O Pioneers! by Willa Cather

Find in catalogWilla Cather’s classic work is a richly rewarding and beautifully written piece of literature. This is the first book in her “Great Plains Trilogy,” which details the experiences of a collection of characters on the edge of the frontier of the American West. The land and the people (and in particular the heroine, Alexandra Bergson) are really dual main characters in this tale of bittersweet hope amid tremendous struggle. Be warned, however, that although this is the kind of book that requires some effort to begin, once you commit to it, you will become lost in an experience of viscerally connecting to the landscape and the people who worked it, and you will not want to be found.

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer

Find in catalogAmy Schumer’s book is much like her stand up, so much so that her old standup routine was essentially her book. So if you missed her standup or don’t have Netflix for her special or would just prefer a written version here it is! She’s got an unbridled causal sense of humor that is not bashful in any shape or form. It’s basically just a series of stories from her life; in all its embarrassing and honestly funny truth.

Wonder by E.J. Palacio

Find in catalogWonder is about a boy who was homeschooled during his childhood due to numerous corrective surgeries for a rare facial deformity. The story kicks off when he starts attending middle school and centers on his and his family adjustment to school. Overall, it is about how different people deal with different people. I’m happy to hear about this book becoming a movie, since I think it is important for everyone to learn the wonder is our differences.

Founding Mothers: The Women Who Raised Our Nation by Cokie Roberts

Find in catalogCokie Roberts is able to shed light on the lives of the famous names of Martha Washington, Abigail Adams, and more. We’ve all heard little stories about these Founding Mothers, such as Martha being at the battle front and Betsy Ross stitching together the flag, but there must be more, right? Yes these women all have fascinating stories as they held down the fronts when the men were off in other countries or working to build ours.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Find i catalogThis book was an incredible reflection on an important part of civil rights and medical research and development. This is a unique combination of subjects; on one side the very heart of humanity and equality and on the other a supposedly objective and clinical scientific approach to the improvement of life. I think the light this author was able to shed on depths of racial inequalities is critical to understanding how racial and gender tensions affected so much of life. I have never before thought that transparency is so important in science. While I was studying science in college, I was always taught that science (and medicine) was empirically objective; that facts aren’t tainted by race, gender, etc. I’ve learned since that that is not so; science and medicine are performed by humans who are flawed with their own prejudices to their work. Henrietta’s life was dramatically affected by the color of her skin; she got second rate treatment at a second rate hospital. She deserved better from her doctors and the society that she was an honest and hard worker for. Her case brought up the facts of medical transparency and honest medicine as well; her doctor took tissue samples from her for profit without her knowledge and consent. Her incredible cells from that sample live on making amazing leaps of scientific discoveries and have been a priceless additional to medical research, but what about the person behind those cells, behind those discoveries? Her story and that of her family deserve a place of respect and integrity, and this book does that. It makes an attempt to even out the balance of scientific improvement and making the civil aspects of our society better.

Who Thought this was a good idea? and other questions you show have answers to when you work in the white house by Alyssa Mastromonacoy

Find in catalogThis was such a fun book; a wonderful story that shows a unique and important perspective of this inside workings of the day to day life running a nation. I love her real down to earth nature, how honest and frank she was handling the real ups and downs of trying to figure out the most crazy schedule and events in the world. It’s a great insider perspective from a job that one usually doesn’t think of until one meets somebody with the unknown yet important job or there suddenly there isn’t that person holding the ship together.

All the Single Ladies: unmarried women and the rise of an independent nation by Rebecca Traister

Find in catalogThis is such a great informational read. I learned more than I ever thought there was to know about the effects of a certain group in society had as they changed over the course of time. It’s great to have a deeper understanding of how women have changed as a people and how they have changed the nation and the world. It was great to know how such an oppressed group has made such great strides and hopeful for the future changes that are still required.

Euphoria by Lily King

Find in catalogI picked this book last minute from a library display because of its colorful cover and how it had something to do with anthropology. As it turned out, it’s about three young anthropologists in a love triangle in the 30’s in the native tribes of New Guinea. It’s well written for a passionate love triangle that is all looped in with the adventure of a new and different place. So if that’s what you’re looking for that’s this book. It’s not exactly my type of book (I’d have preferred them stick to anthropology).

Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Find in catalogI’ve always been captivated by the painting entitled “Girl with a Pearl Earring,” and I enjoyed this historical fiction that painted a picture about the girl in the painting. It’s a fun and light hearted read- perfect for a weekend escape.

Cujo by Stephen King

Find in catalogEveryone has at least heard of the story about the rapid dog who terrifies those that come across its path and let me tell you: the story doesn’t disappoint! It was able to keep me on the edge of my seat throughout!