Dixie Reads

Find one of our recommended reads below in the book stacks (need help? please see the reference desk). Check one of the books out for one entry into our drawing.

For five additional entries, submit your own comments about the book on the blank slip found in the book (bring to the reference desk or circulation desk).

If your name is chosen, the dean of the library would like to buy you lunch and we will purchase one of the textbooks that you will need for the Spring term (textbook cost up to $70).

Would you like to recommend a book of your own? Please submit your recommendation here.

Recommended Books

Book cover of “Warrior Heir”

Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima

Recommended by: Shelly, Student

Why you should think about reading this book: It is very well written and the author does an excellent job of portraying things from different points of view as she goes through the main characters both male and female.

 

Book cover of “One Thousand White Women”

One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus

Recommended by: Linda Jones, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: It is an amazing tale about the strong white women who overcome hardships and prejudice. It shows how the government is not always thinking ahead to what American ingenuity can achieve.

 

Book cover of “White Noise”

White Noise by Don DeLillo

Recommended by: Rik Andes, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: Despite being written over 30 years ago, DeLillo’s examination of how people living in a modern society shield themselves from the painful realities of life is still incredibly relevant today. The “white noise” of the title references the kind of random noise produced by a badly tuned radio which is sometimes used to mask other unwanted noises. In DeLillo’s Midwestern college town, life is filled with white noise produced by a symphony of sources: technology and commercialism, disjointed and misinformed families, experimental pharmaceuticals and Airborne Toxic Events, and even Hitler. Follow J.A.K. Gladney, professor and founder of Hitler Studies at College-on-the-Hill, as he moves through the waves and radiation of modern life and tries to avoid the most unwanted information around him: his own mortality.

Favorite quote: “Who will die first?

This question comes up from time to time, like where are the car keys. It ends a sentence, prolongs a glance between us. I wonder if the thought itself is part of the nature of physical love, a reverse Darwinism that awards sadness and fear to the survivor. Or is it some inert element in the air we breathe, a rare thing like neon, with a melting point, an atomic weight? ... Sometimes I think our love is inexperienced. The question of dying becomes a wise reminder. It cures us of our innocence of the future. Simple things are doomed, or is that a superstition?

The Airport Marriott, the Downtown Travelodge, the Sheraton Inn and Conference Center.”

Book cover of “The Hiding Place”

The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

Recommended by: Lori Mayfield, College of Health Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: It is a fascinating story of goodness, even in the face of despair. You won’t be able to put it down.

 

Book cover of “Peace Like A River”

Peace Like a River by Leif Enger

Recommended by: Dorothy Solomon, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: This is a compelling, well-written book with an uplifting message.

Favorite quote: “Real miracles bother people, like strange sudden pains unknown in medical literature. They rebut every rule we take comfort in.”

Book cover of “The Long March”

The Long March by Sun Shuyun

Recommended by: Glen B. Blakley, College of the Arts

Why you should think about reading this book: You will see what the Communists are doing in America today. The truth is always interesting and so is history.

Favorite quote: “The rich landlords have meat everyday and you do not even have a drop of oil to put on your rice, so take a chicken. There are more of you than there are of them....now we need three hundred soldiers from your village.”

Book cover of “Ready Player One”

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Recommended by: Susan Ertel, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: The movie does not begin to capture the vast world of OASIS and the depth of 80s pop culture the author conveys. It is a deep and thoughtful book dealing with lots of social issues like poverty, race, gender, and disability.

Favorite quote: “Going outside is highly overrated.”

Book cover of “Being Mortal”

Being Mortal by Atul Gwande

Recommended by: Dean Brereton, College of Health Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: We all face mortality for our loved ones, and even ourselves. We must examine what we want from life. Once we know our perspective on death, we can really live. Anyone that works in healthcare would benefit from a different way of looking at end-of-life care and the promotion of true self-actualization.

Favorite quote: “We’ve been wrong about what our job is in medicine. We think our job is to ensure health and survival. But really it is larger than that. It is to enable well-being.”

Book cover of “When Breath Becomes Air”

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Recommended by: Rachel Harris, Advisement

Why you should think about reading this book: This book requires critical thinking and fosters personal discovery.

 

Book cover of “The Fifth Season”

The Broken Earth Trilogy by N. K. Jemisin

Recommended by: Chelsea McCracken, Interdisciplinary Arts & Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: The fantasy worldbuilding rivals Martin and Tolkien, but is informed by a deep understanding of intersectional social issues like race, gender, and the intergenerational transmission of trauma. Also intriguing because a lot of it is narrated in the second person. Every book in this trilogy won a Hugo Award for Best Novel.

