fun, and what stories they highly recommend you add to your summer reading list. Naturally, we can’t have a blog post titled Part One and neglect to proceed with Part Deux, so here it is: The Library Student Workers’ Summer Reading List- Part II. Keep reading to discover what the library student worker staff can’t put down this summer.


The Song of Achilles: Fans of Greek mythology will enjoy this imaginative retelling of Homer’s Iliad. Achilles, the mighty son of a goddess and a king, and Patroclus, an exiled prince, form an unlikely bond against the wishes of the gods. When the young men must join the ranks of the Trojan War, violence and fate further threaten to destroy their bond and their lives forever.


We Were Liars is a thrilling fictional book following the story of the Sinclair family. The Sinclairs live in an extremely wealthy town on the East coast, and their lives appeared to once be happy. Now, there are questions unanswered, secrets kept, and people missing, and Cadence must figure out what is being kept from her.

The Great Gatsby is a classic novel that everyone must read at least once. It follows the storyline of the lives of a group of extremely wealthy people in the 1920s and uncovers the secrets that each of them are keeping. As a love affair develops, you must read to figure out if the people are too far gone in their riches to realize what is in front of them.

Leonardo DiCaprio in Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 film adaptation of The Great Gatsby


Fahrenheit 451: While you may have used Sparknotes to get through this book in grade school, this is the time to redeem yourself. You may recognize Fahrenheit 451 from middle or high school summer reading requirements, but with book bans being passed across the country, this novel is more relevant than ever. Ray Bradbury builds a dystopian world where firefighters work to light fires, burning books and pieces of history.


The Handmaid’s Tale is a chilling story of a totalitarian society called Gilead, which is set in a future within what was once the United States. In Gilead, women have zero control over their bodies or reproductive rights, and are treated as nothing more than vessels for bearing the children of wealthy men. Considering it is set not too far in the future, it is a stark statement on a patriarchal society run amok. 

This is also available as a graphic novel!

Illustration by Daniel Zender

Educated is a captivating memoir in which Tara Westover recounts the trauma and struggles of growing up in a survivalist Morman family, who live off the grid and without the government in Idaho. Due to her family’s drastic views, Westover and her siblings are withheld from school, leaving them trapped within their community without a real way out. Despite those obstacles and against all odds, Westover goes the journey alone, ultimately finding immense academic success and true personal fulfillment.


The Diary of Anne Frank gives insight into how life was during World War II, especially for the Jewish community and the struggles they faced during persecution. In her diary, Anne Frank writes about the horrors of the concentration camps. This book is a good read since it reels you in for both heartbreaking and heartwarming moments that Anne Frank and her family endured during the Holocaust.


Thinking, Fast and Slow is a non-fiction book by Nobel Prize-winning economist Daniel Kahneman that explores the two different systems of thinking that drive human decision-making. System 1 thinking is fast, intuitive, and automatic; System 2 thinking is slow, deliberate, and requires effort. Through various examples and experiments, Kahneman reveals the biases and errors inherent in human thinking and offers insights into how we can improve our decision-making.


Daisy Jones & the Six is inspired by the true story of the inner workings of Fleetwood Mac. It explores the romantic dynamic between band members Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham. I recommend reading this book before diving into the new TV series.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: A coming-of-age story of a young adolescent named Charlie. The book follows him through his freshman year of high school when he makes friends with an older group of kids.


The Fire Next Time is a powerful and provocative work that explores the experiences and struggles of African Americans during the Civil Rights movement. A thought-provoking exploration of race, identity, and social justice, written with James Baldwin’s characteristic eloquence and insight. It remains a seminal work in African American literature and an important contribution to the ongoing conversation on racial equality in America.


Les Fleurs du Mal or The Flowers of Evil are poems compiled by Baudelaire. The poems in The Flowers of Evil are confessions of hopes, dreams, failures, and sins, and they attempt to extract beauty from the malignant. Unlike traditional poetry that relied on the serene beauty of the natural world to convey emotions, Baudelaire felt that modern poetry must “evoke the artificial and paradoxical aspects of life.” Personally, I have not finished the entire book, but I love poetry. These poems let you reflect on your own experiences and think about the deeper meanings.


Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger is a great summer reading choice for its introspective and contemplative themes that resonate well with the season’s leisurely pace. The novel’s exploration of spirituality, identity, and the search for meaning will inspire readers to reflect on their own lives and experiences during the long, sunny days. Additionally, the witty and poignant dialogue between the two siblings will keep readers engaged and entertained throughout.

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte is a perfect summer reading choice for its lush and vivid depiction of the moors and its compelling portrayal of the passionate and destructive love between Catherine and Heathcliff. The novel’s exploration of themes such as revenge, class, and social conventions will keep readers engaged and immersed in the complex world of the story. Bronte’s poetic and evocative writing style makes this a timeless classic that is perfect for summer reading.


The Stranger is a classic novel by Albert Camus that tells the story of Meursault, a detached and apathetic man who becomes involved in a murder case. The book explores themes of existentialism, morality, and the human condition, offering a powerful critique of society and its values. 

This is also available as a graphic novel!

The Stranger graphic novel

The Other Wes Moore is a memoir that explores the impact of family, community, and personal choices on the trajectory of one’s life. Through the parallel stories of two men with the same name but vastly different life paths, the book offers valuable insights on the factors that shape our destinies. It’s a compelling read that inspires readers to reflect on their own lives and the choices they make.

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