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SU Libraries’ Staff Members Make Suggestions for a Great Summertime Read
As members of the University community share what books they’re taking on their summer vacation, staff members of SU Libraries offer some interesting summertime picks to add to readers’ lists.
Pamela Whiteley McLaughlin, director of communications and external relations: “I am re-reading ‘The Little Paris Bookshop’ by Nina George for my book club. Proprietor Monsieur Perdu is known as a ‘literary apothecary,’ prescribing books for his clients’ particular ailments.
“George has created a fascinating cast of characters, who ultimately contribute to one another’s cures. The ultimate—and important—message is that we are all in it together.”
Randy Money, supervisor with Access and Resource Sharing:
“A recent story collection is ‘Ghost Summer’ by Tananarive Due. In the title novella, Davie and his little sister, Neema, are anxious to visit their grandparents in Gracetown, Florida, as they have in past summers. This summer is different, though. Older sister, Imani, is visiting the college she’ll start at in the fall, and there’s tension between dad and mom, who has gone to visit her parents in Ghana. Then there are the ghosts. Summer in Gracetown is when the young see ghosts; Davie is 12 and this may be his last chance.
“Due also uses possession, precognition, creatures, werewolves, zombies and pandemic as focal points for stories, some of which veer closer to science fiction, and all show uncommon empathy and compassion for the characters and their situations.”
Money also suggests two older novels:
- “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” by Susanna Clarke. “A fairly massive, and fully immersive, novel in which Clarke adapts the social commentary and comedy of Jane Austen to an early 19th-century England in which magic, after a long absence, is beginning to return. This is fantasy, but in no way Tolkeinesque, complete with footnotes giving further background and expanding on the history and culture of the times.”
- “War with the Newts” by Karel Capek. “Capek was a major writer in Poland before WWII, supposedly up for the Nobel Prize for Literature at one time, and best known in the U.S. for his play ‘R.U.R.,’ which introduced the word ‘robot,’ and for this novel. ‘War with the Newts’ is a masterpiece, a satiric, science fictional exploration of how mankind treats a new life form that develops rapidly first into intelligent servants then into a competitor for survival. First published in 1936, it feels prescient about the coming war, and its ending is chilling.”
Lisa Kuerbis, marketing coordinator at SU Press: The novel “Land of Enchantment,” published by Syracuse University Press in 2015. “It’s a beautiful story of three female artists whose lives are intertwined in various ways over time.”
To see a list of what other University community members might be reading, visit https://news.syr.edu/su-community-members-share-their-summertime-reads-28181/.