Without classes prescribing which books to shed this summer, it might be difficult to decide which books to start with.
Here are five recommendations from LSU faculty to get you started on your summer reading.
Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
Recommended by Granger Babcock, Associate Dean of the Honors College
“Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland” begins with the abduction of a female relative by the Irish Republican Army during the Troubles in Northern Ireland. The non-fiction focuses on the micro level, as Babcock put it, on Irish Catholic families in Belfast in the 70s and 80s as they resist British imperialism and the political upheavals of the time.
Reviewers acclaimed the book for being very informative and interesting. It is widely regarded as one of the best books of 2020. Babcock believes the book can significantly deepen the understanding of readers of the time, while genuinely entertaining them, which sets “Say Nothing” apart from many of its contemporaries.
“Kingfish” by Richard White Jr.
Recommended by Chris D’Elia, Dean of the College of Coast and Environment
“Kingfish” was the name given to infamous Louisiana politician Huey P. Long, and in “Kingfish: The Reign of Huey P. Long,” a recollection of Long’s personality and career can enlighten and captivate even those who know him. know very well. .
Written by Richard White Jr., former dean of LSU’s EJ Ourso Business College, Long’s personal and professional career biography provides insight into state politics and even LSU’s history, D’said said. Elia.
An understanding of Long can provide context to modern Louisiana politics and the state’s strengths and weaknesses. Long is a complicated figure in history and White’s biography may provide the context for Long’s ambition to make “Every Man a King”.
“The Prophets” by Robert Jones Jr.
Recommended by Maurice Ruffin, assistant professor of English
For Ruffin, “The Prophets” is about many things: race, gender, homosexuality and American history. The tale is set on an early 19th century plantation in the Deep South and follows two men’s romantic love for each other in a place of institutional hatred.
Ruffin said the book was his favorite of 2021. For him and critics, the book’s lyrical style reflects the poetry of Toni Morrison.
The novel follows many lives and experiences and many perspectives and opinions as Jones explores the pain of legacy and the power of love.
“The Librarian of Memory” by Janelle Monáe et al.
Recommended by Chris Barrett, English teacher
Five distinct Afrofuturist stories written by multiple authors weave together “The Memory Librarian: And Other Stories of Dirty Computer” anthology into one immersive experience.
Acting as a kaleidoscope into a future of possibilities, Barrett said, “The Memory Librarian” explores the escape from those who dictate fate.
Barrett said the book explores what happens to and because of love, in its many gendered and queer forms, when threatened by dystopia. He goes on to say that the book is lyrical, haunting, subversive and elegant, not unlike Monáe’s album, “Dirty Computer”, which the book directly references.
“The Other Side of Suffering” by Katie E. Cherry
Recommended by Katie Cherry, Professor of Psychology
Five years after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and Rita, Cherry, an LSU psychology professor and author of “The Other Side of Suffering: Finding a Path to Peace After Tragedy,” has traveled many miles and hours talking to current and former coastal residents as they discussed the phenomenon of disasters.
Cherry combined the recordings with her notes and found six healing principles (faith, humor, respect, gratitude, acceptance, and silver linings) based on her research.
The memoirs feature themes of the new normal, losing it all, healing and recovery. Cherry’s book serves as a pathway to the findings of her research: survivors can find their way to the other side of suffering after tragedy despite catastrophic loss.