 

Book cover of “Invisible Man”

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Recommended by: Jenn Stewart, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: This was one of the first books I was assigned to read in college (back in the day, of course). It completely opened up the door to the world around me. It gave me so much to ponder, think about and question. There is no doubt you will experience a tidal wave of emotions while reading this book. I highly recommend it.

Favorite quote: “I sat on the bed and laughed. I laughed and felt numb and weak, knowing that soon the pain would come and that no matter what happened to me, I’d never be the same.”

Book cover of “The Republic”

The Republic by Plato

Recommended by: John Wolfe, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: This is one of the most influential books in the western tradition. Even 2400 years after it was written, it still engages topics such as politics, justice, gender, philosophy, and education. You will be challenged by reading this.

Favorite quote: “And further, that justice is the minding of one’s own business and not being a busybody, this we have both heard from many others and have often said ourselves.

Book cover of “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society”

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Recommended by: Jackie Freeman, Business Services

Why you should think about reading this book: I couldn’t put the book down. It’s about love and war.

 

Book cover of “The Fountainhead”

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

Recommended by: Barry Wood, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: An unforgettable book about integrity in art and life.

Favorite quote: “We live in our minds, and existence is the attempt to bring that life into physical reality, to state it in gesture and form.”

 

Book cover of “Atlas Shrugged”

Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

Recommended by: Barry Wood, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: This book will make you look differently at everything, from steel bars to society in general.

Favorite quote: “For twelve years, you have been asking, ‘Who is John Galt?’ This is John Galt speaking.”

 

Book cover of “The Ominous Parallels”

The Ominous Parallels by Leonard Peikoff

Recommended by: Barry Wood, College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: Even though this book was written almost 40 years ago, every page is urgently relevant to American life today.

Favorite quote: “The tragedy was that they had listened.”

 

Book cover of “Hoover Dam: An American Adventure”

Hoover Dam: An American Adventure by Joseph E. Stevens

Recommended by: Ellen Bonadurer, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: Construction of the giant dam was a triumph of human ingenuity, yet the full story of this monumental endeavor has never been told. In this engrossing, fast-paced narrative, Joseph E. Stevens recounts the gripping saga of Hoover Dam. Drawing on a wealth of material, including manuscript collections, government documents, contemporary newspaper and magazine accounts, and personal interviews and correspondence with men and women who were involved with the construction, he brings the Hoover Dam adventure to life.

Favorite quote: “Confronting this spectacle in the midst of emptiness and desolation first provokes fear, then wonderment, and finally a sense of awe and pride in man’s skill in bending the forces of nature to his purpose.”

 

Book cover of “Miracle At Philadelphia”

Miracle At Philadelphia: The Story of the Constitutional Convention May–September 1787 by Catherine Drinker Bowen

Recommended by: Ellen Bonadurer, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: Here is the fascinating record of the hot, sultry summer months of debate and decision when ideas clashed and tempers flared. Here is the country as it was then, described by contemporaries, by Berkshire farmers in Massachusetts, by Patrick Henry’s Kentucky allies, by French and English travelers. Here, too, are the offstage voices—Thomas Jefferson and Tom Paine and John Adams from Europe.

In all, fifty-five men attended; and in spite of the heat, in spite of clashing interests—the big states against the little, the slave states against the anti-slave states—in tension and anxiety that mounted week after week, they wrote out a working plan of government and put their signatures to it.

Favorite quote: “Slaves produce the most pernicious effect on manners. Every master of slaves is born a petty tyrant; they bring the judgement of heaven on a country.”

 

Book cover of “Set Phasers on Stun: And Other True Tales of Design,
		Technology, and Human Error”

Set Phasers on Stun: And Other True Tales of Design, Technology, and Human Error by Steven M. Casey

Recommended by: Ellen Bonadurer, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: A collection of gripping and often alarming true stories meticulously documented and skillfully told about design-induced human errors. Most consumers experience the frustration of using many new products; amusing stories about programming a VCR, operating a personal computer, or finding the headlight switch on a rental car are heard in everyday conversation. The problems consumers experience with modern everyday things are shared by the users of large-scale technologies where the consequences of design can go well beyond simple matters of inconvenience or amusement.

Favorite quote: “Captain Kirk forgot to put the machine on stun.”

