WOHS LMC Faculty Summer Reading

You know you've been waiting all year!

...and what a year it has been!

June 2020

“One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by.” ~ Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

Big picture

All Adults Here by Emma Straub - F

When Astrid Strick witnesses a school bus accident in the center of town, it jostles loose a repressed memory from her young parenting days decades earlier. Suddenly, Astrid realizes she was not quite the parent she thought she'd been to her three, now-grown children. But to what consequence?
Big picture

The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd - K + F

In her mesmerizing fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd takes an audacious approach to history and brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, with a brilliant mind and a daring spirit. She engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes narratives about neglected and silenced women. Ana is expected to marry an older widower, a prospect that horrifies her. An encounter with eighteen-year-old Jesus changes everything.
Big picture

A Burning by Megha Majumdar - F

Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums, determined to move up in life, who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right-wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely--an irresistible outcast whose exuberant voice and dreams of glory fill the novel with warmth and hope and humor--has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything she holds dear.
Big picture

Deacon King Kong by James McBride - F

The year is 1969. In a housing project in south Brooklyn, a shambling old church deacon called Sportscoat shoots – for no apparent reason – the local drug-dealer who used to be part of the church’s baseball team. The repercussions of that moment draw in the whole community, from Sportscoat’s best friend – Hot Sausage – to the local Italian mobsters, the police (corrupt and otherwise), and the stalwart ladies of the Five Ends Baptist Church.

DEACON KING KONG is a book about a community under threat, about the ways people pull together in an age when the old rules are being rewritten.

Big picture

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano - K + F

One summer morning, twelve-year-old Edward Adler, his beloved older brother, his parents, and 183 other passengers board a flight in Newark headed for Los Angeles. Among them are a Wall Street wunderkind, a young woman coming to terms with an unexpected pregnancy, an injured veteran returning from Afghanistan, a business tycoon, and a free-spirited woman running away from her controlling husband. Halfway across the country, the plane crashes. Edward is the sole survivor.

Edward’s story captures the attention of the nation, but he struggles to find a place in a world without his family. He continues to feel that a part of himself has been left in the sky, forever tied to the plane and all of his fellow passengers. But then he makes an unexpected discovery...
Big picture

The Falcon Thief by Joshua Hammer: A True Tale of Adventure, Treachery, and the Hunt for the Perfect Bird - K + F

On May 3, 2010, an Irish national named Jeffrey Lendrum was apprehended at Britain’s Birmingham International Airport with a suspicious parcel strapped to his stomach. Inside were fourteen rare peregrine falcon eggs snatched from a remote cliffside in Wales.

So begins a tale almost too bizarre to believe, following the parallel lives of a globe-trotting smuggler who spent two decades capturing endangered raptors worth millions of dollars as race champions—and Detective Andy McWilliam of the United Kingdom’s National Wildlife Crime Unit, who’s hell bent on protecting the world’s birds of prey.
Big picture

Frankly in Love by David Yoon - YA - K + F

Frank Li has two names. There's Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California.

Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl--which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white.
Big picture

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel - Author of WOHS fave, Station Eleven! K + F

Vincent is a bartender at the Hotel Caiette, a five-star lodging on the northernmost tip of Vancouver Island. On the night she meets Jonathan Alkaitis, a hooded figure scrawls a message on the lobby's glass wall: "Why don't you swallow broken glass." High above Manhattan, a greater crime is committed: Alkaitis is running an international Ponzi scheme, moving imaginary sums of money through clients' accounts. When the financial empire collapses, it obliterates countless fortunes and devastates lives. Rife with unexpected beauty, The Glass Hotel is a captivating portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences, and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.
Big picture

The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare K + F

Adunni is a fourteen-year-old Nigerian girl who knows what she wants: an education. This, her mother has told her, is the only way to get a “louding voice”—the ability to speak for herself and decide her own future. But instead, Adunni's father sells her to be the third wife of a local man who is eager for her to bear him a son and heir. But while misfortunes might muffle her voice for a time, they cannot mute it.
Big picture

Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick: Stories from the Harlem Renaissance by Zora Neale Hurston - K + F

In 1925, Barnard student Zora Neale Hurston—the sole black student at the college—was living in New York, “desperately striving for a toe-hold on the world.” During this period, she began writing short works that captured the zeitgeist of African American life and transformed her into one of the central figures of the Harlem Renaissance. Hitting a Straight Lick with a Crooked Stick is an outstanding collection of stories about love and migration, gender and class, racism and sexism that proudly reflect African American folk culture.
Big picture

If Beale Street Could Talk by James Baldwin - Watch the movie! K + L

Told through the eyes of Tish, a nineteen-year-old girl, in love with Fonny, a young sculptor who is the father of her child, Baldwin’s story mixes the sweet and the sad. Tish and Fonny have pledged to get married, but Fonny is falsely accused of a terrible crime and imprisoned. Their families set out to clear his name, and as they face an uncertain future, the young lovers experience a kaleidoscope of emotions–affection, despair, and hope. In a love story that evokes the blues, where passion and sadness are inevitably intertwined, Baldwin has created two characters so alive and profoundly realized that they are unforgettably ingrained in the American psyche.
Big picture

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson - Watch the movie for free until the end of June! - K + L

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he insisted he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, political machination, and legal brinksmanship—and transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever.
Big picture

A Land More Kind than Home by Wiley Cash - Recent WOHS Faculty Book Club Title - F

A stunning debut reminiscent of the beloved novels of John Hart and Tom Franklin, A Land More Kind Than Home is a mesmerizing literary thriller about the bond between two brothers and the evil they face in a small western North Carolina town....

