Staff Reading Picks 2013

Staff Reading Picks 2013

Selections of books recommended by staff members of the FAU Libraries.


An American Tragedy
By Theodore Dreiser. The Heritage Press, 1954
Call Number: PS3507 .R55 A45
Recommended by Gary Gabeloff, Access Services
“A great novel that was made into a movie (A Place in the Sun) with Elizabeth Taylor in 1951.”

The Bell Jar
By Sylvia Plath. Harper Perennial, 2005
Call Number: PS3566 .L27 B4 2005
Recommended by Leah, Jupiter Library

Bleak House
By Charles Dickens. Oxford University Press, 1991
Call Number: PR4556 .A1 1991
Recommended by William Miller, Dean of Libraries

The Book of Daniel
By E. L. Doctorow. Random House, 1971
Call Number: PS3554 .O3 B6
Recommended by Gary Gablehoff, Access Services
“I read this many years ago and enjoyed it. It’s a book of fiction based on the case of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, alleged Communist spies and traitors. Interesting writing style.”

Cold Mountain: 100 Poems
By Han-Shan. Columbia University Press, 1970
Call Number: PL2677 .G3 A27 1970
Recommended by Ken Frankel, Reference

Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
By Jared Diamond. Viking, 2005
Call Number: HN13 .D5 2005
Recommended by hdl
“We took a tour of the Mayan site Tikal with a brilliant archaeologist, Roxy Ortiz. She cited Diamond’s chapter on the Maya in this book and when we got home I read it on the strength of her recommendation. It’s such a timely and fascinating discussion of the interplay of environment, politics, culture, economics and trade in the success or failure of traditional (and modern) societies.”


The Dead Yard: Tales of Modern Jamaica
By Ian Thomson. Faber and Faber, 2009
Call Number: F1887 .T46 2009
Recommended by a library staff member

Dirty Wars: The World Is a Battlefield
By Jeremy Scahill. Nation Books, 2013
Call Number: E897 .S33 2013
Recommended  by Bill Armstrong, Access Services

The Disappearing Spoon: And Other True Tales of Madness, Love, and the History of the World from the Periodic Table of the Elements
By Sam Kean. Little, Brown and Co., 2010
Call Number: QD466 .K37 2010
Recommended by Lauri Rebar, Reference

Disco for the Departed
By Colin Cotterill. Soho Press, 2006
Call Number: PR6053 .O778 D57 2006
Recommended by Jeannette Smithee, SEFLIN
“This is the first of the Dr. Siri Paiboun novels that I read, and since then I have read four others, beginning with the first in the series: The Coroner’s Lunch. Would you expect stories about the national coroner in 1970s Laos, following the takeover by the communist Pathet Lao, to include social consciousness, humor, mystery, and ghosts? I did not expect this, but have been delighted to follow Dr. Siri Paiboun and his colleagues through this series.”

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly: A Memoir of Life in Death
By Jean-Dominique Bauby. Vintage Books, 1998
Call Number: RC388.5 .B39513 1998 (At Jupiter)
Recommended by Bonnie DiGiallonardo, Reference

The Drowned and the Saved
By Primo Levi. Summit Books, 1988
Call Number: D804.3 .L4813 1988
Recommended by Anonymous

By M T. Anderson. Candlewick Press, 2002
Call Number: PZ7 .A54395 Fe 2002 (Children’s Literature)
Recommended by Lauri Rebar, Reference
Feed is set in the future and teenaged Titus is the narrator. The moon has recently become the 51st state in the United States (U.S.), and “feeds” have been implanted in the brains of virtually everyone. Although the feeds were promoted to reduce the necessity of actual teaching and learning, the corporations have taken over the schools and society, and feeds’ are used almost exclusively for nonstop entertainment and advertising. Custom advertising to each individual has been perfected, and feeds are nonstop, suggesting items and describing things if they are even thought of or seen. The feeds become so essential after they are implanted that they also control body movements, memories and more. When Titus and friends go to the moon for spring break, he is mesmerized by a girl, Violet, who he sees. They get together, dance in a nightclub and end up with their feeds being hacked, leading to a shutdown of their systems. Their resulting relationship, their relationship to their friends and family, and a society that reflects a gross ‘dumbing down’ of U.S. citizens (adults included) is discussed. Titus and Violet explore the possibility of feeds being evil instead of good, and their story becomes one of discovery, caring, and maturing.”

Foundation Trilogy
By Isaac Asimov. Avon, 1964-1966
Call Number: PS3551 .S5 F69 1964
Recommended by Dawn M. Smith, Public Services
“I was 14 and this was my first venture into the world of science fiction and the science fiction genre.  I became an avid reader of this genre after reading this series.  Recommended to me, the trilogy’s premise of saving the knowledge of the human race after the demise of the Galactic Empires caught my interest immediately. Chosen to write the Encyclopedia, a select people unknowingly carried out a plan to re-create the Galactic Empire and save the galaxy from barbarism.  It has some similarity to the Star Wars series.”