 

Book cover of “Koop: The Memoirs of America’s Family Doctor”

Koop: The Memoirs of America’s Family Doctor by Charles Everett Koop

Recommended by: Ellen Bonadurer, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: The former U.S. Surgeon General offers a compelling and candid account of his life in a stunning portrait of growing up in early 20th-century America, a rare glimpse of a great surgeon in the making, an honest and sometimes shocking tale of how Washington politics can undermine the public’s health. Serving under the Reagan Administration Koop battled the tobacco industry and was Surgeon General when health authorities first took notice of AIDS in the U.S.

Favorite quote: “Keep your head down and your mouth shut” (advice given to Koop in his early Surgeon General years). Advice he didn’t heed.

Book cover of “Born for Love”

Born for Love by Maia Szalavitz and Bruce Perry

Recommended by: Deborah Decker, Advisement

Why you should think about reading this book: It is a good reminder that at the basic level we all have the same need for love and acceptance.

Favorite quote: “We survive because we can love.”

 

Book cover of “Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography”

Dr. Seuss & Mr. Geisel: A Biography by Judith Morgan

Recommended by: Mary McFadden, College of Education

Why you should think about reading this book: Where did Dr. Seuss get his wild and crazy ideas for his books? From his wild and crazy life, of course. Theodor Seuss Geisel, known as Ted to his friends, enjoyed making up stories and pulling pranks on friends, strangers, and even interviewers. He once created an dreadful piece of artwork that he tricked a dinner guest into believing was the work of a famous artist, and sold it to him for $500, all because the man was being condescending as he gave a lecture about modern art during a dinner party. Ted was arrested during the prohibition, created animated training videos for US soldiers, and got lost behind enemy lines during World War II (and was rescued by British soldiers), to name just a few things you may not have known about the world’s (arguably) most beloved children’s author.

Favorite quote: “You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

Book cover of “Beloved”

Beloved by Toni Morrison

Recommended by: Jennifer Gibb, English Department

Why you should think about reading this book: Besides the fact that Morrison is a beautiful writer and the story is engaging, this book offers a cultural perspective that will help readers to understand the deep-seated nature of racism in this country.

 

Book cover of “The Alchemist”

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Recommended by: Amber Denning, International Student Services

Why you should think about reading this book: This book is a story, but it teaches a lot of great life lessons. It also helps readers understand the importance of fulfilling your personal legend and how to go on in life when things aren’t going your way. This book helped me to realize that life might not follow the path you intended or planned. Looking back I’ve realized that the path I’ve taken, not the path I planned, has lead me to my personal legend and happiness. This is the perfect book for students to read as they are preparing to start their careers and the next chapters in life.

Favorite quote: “And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” and “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.”

Book cover of “Seabiscuit”

Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand

Recommended by: Sarah Bagdoian, Development

Why you should think about reading this book: It shows perseverance, grit and competitiveness and those personality traits come from the horses. It’s a feel good book about an underdog becoming the hero.

 

Book cover of “The Book Thief”

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Recommended by: David Zielke, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: Young Adult fiction that is very thought provoking and uniquely styled: Death is the narrator, place is World War II, Munich Germany, with a young girl as protagonist who loves reading books so much she is willing to risk all to get them.

Favorite quote: “The point is, it didn’t really matter what that book was about. It was what it meant that was important.”

Book cover of “D-Day, June 6, 1944”

D-Day, June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen Ambrose

Recommended by: Drew Wilcox, College of Health Sciences

Why you should think about reading this book: Tremendous account of the events of D-Day, those leading up to D-Day, and what it meant to the countries involved, and to the overall war. This book is based on interviews with more than 1,000 battle veterans, and includes their personal stories and letters.

Favorite quote: “When you talk about combat leadership under fire on the beach at Normandy,” Ellery concluded, “I don’t see how the credit can go to anyone other than the company-grade officers and senior NCOs who led the way. It is good to be reminded that there are such men, that there always have been and always will be. We sometimes forget, I think, that you can manufacture weapons, and you can purchase ammunition, but you can’t buy valor and you can’t pull heroes off an assembly line.”

Book cover of “Maniac Magee”

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

Recommended by: Ethan Deceuster, Office of Academic Innovation

Why you should think about reading this book: Children’s literature makes for a fast, enjoyable read. This book is very funny but also addresses many deeper themes such as friendship, racism, and home. It is a short book that packs a powerful punch. When I read this book aloud to children, it is always one of their favorites.

