Whether you're looking for a book to tote to the beach or to relax with on the patio, here's what those professional bibliophiles recommend:
- "The Art of Hearing Heartbeats"
By Jan-Philipp Sendker (2012).
A tale of love, mystery and resilience set in Burma. The story begins in the 1950s and continues through present day.
Recommended by Nina Peri, digital collections' librarian.
- "The Burgess Boys" (2013)
- "Olive Kitteridge" (2008, Pulitzer Prize for fiction)
Both by Elizabeth Strout.
You can take the boy out of Maine, but you can't take Maine out of the boy. Nobody does New England family angst like Elizabeth Strout.
Recommended by Jackie Kremer, reference librarian.
- "Divergent" (2011)
A young-adult dystopian novel, set in Chicago, is a story of thrilling choices and hard consequences. The novel is the first in a trilogy and is now a movie to rival "Hunger Games."
Recommended by Christina McGowan, assistant university librarian.
- "The Lover's Dictionary" (2012)
By David Levithan
The story of a relationship in dictionary entries: earnest, human, beautiful. The unnamed narrator picks a word -- "breathtaking," "yearning," "abyss," "livid" -- and defines it in terms of what's going on in the relationship..
Recommended by Hayley Battaglia, circulation librarian.
- "You're Not You" (2007)
In this novel, Bec, an adrift college junior, takes a job caring for a woman with ALS. They form an interesting, complex relationship that forces Bec's life into focus in unexpected ways. Great writing and a very moving story.
Recommended by Curtis Ferree, reference librarian.
- "The Financial Lives of the Poets" (2009)
By Jess Walter (2009).
The hilarious plot of this novel serves as a commentary on contemporary life and will have you laughing out loud at times.
Recommended by Joan Clark, reference librarian.
- "Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation" (2013)
By Dan Fagin
This Pulitzer Prize winner for general nonfiction seamlessly weaves together aspects of history, technology, ecology, medicine and community to tell the story of one of the most harrowing of realities a townspeople can face.
Recommended by John Cayer, interlibrary services department.
- "The Boys in the Boat"
By Daniel James Brown (2013)
The story of nine Americans and their epic quest for gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It's a fast-paced and inspiring narrative about the determination, drive, endurance, trust, sacrifice and teamwork of the eight-man rowing team of the University of Washington. They beat all odds to win the gold by six-tenths of a second.
Recommended by Joan Overfield, university librarian.
- "Daily Rituals: How Artists Work" (2013)
Edited by Mason Currey
Work-life balance is always tricky to master, so it is fascinating to read about the ways that famous historical creators -- artists, writers, philosophers, scientists and more -- structured their days.
Recommended by Brooke Duffy, reference librarian.
- "Holding on Upside Down: The Life and Work of Marianne Moore" (2013)
The the first major biography of this American poet. A review in Choice Magazine notes: "This biography is honest, elegant, and circumspect, not controversial or confessional."
Recommended by Keith Stetson, collection development department