A Gate at the Stairs
By Lorrie Moore. Alfred A. Knopf, 2009
Call Number: PS3563 .O6225 G37 2009
Recommended by Jane Strudwick, Electronic Resources



The Invention of Hugo Cabret
By Brian Selznick. Scholastic Press, 2007
Call Number: PZ7 .S4654 Inv 2007 (Children’s Literature)
Recommended by Maris Hayashi, Collection Development
“A wonderfully-illustrated story of George Méliès, a French filmmaker who made A Trip to the Moon (which featured “cutting-edge” special effects, e.g. spaceship landing in the eye of the moon) in 1902. The book’s other main characters are Hugo, a 12-year-old orphan who lives in a train station and works on clocks, and his friend Isabelle. The movie Hugo, directed by Martin Scorsese (2011), was based on Selznick’s book.”

Let the Great World Spin
By Colum McCann. Random House, 2009
Call Number: PR6063 .C335 L47 2009
Recommended by Jane Strudwick, Electronic Resources

Homer & Langley
By E. L. Doctorow. Random House, 2009
Call Number: PS3554 .O3 H66 2009
Recommended by Jane Strudwick, Electronic Resources

Lord of the Flies
By William Golding. Coward-McCann, 1962
Call Number: PR6013 .O35 L6 1962
Recommended by Leah, Jupiter Library

Nonviolent Communication: A Language of Life
By Marshall B. Rosenberg. PuddleDancer Press, 2005
Call Number: BF637 .C45 R645 2005
Recommended by Alyse Ergood, Reference

A Painted House
By John Grisham. Doubleday, 2001
Call Number: PS3557 .R5355 P3 2001b
Recommended by Jeannette Smithee, SEFLIN
“I was attracted to A Painted House for two reasons. 1) It is not one of John Grisham’s formulaic legal stories. 2) It is set in small town Arkansas during the depression. The Arkansas connection is due to having relatives that lived in that area of the state. The book is a family drama that includes great background on the geographical, economic, and social environments that shaped the lives of the characters.”

Pictures at a Revolution: Five Movies and the Birth of the New Hollywood
By Mark Harris. Penguin Press, 2008
Call Number: PN1993.5 .U6 H37 2008
Recommended by Jane Strudwick, Electronic Resources


Rain Makes Applesauce
By Julian Scheer & Marvin Bileck. Holiday House, 1964
Call Number: PZ7 .S3424 Rai (Children’s Literature)
Recommended by Jerrel Horn, Access Services
“The illustrations in this book are amazing and I loved reading the nonsense with my daughter. We loved looking at the pictures and reciting to each other about how ‘elbows grow on a tickle tree’ and that ‘the stars are made of lemon juice’ or that ‘I wear my shoes inside out’, all while Rain Makes Applesauce!”

Sense and Sensibility (Also Pride and Prejudice and Emma)
By Jane Austen. Barnes and Noble, 1997
Call Number: PR4032 .A6 1997
Recommended by Amy Kornblau, Assistant Dean, Systems
“Three Jane Austen favorites!”

The Swiss Family Robinson
By Johann David Wyss. Puffin, 1986
Call Number: PZ7 .W996 Swi 1986 (Children’s Literature)
Recommended by William Miller, Dean of Libraries

Tao Te Ching
By Lao Tsu. Vintage Books, 1972
Call Number: BL1900 .L3 F46 1972b
Recommended by Ken Frankel, Reference

Twenty Days with Julian & Little Bunny by Papa
By Nathaniel Hawthorne. New York Review Books, 2003
Call Number: PS1881 .A3 2003
Recommended by Jerrel Horn, Access Services
“A wonderful account of 20 days that Nathaniel Hawthorne spent with his 5-year-old son Julian while his wife and daughters were visiting relatives. Hawthorne’s observations of his son are funny and accurate enough to make anyone wince ruefully who has spent time with a five-year-old child. Equally funny is reading about Hawthorne’s trials as a temporary single parent.”



Walden and Civil Disobedience: Complete Texts with Introduction, Historical Contexts, Critical Essays
By Henry David Thoreau. Houghton Mifflin, 2000
Call Number: PS3048 .A1 2000
Recommended by Ken Frankel, Reference

Who Needs Donuts?
By Mark Alan Stamaty. Alfred A. Knopf, 2003
Call Number: PZ7 .S7837 Wh 2003 (Children’s Literature)
Recommended by Jerrel Horn, Access Services
“Who needs donuts when you’ve got love? Well, I loved the whimsical story and the illustrations are even better. Each page is packed with all sorts of wonderful things, from donuts hiding in an umbrella to horse-birds smoking pipes to a newspaper vendor with pockets for sugar, flour and marbles. Each page has new surprises. My greatest fun was reading the book with my daughter and finding all sorts of wonderful bits with her.”

Why the Dalai Lama Matters: His Act of Truth As the Solution for China, Tibet, and the World
By Robert Thurman. Atria Books, 2008
Call Number: BQ7935 .B777 T48 2008
Recommended by Alyse Ergood, Reference

The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?
By Jared Diamond. Viking, 2012
Call Number: DU744.35 .D32 D53 2012
Recommended by hdl, Technical Services
“I enjoyed Diamond’s earlier book, Collapse, so when I heard a review of his new one on NPR, I was motivated to read it. If anything, it’s even more interesting, because he uses many personal examples from his early-career experiences as an ornithologist in remote areas of New Guinea to illustrate various aspects of traditional societies.”