What Our Faculty Has Been Reading


As we wind up the end of the calendar year at SCDS, we’d like to take a moment to share what some of our faculty has been reading lately. We’ll be having our holiday book club on Friday, where we’ll all share what books we hope to read over the lovely Winter Break.

Here’s what our faculty and staff have enjoyed lately… (drum roll):

  • Brian Frishman – The Age of Betrayal: The Triumph of Money in America 1865-1900 by Jack Beatty, and also Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
  • Carol Wessels – The Princess Bride by William Goldman (she loves how funny the book is!)
  • Jane Batarseh –  Whistling Season by Ivan Doig (Jane says: “His panoramic description of rural Montana, of the one room schoolhouse, of an enlightened class of pioneer farmers, of inbred integrity of youth, of human foibles and forgiveness for those transgressions made for a long and ultimately comprehensive and fully enjoyable read.”
  • Patty FelsThe Whites and Lush Life by Richard Price (she says: “[The Whites] was recently chosen one of the top books of last year by TIME magazine. It is an absorbing police story that is not about white people, as the title suggests, but about the “white-whale” police cases that remain unsolved and always torment the police who couldn’t solve those cases…and I don’t read police stories as a rule. These two are exceptional.)
  • Andy Cunningham – Watchlist, Edited by Bryan Hurt (he says: “It’s a collection of short stories about surveillance of sorts.”)
  • Cade Grunst – The Water Knife by Paulo Bacigalupi – (he says it’s a “near-future dystopian sci-fi about the Southwestern US in an age where climate change has left many parts of the world very arid. Bacigalupi is the rare sci-fi writer who knows how to craft sentences, and his prose is tight and detail-rich. I also loved his previous book The Windup Girl, which I read last summer.”)
  • Laura Monahan – Recently read and enjoyed:
    Ancillary Mercy by Ann Leckie (most recent book in the Imperial Radch series), A Dangerous Place by Jacqueline Winspear (A Masie Dobbs novel), The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood
    And she’s looking forward to reading over Winter Break: Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman, Ender’s Shadow by Orson Scott Card, and the 2015 The Year’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy Novellas, Edited by Paula Guran
  • Sandy Lyon – Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, The Princess Bride by William Goldman, Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, Armand Gamache Mysteries by Louise Penny, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion, The Wright Brothers  by David McCullough, The Last Bookaneer by Matthew Pearl, and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel.
  • Ron Bell – Gilead and other novels by Marilynne Robinson (he says: “I’m also planning to read Sue Grafton’s “X” novel – X is for – no, it’s just X. She couldn’t come up with an X word. She’s almost through the entire alphabet now! This is all contingent on Santa actually bringing them for me, of course. It’s entirely possible I’ll get a lump of coal. Or socks.”)
  • Melisa AlbrandThe Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (she says it was good, but: “don’t let the title fool you. :-)” And Life on the Color Line by Gregory Howard Williams (she says: “A ‘white’ kid finds out he’s really black. Interesting and well written.”)
  • Dan Neukom Elephant Company by Vicki Croke (he says it was: “A well-written, well-researched book about ‘elephant Billy Williams’. He was commander of an elephant corps in Burma in WW II. Great description of the contemporary culture, the war effort, and especially the elephants. A terrific read! A New York Times best seller-deservedly so.”)
  • Lauren LaMay – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, The Witches: Salem, 1692 by Stacy Schiff, The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • Tucker Foehl – Most Likely to Succeed: Preparing Our Kids for the Innovation Era by Tony Wagner and Ted Dintersmith (he says they read excerpts in the Curriculum Committee), The Light of the World: A Memoir by Elizabeth Alexander (one of Tucker’s former professors), and Dr. Daniel Siegel’s Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain.
  • Brooke WellsAfter Dark and Dance, Dance, Dance by Haruki Murakami (he says: “I think I will find another couple for the holidays.”)
  • Jo Melinson A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (she say it was her favorite book this year!), and Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (she says it “is the most moving book I’ve read in a long time. I think everyone should read this. I love the idea of a parent writing to a child to explain what he believes in. This one really works on a universal level, too.”)
  • Mollie Hawkins – Essays of E.B. White (your narrator says: “White’s writing style is quick-witted and fun, and the way he describes New York makes one nostalgic for it…even if you’ve never been there.”) and Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (your narrator adds: “Another fun book of short stories from my favorite guilty pleasure author. I was mesmerized with the cover…sometimes I do judge books by them.”)



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