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Murray Library Staff Offer Diverse Summer Reads: Part 2

Madeline Crocenzi
Summer Director

Have you been looking for a good book to read this summer? It can be difficult to know where to start when choosing the perfect summer read. However, the Murray Library Staff has you covered. This week, Briana Jewell, Rebekah Henry, and Jonathan Lauer have a few reading recommendations you don’t want to miss.

Brianna Jewell

Work Study student Brianna Jewell
Work Study student Brianna Jewell

A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live by Donald Miller

“Donald Miller wrote a memoir before called Blue Like Jazz. A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is an autobiography about them turning his first book into a movie. As the movie is being developed, the main character’s role alters and it’s Miller discovering himself. The plot of the movie kind of follows the plot of his life. It’s a reflective look on himself and how he can become a better person. You can identify and relate to the themes and decisions and the complications that happen. It’s him looking at himself and looking outside of himself.” – Jewell

In case you don’t get a chance to read it this summer, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years is available at Murray Library.

Rebekah Henry

Archives Work Study student Rebekah Henry
Archives Work Study student Rebekah Henry

Surprised by Oxford: A Memoir by Carolyn Weber

Weber gets a full scholarship to study at Oxford. Surprised by Oxford is a memoir of her time at the University. She becomes a Christian while she’s there and goes on all sorts of adventures.” – Henry

Surprised by Oxford is also a 2012 ECPA Christian Book Award Finalist and 2012 Logos Book Award winner for the best book in Christian Living.

Jonathan Lauer

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

“Most highly acclaimed novels I have read in recent years left me underwhelmed, wondering what everyone else saw that I somehow missed. Not this one. Ten years in the writing, this book won the Pulitzer Prize and is on the New York Times top 10 list for the year. This time I get it. Presented in long chapters with short sections and moving back and forth in time between the early 1930s and the present, concentrating on the rise of Hitler in Germany through World War II, this gripping and elegantly written story follows the lives of a blind French girl and a German orphan boy, recounting the intricate web of circumstance that brings them together.” – Lauer

A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler

Murray Library Director
Murray Library Director Jonathan Lauer

“I am a longtime Anne Tyler fan, ever since I read The Accidental Tourist in a book group in the late 1980s. Her portrayals of family life are by turns heart-breaking and hilarious. Maybe it is the nearby Baltimore setting of all her books that gives them special appeal to me; there are just enough familiar street and neighborhood names to set the mental images a little crisper in my mind. Or maybe it is her obvious familiarity with the fundamentalist subculture of my youth that makes me feel a twinge of melancholy when I am immersed in one of her novels. Here an aging couple tries to come to terms with a mysterious and wayward ne’er-do-well son, the third of four children in a family whose dysfunctional complexity is slowly revealed. If you like this one, give my favorite a try as well: Saint Maybe.” – Lauer

Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson

Lauer says he has not read Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania yet but it’s on his list. Nevertheless, he’s excited to dive into the story. “A non-fiction page turner? Think the genre can’t exist? Think again. If this is anything like his earlier The Devil in the White City or In the Garden of Beasts, I’ll be burning some midnight oil when I get to Larson’s latest.” – Lauer

If you haven’t read any of these great titles yet, you can find many of them at Murray Library or your local library. If you want more to read, take a look at the previous article of Murray Library staff reading recommendations. You can also check back for more summer book recommendations by the Murray Library staff in a few weeks.

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