What did you read/watch over summer break?

We asked members of the Nobles community to tell us what they read, listened to, and watched over the summer and here are some of their favorites.   Science Teacher Mike Hoe: “The Martian! About an astronaut/botanist whose crew thinks he’s dead on Mars, so they abandon him. Turns out, he is ALIVE and has to figure out how to survive until he can try and get into contact with NASA. They’re making a movie about it right now and Matt Damon is the lead actor.” Science Teacher Robert Kern: “The best movie I saw was The Water Diviner with Russell Crowe. Interesting story, well acted. It is about an Australian farmer (who happens to be very good at finding water) whose sons go off to fight in World War I (Turkey); he recounts the tragic, surprising and even uplifting events that follow.” Director of Graduate Affairs Greg Croak ’06: ” ‘Mr. Robot’ was the best show of the summer and possibly the best show of the year (really not fair to compare with “Game of Thrones,” but that is the only competitor). A computer hacker battling mental health and drug issues hatches a plan to take down an evil corporation (aptly named EvilCorp), while wrestling inner demons and sorting out what is real and what is imagined. The show is technically set in the present, but its uncanny ability to predict what will happen in the current news cycle sets the show in what I would call the ever-present. This show is happening NOW.  Highly recommended to fans of Fight Club, The Matrix and the ’90s (Mr. Robot is played by Christian Slater).” English Teacher Alden Mauck: Dead Wake by Erik Larson: His latest readable history and very accessible and interesting; he humanizes both Captains — the Lusitania and the U-boat that sinks her. Winston Churchill is less of a hero than you might imagine, and Woodrow Wilson falls in love. Lots of time on the deck of the doomed liner and below the water in U-20. Perhaps not as good as Devil in the White City or In the Garden of Beasts but still really good.” Social Studies Teacher Don Allard: The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown. One of the highlights of the summer. If you love history, culture or the sport of rowing you will love this piece of non-fiction. Head of School Robert P. Henderson ’76: Dead Wake by Erik Larson. The latest work of ‘novelistic’ history by this author, it chronicles the final journey of the great ocean liner Lusitania to its sinking by a German u-boat. Like all of Larson’s books, it is a page-turner that provides a fascinating view of the times and central personalities.” “Waterloo: The History of Four Days, Three Armies and Three Battles by Bernard Cornwell. This author usually writes historical fiction but a lifelong fascination with the Battle of Waterloo and its central figures (especially Wellington and Napoleon) led him to write this comprehensive account of one of history’s most decisive and fateful military encounters. The stories of incredible sacrifice and extraordinary decision-making made this a riveting read.” Director of Achieve Nora Dowley-Liebowitz: “I just finished ‘Show Me a Hero’ on HBO. It is a six-part miniseries that dramatizes the housing desegregation efforts in Yonkers, NY in the 1980’s and 1990’s. It was written by David Simon, the man behind ‘The Wire.’ The character development is intimate and extraordinary, the soundtrack hilariously excellent (all Bruce Springsteen all the time), and the stories Simon tells are compelling, complicated and ripe for debate. The star of the show, Oscar Isaac, plays the mayor of Yonkers who is deeply flawed, yet you pull for him from beginning to end. I don’t want to spoil any of it— watch it. You won’t regret spending 6.5 hours of your fall with ‘Show Me a Hero’— some of the most thought-provoking and important TV I’ve seen in a long time. “ Emily Orscheln ’20: “This summer, in addition to all the summer reading books, I read many other books, including a book called Carpe Diem. It was about an overachieving girl who travels all around southeast Asia with her grandmother who she hardly knows. All throughout the book she is trying to figure out a family secret and at the end she does, and boy, does it affect her life! I really enjoyed it and think that many other people would too!” “I also started a podcast called Serial that is super interesting! Throughout the whole podcast they are re-investigating a murder that happened over 15 years ago. The way the narrator tells it is so interesting and will intrigue many if not all people. From the first minute of it I was hooked! I haven’t finished it quite yet, but I definitely will!” Breene Halaby ’19: “‘Sense8:’ a Netflix original show about eight people all around the world who are completely unrelated except for a telepathy-like connection. I love the diversity of the characters and how unique they are.” English Teacher Julia Russell: My Brilliant Friend, the first book in a trilogy by Elena Ferrante, is a rich, intense, and generous-hearted story about two friends, Elena and Lila.  Ferrante’s inimitable style lends itself perfectly to a meticulous portrait of these two women that is also the story of a nation and a touching meditation on the nature of friendship. Set in a very tough neighborhood of Naples in the 1950’s. The writing is unbelievably good. “ Director of Academic Services Gia Batty: “I read The Primates of New York by Wednesday Martin which was both fascinating and revolting. Martin observed how the mothers of New York City’s Upper East Side live in their natural habitat.  She used her skills as a trained anthropologist to carefully examine how they care for their young, communicate, hunt and gather…among other things. It’s a quick read, a bit salacious and a lot sensational.” “I finished Swamplandia! by Karen Russell, which I loved and which has lived on my list of ‘Books I Want to Read’ for a really long time. Teenager Ava Bigtree journeys into the swamps of the Everglades to find her sister and in the process learns much about her family, herself and the big scary world she lives in.” “I listened to The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides, the story of the Lisbon sisters and their mysterious existence as told through the eyes of the boys who worshipped them.  