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Community Reading List: 2020 Complete List

Each year the library compiles reading recommendations for the Winter Break.

Tatiana Abatemarco

Visiting Faculty - Center for the Advancement of Public Action

Andrew Cencini

Faculty - Science and Mathematics

Annabel Davis-Goff

Director of the Prison Education and the Incarceration in America Initiatives, CAPA. Faculty - Literature. 

Michael Dumanis

Faculty - Literature

Dina Janis

Faculty - Drama

"I was moved and inspired by this book."


Farhad Mirza, '12

Technical Instructor in 3D Technology

Robert Ransick

Director of Art and Entrepreneurship Programs, CAPA. Director of the MFA in Public Action. 

Susan Sgorbati, '74, MFA '86

Director of the Center for the Advancement of Public Action

Anne Thompson

Director and Curator of the Suzanne Lemberg Usdan Gallery

Ellen Weiner

Manager of Grants and Partnerships - President's Office

Oceana Wilson

Dean of the Library

Barbara Alfano

Faculty - Cultural Studies and Languages

A page-turner. This is the disastrous story of a difficult family narrated from three different perspectives, with a great, unpredictable final twist.

Jared Della Rocca

Director of Library Services

Keegan Ead

Digital Marketing Strategist - Communications

I immediately jumped into this book after watching HBO's terrific miniseries Chernobyl. A gripping account–at some points down to the microsecond–of the events before, during, and after the Soviet nuclear disaster. A story of horror, resilience and ingenuity as mankind seeks to bend the natural world to its will.

What happens when regular people get caught up in a tragic mistake? Crippling paranoia and guilt that pulls them apart from the inside, of course!  A dark psychological tale written by one of our own staff members.

Did you know that in 1972 we had over 1,900 domestic bombings in the United States?  This stuff is forgotten and shouldn't be.

This sci-fi series is insane.  Witness a new civilization spring to life as humanity collapses into dust. Spider, Octopus, and what remains of Men must find a way forward in a cold universe.

Marguerite Feitlowitz

Faculty - Literature

" The translation, from the Italian, by Simon Carnell and Erica Segre, won the 2019 National Translation Prize in Prose. A gorgeous novel set in the remote Italian Alps and, toward the end, also in Nepal."

Thomas Leddy-Cecere

Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought

Brian Michael Murphy

Faculty - Society, Culture, and Thought

Jean Randich

Faculty Drama  

"Three remarkable memoirs, all of which deal with the complicated way identity is constructed:"

"and this wise tome, also a form of memoir..."

"and Rachel Cusk!  After her memoirs, read her trilogy..."

Ray Stevens, '15

Student Employment Coordinator - Career Development and FWT Office

" Original and intricately-drawn fantasy of resistance."

" Madcap mystery with all the fixings—like an improbable number of fixings. Think Victorian London with fairies, werewolves, dragons, transdimensional libraries, and biblioespionage."

Michael Wimberly

Faculty - Music

Nicole Arrington

Events Manager

Noah Coburn

Associate Dean for Curriculum and Pedagogy. Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought

Alex Dery Snider

Director of Communications

" An excellent overview of science communications -- the roles of emotion and fact in decision making; how people interpret risk and danger, authenticity and trustworthiness; how conspiracy theories take root; and how people decide what (they believe) is true. Good book to read if you will ever need to convince people of anything."

Judith Enck

Senior Fellow in the Center for the Advancement of Public Action

"A deep look in to how two path breaking journalists tackled sexual assault issues. It is more about journalism than Harvey Weinstein - a guy I don't want to hear much about. Great read."

"Terry Tempest Williams writes with grace, beauty and humility. I hang on her every word."

Rage Hezekiah

First-Year and International Student Counselor - Academic Services

"I loved this collection of essays about blackness and visibility in Vermont. I highly recommend it!"

Mary Lum

Faculty - Visual Arts

Mirka Prazak

Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought

Sue Rees

Faculty - Visual Arts

Donald Sherefkin

Faculty - Visual Arts

Stephen Shapiro

Faculty - Cultural Studies and Languages

Anna Maria Hong

Faculty - Literature

Akiko Busch

Visiting Faculty - Literature

"l Ioved every page of this extraordinary tour of caves, tombs, tunnels, chambers of ice, and all the rest of the unseen world beneath the surface."

Laura Crosslin

Senior Admissions Systems Coordinator - Admissions

" She's still writing book for different periods in her life, but this is the first about her childhood."

" It's a middle-school read, but so lovely."

Bronwyn Edwards, '19

Kilpatrick Fellow - President's Office

Camille Guthrie

Director of Undergraduate Writing Initiatives

"All new novels; all scary and brilliant."

John Hultgren

Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought

Vanessa Lyon

Faculty - Visual Arts

"This is Rankine's first published play and, like Citizen--but even more emphatically--it asks us to see (quotidian performances of) what's always/still there."

"2020 will mark the 50th anniversary of Morrison's searing first novel--a devastating account of the racialization of childhood and the sexualization of race."

"Two hundred years later, Austen's feminist Gothic parody is no joke."

Natalie Redmond

Associate Writer - Communications 

Susie Reiss, '79

Head of the Music Library

Allen Shawn

Faculty - Music

Betsy Sherman

Faculty - Science and Mathematics

Debbie Warnock

Faculty - Society, Culture, and Thought

Mark Wunderlich

Director of the Bennington Writing Seminars. Faculty - Literature