Student Book Display: Read this if…

When Courtney Krechel was on the Student Library Advisory Board last semester she asked if she could create a library book display because, well,  she is an avid reader and passionate about getting her peers to read more. Take a look at the display on the main level and use your StagCard to check one out for winter break. Courtney '20 is a Nursing major with a Peace and Justice Studies minor, a New Student Leader, Eucharistic Minister, President of Canisius Academy, and part of Students for Social Justice.

Post written by Courtney Krechel:

Ready for winter break? Fairfield students are able to take library books out over winter break which is a perfect opportunity to get some reading in for yourself without having to worry about homework, tests, and deadlines. Just you, a cup of hot chocolate, and a good book. Don’t know where to start? That’s where I come in. My name is Courtney and I am a self-proclaimed nerd. I love to read and have read quite a few books in my time, so I am here to help you find the right book for you to get swept up into this winter. I have written short explanations as to why I enjoyed these books so if one catches your eye, do yourself a favor and pick it up and do some reading this break!

To Kill a Mockingbird: Read this if you haven’t already read this book. I wholeheartedly believe it is completely necessary for everyone to read this book at least once in their lives. Read this book and rediscover just how ugly racism is alongside your spunky, clever main character, Scout. You’ll quickly fall for Atticus Finch who is the epitome of the “good father” character and will become your role model for how you want to act with your children. Even if you read it back in high school, trust me when I say it deserves a second reading. You’ll be surprised how much you missed back in tenth grade.

Harry Potter: Read this if you want to get lost in the magic of this life-changing series. J.K. Rowling is a modern genius and has created a world that has defined our generation so for goodness sake jump on the bandwagon if you haven’t already: it is never too late! The Sorcerer's Stone is the first book and the most iconic, so just do yourself a favor and read it. You’re not too old, I promise.

The Glass Castle: Read this if you think your family is dysfunctional because I guarantee this family is worse. This memoir follows the true story of Jeannette Walls and her erratic family as they travel across the country, evading the law and taxes and growing up wild. Walls paints a gorgeous picture of her unpredictable and unbelievable childhood and will make you thankful for the humdrum of your life. It is truly a story about perseverance and reality facing that you will never forget; it will answer the question of what do you do when the person you love the most also lets you down the most. It’s hilarious and heartbreaking and oh so hard to put down, so allow yourself a couple of free days in your winter break.

Night: Read this if you are looking for short book of shocking nonfiction that will leave you speechless. Elie Wiesel tells his own story of his time in a concentration camp and the horrors he endured so matterfactly that it leaves you feeling emptied. He demands you pay attention when you’re reading this book so much so that you feel like you’re there with him in the camp, watching the story play out for yourself. He delivers powerful reflections about life and religion that are gut wrenchingly sad. I don’t cry very often. I have read this book four times and have cried every single time. It is a difficult book, but it is also a necessary book.

A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius: Read this if you’re not afraid of a long read that will consume your whole winter break. Dave Egger will capture your attention immediately with his absolutely incredible first-person narration that is equally parts witty and hilarious and smart and wholesome. Though the subject material is, well, heartbreaking, Eggers presents his story of his 20s in such long streams of consciousness that make it seem he’s just reliving it with you at a cocktail party. You feel like you’re in on the jokes. You’re allowed to laugh at some of the things that happen because it seems normal. You feel like you know the characters personally and you live through their trauma with them. It’s a lengthy read, but Dave Eggers is one of my favorite authors and this is my favorite book by him, so read on. If you’re entering your twenties, read this book.

A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time: Read this if you want to prepare for Fairfield Theater’s production of the stage adaptation of this book! I read this book back in sixth grade, so it’s quick, but it is impactful and just so beautiful. Your main character Christopher writes so honestly you fall for him right away. Like so many of these books I’ve chosen, this book challenges you to step in Christopher’s shoes and live his scheduled and particular life with him for a couple hundred pages, a life that you, like me, have probably never even thought about. As you are privileged into the mind of your brilliant main character you will be made aware of the roadblocks you have probably never had to struggle over growing up and will hopefully make you a little more conscious of people’s physical and mental needs in the future.

Armageddon in Retrospect: Read this if you’re looking for some strange short stories about war and peace for right before you fall asleep this winter. Kurt Vonnegut is another my favorite authors because he is so wonderfully odd. He mostly writes satire, which is why I love him because satire is like a game writers play with their audience, trying to see who can pick up on what in their jumble of symbolism and metaphors. This collection of short stories has to do with his anti-war stance and it does not disappoint in terms of his trademark sardonic humor. The stories are a perfect length for right before bed and his eccentric and quick-witted storytelling will keep you awake until the last sentence.

The Book Thief: Read this if you want to get caught up in the happenings of Nazi Germany through the eyes of your trusty narrator, Death. This is one of the greatest books I have ever read. I’m a sucker for historical fiction and this might just be my favorite. It is gorgeously written- the explanations of people and places are so rich and powerful it is so easy to picture yourself in the story, which makes the events even more visceral and heart-wrenching to imagine. Get lost in this modern classic and join the conversation of the people obsessed with this book. Disclaimer: this is not the quickest read, but is well worth your time. Plus you have a whole month, so read on! 

XX: Poems for the Twentieth Century: Read this if you love to learn but have a short attention span like I do. These poems are exactly what you need over break if you want to keep learning. There are 100 poems in this book, one for every year in the twentieth century and each poem tells a story from that year. In order to learn from and understand the poetic language it’s helpful to Google what the event is before you read the poem. I read this collection of poetry last semester before I went to sleep and I learned so much, so if you only read a couple poems from each decade that is enough to feel cultured and good about yourself over break. It’s a rare find of beautiful poetry and unconventional history lessons. Don’t be afraid of poetry. Read on, John Donne.

Dear Martin: Read this if you like young adult novels that deal with adult themes. Your main character’s story is told in a mix of third-person narrative, fiery dialogue, and letters that he writes to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he connects the horrors he lives through with MLK’s thoughts during the Civil Rights Movement. This new and young author, Nic Stone, deals with racial profiling and affirmative action in a heuristic way which is sure to make you think. You’ll be outraged by the proceedings in this book and will start paying attention to the news. This book will break you out of the Fairfield bubble for sure, and might inspire you to take Dr. Sealey’s Critical Race Theory class here at Fairfield next semester as you and your main character, rightly named Justyce, tackle racism that is at the heart of America. This novel is powerful, tangible, and frighteningly real. It’s well worth your time this winter.