For a curious boy like Jess Hall, growing up in Marshall means trouble when your mother catches you spying on grown-ups. Adventurous and precocious, Jess is enormously protective of his older brother, Christopher, a mute whom everyone calls Stump. Though their mother has warned them not to snoop, Stump can't help sneaking a look at something he's not supposed to - an act that will have catastrophic repercussions, shattering both his world and Jess's.

Big picture

The Last Days of Night by Graham Moore - Matz and Tindall came upon this gem about our own Thomas Edison, when doing some research on a grant! - F

New York, 1888. Gas lamps still flicker in the city streets, but the miracle of electric light is in its infancy. The person who controls the means to turn night into day will make history—and a vast fortune. A young untested lawyer named Paul Cravath, fresh out of Columbia Law School, takes a case that seems impossible to win. Paul’s client, George Westinghouse, has been sued by Thomas Edison over a billion-dollar question: Who invented the light bulb and holds the right to power the country?
Big picture

Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende - K + F

In the late 1930s, civil war grips Spain. When General Franco and his Fascists succeed in overthrowing the government, hundreds of thousands are forced to flee in a treacherous journey over the mountains to the French border. Among them is Roser, a pregnant young widow, who finds her life intertwined with that of Victor Dalmau, an army doctor and the brother of her deceased love. In order to survive, the two must unite in a marriage neither of them desires.
Big picture

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa - F

On an unnamed island, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses. . . . Most of the inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few able to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten. When a young writer discovers that her editor is in danger, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards, and together they cling to her writing as the last way of preserving the past.
Big picture

The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai - K + F

The Mountains Sing tells an enveloping, multigenerational tale of the Trần family, set against the backdrop of the Việt Nam War. Trần Diệu Lan, who was born in 1920, was forced to flee her family farm with her six children during the Land Reform as the Communist government rose in the North. Years later in Hà Nội, her young granddaughter, Hương, comes of age as her parents and uncles head off down the Hồ Chí Minh Trail to fight in a conflict that tore not just her beloved country, but her family apart.
Big picture

The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia - F

From the day that old Nana Reja found a baby abandoned under a bridge, the life of a small Mexican town forever changed. Disfigured and covered in a blanket of bees, little Simonopio is for some locals the stuff of superstition, a child kissed by the devil. But he is welcomed by landowners Francisco and Beatriz Morales, who adopt him and care for him as if he were their own. As he grows up, Simonopio becomes a cause for wonder to the Morales family, because when the uncannily gifted child closes his eyes, he can see what no one else can - visions of all that’s yet to come, both beautiful and dangerous.
Big picture

Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead - Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, WOHS Faculty Book Club Pick, NEHS Common Read K + L

When Elwood Curtis, a black boy growing up in 1960s Tallahassee, is unfairly sentenced to a juvenile reformatory called the Nickel Academy, he finds himself trapped in a grotesque chamber of horrors. Elwood’s only salvation is his friendship with fellow “delinquent” Turner, which deepens despite Turner’s conviction that Elwood is hopelessly naive, that the world is crooked, and that the only way to survive is to scheme and avoid trouble. As life at the Academy becomes ever more perilous, the tension between Elwood’s ideals and Turner’s skepticism leads to a decision whose repercussions will echo down the decades.
Big picture

Normal People by Sally Rooney - A Hulu Original - K + F

Connell and Marianne grew up in the same small town, but the similarities end there. At school, Connell is popular and well liked, while Marianne is a loner. But when the two strike up a conversation—awkward but electrifying—something life changing begins. Normal People is the story of mutual fascination, friendship and love. It takes us from that first conversation to the years beyond, in the company of two people who try to stay apart but find that they can’t.
Big picture

The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue (will be published July, 2020)

In an Ireland doubly ravaged by war and disease, Nurse Julia Power works at an understaffed hospital in the city center, where expectant mothers who have come down with the terrible new Flu are quarantined together. Into Julia's regimented world step two outsiders -- Doctor Kathleen Lynn, a rumoured Rebel on the run from the police , and a young volunteer helper, Bridie Sweeney.

In the darkness and intensity of this tiny ward, over three days, these women change each other's lives in unexpected ways. They lose patients to this baffling pandemic, but they also shepherd new life into a fearful world.

Big picture

The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larsen - WOHS Fave author! K + L

On Winston Churchill’s first day as prime minister, Adolf Hitler invaded Holland and Belgium. Poland and Czechoslovakia had already fallen, and the Dunkirk evacuation was just two weeks away. For the next twelve months, Hitler would wage a relentless bombing campaign, killing 45,000 Britons. It was up to Churchill to hold his country together and persuade President Franklin Roosevelt that Britain was a worthy ally—and willing to fight to the end. In The Splendid and the Vile, Erik Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless.”
Big picture

The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James - In the creepy page-turner category... F

Upstate New York, 1982. Viv Delaney wants to move to New York City, and to help pay for it she takes a job as the night clerk at the Sun Down Motel in Fell, New York. But something isnʼt right at the motel, something haunting and scary.

