What Our Faculty Members Are Reading

Winter break is upon us! It’s a time for relaxing, spending time with family and friends, and most importantly: fruit cakes. Just kidding about the last part. This week we’re having our annual holiday Book Club, where students and teachers share what they plan to read over break. Here’s some of what the faculty/staff shared with us so far.

Season’s readings, everyone!

  • Andy Cunningham – Spider’s House by Paul Bowles (He’s rereading this book and looking forward to time in front of the fire with it.)
  • Wayne Strumpfer – Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley by Peter Guralnick
  • Patty Fels – Man Walks into a Room by Nicole Krauss (Esquire Magazine calls Krauss “one of America’s best young writers.”)
  • Dan Neukom – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith (When Ms Fels had him listen to this NPR author interview he decided to read it. http://www.npr.org/2014/12/10/369616513/wwii-by-the-books-the-pocket-size-editions-that-kept-soldiers-reading); Real England: The Battle Against the Bland by Paul Kingsnorth (It’s the most inspirational book he’s read in 10 years, “it raises deep questions about globalization and creeping commercialization. An absolutely wonderful read.”)
  • Ron Bell – Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov; Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami; The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann (He’s rereading this one and suggests that you often go back and revisit classic works. In Dr. Bell’s words “Reading major literature isn’t a “checklist” kind of thing.”)
  • Laura Monahan – The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd (She’s looking forward to reading this over break.)
  • Dana Vargo – I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes (She read it after seeing Jimmy Fallon’s tweet saying it was like Gone Girl in terms of its “all-consuming nature.”)
  • Cade Grunst – Kingkiller Chronicles (Name of the Wind and Wise Man’s Fear) by Patrick Rothfuss; Gulp by Mary Roach (He’s currently reading this one and describes it as “absolutely delightful and supremely fascinating!”)
  • Jane Batarseh – Theologies of Liberation in Palestine-Israel: Indigenous, Contextual, and Postcolonial Perspectives by Nur Masalha (“varies in quality, but Lisa Isherwood’s essay is superb.”); A History of Islamic Philosophy by Majid Fakhry (“Fakhry is kind to explain clearly how Greek philosophy greatly affected early Islamic thinkers.”); Orientalism by Edward Said (“Said’s book is a classic. His style is engaging and his observations profound.”); An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine (“Alameddine is a riot.”)
  • Michael Covey – Best American Short Stories 2013 (“I’ve read other BASS annual collections and have always enjoyed them. The BASS 2014 is already out but it will have to wait.); New Organic Grower by Eliot Coleman. (“What would you expect” from our Garden Guru?); Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by Bill McKibben. (“The title is not misspelled.”)
  • Joanne Melinson – Jerusalem: a Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi; All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (“This was my favorite book this year and a strong contender for my top 5 book list, which consists of many more than 5 books!” I recommend it now because it’s a bit longer, but so worth your time over winter break.)
  • Richard Day – Dernière Donne by Jean-Michel Guenassia (“It’s a fairly quick read (only 187 pages) and could probably be read by anyone with an intermediate level of French.”); Etranges rivages by Arnaldur Indridason (Written by an Icelandic author, this book won a French prize for the best police novel of 2014.)
  • Michelle Myers – The Smartest Kids in the World by Amanda Ripley
  • Mollie Hawkins – In Praise of Messy Lives: Essays by Katie Roiphe; The Localist by Carrie Rollwagen (Carrie is my friend—she devoted an entire year to exclusively shopping “small”/locally and wrote a book about it. It’s making me not want to shop at Target anymore…)



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We’ve had a flurry of activity (see what I did there?) in the library this week with the annual winter craft! Last year we made snowflakes, and this year we decided to make snowman ornaments using tea lights. We’ve had a couple of Middle School advisories make their own little snow-dudes, and during lunch today we had various Middle Schoolers make them. Pretty cute, huh? We think so, too.

Hour of Code

This week is the Hour of Code to celebrate Computer Science Education Week. It’s a global event to encourage anyone (and everyone) to learn how to do coding. The rules are pretty loose: just find an hour this week sometime to work on code. Some of you will get to do things in your classes and others can do this on your own. You can try some of the activities on the Hour of Code website and then try a few activities on the Khan Academy site. On Khan Academy, you can do an Hour of Drawing Code and design your own animal; try an Hour of Webpages learning CSS and HTML to make a card for someone; or try an Hour of Databases to learn how to manipulate date and make your own store. Spend an hour this week to teach yourself something interesting! Let us know how it goes!Hour of Code