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GSU Community Finds Refuge in Reading

While adjusting to the new normal of life in quarantine, many people are looking to break out of their walls of isolation in the form of books. Not only are books a vehicle for learning and escaping, they also provide a sense of comfort and--now--community. From our separate homes, Governors State University has come together to share small moments of joy with each other by recommending current reads.

Check out the recommendations below and be inspired.

“I am reading Feed by Mira Grant. It's about a group of journalists covering an election during a pandemic. It has zombies, but otherwise it pretty much predicted what 2020 would be like.”––Deb Perez, GRE Prep instructor





“Since I am teaching Morrison this semester, I am re-reading Toni Morrison novels. This may sound crazy but I just purchased a new copy of Beloved. I now have seven copies all different editions. Every time I read it, I want it to be a new reading. I want to write in the margins, as Paul D says in the novel, I want to put my story next to hers.”––Rashidah Muhammad, Professor of English and Secondary Education, Academic Coordinator


“Don't laugh - I don't have kids but I'm reading Dav Pilkey, Dog-Man: Fetch 22. Dav Pilkey, Louise Fitzhugh, and even Mac Barnett feed the heart and ink the ideas of any creative mind. Read them.”­­––Chris Greiner, Professor CAS





“I’m reading In the Company of Educated Women: A History of Women and Higher Education in America by Dr. Barbara Solomon (Yale University Press, 1985). This book details the history of colleges and universities in the lives of American women. This was a recommendation from a colleague who was interested in my dissertation topic and thought it might add some needed perspective."––Marco Krcatovich, Director of Institutional Research & Effectiveness




“I'm reading Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming. The book reminds me how many of us, especially women, feel not good enough and is a map of sorts of how she became a woman who felt that she was, indeed, enough.”––Kerri Morris, Associate Professor of English and Director of Writing Across the Curriculum




“I am presently reading The Social Animal by David Brooks. It’s been on my bookshelf for years. I’m getting a lot out of it, making copious notes in the margins. Next up is The Golden Ass by Apuleius. I need to bolster my Classics background. Happy reading to you!”––Judith Wilks, The Knowledge Exchange Instructor




“I read most of my books during my commute but since I'm quarantined right now that makes reading at home, with work duties and other in-home distractions, trickier for me. But I am still reading. Right now I am in the middle of Lot by Bryan Washington, a collection of related short stories set in Houston. I'm also finishing up an audiobook I started before we all locked down: Life Among the Savages by Shirley Jackson.

Because the world is in such chaos right now I'm not in the mood for reading that's too heavy, experimental, or challenging. No horror or sci-fi books will do for the moment. I want books to get lost in. Given that, my April TBRs are as follows:

Lie With Me by Philippe Besson

Writers and Lovers by Lily King

Our Spoons Came from Woolworths by Barbara Comyns

Chelsea Girls by Fiona Davis

This may seem like a lot but under normal circumstances I read a book a week. I hope to complete the list by May. Perhaps then life can return to normal and I can pick up meatier books, although these are weighted in their own way.

Stay safe, and happy reading!”­­––Jarrett Neal, Writing Center Coordinator

“I am reading Team of Rivals. It is about President Lincoln’s cabinet choices and their course of decisions before and after Lincoln’s election. It is also a different historical perspective on the Civil War.”––Jerry Dagenais, The Knowledge Exchange student





“I have been reading Wilson by A. Scott Berg. This is a brilliant biography of Woodrow Wilson for the history buff. Extremely well researched – lucid and engaging. Page after page reveals surprises about the man and the era he lived in. 881 pages.”––Jerry Pinzino, The Knowledge Exchange Student




“For school I’m reading $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America (Edin and Schaefer). For fun, I’m reading Reclaiming our Space by Feminista Jones.”––Crystal Harris, Interdisciplinary Studies Program Coordinator





Keep an eye on GSU social media for more book recommendations!