Do you ever wonder what people who work in a library like to read? Well, it turns out our reading tastes here at Duke University Libraries are extremely varied! For the months of June and July our Collection Spotlight is going to feature picks from our library staff. You should come by the display near the Perkins Service Desk on the first floor of the library to see what they picked. Here is just a sampling:
Valerie Gillispie from University Archives recommended Kitchens of the Great Midwest. She said: “This is a story of Eva Thorvald, a girl raised in the upper Midwest, who loves food. As a child, she grows hot peppers in her bedroom closet, and grows up to become an extraordinary chef. This novel made me hungry, and nostalgic for Minnesota.”
Janil Miller from our Marine Lab Library picked Whale by Joe Roman, describing it as a “delightfully informative read on Earth’s largest mammal. Through historical illustrations & text, the reader travels from the beast of Biblical fame to today’s wondrous creatures and the many challenges experienced at the human/sea interface.”
Kris Troost from International and Area Studies suggested The Translation of Love, saying that it was a “fascinating depiction of immediate postwar Japan and the struggles faced by repatriated Japanese Canadians who were given few choices after being interned and Japanese Americans serving in the Occupation. Written by a Japanese-Canadian librarian.”
Benov Tzvetan from Access and Delivery Services recommended the classic One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich. Here is why he thinks you should read this book: “Ever felt that life is too hard & unfair? Been upset that store X has run out of your favorite brand of Y? Complained that there aren’t enough Z locally? This page-turner might offer you a different perspective on life…but you have to read it first.”
Kim Duckett from Research and Instructional Services submitted the graphic memoir Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant? by Roz Chast. Here’s Kim’s description: “Chast’s parents are REALLY old. In this engaging book she explores what it’s like to help your parents as they age, but also tells the story of a long marriage and the intricacies of family dynamics. It’s touching, sad, and darkly humorous.”
Bridgette Chandhoke from the Communications office in the library offered a perhaps less well-known work from the famous John Steinbeck. She recommends Travels with Charley: In Search of America, saying: “In this genuine and intimate reflection, John Steinbeck details his cross-country road trip with his dog, Charley, to rediscover the beauty and truths of 1960s America. Through autumn soaked trees and dusty deserts, you’ll be right there with them!”
Our staff picked so many great books that it was hard to choose just a couple to highlight, so I do hope you’ll come see the rest soon. Thanks to everyone recommended a title!