Inside WITS: Our Favorite Reads From Summer

As the school year gets underway,  WITS staff members share some of the best books we read over the summer! Pick up these titles and or send us some suggestions of your own!

Image result for it stephen king book  IT by Stephen King

“King’s horrific imagery is startling and real, tapping to common childhood fears in the most visceral, grotesque ways. At the same time, the book is surprisingly heartwarming – about friends trusting and believing in one another, validating their fears, and coming together to fight them.” – Beth Kristoff, WITS Program Manager

Image result for brother west living and loving out loud             Brother West: Living and Loving Out Loud by Cornel West

“I randomly picked this book up in the library. I read a few chapters with interesting titles and found that I could not put it down. I enjoyed this book because he takes you through his life from childhood to adulthood and shares his many high and lows throughout life.”  –Nick Colbert, WITS Program Coordinator

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                Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann

“A non-fiction book about the conspiracy to murder members of the Osage tribe whom had become wealthy due to oil reservoirs on their land. It is a deeply dark moment in an already troubling history of oppression and violence toward America’s indigenous people. The story is as captivating as it is disturbing, and Grann engagingly weaves together narration and fact.”  –Kristen Strobbe, WITS Chief Program Officer


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          The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins

“It’s a fast-paced, modern fantasy adventure full of villains, heroes, dogs, lions, unrequited love, and explosions. Carolyn was once a normal American herself. Now, she prepares for interstellar battle and the right to make – or be – a new god. Unlike many novels in the genre, the characters feel modern and realistically nuanced while they’re involved in unrealistic, fantastical experiences. A recommended read, especially if you ‘don’t like fantasy.’ ” –Mia Valdez Quellhorst, WITS Director of Teacher programs & Rochelle Lee Teacher Award

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   Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay

It’s a book of essays and is somewhat autobiographical/memoir-ish about the author’s life experiences as a scholar, woman of color, and an intersectional feminist. My favorite essay in it is called “I Once Was Miss America,” which is about Vanessa Williams winning the 1984 Miss America contest,  the first black winner in the organization’s 63-year history. The author compared and contrasted this with other images of beauty and femininity she had understood at that time, specifically from images from books she read in childhood.” –Eleanor Dollear, WITS Program Coordinator

Image result for Goodbye Vitamin    Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong

“In this sharp, quirky novel, Khong explores family and memory through thirty-year-old Ruth and her experience living back at home for a year as her father’s Alzheimer’s symptoms worsen.” –Ellen Werner, WITS Program Director

Image result for the woman in cabin 10 book        The Woman in Cabin 10  by Ruth Ware 

“This book is in the same vein as Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. There’s mystery, paranoia, and a missing woman; only this time, it’s all confined to a boat. If you like heaps of suspense mixed with a little bit of claustrophobia, pick this up.” –Annie Kennedy, WITS Community Manager

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   Human Acts by Han Kang

“A fictionalized account through multiple perspectives of the 1980 Gwangju Uprising in South Korea, centered around the loss of a boy named Dong-Ho, the story focuses on the on the human cost of the events and the weight that is carried through the years that follow. I appreciated getting to learn of a history that I was unfamiliar with, as well as the authors approach to telling a story that is at once sad and challenging through a delivery that is straightforward almost to the point of sterility.” –Eric Coleman, WITS Development and Communications Manager