Upstate New York, 2017. Carly Kirk has never been able to let go of the story of her aunt Viv, who mysteriously disappeared from the Sun Down before she was born. She decides to move to Fell and visit the motel, where she quickly learns that nothing has changed since 1982. And she soon finds herself ensnared in the same mysteries that claimed her aunt.
Big picture

This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger - K + F

In the summer of 1932, on the banks of Minnesota’s Gilead River, Odie O’Banion is an orphan confined to the Lincoln Indian Training School, a pitiless place where his lively nature earns him the superintendent’s wrath. Forced to flee after committing a terrible crime, he and his brother, Albert, their best friend, Mose, and a brokenhearted little girl named Emmy steal away in a canoe, heading for the mighty Mississippi and a place to call their own and cross paths with others who are adrift, from struggling farmers and traveling faith healers to displaced families and lost souls of all kinds.
Big picture

Stamped by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi - Based on Kendi's National Award Winner, Stamped from the Beginning - 2020 Global Read Aloud -K + F

*West Orange District Summer Read


This is NOT a history book.
This is a book about the here and now.
A book to help us better understand why we are where we are.
A book about race.

The construct of race has always been used to gain and keep power, to create dynamics that separate and silence. This remarkable reimagining of Dr. Ibram X. Kendi's National Book Award-winning Stamped from the Beginning reveals the history of racist ideas in America, and inspires hope for an antiracist future.

Big picture

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett - WOHS Faculty Book Club Summer Pick - F

The Vignes twin sisters will always be identical. But after growing up together in a small, southern black community and running away at age sixteen, it's not just the shape of their daily lives that is different as adults, it's everything: their families, their communities, their racial identities. Many years later, one sister lives with her black daughter in the same southern town she once tried to escape. The other secretly passes for white, and her white husband knows nothing of her past. Still, even separated by so many miles and just as many lies, the fates of the twins remain intertwined. What will happen to the next generation, when their own daughters' storylines intersect?
Big picture

The Yellow House: A Memoir by Sarah K. Broome - National Book Award Winner K + L

In 1961, Sarah M. Broom’s mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant—the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah’s father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number twelve children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah’s birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae’s thirteenth and most unruly child.

K = on WOHS Kindles

L= in WOHS LMC Collection

F = Coming in our Fall 2020 Order

Big picture

*Read Image from PlusLexia.com

Some former faves:

11.22.63, Stephen King

A Spool of Blue Thread, Anne Tyler

All the Light We Can Not See, Anthony Doerr

Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Alice Network, Kate Quinn

And the Mountains Echoed, Khaled Housseini

Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Becoming by Michele Obama

Before We Were Yours, Lisa Wingate

Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans…, Daniel Brown

Child 44, Tom Robb Smith

Children of Blood and Bone, Tomi Adeyemi

Circe, Madeline Miller

Culturize by Jimmy Casas

Cutting for Stone, Abraham Verghese

Daisy Jones & the Six, Taylor Jenkins Reid

Dead Wake, Erik Larson

Dear Committee Members, Julie Schumacher

Devil in the White City, Erik Larson (+Anything by Larson)

Educated: A Memoir, Tara Westover

Endurance, Scott Kelly

Feel Free, Zadie Smith

The Friend, Sigrid Nunez

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Library Book, Susan Orlean

The Map Thief, Michael Blanding

A Man Called Ove: A Novel, Frederick Backman

Manhattan Beach, Jennifer Egan

The Marrow Thieves, Cherie Dimaline

The Martian, Andrew Weir

Me Before You, JoJo Moyes

The Milkman, Anna Burns

Moloka’i, Alan Brennert

News of the World, Paulette Jiles (Movie scheduled 12.2020)

The Night Tiger, Yangste Choo

Nightingale, Kristin Hannah

The Orphan Master’s Son, Adam Johnson

The Orphan Train, Christina Baker Cline

The Overstory, Richard Powers

Pachinko, Min Jin Lee

Patsy, Nicole Dennis-Benn

Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett

The Radium Girls, Kate Moore

The Short and Tragic Life of Robert Peace:…, Jeff Hobbs

Shout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

The Storied Life of AJ Fikry, Gabrielle Zevin

The Storyteller, Jodi Piccoult

The Tatooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris

Tortilla Curtain, T. C. Boyle

The Tzar of Love and Techno, Anthony Marra

Unbroken, Laura Hillenbrand

We Are Not Ourselves, Matthew Thomas

Where the Crawdads Sing, Delia Owens

*Summaries from Amazon.com

Big picture

image from http://gcps-communique.com/

~Bev and Julie~

How to get a virtual West Orange Public Library Card

Once you get your Library card number, download Sora or Libby and add WOPL and BCCLS for ebook and audiobook choices!

Student Recommendations List