What's On Your Summer Reading List?

Have you run out of ideas of books to read this summer? As first seen in Vision, CJ faculty and staff shared their ideas for your summer reading list. They each answered three questions:

1. What are you reading now?
2. Why would you encourage others to read it?
3. What is your favorite book of all time?

Read below for their answers:

Jama Badinghaus, School Counselor/City Connects Coordinator 

1. Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
2. The book is an extraordinary challenge to our individual and collective wrestling with racial divide in our country through the lens of seemingly ordinary characters.
3. Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. Celebrating the varied paths of becoming a woman, embracing both strengths and flaws as well as enduring societal expectations, never goes out of style.

Jim Brooks, Head Tennis Coach 

1. Fiction: Gilead, Housekeeping, Home and Lila by Marilynne Robinson; The Good Lord Bird, Five Karat Soul by James McBride. Spirituality: The Holy Longing, Sacred Fire by Ronald Rolheiser. NonFiction: Thank You for Being Late by Thomas Friedman. Poetry: “Collected and Last Poems” by Wislawa Szymborska.

Katlyn DeLong '98, English Teacher 

1. Usually I am reading four or five books at any given time, which includes reread books along with my students: John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men; Markus Zuskak’s The Book Thief; and Dai Sijie’s Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress. For leisure, I am reading Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
2. I am reading The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time because I am always on the lookout for young adult literature to teach my freshmen. I am fascinated with the perspective and the honesty of the narrator, a young autistic man.
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love the complexity of the characters and the nuance of the language. I could read it every year and never tire of it.

Dan Eiser,  English Teacher and Cross Country Coach 

1. The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo that dealt with growing up in Harlem for a young Afro-Latina and all the hurdles she has to jump to pursue her interests. I also just started a book called Crux: A Cross Border Memoir by Jean Guerrero.
2. I enjoy these because growing up in a MexicanAmerican household, I wanted to read books that reflected my family but often never had the chance as a lot of literature from Latino/a authors wasn’t easily available in those days. Now, I can read about kids who grow up in similar ways to me and my family.
3. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. The main character, Jake, just has so many things happen in his life that I can relate to especially the ending lines; story of my life.

Fr. Bob Jones, SM, Math Teacher and School Chaplain 

1. Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life by Fr. James Martin, SJ
2. By looking at scripture, the lives of the saints, and everyday life, this humorous yet thought provoking light-read reminds us that holiness and joyfulness go hand in hand, and that God desires us to find joy in all of life. And our very own St. Julie is on the cover!
3. Honestly, I don’t have a favorite book, but everyone always assumes I’m going to say The Bible, which is a great answer!

Erin Ketch, English Teacher and Sophomore Student Council Moderator 

1. The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai, and There, There by Tommy Orange.
2. The Great Believers is a fictional story set in the midst of a messy historic moment — the AIDS crisis of the 1980s — and really gives that moment life and humanity.
3. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. It is historical fiction that follows an American missionary family’s journey through Africa over many decades. When I first read it as a teenager, it opened my eyes to how much of the world I didn’t know, and didn’t understand.

Beth Marshall, English Teacher and Mock Trial Moderator 

1. Hide by Lisa Gardner; So you want to talk about race by Ijeoma Oluo; Gratefulness: The Habit of a Grace-Filled Life by Susan Annette Muto; and The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls.
2. So you want to talk about race offers a clear, honest examination of the current racial landscape in America, addressing uncomfortable topics that desperately need to be addressed. I appreciate Oluo’s fearless commentary and story sharing.
3. An Old Fashioned Girl by Louisa May Alcott. It’s my “macaroni and cheese” feel good book from a simpler time, and I love Alcott’s sensible approach to parenting and growing up that comes through in the story.

Dan Meixner ‘84, President 

1. The Color of Law by Richard Rothstein outlines the manner by which policies and laws of local and national government created segregated neighborhoods in cities all over the nation.
2. The Color of Law makes the reader reflect on our past and the challenges to create stronger communities today.
3. The Frontiersmen by Allen W. Eckert, traces the history of settlement of Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Interesting to learn how Ohio cities, towns, rivers, and other landmarks got their names

Jim Sparrow, Social Studies Teacher and Quiz Bowl Moderator 

1. The Judas Window by Carter Dickson
2. It is a classic locked room mystery and I am very partial to those.
3. The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk. It can be read as a war story, or a love story, or a coming of age story

Sister Nicole Trahan, FMI, Ministry and Service Minister 

1. The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky.
2. So many people I respect have mentioned this book as being important to them and their understanding of humanity and God. I do like the book, but it took me several weeks to get to a point that I could enjoy it. This is the longest it’s taken me to read a book - both because of its length (over 1000 pages) and because I keep putting it down for weeks at a time. So, it is not a page turner, by any means. But I do feel it’s worth the time. There is one part in particular in which one of the characters discusses his views on God, love, and human nature. It was very thought-provoking.
3. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison. She is a powerful story-teller and the story was one to which I could relate. It shook me to my core.

Posted July 11, 2019