It’s beautifully written, very poignant, and super dark. I loved it.” Nick Samel ’16: The Chosen, by Chaim Potok. Set in a Jewish section of Brooklyn during World War II, this masterpiece of a novel features the two 14-year-old sons of Jewish rabbis who are of different sects. Reuven Malter is a Modern Orthodox yeshiva student, while Danny Saunders is a boy-genius and Hasidic Jew. As told by Reuven, the two meet when Danny hits him in the eye with a baseball during an intense game between their two schools. The two become best friends, but Danny’s father is extremely controlling about Danny having friends who are not Hasidic. The book follows their challenging friendship all the way from middle school to university, during which they live through events affecting the Jewish community such as the Holocaust and the birth of Israel. This book taught me volumes about Judaism, and the character development is phenomenal.” Jennifer Do-Dai ’21: “I read The Maze Runner by James Dashner where a boy named Thomas wakes up in a box with no memory of who he was. He learns that he is in a place called the Glade. A boy gets sent in once a month to help them survive and figure out how to get out.  The boys believe that going through the Maze is the only way out and have been running around and mapping that area to get out. I liked this book because it was filled with action and once I started reading it I couldn’t stop because I wanted to know what happened next.” Casey Goldstein ’19: “I read The Circle by Dave Eggers this summer and I absolutely loved it! Highly recommend it as a great summer reading book!” Diversity Initiatives Teaching Fellow Paulina Jones-Torregrosa: “This summer, I read Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward. I highly recommend it! I tore through it in three days. Salvage the Bones is told through the eyes of Esch, a 15-year-old girl living the rural South in the days before Hurricane Katrina strikes. She has just realized that she’s pregnant, and she has to guard her secret from her brothers and father as they prepare (or do not prepare) for the storm. Salvage the Bones is poignant, unsparing and perfect for young adult and adult readers alike.” Head of Upper School Michael Denning: Crossing to Safety, Wallace Stegner. This is an amazing novel about friendship and relationships. I first read it 25 years ago, and it was great then. However, after being happily married for nearly two decades, the book’s wisdom has added meaning.” “Eichmann in Jerusalem, Hannah Arendt. Having had the chance to visit Jerusalem this summer, I felt compelled to reread Arendt’s eloquent but difficult commentary on justice, evil and trying to make sense of one of history’s most horrific regimes and periods.” “The Burning Tigris, Peter Balakian. An immensely moving chronicle of the genocide carried out against the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire 100 years ago this year.” ‘Alex’s Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and a Journey of Remembrance, Martin Goldsmith. Part history, part memoir, Goldsmith traces the terrible journey of the grandfather and uncle he never knew, as they try to escape Nazi Germany on the St. Louis, the ship of Jewish refugees that was not allowed to dock in Cuba, the United States of Canada. This book is as heartbreaking as it is beautiful.” “The Devils’ Alliance: Hitler’s Pact With Stalin, 1939-1941, Roger Moorhouse. Recommended to me by Mr. Henderson, this is a highly readable account of the infamous Nazi-Soviet Anti-Aggression Pact—often called the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact—whereby Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union divided much of Eastern Europe. Because of Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet Union in June of 1941, this catalyst of World War II is often forgotten. Moorhouse brings these terrible days alive.” “Between the World and Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates. Perhaps Toni Morrison says it best when she suggests that this book is ‘required reading.’ As an independent-school teacher and father of a teenage boy, I am grateful to Coates for challenging me with his powerful and troubling commentary on our country.” Math Teacher Eric Nguyen: Becoming Odyssa, Jennifer Pharr Davis “Whether or not you enjoyed A Walk in the Woods, join Jennifer Pharr Davis as she recounts the story of her first successful and complete AT-thru hike. Through beautiful and lyrical writing, she shares her observations and experiences of the trail, challenges she faced, and the many people whom she encountered on her journey. In 2011, she went on to set and hold the speed record for an AT thru-hike when she completed it in 46 days, 11 hours, 20 minutes; this record stood for four years until it was finally broken this summer.” Skeleton Crew: How Amateur Sleuths Are Solving America’s Coldest Cases, Deborah Halber “Ever wonder how you can put an Internet connection, persistence, and an uncanny knack for details can help serve the public good? Read about ordinary citizens (okay, maybe not-so-ordinary citizens) who are changing the way that police forces around the country and around the world are solving hardest cold cases.” Science Teacher David Strasburger: “I read and was TOTALLY ENGROSSED by the middle two volumes of Elena Ferrante’s “Neapolitan novels:” The Story of a New Name and Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. Beginning from girlhood, the series describes the friendship between two women and the complex web of relationships that tie them to the the poverty-stricken neighborhood in Naples where they were born. The writing is elegant, brisk sometimes to the point of brusque. The long arc of the books encompasses family drama, the intersection of literary and academic life with Italian national politics, and the ever-present but rarely named camorra (mafia). I found the narrator’s bluntness and utter lack of sentimentality in describing her closest relationships to be brutal and completely refreshing. (The English translation of book four was just released this month.) Librarian Emily Tragert, of the Western Maryland Tragerts: “I loved The Martian by Andy Weir–a nerdy thrill ride about an astronaut on one of the first Mars missions who gets stranded on Mars and his struggle to survive.” “I also enjoyed Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari. Ansari is a comedian who teamed up with a sociologist from NYU to research how people meet, date and fall in love. This book is really funny but also fascinating–the perfect combination!” Pennsylvania Born Railroad Baron and Library Director Erin Twohig: “My favorite books this summer included a fabulous recommendation from Judith Merritt about a woman with a heartbreaking childhood who finds healing in the kitchen in Life from Scratch: A Memoir of Food, Family, and Forgiveness by Sasha Martin. I also enjoyed a story about a family with a painful past that travels in time from India to present day New Mexico and includes a little mysticism. The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob was a delight. My favorite audio book, while walking my dog, was Kitchens of the Great Midwest by Ryan Stradal. I LOVED this sweet story that weaves several different characters together while incorporating Midwest cuisine into the mix.” Sabra (look it up) and Librarian Talya Sokoll: “I read 47 books this summer.

