For the launch of this year’s Senior Bookmark project, our Library Proctors have agreed to share one title that may end up on their final list of recommended reading. Since 1993, the Library staff has asked our Seniors to submit a list of their favorite books they would suggest to others. We hope that their READ posters will encourage Seniors to submit a book list of their own. And with winter term coming to a close, we also hope that their recommendations give you some ideas of books to read on break.
This year’s Senior Bookmark submission deadline is March 31st. Bookmarks will then be printed in the spring term and be made available before graduation.
Library Proctors Recommend
|Samantha Attar ’14 recommends Unbroken
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand chronicles the story of Louis Zamperini, a runner in the 1936 Olympics, who lived to tell his wartime experiences in the Pacific Campaign. From crashing into the Pacific and surviving 47 days on a raft to two year in a POW camp, his story is one of amazing perseverance. As you read the book you can’t help wonder if this is not a work of fiction because Zamperini’s tale of misery never seems to end. However, throughout his plight he never gave up and his moral character is such that he survives when all is lost. A truly inspirational account of an unconquerable spirit.
|Philip Decker ’14 recommends Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime
This slim volume by Immanuel Kant is a passionate early work which can be universally applied to human experience. It discusses the beautiful, which is defined as inducing happiness, cheerfulness, and warmth; examples include a sunny meadow or a blooming arboretum. Apart from the beautiful is the sublime, which induces wonderment, awe, and a cosmic sense of one’s surroundings; the sublime may be found in the sight of a distant mountain, tall and shadowy oaks, or noble works of architecture. In Kant’s words, “The sublime moves, the beautiful charms.” When I first encountered this book, my impression of Kant had been formed by his notoriously difficult later discourses. Observations reveals a different philosopher. The work is pleasantly and clearly written, is accessible to everyone, and heightens the reader’s aesthetic sense. A must-have for people contemplating aesthetics, it is also calming to read and is an excellent means to relieve stress while still thinking intellectually. A great way to spend a rainy afternoon.
|Michael Eaton ’14 recommends The Art of Racing in the Rain
The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein, takes an unconventional approach to its narration, by being told from the perspective of a dog rather than a human. It follows Enzo Ferrari’s owner’s life through the eyes of Enzo himself. The different perspective gives the book a unique feel. Even if you do not know that the narrator is a dog, you can tell from the style of writing and the attention to some of the smaller details of the story that the writing is different, but in a good way!
|Angus Gorman ’14 recommends Alexander of Macedon
Alexander the Great is the most impressive figure in classical history, hands down. He was a role model to future titans like Julius and Augustus Caesar, and was responsible for the wide spread of literacy, technology, and culture to the Mediterranean. He was a brave and inspired man who had a clear vision of what he wanted to accomplish. Yes, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. But within 25 years, he had sold that silver spoon for one of the largest empires in history. Everybody canprofit by taking a leaf out if his book, (by reading this book).
|Elle MacAlpine ’14 recommends The Power of One
I chose The Power of One because it’s not only a charming novel, but an inspiring one. It is a coming-of-age story about an English boy, Peekay, living in apartheid South Africa. Through all the struggles of his life, Peekay shows unwavering bravery and a desire to learn and love. In his journey to become the boxing champion of the world, Peekay unites two segregated races, and the reader learns the value of leadership, bravery, friendship, and curiosity. This book brought me to tears more than once, and the imagery of the beautiful and wild country compliments the powerful story.
|Tina Safford ’14 recommends When God Was a Rabbit
When God Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman is a novel following the life of Elly, from her young life with a pet rabbit named God, to her reconnection with past friendships in adulthood. Set in the English countryside, this story touches all aspects of growing up with siblings and friends, as well as later as the struggles to find herself and help her family move forward. A great read, Winman discusses life questions that are relatable to all readers.