RHC Nightstand Event

Posted on January 27, 2012. Filed under: Fiction, Nonfiction |

This Spring during orientation many faculty, staff, and administrators met to discuss what they are reading or have recently read at our “What’s On Your Nightstand” events. Here are the titles discussed at RHC’s event.

Fiction

book cover for The Bee SeasonThe Bee Season
by Myla Goldberg

“Eliza Naumann, a seemingly unremarkable nine-year-old, expects never to fit into her gifted family: her autodidact father, Saul, absorbed in his study of Jewish mysticism; her brother, Aaron, the vessel of his father’s spiritual ambitions; and her brilliant but distant lawyer-mom, Miriam. But when Eliza sweeps her school and district spelling bees in quick succession, Saul takes it as a sign that she is destined for greatness. In this altered reality, Saul inducts her into his hallowed study and lavishes upon her the attention previously reserved for Aaron, who in his displacement embarks upon a lone quest for spiritual fulfillment. When Miriam’s secret life triggers a familial explosion, it is Eliza who must order the chaos.

Myla Goldberg’s keen eye for detail brings Eliza’s journey to three-dimensional life. As she rises from classroom obscurity to the blinding lights and outsized expectations of the National Bee, Eliza’s small pains and large joys are finely wrought and deeply felt. Not merely a coming-of-age story, Goldberg’s first novel delicately examines the unraveling fabric of one family. The outcome of this tale is as startling and unconventional as her prose, which wields its metaphors sharply and rings with maturity. The work of a lyrical and gifted storyteller, Bee Season marks the arrival of an extraordinarily talented new writer” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for GilgameshGilgamesh : a new rendering in English verse
by David Ferry
“Gilgamesh is one of the most powerful men in Iraq. A king, a demi-God and a fearsome tyrant, he thrives on the shame and suffering of his subjects, robbing them of their innocence to fuel his lust. But when the Gods turn against him, an almighty battle of will ensues, and a defiant Gilgamesh is forced to learn love, friendship, empathy and, in the end, mortality.

[This is] A new verse rendering of the great epic of ancient Mesopotamia, one of the oldest works in Western Literature. Ferry makes Gilgamesh available in the kind of energetic and readable translation that Robert Fitzgerald and Richard Lattimore have provided for readers in their translations of Homer and Virgil” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Little FriendThe Little Friend
by Donna Tartt

“In a small Mississippi town, Harriet Cleve Dusfresnes grows up in the shadow of her brother, who—when she was only a baby—was found hanging dead from a black-tupelo tree in their yard. His killer was never identified, nor has his family, in the years since, recovered from the tragedy. For Harriet, who has grown up largely unsupervised, in a world of her own imagination, her brother is a link to a glorious past she has only heard stories about or glimpsed in photograph albums.

Fiercely determined, precocious far beyond her twelve years, and steeped in the adventurous literature of Stevenson, Kipling, and Conan Doyle, she resolves, one summer, to solve the murder and exact her revenge. Harriet’s sole ally in this quest, her friend Hely, is devoted to her, but what they soon encounter has nothing to do with child’s play: it is dark, adult, and all too menacing. A revelation of familial longing and sorrow,The Little Friend explores crime and punishment, as well as the hidden complications and consequences that hinder the pursuit of truth and justice. A novel of breathtaking ambition and power, it is rich in moral paradox, insights into human frailty, and storytelling brilliance” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The Poisonwood BibleThe Poisonwood Bible
by Barbara Kingsolver

“In 1959, Nathan Price, a fierce, evangelical Baptist, takes his four young daughters, his wife, and his mission to the Belgian Congo — a place, he is sure, where he can save needy souls. But the seeds they plant bloom in tragic ways within this complex culture.

Set against one of the most dramatic political events of the twentieth century — the Congo’s fight for independence from Belgium and its devastating consequences — here is New York Times-bestselling author Barbara Kingslover’s beautiful, heartbreaking, and unforgettable epic that chronicles the disintegration of family and a nation” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

Nonfiction

book cover for Many Lives, Many MastersMany Lives, Many Masters
by Brian Weiss

“As a traditional psychotherapist, Dr. Brian Weiss was astonished and skeptical when one of his patients began recalling past-life traumas that seemed to hold the key to her recurring nightmares and anxiety attacks. His skepticism was eroded, however, when she began to channel messages from the ‘space between lives,’ which contained remarkable revelations about Dr. Weiss’ family and his dead son. Using past-life therapy, he was able to cure the patient and embark on a new, more meaningful phase of his own career” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Marley & MeMarley & Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog
by John Grogan

“John and Jenny had just begun their life together. They were young and in love, with a perfect little house and not a care in the world. Then they brought home Marley, a wiggly yellow furball of a puppy. Life would never be the same.

[This book] Follows the life story of an exuberant Labrador retriever who gets into perpetual trouble and experiences a range of adventures, from shutting down an entire beach to guarding a seventeen-year-old neighbor after a stabbing attack” (Enriched Content Provided by Syndetics).

Psychiatric Aspects of Jataka Stories
by D.V.J. Harischandra

“Teachings of the greatest mind-healer of all time, the Buddha, has fascinated Dr. Harischandra since childhood. Through Buddhist literature and psychiatry he has realized that mental abnormalities which plague modern man have been vividly describedin the ancient Jataka Stories, a part of Buddhist literature over2500 year old. This realization and 32 years of clinical psychiatry have culminated in this book” (rediff.com).

-posted by Gretchen Schneider

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