More new stuff!!

We have more new books and audiobooks in the library! Stop by and take one (or five)! New Fiction! wind tiny little               Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams Wind/Pinball by Haruki Murakami A Manual for Cleaning Women by Lucia Berlin The Truth According to Us by Annie Barrows When We Were Animals by Joshua A. Gaylord   New Young Adult Fiction! paperweight porcupine               Paperweight by Meg Haston The Porcupine of Truth by Bill Konigsberg   New Nonfiction! gumption beyond uni               In Defense of a Liberal Education by Fareed Zakaria The Millionaire and the Bard: Henry Folger’s Obsessive Hunt for Shakespeare’s First Folio by Andrea Mays Gumption: Relighting the Torch of Freedom with America’s Gutsiest Troublemakers by Nick Offerman Beyond the University: Why Liberal Education Matters by Michael S.  Roth Brain on Fire: My Month of Madness by Susannah Calahan The Goddess Pose: The Audacious Life of Indra Devi,  the Woman Who Helped Bring Yoga to the West by Michelle Goldberg   New Audiobooks! luckiest weird               Astonish Me by Maggie Shipstead Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Happiness is an Inside Job by Sylvia Boorstein Kitchens of the Great Midwest by Ryan J.  Stradal Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll Make it Stick: The Science of Successful Learning by Peter C.  Brown Modern Romance:An Investigation by Aziz Ansari Savage Continent: Europe in the Aftermath of World War II by Keith Lowe A Thousand Names for Joy by Byron Katie Trust No One by Paul Cleave When We Were Animals by Joshua A.

