Dixie Reads

Find one of our faculty 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).

Recommended Books

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.”

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?”