Need a good book to read? Check out what our English teachers recommend!
Mr. Brady recommends The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson-An interesting book to read during the pandemic, this historical text recounts Winston Churchill's effort to steer England through the German Blitz during World War II. The book focuses on the strength and defiance necessary to withstand factors that seem to large to overcome. A detailed, excellent portrayal of Churchill, it is written with a voice that makes it interesting in every moment.
Ms. Cascioli AND Mrs. Mandy recommend Anxious People by Fredrick Backman-Good Reads describes this book as "a poignant, charming novel about a crime that never took place, a would-be bank robber who disappears into thin air, and eight extremely anxious strangers who find they have more in common than they ever imagined."Quirky characters, hilarious and heartwarming! Laughed hysterically one minute, cried the next. Fredrik Backman never disappoints. Author of A Man Called Ove and Beartown.
Mrs. Eliades recommends The Searcher by Tana French-A retired cop moves to a small town in Ireland, but stumbles upon a number of secrets when one of the locals goes missing. A classic mystery that's a quick and easy read.
Mrs. Hammond recommends Dear Child by Romy Hausmann-If you liked Gone Girl and Room, this is the book for you! This book had me guessing until the end. A suspenseful thriller filled with twists and turns.
Mrs. Kenny-Stein recommends A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles-Funny, moving, clever, and elegantly written, this novel spans 30 years in the life of Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov, who is on house arrest at the Metropol Hotel after the Bolshevik revolution. My mother loved this book so much that she emailed the author, and I understand why!
Mr. Kominkiewicz recommends Stoner by John Williams-Protagonist William Stoner was born on a Missouri farm at the turn of the 20th century. With his parents' blessing, he went off to college to study Agriculture, but his interest turned to English Literature. He became a professor of English at his alma mater and remained in this position until his death. His story is one of existence and mundane struggles, both professionally and in relationships. The highs and lows in the plot are minimal, yet the impact is a forceful thud to the reader. Stoner is a slow-moving novel that leaves the reader exhausted and tired, but happy to have endured the story, just as William Stoner had done in life.
Mrs. LaForge recommends The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune-From CommonSenseMedia.org: Set in a world much like our own, it's the tale of Linus Baker, a downtrodden, dutiful middle-aged bureaucrat who's spent his entire career toiling for DICOMY (Department In Charge of Magical Youth), which, in theory, is the government agency in charge of protecting assorted gnomes, sprites, wyverns and the like from mistreatment, violence, and death at the hands of humans. Sent to report on a remote boarding school, its unusual master, and its even more unusual students (one of whom is believed to be the 6-year-old son of Satan), Linus soon learns there's quite a bit he hasn't been told. He also falls in love and discovers unsuspected depths of courage, loyalty, and tenacity in himself. There's some building, subtly expressed sexual tension between the two middle-aged male main characters, similarly subtle suggestive humor and innuendo on occasion, and they eventually share one kiss. The magical-being kids are being isolated from humans, who mostly want to kill them, and prejudice comes in for expert skewering. So does ambition when it interferes with kindness. While the kids have often been abused and terrorized in the past, and their powers are sometimes dramatic, no one comes to real harm in the story.
Mrs. Levy recommends Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes-“Rhodes has achieved something remarkable here: a kid’s eye view of violence and racism that balance innocence and outrage, wrenching loss and hard-won hope.” Chicago Times
Mrs. Merton recommends The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides-Theo Faber is a criminal psychotherapist who is determined to work with the notorious murderess, Alicia Benson, and to get her to speak about the mystery surrounding the killing of her husband. She was a famous painter, her husband, a famous photographer- who is shot five times in the face upon arriving home from work one evening. Alicia has never spoken a word about what she did and why. Theo becomes consumed with her story and his ambitions to break through to the "silent patient". This is a pychological thriller with quite an unexpected twist!
Mrs. Moran recommends The Testaments by Margaret Atwood-If you have read Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale (or have watched the show!), then you will really like the sequel, The Testaments. In this dystopian novel, the reader encounters the perspectives of three women connected to Gilead, including the famous Aunt Lydia.
Mrs. Murphy recommends The Night Circus byErin Morgenstern-Real magicians, a magical contest, and a love story rolled into one, this fantasy novel will intrigue.
Mr. Pollock recommends Here, There, and Everywhere by Geoff Emerick-Attention Beatles fans! In "Here, There, and Everywhere", Geoff Emerick, sound engineer for most of the Beatles' best albums describes what it was like working with the most famous band of all-time. Most books about the Beatles are written from an Outsider's perspective, so it's interesting to read about what it was like to actually be in the studio with the Beatles as they were making such great music. In addition to learning about how these records were technically made, there is a lot of insight to what the Beatles' personalities were like and how their relationships with each other changed over the years.
Mrs. Powers recommends American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins-This book follows Lydia, a Mexican woman who is forced to leave behind her life and escape the country with her son after becoming entangled with the head of a cartel.
Mrs. Skidmore recommends The 99% Invisible City: A Field Guide to the Hidden World of Everyday Design by Roman Mars and Kurt Kohlstedt-Roman Mars is well-known for his design-centric podcast "99% Invisible" and this book is an extension of his work on the show. If you've every wondered, "Why is that [random thing] like that?", this is the book for you. Mars and Kohlstedt cover everything from graffiti symbolism to the tall dancing guys outside of car dealerships to the squirrels of New York City. While I was reading, I felt like the authors were answering questions that I didn't even know I had but enjoyed learning the answer. I also enjoyed the fact that chapters were short enough that I could read one or two and then put the book down if I needed (but I usually didn't want to!).
Mrs. Strachan recommends Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don't Know by Malcolm Gladwell-Each chapter focuses on a failed moment of communication which led to a dangerous or even tragic tragic social consequence. Warning: the subject matter is dark. Why did a traffic stop lead to the suicide of Sandra Bland? Why didn't anyone at Penn State respond to Jerry Sandusky's pedophelia? How did an encounter on a dance floor at Stanford University end in a rape? When do we default to believing people we should not believe and mistrusting people we should trust? In his conversational style, with his counterintuitive insight, Gladwell shows us where we go wrong and how we might better protect ourselves and others from the dangers of misreading social encounters.
Mrs. Sulva recommends Hamilton and Peggy!: A Revolutionary Friendship by L.M. Elliott-After falling in love with the Broadway play Hamilton on Disney+ this summer, I wanted to find out more about the Schuyler Sisters. While this book goes into the backstory of the Schuyler family, it does focus on Peggy. While Angelica is the star of the sisters in the Broadway show (maybe Eliza too, but not Peggy!), it is refreshing to see how essential Peggy was to her father and the Revolution in this story.
Mrs. Yang recommends Cousins by Karen McManus-Three cousins are invited to an island by the grandmother that disowned their parents. The mysterious circumstances of why the grandmother disowned their parents, along with secrets that each cousin is keeping from each other, make this a suspenseful page turner!