Best of 2015 – These are a few of our favorite things!

We asked and you responded! Here are your favorite things from 2015:

Library collage Mikki Janower ’16:

Bookstores: The Last Bookstore, in Los Angeles. They have a LITERAL labyrinth made of books, an impressive rare books collection, an art gallery and an enormous vinyl selection. I could literally get lost in it, and I usually do. James Welch ’17: The whole Justin Bieber Album “Purpose” is the best album of the year/my favorite. I enjoy all of the songs not for for any specific reason, but they are all very good. English Teacher Vicky Seelen: I read eight or nine novels by Julie Macomber that center around a knitting store in Seattle. One of my “guilty pleasures.” Great characters, great store as background and a bakery appears as well so there are luscious details of croissants and coffee shared among friends. My Life on the Road, Gloria Steinem: her memoir about her life as an activist and the meaning that she finds through traveling. She says that she did not have “a home” until she was in her 50s and still, at 81, travels the world. The Life of Riley: an inspiring documentary about B.B.  King’s life and that path that led him to perform and become the genius that he was. The Wrecking Crew: a documentary on the sessions players of the ’60s and ’70s who played with/for all the great recording artists of that time. Muscle Shoals: a documentary about a place and recording studio in rural Alabama that attracted and recorded many of the great such as Aretha Franklin, the Rolling Stones, etc.” Japanese Teacher Aya Anderson: My sons and I enjoyed the Pixar movie Inside Out this summer. The boys had good laughs throughout, but it was a great story for adults, too–it cleverly taps into our curiosity for science and resonates with our experiences in parenthood. Director of Academic Support Gia Batty: I loved The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lapore. The audiobook was wonderful because Jill Lapore narrated it, and you could hear the passion and enthusiasm in her voice as she shared the amazing story of this superhero. It was so surprising to find out how the history of Wonder Woman follows the history of women’s rights in America. I loved it. Purity, Jonathan Franzen’s latest novel, was definitely a journey. First, it’s a 25-hour audiobook… so it took a while to finish it. Second, the book is this wonderful map of plots and subplots and sub-subplots that, of course, get tied up in this incredible way. The story never got too convoluted, but always was so interconnected and layered, and I loved that about it. Third, the book took me from East Germany to Bolivia to Oakland to Denver to my favorite setting of the small cabin in the woods of Felton, California.  Franzen is so good at establishing place and I found myself fully immersed in each of his many settings. While this wasn’t my favorite Franzen novel, I really liked it and was sad for it to end. Fun fact: the main character, Purity Tyler, goes by the nickname of Pip–just one of the many nods Franzen makes to Charles Dickens. Performing Arts Department Chair Dan Halperin: The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson…a very enjoyable work of genius! Your Father’s Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? by Dave Eggers…a quick, easy read that’s actually a play pretending to be a novel! How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz…a smart, fun mystery! The New Yorker magazine…a weekly chance to learn about what’s happening in the city and around the world in politics, science, art, culture, and more! Alex Halaby ’21 Hamilton. History Teacher E.B Bartels: I read so many things that I loved in 2015, it’s hard to choose. I spent the year trying to read only books by women, and I read a lot of really fantastic things. (If you’d like to see a complete list of everything I’ve read so far, check out my blog: ebbartels.wordpress.com.) Of everything I read in 2015, here are the ones that I adored that were also all published in 2015 or 2014: Negroland: A Memoir by Margo Jefferson The Big Green Tent by Lyudmila Ulitskaya The Argonauts by Maggie Nelson Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine We Should All Be Feminists by Chimanda Ngozi Adichie Hammer Head: The Making of a Carpenter by Nina MacLaughlin (Nobles ’97!) The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay Associate Director of Academic Support Sara Masucci: I am enjoying “The Man in the High Castle.” It’s an Amazon series set in post-WWII America…except the Nazis and Japanese won the war.  The story focuses on an underground American resistance movement and these mysterious films (I don’t know what role they play yet) connected to the man in the high castle.” Victoria Casado ’17: I really enjoyed the movie, The Age of Adaline. It took me on an emotional roller coster, where I loved every second of it! The producers and cinematographers did an amazing job taking us through multiple decades in less then two hours! AMAZING!” The Game by Terry Schott was an interesting sci-fi/fantasy book that I recently finished. I don’t like science fiction, or fantasy, but this book had an incredible story line that really drew me in. The game within the book is very intricate, and detailed. Great read that I would recommend to anyone looking for something different. Looking for Alaska by John Green. The story of Miles and Culver Creek really intrigued me, and I was able to feel all of the emotions that the characters went through including an important event leading to the rest of the book. Jennifer Do-Dai ’21 I enjoyed Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan because it was suspenseful and interesting. Classics Teacher Meghan Glenn: I have been loving The Happiness Journal.  It is based on the book (which I loved), but the act of writing something good down (especially now during this tragic time) can be helpful. Classics Teacher Mark Harrington: Movie: DVD – Rocket Science (2007): A stuttering boy joins a high school debate team. I was fascinated by the fast-talking debaters, and was thoroughly amused throughout. Painful and fun at the same time. Theater: Unbroken. Actually, I saw it on DVD, but it’s basically as new a movie as I routinely see. A student recommendation; some didn’t like it, but I thought it was great. TV: Tough call. I binged on “Being Erica,” a Canadian show where the protagonist goes back in time to take care of past poor judgments. The family, though, enjoyed “Mother Funders” this summer; our guilty pleasure lasted eight episodes, following the conflicts of the members of a PTO in a small town in Georgia. Book: The Martian by Andy Weir was the “mainstream” book I enjoyed the most. In lesser-known books, I found Back Channel by Steven L. Carter interesting, because it dealt fictionally with the Cuban Missle Crisis. I was really young when this event happened, and so it filled in a lot of holes for me. Fiction, though…probably shouldn’t take it too seriously. Assistant to the Dean of Enrollment Management Milena Pirint: Book: I loved The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. If you’re looking for a thriller this is it! I could not put this book down and I loved the surprise ending too! TV Show: “Once Upon A Time” is a great TV series that incorporates all the classic fairy tale characters such as Snow White, Prince Charming, Rumpelstiltskin, The Evil Queen and many many more. Very family friendly. Each week we can’t wait to see who will show up next in Storybrook, Maine!

