Skip to Main Content

Community Reading List: 2021 Non-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.

Rage Hezekiah

First-Year and International Student Counselor - Academic Services

I swooned over this lovely collection of gratitudes. This book is a joy and a gift.

Mary Lum

Faculty - Visual Arts

Jean Randich

Faculty - Drama

When I read this memoir, I wrote the author whom I know: "From the definition of mental illness being a case where the known tackles and represses the unknown, to your ability to open yourself up to necessary truths, no matter the cost, to your brave acknowledgement of a puzzlement of truths, your witnessing opened my eyes and gives me hope and strength.....I will not give up altitude. I will not give up evolution. I will not give up the dream of freedom, liberty, tolerance, love, and justice for all. Thank you, magical man." If you are interested in the power of transformation and becoming, read P. Carl's raw, funny, intimate memoir. It will change your life.

Wilkerson prefaces her book with an epigraph from James Baldwin: "Because even if I should speak, no one would believe me. And they would not believe me precisely because they would know that what I said was true." This beautifully written and scrupulously researched book, dealing with the caste system in slave-holding America, India, Nazi Germany, and contemporary American society, uncovers so many things you would not believe but are all too true. Essential reading for everyone who wants to achieve a more perfect union, with liberty, opportunity, equality, equity, and justice for all.

Michael Dumanis

Faculty - Society, Culture, and Thought

Julian Mitchell

Class of 2024

This book only came out last year, but has again become relevant as Google goes on trial for trust violations and monopolization of the internet. It’s a long book but incredibly interesting, and provides an accessible look at the link between technology and large corporations.

Sue Rees

Faculty - Visual Arts

Stephen Shapiro

Faculty - Cultural Studies and Languages

Emily Waterman

Faculty - Society, Culture, and Thought

From the class reading list from Magic of Adolescence, learn about the adolescent brain in this book for teens and their families.

Megan Tabaque

Visiting Faculty - Drama

Lizzie Gavrilov

Class of 2023

This book is the story of a family, magical and fantastic, and heartbreakingly realistic all rolled into one. The (very unstable) parents create beautiful dreams and imaginary worlds for the children, but in reality, can't keep the family out of poverty. The four children grow up scrounging for food, inventing games to distract and entertain each other, and sticking together throughout the many difficult situations they find themselves in.

Vanessa Lyon

Faculty - Visual Arts

If you haven't read Hartman (MacArthur genius '19), this is a phenomenal book with which to start. And if you've read this most recent of her works, Scenes of Subjection and Lose Your Mother are no less critical and revelatory--Hartman is perhaps the most important voice for understanding the afterlives of slavery in the US right now through a black feminist lens. She invites us to think both expansively and unstintingly about (histories of) race and gender in America and does so through wondrously poetic, emancipatory frameworks and methodologies centering--rather than adding on--black women.

Donald Sherefkin

Faculty - Visual Arts

Liz White

Faculty - Visual Arts

Camille Guthrie

Director of Undergraduate Writing Initiatives

Rankine has written another essential book of this time.

Brian Michael Murphy

Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought

Brilliant and timely, it identifies the pressure points of power in everyday life, and emphasizes experimentation and play in ways that are wise and inspiring.

My favorite book cover designer and one of the most poetic illustrators I've ever seen.

Tackles the digital, gender, the limits of "connection" through technology, and so much more.

A classic autobiography, so full of adventure, honesty, and unforgettable vignettes.

Laura Walker


Oceana Wilson

Acting Dean of the College. Dean of the Library

Debbie Warnock

Faculty - Society, Culture and Thought