Great summer reads from around campus!

What's summer without a good read? Chances are you appreciate a good book, regardless of whether you're on the faculty or staff, are a student or an alumnus, or are a parent or other member of the Maryville College community.

If you're looking for your next book and are curious about what some people at Maryville College have read recently, then the following list is for you. You can also check out the New Book Shelf of the Lamar Memorial Library for some good ideas!

Kathleen Farnham, Director of Church Relations

I am reading The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by Daniel James Brown. It's a great story in any season, but would be a wonderful summer read. It's such a wonderful human story of a young man and a college team individually and collectively overcoming personal and team struggles to achieve unbelievable success. I've seen it described this way: "This is a book about rowing the same way Secretariat is a movie about a horse race."

Brittany J. Bowman, Psychology Major, Class of 2016

I recommend the Divergent series. Divergent is a now a movie, but the book is amazing. It gives you this thrill on every page and, if you like a little bit of romance, it has that too with a lot of action! The second book in the series is Insurgent and it leaves you on the edge of your seat wondering what's next!

 My favorite part about the book is that it gives the reader a little bit of everything like romance, action and suspense.

 The books are based in Chicago, and it's cool to think about how each landmark in Chicago like the Hancock Building, the Sears Tower and O'Hare Airport are used, but not in the way we use them today.

 I recommend it because it's an exciting thrill to read and leaves you wanting more from every page.

Angela Quick, Assistant Professor & Library Director

 I recommend the children's book The True Blue Scouts of Sugar Man Swamp by Kathi Appelt. Things are not right in the Sugar Man Swamp in East Texas bayou country. Twelve year old Chap Brayburn must rescue his family's Paradise Pies Café from developers' plans for an alligator wrestling theme park. Twin raccoon brothers Bingo and Jemiah must rescue the swamp and its inhabitants from an invasion of feral hogs. Will they wake the Sugar Man and save the swamp?

Another good one is Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. In this one, Clay Jannon, a web designer suddenly unemployed by the dotcom bust, accepts a job as night clerk at the 24-hour Penumbra bookstore ­ where all is not as it seems. What's happening in this rundown bookstore with few books for sale, fewer customers, and a vast range of coded books in shadowy closed stacks? It's nothing less than the collision of the old analog and the new digital world. Yes, I'm a librarian, so I think about this stuff. But what's not to love about a mystery featuring a typeface (Geritzoon) as a character?

Finally, I'd recommend The Big Necessity: The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why It Matters by Rose George. There are seven billion people on the planet, and every one of us needs food, clean water, a place to live ­ and a toilet.  But four out of ten people on earth have no toilet at all, and what counts as a toilet for the other six might surprise you. We should all be as willing to talk about ­ - and do something about - sanitation as we are about food, clean water, and shelter.

Caitlin McLawhorn, Writing/Communications Major, Class of 2016

Anne Tyler's Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant is probably one of my favorite novels. It centers around a broken family, something that seems to make up the majority of America these days.

Based in Baltimore, Pearl Tull is a young housewife who has three children and an absent husband, Beck. Pearl is faced with the challenge of picking herself back up and moving on from the pain of being left by her husband. She is forced to crawl out of a dark depression and raise her children. This story is more than just that of a broken family struggling for a sense of reality to grasp, it's about the true power of forgiveness and acceptance - something everyone can learn from.

Also, Diane Setterfield's The Thirteenth Tale recently came in close to tying for my top favorite.

Written in a gothic suspense style, Setterfield tells the story of Vida Winter, an aged, reclusive author hiding from her past. Vida contacts bibliophile Margaret Lea to travel to her home and write her biography as she succumbs to terminal illness.

Margaret is not familiar with Vida's works and locates a copy of Vida's "Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation." When Margaret finishes the story, she realizes there are only twelve tales. Curiosity peaks her interest and she agrees to write Vida Winter's biography.

I won't spoil the ending here, because you honestly won't see it coming. I've read it about five times and it never ceases to surprise me.

 

Dr. Terry Simpson, Professor of Secondary Education & Director of Teacher Education

I am reading Six Amendments: How and Why We Should Change the Constitution by retired Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

Over my professional life as a history and social studies teacher, I have often heard the Constitution described a near perfect or even a holy document. But in recent years, I have been reading the opposite opinion. Several political scientists blame the Constitution for some of our economic, educational and social problems.

I found Justice Stevens' insight into the critical issues of political gerrymandering, the death penalty and the Second Amendment (gun control) worth a second look.

Also, I have been reading The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking by Susan Cain.

This is a very personal topic, as my third grade teacher told my mother that I did not say a word in class until Christmas. At times, my high school experience was very painful for me. I am sure many of my elementary and high school classmates find it remarkable that I can stand in front of a class and deliver a lecture.

Several years back, faculty were invited to take the tests and complete the questionnaires we administer to first-year students. I went home and said to my wife, "Baby, I now know what I am, an introverted workaholic!" She glared at me with those precious eyes of steel and responded, "You didn't have to take a damn test for me to know that."

Compiled by Gerhard Schneibel, News & New Media Writer


Maryville College is ideally situated in Maryville, Tenn., between the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Knoxville, the state's third largest city. Founded in 1819, it is the 12th oldest institution of higher learning in the South and maintains an affiliation with the Presbyterian Church (USA). Known for offering its students a rigorous and highly personal experience that includes an undergraduate research requirement, Maryville College is a nationally ranked institution of higher learning that successfully joins the liberal arts and professional preparation. Total enrollment for the fall 2014 semester is 1,213.