Information Services and Systems Librarian Talya “Crisp Apple Strudel” Sokoll: In my yearly attempt (at which I will most definitely fail) to read 200 books, I read a bunch of amazing things.  My favorites were: 1. The Marvels by Brian Selznick – an amazing tale, told partly through illustrations, of a boy in London finding his true home. 2. You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day. Day’s memoir of her love of nerd culture, as well as her struggles with mental health was a brilliant, funny and empowering tale. 3. X: a Novel by Ilyasah Shabazz. Written by his daughter, X is based on the true life story of Malcolm X before he became the Civil Rights Activist. Very powerful and engaging and it takes place partly in Boston!

Collection Development and Technical Services Librarian Emily “Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with String” Tragert Some of my favorite books this year were: The Family: Three Journeys into Heart of the Twentieth Century by David Laskin–the phenomenal and heartbreaking true story of the author’s family throughout the twentieth century. Saga by Brian K. Vaughn and Fiona Staples–this gorgeously-illustrated comic book tells the story of a family on the run during an intergalactic war.

New books and more in the library!

Welcome back! We are so excited to begin this new school year and we are happy to announce that we have many new books,  DVDs and other materials in the library,  ready to be checked out! Here is a preview of some of the new items and we will continue to post updates as we add more.  Be sure to come by and check them out! New Fiction! watchman fortune smiles               The Beautiful American by Jeanne Mackin Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J.  Ryan Stradal The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing by Mira Jacob Fortune Smiles: Stories by Adam Johnson Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee   New Young Adult Fiction! egg spoon darkest               A Million Miles Away by Lara Avery Egg & Spoon by Gregory Maguire The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black   New Nonfiction! between stir               Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles by Bert Ashe Words and Walls: Social Commentary Through Graffiti in Israel and the West Bank by Adam G.

