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Brookhaven College employee newsletter: Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Book Recommendations

Book Recommendations

Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Darise Error, faculty, BCSA

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A Sense of the World: How A Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler, by Jason Roberts.
This book was a random pick. I had never heard of James Holman (1786-1857) in all of my studies, but it is really neat to think about a British naval office who was blinded at 25 "seeing" the world and reading about his adventures. It was sitting on top of the library cabinet and I grabbed it. This is a great read for anyone who thinks they cannot do something because of a limitation. Plus it is interesting to read about the world at a different time (at least historians find it interesting!).

The Possibility of Dogs: What a Handful of "Unadoptables" Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing by Susannah Charleson.
I am intrigued about the canine mind because we are "dog" people in our family and have a Doberman who loves being around people more than he loves treats. To that end, I like to try and figure out what makes our dog tick and how to make him a happy dog (which translates into a peaceful and happy home). Charleson has written about her experiences with search and rescue dogs and now addresses the role that dogs play in psychiatric service. The book talks about how important dogs can be in assisting those with PTSD, panic and anxiety, various phobias, emerging readers, and general therapeutic results of training dogs in this service. It is a hopeful book, and also provides food for thought regarding the human-canine bond.

Half the Sky by Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl Wudunn.
Is it possible for a book to change one's life? My answer is yes. The book talks about the oppression of women and girls around the world in modern times and what can be done to change that seemingly insurmountable problem (SPOILER ALERT: Education is the key!). I read this book and sobbed at the injustice, and then was energized with the possibility that one person can slowly change the world. It shows how ignorant the world can be, and how that ignorance can be changed.

Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner.
I realize this is a children's book and I am an adult; however, I have nieces and nephews who need to read fun stuff. I currently possess the all-important title of "Cool Aunt" and have no intention of relinquishing that crown to one of my siblings by suggesting a sub-par book to the young readers in my life. I found this book and flipped through it, cackling out loud in the Barnes & Noble children's section. At one point I laughed so hard I snorted and disrupted the story time at the other end of the section. Upon receiving condescending glares from parents and children alike, I was collectively shamed into the adult portion of the store and continued to read about a little cat who thinks he is a swashbuckling chihuahua. Kids love it and it is not horrid to read to them countless times before bed. There is an entire series for children to adore.

Jennifer Allen, faculty, Social Sciences Division

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In honor of November holding the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, I recommend “Lincoln at Gettysburg: The Words that Remade America” by Gary Wills. This book dissects the brilliance of that address, and references Lincoln’s mastery of words to the historical framework of the time. This is a must-have for any library.

Mary Schoals, graphics assistant, Marketing and Creative Services Department