General Education

Private Prep’s Recs for Labor Day Reading

Private Prep’s Recs for Labor Day Reading
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Noodle Staff February 8, 2019

Private Prep's recommended reading for the last few days of summer.

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Though summer is nearly over, you still have time for one or two more books to keep your mind active before classes begin. The tutors at Private Prep listed some recommendations below.

“The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien: A postmodern, hallucinatory romp through the Vietnam war, Tim O’Brien’s 1990 book is an incredibly unique mix of memoir, short story collection, and novel. Loosely revolving around semi-fictional soldier Tim O’Brien, “The Things They Carried” paints a vivid picture of war from a wide range of viewpoints. With an easy to read style and immensely entertaining stories, the book presents a deceptively complex meditation on the nature of truth and existence. — recommended by Adam Mazer

“Forever” by Pete Hamill: Follow Cormac O’Connor on his journey from Ireland hundreds of years ago to America, where he remains today, immortal as long as he stays within the boundaries of Manhattan. Enjoy not only beautiful writing, but also a unique perspective on New York history from somebody that lived through it all. — recommended by Arielle Chavkin

“The Eyre Affair” by Jasper Fforde: A suspenseful who-dunnit mystery that reminds one of a Harry Potter for young adults! Thursday Next, literary detective, takes readers behind the scenes of some of our literary works and helps to return one of our other favorite heroines back to the classic in which she belongs. The entire series is a riveting collection. — recommended by Caley Bulinski

“The Floating Opera” by John Barth: The work that established Barth as a major post-modern American author, “The Floating Opera” is a hilarious and ribald account of the day that Tod Andrews decides to commit suicide. Recommended for students who like something a little off the beaten path. — recommended by Donny Dietz

“The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak: This is the story of Liesel Meminger, whose little brother dies just before her mother leaves her with foster parents in a little town in Southern Germany. Liesel becomes a “book thief,” stealing her first book at her brother’s funeral. The book is written from the point of view of the Angel of Death and is also the story of Max, a 24-year-old fighter the family hides in their basement. This very powerful and moving novel is intensely captivating with an incredible contrast of brutality and compassion. — recommended by Esther Greer

“All The Pretty Horses” by Cormac McCarthy: A coming of age story, this novel follows sixteen year old John Grady Cole, a cowboy who grew up on his grandfather’s ranch in San Angelo West Texas. When his grandfather dies and the ranch must be sold, John Grady Cole and his best friend Lacey Rawlins ride off to seek their fortunes in the expanse of the west. — recommended by James DelGenio

“Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Tracy Chevalier: Chevalier’s historical fiction explores the story behind Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer famous painting. With little known facts about Vermeer’s life, Chevalier fills in the gaps through the eyes of a 16-year old domestic servant. This beautifully crafted story is particularly interesting for young women. — recommended by Jennifer Cohen

“From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E. L. Konigsburg: A page-turner for younger students (5th grade and above), this book follows the adventure Claudia and Jamie go on when they run away from home and wind up living at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There, they are privy to the introduction of a new statue, and are immediately suspicious of its authenticity. — recommended by Melanie Curtin

“The Annotated Alice” by Lewis Carroll: The Annotated Alice will take readers on an imaginative and historic journey through Carrol’s classic tale, renewing the “Alice” experience for those who grew up with the story and igniting new passions for readers encountering “Alice” for the first time. Alongside the original texts of “Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass” are notes detailing the significance of much of the imagery to Carrol’s own life, as well as to the life of Alice Liddell and her siblings, on whom the characters in the both stories are based. Original illustrations, spelling and grammar enhance the text, as does the handsome presentation. — recommended by Sabrina Mashburn

“The Omnivore’s Dilemma” by Michael Pollan: Chronicling four meals and their path from the ground to the plate, Pollan’s eye-popping examination of where our food comes from will change the way you think about food. The topics range from seamlessly connecting a corn field in Iowa to a chicken McNugget in California, to hunting and curing wild boar. Pollan asks important, complex questions about how Americans eat and answers them in a clear and highly entertaining and engaging manner. — recommended by Sam Kressler

“The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” by Michael Chabon: It’s a 1940s journey in New York City through the lives of two up-and-coming comic book artists. Magic, love, suspense, friendship and masked superheroes are hallmark themes of Michael Chabon’s appropriately titled novel. Fast paced dialogue, thrilling action and vivid prose make Kavalier & Clay a great summer read. — recommended by Scott Levenson

“Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer: The book is based on the true story of the mysterious life-and-death of Christopher Johnson McCandless, a recent graduate from Emory University from a well-to-do family who inexplicably donates his $25,000 of savings to charity, abandons his car and most of his possessions, burns all the cash in his wallet, and hitchhikes his way across the country to Alaska. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild. — recommended by Stefanie Lob

“The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell: Gladwell’s insightful sociological study reveals how small behaviors can have a big impact. As someone who loves numbers and people, the research in this book made me think twice about how we operate Private Prep and how I live my life. — recommended by Steve Feldman

“Middlesex” by Jeffrey Eugenides: An epic and engrossing story spanning 80 years that tracks three generations of a Greek family who emigrates from Smyrna to Detroit. The characters are wonderful, the writing is accessible, and the book seamlessly weaves historical events into the plot in a fascinating manner. I was sad when it ended. — recommended by Zack Gilman


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