The Library Student Workers’ Summer Reading List- Part III
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
We brought you Part 1 and Part 2 of the blog post series, The Library Student Workers’ Summer Reading List. Now, you guessed it… Here’s Part 3. (Who doesn’t love a trilogy?) For the final post of this installment, we finish up looking at what books the library student workers swear by if you want to curate the perfect summer reading list.
The House of Gucci: A Sensational Story of Murder, Madness, Glamour, and Greed. We’ve all either heard about or seen House of Gucci, starring the legendary Lady Gaga, and the reviews have been… less than stellar. The same absolutely cannot be said for the book on which it’s based. Through an incredible focus on detail, Sara Gay Forden transports the reader back to the origins of the famed family, leading us through the building of their fashion empire to truly understand the murder of Maurizio Gucci. For those who enjoy history and true crime, this is a summer must-read.
The Alchemist is a classic by Paulo Coelho that follows the journey of a shepherd boy named Santiago who dreams of finding treasure. He embarks on a journey to fulfill his Personal Legend, meeting various characters who guide him along the way. Through his experiences, Santiago learns important life lessons about following one’s dreams and the importance of listening to one’s heart.
Man’s Search for Meaning is a memoir and psychological analysis by Viktor Frankl that recounts his experiences as a prisoner in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Frankl argues that even in the most extreme circumstances, humans have the ability to find meaning and purpose in their lives. He proposes logo therapy as a means of therapy that focuses on finding meaning in life, rather than simply pursuing happiness.
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is a perfect summer reading choice for its captivating storytelling and richly detailed depiction of Victorian London. The novel’s exploration of beauty, morality, and the dangers of vanity will engage readers and spark deep reflection on the nature of human desire and temptation. Additionally, Wilde’s witty humor and clever dialogue will keep readers entertained and engaged throughout the novel’s twists and turns.
Pride and Prejudice is a convoluted love story that follows the relationship between Elizabeth Bennet, the daughter of a country gentleman, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a rich aristocratic landowner. They must overcome the titular sins of pride and prejudice in order to fall in love and marry. This story is well-known amongst everyone, and for good reason. The love in the story will keep you wanting to read more and more.
You can also check out the 2005 film adaptation, here!
Play It As It Lays is a story about Maria Wyeth, a 31-year-old unemployed actress, living in 1960s Los Angeles, who recounts the events leading up to her commitment to a psychiatric facility. At the beginning of the story, she moves to New York to become an actress. In New York, Maria works temporarily as a model and meets a psychopathic blackmailer who has no hesitation in exploiting Maria for her money and other attributes. I read this book last summer, it was a quick and interesting read. It kept me captivated and also allowed me to think about mental health and the consistent theme of “meaningless” throughout the story.
Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir that describes J.D. Vance’s view on his upbringing within impoverished Appalachia. After facing years of violence and unimaginable struggle, Vance is able to escape the town he feared he would be stuck in forever. He offers a first-hand perspective of the often-ignored struggles of the rural Appalachian community, and describes his own version of what it means to live the American Dream.
Lord of the Flies tells the story of a group of boys who are stranded on a deserted island and must establish their own society. As their attempt to govern themselves descends into chaos and violence, the book explores themes of human nature, power, and the inherent darkness within us all. It’s a powerful and disturbing read that offers a commentary on the fragility of civilization and the potential for evil within us.
Never Let Me Go: At the Hailsham Boarding School, all seems eerily normal. However, as a group of friends grow up in the isolated and sheltered community, they begin to question its purpose. Once they graduate into the outside world, they finally understand the disturbing truth behind their “perfect” school.
Mrs. Dalloway is Virginia Woolf’s classic tale of a day in the life of a cast of London characters. Set in post-WWI England, Woolf’s stream-of-consciousness style invites the reader into the minds of everyone from a middle-aged housewife to a shell-shocked veteran to minor bystanders on the sidewalk. A tragic event later forges a connection between seemingly unrelated characters and awakens them to reality.
Where the Crawdads Sing follows the story of an impoverished girl accused of murdering the town’s golden boy. Having grown up in the swamp on her own, the stigma against her leads her to be the prime suspect of his murder, but there is more to the story. This novel is a web of romance, murder, and one that contains a general moral lesson and many surprise twists.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous is an emotionally devastating, beautifully written novel that tells the story of a young Vietnamese boy growing up in Hartford, Connecticut. A moving piece about family, sexuality, trauma, and love.
The Catcher in the Rye is often considered a classic of American literature and has been both praised for its authenticity and criticized for its controversial language and themes. It explores the struggles of adolescence, the loss of innocence, and the search for authenticity in a society that Holden finds phony and superficial.
The Bluest Eye is set in Ohio during the 1940s and focuses on the life of a young African American girl named Pecola Breedlove. Through Pecola’s story, Morrison explores themes of race, beauty, identity, and the damaging effects of societal beauty standards. The novel is known for its lyrical writing style and its poignant portrayal of the psychological and emotional toll of racism on Black individuals as they live in a society that values whiteness and beauty.