Suggested Book Titles

Summer Reading Titles by Genre

Bless Me, Ultima
by Ruldolfo Anaya
Year Published: 1972 

"Antonio Marez is six years old when Ultima comes to stay with his family in New Mexico. She is a curandera, one who cures with herbs and magic. Under her wise wing, Tony will probe the family ties that bind and rend him, and he will discover himself in the magical secrets of the pagan past-a mythic legacy as palpable as the Catholicism of Latin America. And at each life turn there is Ultima, who delivered Tony into the world...and will nurture the birth of his soul."

To learn more about the book:


Interview with the author


Summer Reading Titles by Genre

The Catcher in the Rye
by J.D. Salinger 
Year Published: 1951
*Mature Content

Is it inevitable (unavoidable) that we conform to the world and society around us? How should a person adjust to a world they did not create? What happens when a person does not accept and does not play by the rules of the dominant culture? What does it mean to stay true to yourself? Is it possible to grow up without becoming phony?

To learn more about the book:


Original book Review

Salinger Video


Cry, the Beloved Country Book Image

Cry, the Beloved Country
by Alan Paton
Year Published: 1948 

Cry the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of the Zulu pastor Stephen Kumalo and his son Absalom, set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice.

To learn more about the book:


Interview: Impact of the Novel

NPR This Week's Must Read


Summer Reading Titles by Genre

 

Ethan Frome
by Edith Wharton
Year Published: 1911

When is it necessary to reinvent one’s self? How can one person change society? What is the responsibility of the individual toward society? Set against the frozen waste of a harsh New England winter, Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome is a tale of despair and forbidden emotions.

To learn more about the book:

Podcast about the novel

Summer Reading Titles by Genre


One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
by Ken Kesey
Year Published: 1962
*Mature Content

How does suffering lead to dehumanization? Are human beings inherently evil? How does society treat those who are different? What responsibility does society have to preserve the dignity of its members? What kinds of circumstances can lead to a loss of faith? How does an individual find a place in the world?

To learn more about the book:

Interview with the author

Vanity Fair Book Review


The Namesake Book Image


The Namesake
by Jhumpa Lahiri
Year Published: 2003 

Is it possible to reconcile or assimilate two cultures without conflict? How does one's name define a person? How is identity formed and maintained? How do traditions inform or change the present?