Skip to Main Content

Community Reading List: 2023 Non-Fiction

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

Benjamin Anastas

Faculty - Literature

I don't think I've ever seen such a euphoric reaction to the announcement of the National Book Award winners than I have this year. Imani Perry's speech is already an online legend, and I'm going to start my FWT reading with "South to America," which was inspired, at least in part, by Albert Murray’s 1971 travelogue “South to a Very Old Place.” Good preparation for my spring term class on Ralph Ellison's "Invisible Man."

Jared Della Rocca

Director of Library Services

Maurice Hall


Vanessa Lyon

If you know me, you know I think this exquisitely crafted, hard-won, heartening, and profoundly queer memoir is all that writing a life can be.

Poet Savage, a Minnesota daughter, writes of entwined environmental and personal tragedies, living and losing on stolen land catastrophically desecrated by Superfund pollution. If it sounds heavy, it is, but also brave and full of beauty; a book to mourn and learn with.

With Chee editing, this year's collection is jaw-droppingly un-put-downable. It's also diverse in the many ways anything "American" should be. If you don't think essays are for you, something, and probably many somethings, in these pages will change your mind and stay with you forever.

Ann Pibal

Faculty - Visual Arts

Donald Sherefkin

Faculty - Visual Arts

Chapter 1, "The Meaning of Mother Goose" is remarkable.

Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig

Visiting Faculty - Drama

Offers valuable self-defense advice for artists navigating educational institutions.

Traces the idea of psychic trauma from its emergence in the late 19th century to current day uses and abuses.

Presents history from the perspective of stateless people, explores the pliability of ethnic identities and looks at state-making as a form of internal colonialism.

Rage Hezekiah

Associate Director of Academic and International Student Services.

This book made me think and feeling deeply about what it means to come of age. It rattled by brain and my heart in the best way.

I listened to the audiobook version of this book and it made me sob in my car. I've loved Amy Bloom's books for decades, and I'm so grateful she gave voice to this story.

Ross Gay gives voice to gratitude, joy, and abundance like no one else and I am fully here for it.

Andrew McIntyre

Faculty - Science and Mathematics

Lua Piovano-Marcotte, '23

Fantastic book on the phenomenon of autistic "masking" (subconsciously or consciously hiding one's autistic traits). An enlightening read for autistic and allistic people alike. 

Sue Rees

Faculty - Drama and Visual Arts

Carly Rudzinski

Associate Registrar

Non-fiction memoir from an incredible author that chronicles the deaths of five young men, including her brother. Ward tackles identity, and how the places we are from ultimately affect the choices and opportunities we have in life.

Harrowing true story of a nurse in NJ/PA that messed with patients' drugs and eventually ended up implicated in the deaths of more than 400 people. It's fascinating and frustrating to learn how he continued to get hired at hospital after hospital, and the bureaucracy that prevented him from being caught far earlier than he was.

Annabel Davis-Goff

Director of the Prison Education Initiative

Camille Guthrie

Faculty - Writing

Winner of the International Booker Prize 2022!

Annette Lawrence

Visiting Faculty - Visual Arts

Jen Liu

FORTHCOMING 2023 Selections to look forward to...

Farhad Mirza

Faculty - Visual Arts

Corinne Rhodes

Technical Instructor in Printmaking