Favorite Books at DP

Posted on June 19, 2014. Filed under: Fiction, Nonfiction | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

During National Library Week, Oakton Community College Library asked people “What is you favorite book?” This week, we will share the list of the favorite books from our Des Plaines campus. If you didn’t have a chance to list your favorite book at either location, why not post it here in the comment section!

book cover for The Fault in Our StarsThe Fault in Our Stars
by John Green

“Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for House of LeavesHouse of Leaves
by Mark Z. Danielewski

“Years ago, when House of Leaves was first being passed around, it was nothing more than a badly bundled heap of paper, parts of which would occasionally surface on the Internet. No one could have anticipated the small but devoted following this terrifying story would soon command. Starting with an odd assortment of marginalized youth—musicians, tattoo artists, programmers, strippers, environmentalists, and adrenaline junkies—the book eventually made its way into the hands of older generations, who not only found themselves in those strangely arranged pages but also discovered a way back into the lives of their estranged children.

Now, for the first time, this astonishing novel is made available in book form, complete with the original colored words, vertical footnotes, and newly added second and third appendices.

The story remains unchanged, focusing on a young family that moves into a small home on Ash Tree Lane where they discover something is terribly wrong: their house is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside.

Of course, neither Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Will Navidson nor his companion Karen Green was prepared to face the consequences of that impossibility, until the day their two little children wandered off and their voices eerily began to return another story—of creature darkness, of an ever-growing abyss behind a closet door, and of that unholy growl which soon enough would tear through their walls and consume all their dreams” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Harmonic ExperienceHarmonic Experience: Tonal Harmony from Its Natural Origins to Its Modern Expression
by W.A. Mathieu

This book is “An exploration of musical harmony from its ancient fundamentals to its most complex modern progressions, addressing how and why it resonates emotionally and spiritually in the individual.

W. A. Mathieu, an accomplished author and recording artist, presents a way of learning music that reconnects modern-day musicians with the source from which music was originally generated. As the author states, ‘The rules of music—including counterpoint and harmony—were not formed in our brains but in the resonance chambers of our bodies.’ His theory of music reconciles the ancient harmonic system of just intonation with the modern system of twelve-tone temperament.

Saying that the way we think music is far from the way we do music, Mathieu explains why certain combinations of sounds are experienced by the listener as harmonious. His prose often resembles the rhythms and cadences of music itself, and his many musical examples allow readers to discover their own musical responses” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The JungleThe Jungle
by Upton Sinclair

“In this powerful book we enter the world of Jurgis Rudkus, a young Lithuanian immigrant who arrives in America fired with dreams of wealth, freedom, and opportunity. And we discover, with him, the astonishing truth about ‘packingtown,’ the busy, flourishing, filthy Chicago stockyards, where new world visions perish in a jungle of human suffering.

Upton Sinclair, master of the ‘muckraking’ novel, here explores the workingman’s lot at the turn of the century: the backbreaking labor, the injustices of ‘wage-slavery,’ the bewildering chaos of urban life. The Jungle, a story so shocking that it launched a government investigation, recreates this startling chapter if our history in unflinching detail. Always a vigorous champion on political reform, Sinclair is also a gripping storyteller, and his 1906 novel stands as one of the most important—and moving—works in the literature of social change.  (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Les MisérablesLes Misérables
by Victor Hugo

“A favorite of readers for nearly 150 years, and the basis for one of the most beloved stage musicals ever, this stirring tale of crime, punishment, justice, and redemption pulses with life and energy. Hugo sweeps readers from the French provinces to the back alleys of Paris, and from the battlefield of Waterloo to the bloody ramparts of Paris during the uprising of 1832.

