The Carry Home by Gary Ferguson (2014)

A stunningly beautiful book, The Carry Home is the chronicling of Gary Ferguson's grief after his wife Jane dies in a canoeing accident, but it's also a story of life in nature, of environmentalism, the culture of the West, of wanderlust, and what it means to truly love. Spending much of their lives trekking around… Continue reading The Carry Home by Gary Ferguson (2014)

Hunger by Roxane Gay (2017)

This is an important book.  I'll start with that. I started it this morning, finished it by 5:30, and went to her book talk at St. Mary's College at 7.  My colleague mentioned going to her speaking engagement, so I had a quick deadline to read at least one of her books. I chose her memoir because… Continue reading Hunger by Roxane Gay (2017)

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (2014)

This might be the most important book I've read this year.  Paired with Ta-Nehisi Coates's  Between the World and Me, these two memoirs offer a raw and brutal lens with which to examine race in America.  As a recent Harvard Law graduate in the 1980s, Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a firm based in… Continue reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson (2014)

When Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi (2016)

In my continued fascination with cancer books, I easily read this small book in one sitting.  It's hard not to.  From the outset, we know the author is doomed by a cancer diagnosis at a young age, and we cannot help but be heartbroken by his unfortunate circumstances.  A neurosurgical resident in his mid thirties,… Continue reading When Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi (2016)

The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy (2013)

The first time I read The Prince of Tides, I was mesmerized.  I remember blocking out the world until I finished it and thinking how could any family be that messed up? How could any writer so compellingly convey the dynamics of a dysfunctional family? The feared, all-powerful father, the mother propelled by societal rise,… Continue reading The Death of Santini by Pat Conroy (2013)

The Opposite of Loneliness: stories and essays by marina Keegan (2014)

A gift from a former student, The Opposite of Loneliness sat on my night stand for several weeks before I could find the right time to open it. The book is a collection of stories and essays by Marina Keegan, a Magna Cum Laude 2012 Yale graduate who was killed in a car crash a… Continue reading The Opposite of Loneliness: stories and essays by marina Keegan (2014)

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb (2013)

Several of my students have read this book that's been on my to read list for a long time, and I finally picked it up this winter break. While Trump is calling for a deportation of all Muslims and other Republican candidates and governors are pushing to "close" their state to all refugees, I thought… Continue reading I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai and Christina Lamb (2013)