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Stags Read: Book Recommendations

This guide provides book recommendations with links to books from the Library's catalog and to other external websites.

FICTION

 Ace of Shades by Amanda Foody

 Recommended by Madison Lynch '24, Major: Psychology  BOOK CLUB MEMBER

"Ace of Shades is wildly entertaining. If you are a fantasy reader, I think you’d really enjoy this one. The world building and character development are fantastic, and the plot is really engaging and interesting, plus one of the main characters Levi is a POC and bisexual, so there’s some great representation to be had as well. Overall, a great read, plus it’s the first of a trilogy so it’d be great to get you out of a reading slump :)"
Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link
 

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

Recommended by Elizabeth DeCristanti '24, Major: Nursing

"Loved this book so much! I thought the overall message was super important and I loved every character. I think it was super well written and I did not feel bored at any point of the book. I really loved the entire family, I loved their dynamics and how much love they had for each other."

Goodreads Link

DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link.

 

Maid by Stephanie Land:

 Recommended by: Carolyn McDermott '24, Major: Nursing

"A memoir of a single mother on welfare's will to survive during the Great Recession. Stephanie, a survivor of domestic abuse, must make ends meet for her and her young daughter as a full time cleaner; a demanding, grueling profession that does not allow much childcare flexibility and does not provide a lucrative salary. On her meager salary, Stephanie is considered 'too wealthy' to qualify for Medicaid for her own health needs, yet is 'poor enough' that she cannot afford to purchase fruits and vegetables without the assistance of food stamps. Her elegantly-written story highlights the coverage gaps that exist within our society and the stigma surrounding supportive services for those of a lower socioeconomic status. Truly, an outstanding memoir that is a must read!"
Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link

 

 Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit by Jeanette Winterson

 Recommended by: Alexandra Kardos '24, Major: Accounting. Spanish minor

"This quirky coming-of-age story was recommended to me by a friend and was not something I probably would have read on my own. While the subject of a a lesbian girl growing up in an English Pentecostal community seemed a bit intense initially, Winterson’s dark humor is unmatched. She tackles everything from complex family relationships to faith in an honest but gentle way. I found it to be raw and poetic all at once and honestly such a fun read."
Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link

 

Serpent & Dove by Shelby Mahurin

Recommended by: Madison Lynch '24 BOOK CLUB MEMBER

"This novel, set in 18th century France, combines witchcraft, a unique magic system, and a high stakes plot that really engages the reader and never disappoints."

Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link

 

Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

Recommended by: Maeve O'Connell '25  BOOK CLUB MEMBER

"It is SUCH an amazing story, especially if you love greek mythology! It is a real tear jerker though...but I honestly recommend it to readers of any genre because it is one of the best stories I've ever read!" 

Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link

 

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas

Recommended by: Zana Imetovski '24  BOOK CLUB MEMBER

"It is my favorite fantasy fiction book in the whole world. The world building and character arcs are amazing. If you like fantasy fiction then you really need to check this one out!"

Goodreads Link 
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link
 

 

 Written in Red by Anne Bishop         

 Recommended by: Erica Corey '23 , Major: Psychology with Philosophy Minor

"This book series is a must read of supernatural genre lovers. There is amazing world building and exploration of character  growth. The main character is a blood prophet who escapes a systematic from of slavery/captivity (coined Benevolent Ownership in the novel). Blood prophets have the ability to see the future when they are cut and experience a euphoria after receiving a cut. In her escape from her captors, she finds refuge on what is essentially a supernatural reservation. The story blossoms from there. Each of the novels tells of how she overcomes the hardships of going from shackles to freedom as well as shaking her addiction. Bishop does an amazing job developing the main character and supporting cast throughout the book (and even moreso throughout the series)!"
Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link

NONFICTION

 A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle

 Recommended by: Nicholas Ambrosino '23, Major: International Business and Finance

"A New Earth is an incredible self-improvement book and tool for spiritual guidance. In the book, Tolle breaks down humanity's inherent dysfunction, unpacks the roots of emotional pain, causes of harmful ego, and what it means to be conscious. This book provided me with new information that I implemented in my day-to-day, and I think it can provide valuable insight to many of my peers or anyone wanting to learn more about what it means to be human."
Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link 


 Untamed by Glennon Doyle

 Recommended by: Samantha Secora '23, Major: Marketing with  Film Production Minor

"This is a great book about the journey of self-love and self-discovery through a rather tough time. Most women find it hard to confidently display their true self in front of others, but this autobiography emphasizes the idea that one should feel courageous and willing to defy the societal norms and live life to the fullest. This is an empowering book for young women to read and take advice on how to confidently be your true self in society today."
Goodreads Link 
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link

 

What Happened To You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing by Bruce D. Perry and Oprah Winfrey

Recommended by: June Dodson '25 BOOK CLUB MEMBER

"This book has changed the way I think about trauma, behavior, and human development. Their message is told through engaging stories and easily understood scientific explanations. I was fascinated by the mix of human interest and scientific discussion. I recommend listening to this as an audiobook because it is set up as a conversation between Oprah and Dr. Perry; it will feel like you are taking part of this important conversation too."
Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link 

 

Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community by Martin Luther King Jr

Recommended by: Pete Baron '23, Major: Sociology

"This is a great book that illustrates the power of compassion and peace. It inspired me to stand by my principles even when it is more convenient to abandon them and I believe this is a lesson everyone should learn."

Goodreads Link

DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link

Student Library Advisory Board Suggestions

 

FICTION

The Girl With a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier

Recommended by: Matthew Adamski '24 , Major: Accounting
"It's a historical fiction novel set in the Netherlands during the 17th century. It's a fictional story behind the painting by Vermeer by the same name. It's a light read, with a great plot and has fantastic historical details. I liked it a lot."

Goodreads Link

 

 The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab

 Recommended by: Danielle Sondgeroth '22, Major: Journalism and Art History with French minor

"I first discovered V.E. Schwab last year after reading her book, “A Darker Shade of Magic.” I adored it so as soon as I saw “The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue” on a shelf in Barnes and Noble, I knew I had to read it. It’s about a young woman who, upon being forced into an arranged marriage, calls upon the old gods to save her. The god that saves her grants her eternal life, but damns her to live without anyone remembering her. It’s a haunting novel with many twists and turns and a fantastic writing style."
Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link

 

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

Recommended by: Danielle Sondgeroth '22 , Major: Art History

"This is one of my favorite books that I've read this year. It follows Classics majors at an elite New England college and the dark underbelly of the department. Filled with mystery, murder, and lots of ancient Greek, The Secret History is a perfect book for anyone interested in the dark side of academia."
Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link

 

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Recommended by: Emma Kramer '24 , Major: Biology

"It is one that I had to read for my high school English class senior year and has been one of my favorite books ever since. The author is an Afghan immigrant who writes about Afghan women and their lived experience in a war-torn society during the 1990s. It was written in such a beautiful and emotional way that I couldn't put it down!"
Goodreads Link
DiMenna-Nyselius Library Link

Pride Month Student Picks

Read a blog post written by our library student worker, Eden Marchese '23, which features LGBTQ+ books and a Spotify playlist, created for June 2022 Pride Month.

MFA Creative Writing

Over the past years the MFA in Creative Writing program has celebrated the success of over 80 books published by MFA students and alumni. MFA students and faculty have also published hundreds of articles, essays, stories, and poems in renowned literary journals and magazines, won awards and have received honorable mentions.