Winter Break with Good Books to Read!

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 Hi, everybody!

It’s just a few days before Winter Break, and I’d like to offer you some reading recommendations.  If novels and biographies aren’t your thing, we have books on programming in Python, codecracking, politics or history.  There are thousands of options, so stop by to find your perfect match. We’re open until 4pm on Friday, December 17th so you can find something good to read in your free time.  

Happy countdown to the break!


In a Strange Room, by Damon Galgut  
In this newest novel from South African writer Damon Galgut, a young loner travels across eastern Africa, Europe, and India. Unsure what he's after, and reluctant to return home, he follows the paths of travelers he meets along the way. Treated as a lover, a follower, a guardian, each new encounter-with an enigmatic stranger, a group of careless backpackers, a woman on the verge-leads him closer to confronting his own identity. Traversing the quiet of wilderness and the frenzy of border crossings, every new direction is tinged with surmounting mourning, as he is propelled toward a tragic conclusion. (from the book jacket).  This novel has received fine reviews, and was a finalist for the Man Booker prize, 2010.

Alan’s War, by Emmanuel Guibert
If you like graphic novels, check out this gritty account of a Second World War soldier’s experiences during and after the war, both in the US and Europe.  Nik Hall recommended this book to us, so if you read it, be sure to talk to him about it!

The Photographer, by Emmanuel Guibert
“A graphic novel and photo journal that follows reporter Didier Lefevre on a dangerous journey through Afghanistan with the Doctors Without Borders mission” (US library catalog).  If you’re interested in the range of the graphic novel across genres including history, politics, and biography, here’s a good read.  Notice that it’s also by the author of Alan’s War.  

Linus Pauling in His Own Words, by Linus Pauling
“Pauling's scientific career spanned nearly the entire 20th century, from his revolutionary Nobel Prize-winning theories on the chemical bond to his controversial work on orthomolecular medicine and vitamin therapy, which continued up to his death in 1994. To many, however, he is best remembered as an ardent peace activist and a crusader for human rights, which brought him his second Nobel. Throughout his career, he was called a genius, a visionary, a Communist, and even a crank. Nothing about Pauling was simple or obvious.” (from a review in Library Journal)

Small Island, by Andrea Levy
This is the story of a young woman who “arrives in London from Jamaica in 1948 with her life in her suitcase, her heart broken, [and] her resolve intact.  Her husband, Gilber Joseph, returns from the war expecting to be received as a hero, but finds his status as a black man in Britain to be second class”  (from the book jacket).  This novel won the Orange Prize and the Whitbread book of the year prize.