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Community Reading List: 2021 Fiction

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

Annabel Davis-Goff

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

Dina Janis

Faculty - Drama

Excellent mystery escapism written by this stunning novelist- beautiful and informative prose that reflects an African American perspective on living in the south.

The first in a fabulous detective mystery series by this wonderful African American novelist- introducing the protagonist Blanche White, a middle-aged mother, domestic worker and amateur detective.

Lots of fun for us Shakespeare nuts! A fun take on the "true" story of Hamlet- set in Shakespeare's time.

Jean Randich

Faculty - Drama

Gorgeous book and bridge across generations of a shattered family that survives wartime Vietnam to flee to Hartford, CT, and beyond. It reads like cool water flowing through your hands....the miracle of survival and recovery.

Oceana Wilson

Acting Dean of the College. Dean of the Library

Lizzie Gavrilov

Class of 2023

A mythological retelling of the story of Achilles, through the eyes of his best friend and lover Patroclus. Perfect for grown-up fans of Percy Jackson and and Greek mythology, or anyone who loves a good romance. Warning: this book WILL have you crying by the time it's over.

This mystery/historical fiction/adventure book jumps between the story of a sassy photo-journalist, and the object of her investigation, a trailblazing female aviator from the past. Both of the main characters in this story are witty, passionate, extremely complex and well-written, and SO powerful. If you liked Code Name Verity by Elizabeth E. Wein you will LOVE this story!

Julian Mitchell

Class of 2024

Reading a novel about being in college during FWT seems like a bad way to enjoy a break from campus- but I find that reading about a character who is living in a non-socially-distanced world has really been brightening my spirits. And aside from that, The Idiot is hilarious, sharply written, and impossible to put down.

Rankine is perhaps more well known for books like Citizen, but Don’t Let Me Be Lonely perfectly and beautifully encapsulates the divisive, chaotic, and isolating times we live in.

Sue Rees

Faculty - Visual Arts

Stephen Shapiro

Faculty - Cultural Studies and Languages

Camille Guthrie

Director of Undergraduate Writing Initiatives

I've been reading all of Butler's books this year. They're all stunning (in every sense), and this collection is a great introduction. We read the title story in my "Scriptorium: Love" course.

Blake Jones

Faculty - Science and Mathematics

A blow-you-over imaginative fiction that is both primordial myth and futuristic fantasy

Mary Lum

Faculty - Visual Arts

A wonderful new graphic novel set in Paris

Mirka Prazak

Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought

Özge Savaş

Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought

This novel is about the resistance, triumph and betrayal of memory, while telling the story of one Palestinian family. Each chapter centers around one family member, while moving across time and place. Not one but many wars shape the journeys of members of this family, causing intergenerational trauma, forgetting and remembering.

Rage Hezekiah

First-Year and International Student Counselor - Academic Services

I so appreciated the arc of this story, and the complexity of the central characters. I'm looking forward to following Reid's work for years to come.

After reading this book I discovered that "domestic fiction" is my ideal genre. Lombardo has a keen eye towards complex family dynamics, and I found her writing familiar and comforting.

Sherry Kramer

Faculty - Drama

Some nuns and the black plague and then the excitement of keeping a nunnery going in hard times.

Carol Pal

Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought

Written in 2014, this is a novel about an unprecedented global pandemic that spreads at a mind-boggling speed. No one is prepared, and there are no solutions. Sound familiar? It's a novel about humans doing human things.

This is a novel about the real-life Dozier School for Boys, a "reform" school where kids were beaten, abused, murdered, and dumped into unmarked graves. Whitehead's spare prose makes it all the more harrowing. It feels like necessary reading.

Saramago's beautiful and realistic novel is an exploration of the "lost" years in the life of Jesus, beginning with his conception. It is lyrical, skeptical, provocative and impossible to put down. I already want to read it again.

Megan Tabaque

Visiting Faculty - Drama