What did you read/watch over Spring Break?

Library Director Erin Twohig: Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng begins eerily with the following, “Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet…” From that point I was hooked! This is a gripping novel about love, loss, belonging, and how life unravels for a Chinese-American family in small-town Ohio.”   Assistant Controller Rachel Weinstock: “I finally read The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. While I loved the character development and details of the antiques business, I wish it was edited with a heavy hand. Still a great read!” Registrar Judith Merritt: “I watched the movie Tracks…the true story of a woman’s journey, walking across the desert of Australia with her beloved dog and camels. Her tenacity is amazing, facing the elements and dangers of the journey. The interesting characters she encounters along the way, the relentless and beautiful landscape, and the dangers ever lurking provide a great backdrop for her story. Similar to the movie Wild, it is wonderful to see the portrayal of such a willful, strong woman. Highly recommend it.” Head of School Robert Henderson Jr. ’76: “A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain, by Marc Morris. This biography of Edward I, the remarkable medieval king of England, reads like a real life Game of Thrones.” “Killers of the King: The Men Who Dared to Execute Charles I, by Charles Spencer. The author is the brother of the late Princess Diana and a descendent of England’s Charles I. This is the riveting story of the ultimate fate of the Puritan rebels who tried and executed Charles I after the English Civil War of the 1640’s.” “Watching You, by Michael Robotham. Robotham, an Australian, is my favorite mystery writer. His “detective” is a psychologist, named Joe O’Loughlin, living in England, who specializes in criminal behavior.  This is a series (there are seven now) that is tightly written and thrilling.” Mariama-Alexis Camara ’17: “The 100” (on Netflix and cable TV) “This is a great show filled with romance, action, and adventure that’s set 97 years in the future about teenagers who were sent from their spaceship home back to Earth to see if it was viable after the nuclear apocalypse.” “Pretty Little Liars” (on Netflix and cable TV) “This show is full of mystery and teen romance, and there’s a curveball at every turn.” The Elite by Kierra Cass “This is a great book about competition, romance, and choosing between what’s easy and what’s right.” English Teacher Chris Burr: “Saw The Imitation Game on a plane and thought it was the best movie I’ve seen since American Sniper.” English Teacher Julia Russell: All the Light You Cannot See by Anthony Doer was wonderful company in Cambodia and Vietnam.”   Librarian Talya Sokoll: Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver was a twisted, surprising, highly enjoyable novel about two sisters trying to rebuild their relationship. The shocking twists just kept coming and the ending was spectacular and unexpected.”   Sarah Toubman ‘ 15: “I finished watching the show “Alias” over break. It’s a highly intriguing crime procedural, but also examines family relationships in a new context, and incorporates some elements of science fiction.” Director of Academic Support Gia Batty: “Bloodline” (on Netflix) “I’m almost halfway through this new series starring Kevin Chandler (Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights!), Sam Shepard and Sissy Spacek. It’s a family drama/thriller set in the Florida Keys. The black sheep son of the Rayburn family returns home and all hell breaks loose. It’s great.” Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie “I’ve been meaning to read this since it came out last year. Adichie’s novel follows Ifemelu, a young Nigerian woman who leaves her country to study in America. Adichie weaves stories of Ifemelu’s struggles to understand and adapt to American culture, her relationships with various men, and of writing for her blog (entitled “Raceteenth or Various Observations About American Blacks (Those Formerly Known as Negroes) by a Non-American Black).  It’s smart, funny, and genuine, and her perspective on race and racism in America gave me so much to think about.” We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates “This has been on my “book bucket list” for almost 10 years and it was totally worth the time it took to read it.  It’s long (450 pages/ 24 hours listening time).  