Still looking for a great title to get you through the dog days of summer? Carlow University's English department is here to help!
The dog days of summer are upon us. Are you still looking for a
great title (or two or three?) to get you through the sunny, steamy
days ahead? Never fear! The Carlow University English Department is
here to help! Read on to find books with characters so vivid,
situations so funny that you'll feel like you've been transported
to another world.
Not in the market for a summertime novel? How about something a
little more digital-check out the Summer 2014 issue of The CarlowUniversity Magazine, hot off the presses!
Louis J. Boyle, PhD, Professor of English; Director of
One of the books that still makes me laugh is P.G. Wodehouse's
The Code of the Woosters.
Wodehouse is the creator of Jeeves, the valet for the notoriously
inept and full-of-himself Bertie Wooster. Here, Wodehouse presents
a satirical treatment of the world of master and servant. The
Code of the Woosters is a light, relaxing, and amusing
When I go to the beach, I like to have a sea story with me such
as Two Years Before the Mast by R.H.
Dana. This nineteenth century classic
accounts Dana's two-year experience as a sailor. Dana explains what
it was like to be a rookie on an eighteenth-century wind-powered
merchant vessel in a way that makes the unfamiliar terminology more
accessible. His accounts of the life of a sailor, the operations of
a merchant ship in the nineteenth century, and his visit to San
Francisco when it was nothing more than a few shacks on the sides
of a few hills will keep your attention throughout Two Years
Before the Mast.
My third selection is a collection of short stories by Ray
Bradbury entitled Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most
Celebrated Tales. If you know
Bradbury as the iconic science-fiction writer of such classics as
"Fahrenheit 451" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes" among many
others, this collection might surprise you. Bradbury's prose has a
keen edge, and this is a good one to make you think. The probing
science fiction is there, but the scope of these stories is far
wider. Bradbury Stories: 100 of His Most Celebrated
Tales demonstrates his versatility as a
Roberta N. Foizey, MS Assistant Professor of English;
Coordinator of Undergraduate Composition
I've been spending time this summer reading literature that has
been made into films/television, so I should note that some of
these selections, in either book or film format, include adult
content and scenes with graphic violence and/or sex. Please take
this into consideration when deciding whether these titles are
right for you!
My first recommendation is the novel by Matt Bondurant,
The Wettest County in the World: A Novel Based on a True
Story. The related film, Lawless (starring Tom
Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, and Jessica Chastain, among
others), came out in 2012, and both book and film are worth a look!
The story is based on the true story of a family of bootleggers and
their experiences running moonshine in prohibition-era
My second installment on this list is the set of novels by
George R. R. Martin (A Song of Ice and Fire) on which the
HBO series Game of Thrones is based. The first novel
in the series, A Game of Thrones, is really good.
I'm working my way through the rest, but if the remaining four
books are as good as the first, we're all in for a lot of great
My final suggestion comes from my husband, Bret, who just
finished Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast
Journalism by Bob Edwards. The book looks across
Murrow's career, but one chapter in the book takes on the same
subject matter as the McCarthy-era film Good Night, and Good
Luck. The film examines the risk-taking journalism
of Edward R. Murrow and his impact on McCarthyism. An excellent
read and an excellent film.
Anne M. Rashid, PhD, MA, Associate Professor of
My first summer reading recommendation is Lolita Hernandez's
Making Callaloo in Detroit.
Hernandez's family comes from Trinidad and Tobago, but she grew up
in Detroit. This collection of stories draws on memories of food
and culture, and is a moving tribute to Hernandez's parents. You
will find surprise after surprise in Making Callaloo in
Another book I have not been able to put down is The
Beggar Maid by Alice Munro. In this collection of
interweaving stories, Munro writes about the tenuous relationship
between a resilient, funny stepmother named Flo and her shy,
precocious stepdaughter, Rose. The Beggar
Maid captures the trials of girlhood and growing up in
Sue Kreke Rumbaugh, MPM, MFA, Associate Professor of
The first book on my list is Debra Marquart's The
Horizontal World: Growing Up Wild in the Middle of
Nowhere. Marquart's story of
growing up and moving away from a land that is very flat and very
dry is delightful. Her descriptions capture mundane scenes with
vivid language and she is adept at studying the desires of the
people who worked hard, struggled, and found life as they could.
The Horizontal World is a luscious story with a dash
The next book I recommend is The Artist's Way
(now in its 10th edition) by Julia Cameron. The book is assembled
in a 12-step approach to recovering our ability to be, act, think,
and create new thoughts and new ways of seeing. If you have
forgotten how, Cameron can help you restore or develop new ways.
You don't have to follow each and every one of the exercises that
are outlined here, but you may pick and choose, digging into the
ones that seem to make sense, that help you along your creative
path, no matter where you find yourself on your creative journey.
After all, creativity is within us and The Artist's
Way can help to rediscover it and all of those habits we
once easily and readily practiced.
My third recommendation is a book I am currently listening to as
an audio book, The Old Curiosity Shop by Charles
Dickens. Written in 1841 as a collection of shorter stories
published as a weekly serial story, it tells the tale of Nell
Trent, a beautiful, virtuous orphan girl who lives with her
maternal grandfather in his shop of odds and ends. The Old
Curiosity Shop comes alive through
Dickens's creative nuance, colorful language and characters, and
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