Favorite quote: “Maniac kept trying, but he still couldn’t see it, this color business. He didn’t figure he was white any more than the East Enders were black. He looked himself over pretty hard and came up with at least seven different shades and colors right on his own skin, not one of them being what he would call white (except for his eyeballs, which weren’t any whiter than the eyeballs of the kids in the East End).”

Book cover of “Asi Leemos!”

Asi leemos! : A multilevel Spanish reader

Recommended by: Kathleen Broeder, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: If you have ever wanted to learn Spanish, this book is a great introduction to reading in Spanish. The book starts with very short stories with a beginners skill level and gradually gets a little harder with each section. The transition between skill levels is almost painless, and it’s amazing how much you can learn.

 

Book cover of “Wolf In White Van”

Wolf in White Van by John Darnielle

Recommended by: Brookanna Alford, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: A book about the vastness of the spaces inside our own heads, and how scary those spaces can be.

Favorite quote: “I’m pretty sure my play was the right one to make. Because the unnamed every-player who lies in the weeds at the moment of Trace Italian’s opening move—that’s me. Motionless, ready for something, awake and aware. When the player gets up from the weeds, as he or she always does, because the first move is rigged and all players arrive persuaded that they must act, everything changes: He enters a world where danger’s everywhere. He has a goal now, something to do with his life. His map is marked.”

 

Book cover of “Ghostwritten”

Ghostwritten by David Mitchell

Recommended by: Brookanna Alford, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: Ghostwritten is a puzzle of a novel. It consists of nine stories moving chronologically through time and westward around the globe, connected by the tiniest threads of human interaction. David Mitchell began developing his style in this novel, which can be seen at its peek in his future and more famous novel, Cloud Atlas, and its movie adaptation.

Favorite quote: “Maybe Takeshi’s wife was right—maybe it is unsafe to base an important decision on your feelings for a person. Takeshi says the same thing often enough. Every bonk, he says, quadruples in price by the morning after. But who are Takeshi or his wife to lecture anybody? If not love, then what?”

Book cover of “The Scarlet Pimpernel”

The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Emuska Orczy

Recommended by: Emma Lanners, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: A mysterious man by the name of the Scarlet Pimpernel cleverly rescues aristocrats from the clutches of the French Revolution.

Favorite quote: “We seed him here, we seek him there/Those Frenchies seek him everywhere./Is he in heaven?—Is he in hell?/That demmed, elusive Pimpernel?”

 

Book cover of “Disrupted”

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble by Daniel Lyons

Recommended by: Emma Lanners, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: This book is a hilarious retelling of Dan Lyon’s short trek into the tech start-up world. It is entertaining while at the same time bringing about valid critiques and thoughts surrounding the culture of these companies.

Favorite quote: “One day Spinner, the woman who runs PR tells me, ‘I like that idea, but I’m not sure that it’s one-plus-one-equals-three enough.’”

Book cover of “March”

March: Book One by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, Illustrations by Nate Powell

Recommended by: Dianne Aldrich, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: This book is the first part of the graphic novel trilogy, March. The authors provide vivid detail and a mesmerizing story about the history of the Civil Rights Movement. It is thought provoking and adds important and interesting detail to what has been taught in school classrooms. The author has a unique perspective as an African American congressman and longtime advocate of equality.

Favorite quote: “We must tap into our greatest resource, a people no longer the victims of racial evil, who can act in a disciplined manner to implement the constitution.”

Book cover of “Ender’s Game”

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Recommended by: Tracey O’Kelly, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: It is a great read in strategy and forward thinking but it is also entertaining and fun. You can learn to be a leader or to be a better follower.

Favorite quote: “Knocking him down won the first fight. I wanted to win all the next ones, too. So they’d leave me alone.”

 

Book cover of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t
	Stop Talking”

Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain

Recommended by: Kelly Peterson-Fairchild, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: Many of us grew up not understanding why we were different than those around us, why we preferred being alone or in small groups. We learned to be extroverts in certain situations but didn’t understand why we needed to recharge after being in these situations. This enlightening book explains introversion and the value introverts can bring to relationships, organizations, and society.

Favorite quote: “Use your natural powers—of persistence, concentration, insight, and sensitivity—to do work you love and work that matters. Solve problems, make art, think deeply.”

