The Joy Luck Club book cover

The Joy Luck Club

Amy Tan


Kara's picture

Amy Tan is an amazing writer. I liked The Kitchen God's Wife even better - but this is also a great book. -Kara

Gone with the wind book cover

Gone with the wind

Margaret Mitchell

FICTION Mitchell, Margaret

Kara's picture

The summer after seventh grade I set a goal to read Gone With the Wind before the end of summer. I had never read such a big book before. I loved it. -Kara

Things fall apart book cover

Things fall apart

Chinua Achebe

FICTION Achebe, Chinua

Kara's picture

This book reminds me of my happy undergraduate years with Peter Nazareth at the University of Iowa studying African Literature. -Kara

An American marriage book cover

An American marriage

Tayari Jones

FICTION Jones Tayari

"Newlyweds Celestial and Roy, the living embodiment of the New South, are settling into the routine of their life together when Roy is sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit. An insightful look into the lives of people who are bound and separated by forces beyond their control"--

Maeve's picture

This 2018 Oprah's Book Club selection by UI graduate Tayari Jones is a compelling look at a marriage rocked by the false accusation and the subsequent imprisonment of the husband Roy. This is story about race, the criminal justice system, marriage and family relationships. -Maeve

Circe : a novel book cover

Circe : a novel

Madeline Miller

FICTION Miller Madeline
Fiction, Fantasy

Follows Circe, the banished witch daughter of Helios, as she hones her powers and interacts with famous mythological beings before a conflict with one of the most vengeful Olympians forces her to choose between the worlds of the gods and mortals.

Anne M's picture

Another great read from Madeline Miller, author of "The Song of Achilles." To me this book goes beyond telling a new side to an old story--it really brings Circe, her back story and motivations--to life. If you enjoy Greek mythology or just looking for a great summer read, pick up "Circe." -Anne M

Less : a novel book cover

Less : a novel

Andrew Sean Greer

FICTION Greer Andrew

Jason's picture

Winner in the Fiction category -Jason

What you don't know about Charlie Outlaw book cover

What you don't know about Charlie Outlaw

Leah Stewart

FICTION Stewart Leah

After a series of missteps in the face of his newfound fame, actor Charlie Outlaw flees to a remote island in search of anonymity and a chance to reevaluate his recent breakup with his girlfriend, actress Josie Lamar. But soon after his arrival on the peaceful island, his solitary hike into the jungle takes him into danger he never anticipated.

Meredith's picture

This book successfully weaves together the stories of two actors -- one up-and-coming who is trying to hide from the world after a disastrous Vanity Fair interview and the other, his ex-girlfriend (thanks to said disastrous interview), who is on the downside of fame. He has taken off for the middle of nowhere while she remains in California, booking small roles on TV as she preps for the 20th anniversary of the show that made her famous. Something happens -- I won't ruin it by saying what -- and the story goes back and forth between Charlie and Josie during the same time period. At the same time, we get an idea of what fame is like for those who have it, those who seek it, and those who wish they never got what they wanted. It's a good commentary on our obsession with celebrities. -Meredith

Clock dance : a novel book cover

Clock dance : a novel

Anne Tyler

FICTION/Tyler Anne

Kara's picture

I love Anne Tyler books. There's good character development and a strong sense of place. A great summer read to look forward to! -Kara

All We Ever Wanted. book cover

All We Ever Wanted.

Emily Giffin

FICTION/Giffin Emily

Kara's picture

I really enjoy Emily Giffin. She's a bit chick lit and a bit good story with memorable characters. A good summer read! -Kara

Cottage by the Sea. book cover

Cottage by the Sea.

Debbie Macomber

FICTION/Macomber, Debbie

Kara's picture

I've never read a Debbie Macomber book before, but "Cottage by the Sea" is what I'm dreaming of for summer! -Kara