A typical Oates family drama set in a small town in upstate New York, the Mulvaneys had it all and then lose it all and then piece it back together. The writing is beautiful, the setting is dreamy, and the characters are memorable.  I loved her description of the old farmhouse at High Point Farm with it’s old pine floors, the pile of wood for the stove, Mrs Mulvaney’s collection of antiques in the barn. I loved it.” Science Teacher David Strasburger: The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton “So amusing, so painful, and so beautifully written — kind of a “Bonfire of the Vanities” for the gilded age.” Annika Harrington ’18: “I read Champion by Marie Lu, the third book in the Legend trilogy. Often times the last book is really disappointing and has a terrible ending to a great series, but Champion summed the Legend trilogy up really nicely. The book was action packed with a hint of romance that kept it interesting without making it too mushy. The characters had emotions and weaknesses along with their strengths, and the ending was both tragic and satisfying. I enjoyed every page.” Math Teacher Nick Nickerson: “The two best books I read over spring break were– Still Alice by Lisa Genova – beautifully written account of early onset Alzheimer’s disease; the main character’s speech near the end of the book should be read by anyone who has an aging parent Looking for Alaska by John Green – another poignant, funny/sad look into teen life at a boarding school. Full of large eternal truths, yet treats life’s smaller moments with honesty.” Science Teacher Chris Averill: “The Fires Seekers by Richard Farr – It is a great read similar to The DaVinci Code but with some elements of science fiction thrown in.” Max Keating ’17: “I reread American Sniper, the autobiography of one of the greatest heroes and Navy SEALs of all time-Chris Kyle. I thoroughly enjoyed Kyle’s feelings and account on the events he witnessed first hand in Iraq, his true patriotism and love for the greatest country in the world, which we are so lucky to live in, and his obvious dedication to freedom.” Classics Teacher Mark Harrington: “‘Bomb Girls’, the series — currently on Netflix – 18 episodes, plus a 90 min. final episode to close it out. Women in Canada, World War 2, who are working in the bomb factory while the men are overseas.” Bookstore Manager Amy McHugh: Big Little Lies by Liane Moray “This book was based on how three women who are brought together through events at an elementary school with their children. It demonstrates not only dealing with issues in the school (bullying and even parent bullying) but also how these three moms come together for one another. Their home lives are completely different but the bond of motherhood guides them through crazy twists and turns!” I also just read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.It’s amazing how people’s lives intercept and how everyone is truly connected. Suspense and many questions and scenarios leave you thinking. Honestly I did not see the end of this book coming. I’m still not t sure who what and why, but it was a page turner. Mystery/fiction/ and abuse all occur in the book. I recommend it!!” Medhanit Felleke ’17 “This past break I read The Fifth Wave by Rick Yancey. It’s about the apocalypse after aliens came and are currently eradicating the human race, but they’re sort of taking their time with it. There’s a lot of survivor ideology and the psychology of feeling alone, it’s all really cool. A movie is coming out soon, so that should be incentive enough to pick it up, it’s much better than I just described. I also started watching “Scandal,” after the repeated recommendations from a friend, and I’m so glad I started it. Shonda Rhimes is a genius and the show is so good. True to the name, there are scandals at every corner, but that’s what makes it so good! Something is always going on. I strongly recommend it, the first 3 seasons are on Netflix.” Librarian Emily Tragert “This break I read all 4 volumes of Saga, an amazing graphic novel series about two soldiers from opposite sides of an intergalactic war who fall in love and have a daughter. The comic follows their family’s life on the run from the powers that be, along with the stories of kings and queens, bounty hunters, orphans, ghosts and many others who get swept up in their lives. It’s an engrossing story about family, war and love that would appeal to fans of Star Wars, Game of Thrones and classic comic books.