 

Book cover of “Daughter of Fortune”

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende

Recommended by: Kelly Peterson-Fairchild, Library

Why you should think about reading this book: The beautiful language and compelling characters make this a truly enjoyable read. This historical novel is set in both Chile and gold rush California, and while on some level a romance the story is much more complex than a simple love story.

Favorite quote: “The Emilia was a ship of French registry, once svelte and swift, but she had plowed through many seas, and centuries before had lost the impetus of youth. She was crisscrossed with ancient marine scars, she carried a crust of mollusks on her matronly hips, her exhausted joints moaned in the pounding seas, and her stained and repatched sail looked like a petticoat ready for the ragbag.”

Book cover of “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of
	American Capitalism”

The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism by Edward E. Baptist

Recommended by: Jeremy Young, Department of History and Political Science

Why you should think about reading this book: The most important book on American slavery in the last twenty years, The Half Has Never Been Told argues that, slavery was not, as many believe, dying out before the Civil War; instead, slavemasters were being ever more brutal to their slaves in order to wring ever more profits from their labor.

 

Book cover of “Rising Tide” by John M. Barry

Rising Tide: The Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and How It Changed America by John M. Barry

Recommended by: Jeremy Young, Department of History and Political Science

Why you should think about reading this book: A brilliant study of one of the most devastating natural disasters in American history—an event made particularly tragic by the choices of wealthy white leaders in segregated Louisiana.

 

Book cover of “Don Juan” by Lord Byron

Don Juan by George Gordon Lord Byron

Recommended by: Tim Bywater, English Department

Why you should think about reading this book: Satiric Epic Masterpiece: Sixteen Finished Cantos written in ottava rima rhyming ab ab ab cc—more than 3000 stanzas. For an example, see below.

Favorite quote:

“Milton’s the prince of poets—so we say;
A little heavy, but no less divine;
An independent being in his day—
Learn’d, pious, temperate in love and wine;
But his life falling into Johnson’s way,
We’re told this great high priest of all the Nine
Was whipt at college—harsh sire—odd spouse,
For the first Mrs. Milton left his house.”

 

Book cover of “The Awakening” by Kate Chopin

The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Recommended by: Tim Bywater, English Department

Why you should think about reading this book: This novel awakens the reader.

Favorite quote: “The foamy wavelets curled up to her white feet, and coiled like serpents about her ankles. She walked out. The water was chill but she walked on. The water was deep, but she lifted her white body and reached out with a long sweeping stroke. The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.”

 

Book cover of “The Complete Poems of Emily Dickinson”

The Complete Poems by Emily Dickinson

Recommended by: Tim Bywater, English Department

Why you should think about reading this book: Read Emily and you’ve reached the center of the soul.

Favorite quote:

“Much madness is divinest Sense -
To a discerning Eye -
Much sense - the starkest Madness -
’Tis the majority in this as all prevail -
Assent - and you are sane -
Demur - you’re straightway dangerous -
And handled with a Chain -”

Book cover of “The Lord of the Rings”

The Lord of the Rings (three vols.) by J.R.R. Tolkien

Recommended by: Jeffery Jarvis, College of the Arts

Why you should think about reading this book: Superior to the film. Excellent novel about life.

Favorite quote: “All that glitters is not gold, not all who wander are lost.”

Book cover of “Old School” by Tobias Wolff

Old School by Tobias Wolff

Recommended by: Mark LaVoie, College of Business & Communication

Why you should think about reading this book: You should think about reading this novel for three reasons: 1) It gives the reader a look into the (admittedly dated) lives of private school students that many of us have never experienced (outside of the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry); 2) It asks interesting questions about what makes a “good” writer and why we lionize certain fiction writers but not others; 3) and it examines the role social class plays in identity and opportunity among adolescents.

 

Book cover of “Animal Farm” by George Orwell

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Recommended by: Mark LaVoie, College of Business & Communication

Why you should think about reading this book: It uses allegory that both entertains and educates to tell the story of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and subsequent Stalinist Era. It is a terrific book for learning about an important moment in politics and modern history through talking animals (and how fun is that?)

Favorite quote: “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

Book cover of “The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions
	Fail—But Some Don’t”

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail—But Some Don’t by Nate Silver

Recommended by: Kyle Wells, College of Business & Communication

Why you should think about reading this book: Nate has a way of making statistics a fun subject.

Favorite quote: “…we can never achieve perfect objectivity, rationality, or accuracy in our beliefs. Instead, we can strive to be less subjective, less irrational, and less wrong.”