The following is a list of
favorite books submitted by faculty.
you might like it!
If you have a favorite book you would
like to share, let us know!
All God’s Children Have Traveling Shoes
I like her insights on Africa.
An American Tragedy
Dreiser is a naturalistic writer with great
An easy to read book that can be interpreted on
As I Lay Dying
The story is about a poor family transporting
the body of the mother to a distant cemetery.
Sounds grisly, but the book focuses on
the secret inner thoughts of each person.
The Autobiography of Malcom X
An amazing autobiography where one can visualize
Malcom X at different stages of his life.
One of America’s best writers, Morrison
tells of the effects of slavery on one family.
Black Like Me
John Howard Griffin
No other story has been
written like this.
unbelievable, yet true story of a white man
passing as a black.
Bless Me Ultima
A coming-of-age novel that is great
for the cultural content and story.
Brave New World
Huxley predicts future development. Many
of his predictions pinpoint present social
To Build a Fire and Other Stories
“To Build a Fire” is, in my opinion, one
of the greatest short stories in English because
of its descriptive power.
Call it Sleep
“Call it Sleep” is a great novel about a
young Jewish boy growing up in New York, and the
tension in his parent's marriage.
Dreiser is a naturalistic writer with
great story lines.
Heller’s classic novel makes World War II
both horrifying and funny.
Catcher in the Rye
On the brink of adulthood, a teenager’s
simple, honest, and funny observations perfectly
capture growing up.
Arthur C. Clarke
A great science-fiction book about the
invasion of Earth by aliens and how they help
humans evolve to a higher level.
A Christmas Carol
it for its message.
The Color of Water
McBride’s memoir reveals the connections
and chasms between blacks and whites in America.
Confederacy of Dunces
John Kennedy Toole
An eccentric intellectual failure has
strange adventures in New Orleans – very funny.
Crime and Punishment
One of my favorites.
(Translation from Russian)
The Decapitated Chicken and Other Stories
If you like Jack London and Poe, you
should like Quiroga.
(3 novels) Robertson Davies
These three interconnected books explore
the lives of several fascinating characters and
their adventures over several years.
Four novellas of some of King’s best
work, including “Shawshank Redemption” and
(The Dr. Kay Scarpetta books)
Body Farm, From Potter’s Field, Point of Origin
Cornwall is a former prosecutor.
So she bases her novels on this
Kay Scarpetta is a successful
career woman making it on her own.
I read this in the 10th grade at the age
of 16 and found it a fascinating tale of romance
and the Russian Revolution.
Good horror story.
None of the movies have come close to
equaling the book in descriptive details.
A scientist invents a quantum singularity
(a mini black hole) and it escapes into the
center of the earth – very forward-looking book.
A collection of essays from a former
teacher of mine argues that to change education
we in education must change society first.
The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
My first book in which I read a style
that matched the story, both wild and exuberant.
Final Jeopardy & Likely to Die
About Alex Cooper, a single, career woman
in New York, who prosecutes sex crimes and
The Foundation Trilogy
Any Asimov science fiction is good!
trilogy is the basis around which his entire
written universe is built.
Grapes of Wrath
Steinbeck’s novel looks into the
Depression era with great characterizations.
I like the social realism.
The Great Gatsby
A wonderful, but grim look into the
decadence of America in the 1920s.
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
This is one of my all-time favorites.
the content, point of view.
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Hilarious satire on science fiction.
ordinary Englishman ends up traveling on an
A fantasy epic of good versus evil.
I like it
because a little guy (like me) learns to face
Oh, yeah, it has a big dragon, too!
The House of Mango Street
Cisneros’ style is easy to read, but her
characters are complex and fascinating.
I loved this book about adventure on the
Mississippi River, and also the way Huck became
friends with Jim, an African-American former
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
I like Maya’s descriptive Power.
Jazz style in Kansas City and the Southwest
This book led me to my decades-long love
of swing and modern jazz.
I found this to be an intriguing love
story set in England.
The Joy Luck Club
It makes you laugh and cry.
written and has good descriptive passages.
A middle-class man obsessed with a
12-year old girl.
Creepy, but touching, funny, and
If you only read one Western in your
1ife, read this one!
The novel is full of tough men, spunky
women, fast guns, cattle, bad guys, and a good
plot to hold it all together.
Lord of the Flies
An amazing, insightful look at the
society children unmonitored can develop.
relevant to some of our gang issues today.
Larry Niven & Jerry Pournell
A great book about mankind’s struggle to
survive after a comet devastates the Earth.
The Miracle of Mindfulness
Thich Nhat Hanh
This Vietnamese Zen monk teaches various
ways of paying attention to our every moment.
Mists of Avalon
Marion Bradley Zimmerman
This is the Arthurian legend told from
all the women’s point of view.
The Mote in God’s Eye
Larry Niven & Jerry Pournell
First contact with aliens!
What more needs to be said?
Set in New Orleans, a middle-class man
cannot quite adjust mentally to the world; funny
Very sad Holocaust story.
Funny, odd story of a simple man’s life.
Nine Princes in Amber
A favorite of mine and the first in a
long series about contemporary adults in a
On Being Blue
A philosphical wandering, this book
explores the color blue and different meanings
of the word “blue.”
One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich
A touching story of how a Siberian prison
laborer transcends his situation by his love of
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Gabriel Garcia Marquez
I just love it – the story, characters
and, above all, descriptive power.
A Patch of Blue
It was a story of great poignancy about a
black man befriending and helping a young blind
woman against the wishes of her family.
For escape, I read anything and
everything by Stephen King, but I like his early
A Prayer for Owen Meany
A great story of the friendship between
two boys who grow up to be men.
unforgettable character of Owen and the odd
twists in the plot make this book a real
Pride and Prejudice
I loved reading about society during the
last century in England.
Set in the years following World War I,
the story traces the intellectual and spiritual
wanderings of a young American in search of a
meaning for life.
She’s Come Undone
This funny and provocative story of a
woman from 4 to 40 was written by a man!
Even though we had to read it in school,
I have always enjoyed the story.
His prose is like poetry.
Nabokov asks for no sympathy in telling
how his family lost all and then had to leave
The Sun Also Rises
Hemmingway’s abbreviated prose is an easy
introduction to literary style.
Tess of the D’Urbevilles
I greatly enjoyed this story of romance
To Kill a Mockingbird
The author painted such a vivid picture
of life during the Depression and raised my
sensitivity to the issues of race.
The Tropic of Cancer
Some call it pornography; others colorful
author’s adventures in France were so intriguing
that I had to go there myself to take a look.
Joyce’s book, so rich I’ll read it all my
life, has beautiful language that comments on
all aspects of life.
Waiting for Godot
This play tells of the loneliness of
modern man with wordplay and slapstick.
The Warlock in Spite of Himself
The first of a series, this book depicts
a futuristic pioneer who reluctantly finds
himself in a quasi-medieval world.