What did you read/watch over winter break?

Spanish Teacher Anderson Julio: “I (re)read The Stranger by Camus.  I am starting to understand what existentialism is even though it has ruled my life forever.” Director of Athletics Alex Gallagher: TV shows: “The Killing,” “Luther” (BBC), “Newsroom” Movies: The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies, Annie = LOVED IT! (so did my younger daughter), Chef Books: One Summer, America 1927 by Bill Bryson, Six Months to Live by Artie Boyle P’ 12 P’ 15 English Teacher Sandi MacQuinn: “I read The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell. There are only a few authors whose language choices are so singular and delicious one stops to reread sentences even as the plot longs to be run to ground. I stopped family members and forced them to listen to whole paragraphs.” English Teacher Adam Cluff: “I read Every Day is for the Thief, by Teju Cole. Elegantly written novel from the point of view of a Nigerian-American man who returns to Lagos for a month to visit family after living for fifteen years in New York City. Teju Cole is a writer to follow.” Director of Academic Support Gia Batty: “I finally read Atonement by Ian McEwan. It’s so beautifully written, especially Part I which focuses on life at the country estate of the Tallis family with all the drama and detail of a Jane Austen novel and ‘Downton Abbey,’ but rendered with such incredible imagery and emotion.  I read for hours at a time, wanting to find out the fates of each of the characters and being completely satisfied with the end result. Looking forward to watching the movie, too.” History Teacher Don Allard: The Innovators by Walter Isaacson; ” interesting for both historians and techies.” Art Teacher Lisa Jacobson: The Chef— pleasant fun movie about a chef.  No violence in this one! The Italian Trip— 2 funny actors take a road trip in Italy. Beautiful scenery and even better food photography. Funny. Very un-Hollywood. Math Teacher Bill Kehlenbeck: The Grapes of Math by Alex Bellos is a very readable collection of chapters devoted to a wide range of interesting math topics.  Bellos had previously written the delightful Here’s Looking at Euclid!” Sarah Toubman ’15: “Over break, I read Never Fade, the second book in the Darkest Minds series by Alexandra Bracken. It is definitely a great new teen fantasy series, and I would recommend for fans of the Hunger Games.” Head of School Robert P.  Henderson Jr. ’76: The Marquis – Lafayette Reconsidered, by Laura Auricchio. This book explores the question as to why the Marquis de Lafayette, who played important and central roles in both the American and French Revolutions, is beloved and respected in this country but is neither in the country of his birth. The author has keen insights into Lafayette as an individual and in regard to the historical characters of both France and the United States. “World Order, by Henry Kissinger. This is a remarkably clear and accessible extended essay on the nature of how the world came to be organized geopolitically in the manner that it is. The author shares his cogent analysis of the challenges the world faces and what paths are possible in this age of profound division and conflict between differing visions of the future of civilization.” English Teacher Alden Mauck: “Over the winter break I started reading River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. It is the true story of TR’s attempt to recover after a failed attempt to recapture the Presidency. With his son Kermit, and others, he travels to Brazil and the Amazon River basin to explore the River of Doubt… very Heart of Darkness… huge caimans, disease, coral snakes, hostile tribes, and piranhas! A little overwrought at times but interesting historical account of Roosevelt’s need to stay busy at all costs.” Assistant Controller Rachel Weinstock: “I read The Round House by Louise Erdrich – one of the best books I’ve read in a long time! The mixture of tragedy, comedy and spirituality of life on the Objibwe reservation makes for a compelling read.” Dean of Enrollment Management Jen Hines: “I really enjoyed Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. It starts with the line, “Lydia is dead but they don’t know this yet.” I was hooked from then on. Also, “Broadchurch” is AMAZING! I love that the Brits can tell such a compelling story in just 8 episodes.” Business Office Associate Mary Wallace: “I just finished reading Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline. It is a beautifully written story about a time in history that is not often discussed. From 1854-1929 orphan trains traveled from the East Coast to the Midwest, carrying thousands of orphaned and abandoned children to new homes. Vivian, a 9 year old Irish immigrant, was on one of those trains. The story blends the past and the present bringing together the now 91-year-old Vivian and 17-year-old Molly, unlikely friends, who discover that they have a great deal in common. Orphan Train is a wonderful, engaging story that I couldn’t put down!” Archivist Isa Schaff: “I caught up on all of ‘Doctor Who’s’ new series, culminating with the Christmas Special. Yes! Dr. #12: I like him!!! Of course, I read, but I mainly read “comfort books”: old mysteries that I can read over and over (somehow, I manage to “erase” the solution from my mind… and anyway that has become a minor part of what I enjoy), so a lot of Anne Perry, P.D. James, Josephine Tey, Agatha Christie…” Librarian Talya Sokoll: “This break I saw a LOT of movies. Into the Woods (loved loved loved it), Annie (super fun modern update), Unbroken, The Imitation Game, Top Five and Wild. I also listened to a number of awesome audiobooks on my long drive: Winter’s Bone (thanks to Mr.