First published in 1862, this sprawling novel is an extravagant historical epic that is teeming with harrowing adventures and unforgettable characters. In the protagonist, Jean Valjean, a quintessential prisoner of conscience who languished for years in prison for stealing bread to feed his starving family, Les Misérables depicts one of the grand themes in literature—that of the hunted man. Woven into the narrative are the prevalent social issues of Hugo’s day: injustice, authoritarian rule, social inequality, [and] civic unrest…”  (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Harry Potter and the Deathly HallowsHarry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
by J.K. Rowling

“‘His hand closed automatically around the fake Horcrux, but in spite of everything, in spite of the dark and twisting path he saw stretching ahead for himself, in spite of the final meeting with Voldemort he knew must come, whether in a month, in a year, or in ten, he felt his heart lift at the thought that there was still one last golden day of peace left to enjoy with Ron and Hermione.’

With these words Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince draws to a close. And here, in this seventh and final book, Harry discovers what fate truly has in store for him as he inexorably makes his way to that final meeting with Voldemort. In this thrilling climax to the phenomenally bestselling series, J.K. Rowling will reveal all to her eagerly waiting readers” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Man's Search for MeaningMan’s Search for Meaning
by Victor E. Frankl

“In this work, a Viennese psychiatrist tells his grim experiences in a German concentration camp which led him to logotherapy, an existential method of psychiatry. This work has riveted generations of readers with its descriptions of life in Nazi death camps and its lessons for spiritual survival.

Between 1942 and 1945 the author, a psychiatrist, labored in four different camps, including Auschwitz, while his parents, brother, and pregnant wife perished. Based on his own experience and the stories of his many patients, he argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose.

His theory, known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos (meaning), holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The Fortress of SolitudeFortress of Solitude
by Jonathan Lethem

“This is the story of two boys, Dylan Ebdus and Mingus Rude. They are friends and neighbors, but because Dylan is white and Mingus is black, their friendship is not simple. This is the story of their Brooklyn neighborhood, which is almost exclusively black despite the first whispers of something that will become known as ‘gentrification.’

This is the story of 1970s America, a time when the most simple human decisions—what music you listen to, whether to speak to the kid in the seat next to you, whether to give up your lunch money—are laden with potential political, social and racial disaster. This is the story of 1990s America, when no one cared anymore. This is the story of punk, that easy white rebellion, and crack, that monstrous plague. This is the story of the loneliness of the avant-garde artist and the exuberance of the graffiti artist.

This is the story of what would happen if two teenaged boys obsessed with comic book heroes actually had superpowers: They would screw up their lives. This is the story of joyous afternoons of stickball and dreaded years of schoolyard extortion. This is the story of belonging to a society that doesn’t accept you. This is the story of prison and of college, of Brooklyn and Berkeley, of soul and rap, of murder and redemption” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Looking for AlaskaLooking for Alaska
by John Green

First drink
First prank
First friend
First girl
Last words

Miles ‘Pudge’ Halter is abandoning his safe—okay, boring—life. Fascinated by the last words of famous people, Pudge leaves for boarding school to seek what a dying Rabelais called the ‘Great Perhaps.’

Pudge becomes encircled by friends whose lives are everything but safe and boring. Their nucleus is razor-sharp, sexy, and self-destructive Alaska, who has perfected the arts of pranking and evading school rules. Pudge falls impossibly in love. When tragedy strikes the close-knit group, it is only in coming face-to-face with death that Pudge discovers the value of living and loving unconditionally” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Fifty Shades of GreyFifty Shades of Grey
by E.L. James

“When literature student Anastasia Steele goes to interview young entrepreneur Christian Grey, she encounters a man who is beautiful, brilliant, and intimidating. The unworldly, innocent Ana is startled to realize she wants this man and, despite his enigmatic reserve, finds she is desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her, too—but on his own terms.

Shocked yet thrilled by Grey’s singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success—his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving family—Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a daring, passionately physical affair, Ana discovers Christian Grey’s secrets and explores her own dark desires” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for A Raisin in the SunA Raisin in the Sun
by Lorraine Hansberry

“In south side Chicago, Walter Lee, a black chauffeur, dreams of a better life, and hopes to use his father’s life insurance money to open a liquor store. His mother, who rejects the liquor business, uses some of the money to secure a proper house for the family. Mr Lindner, a representative of the all-white neighbourhood, tries to buy them out.

Walter sinks the rest of the money into his business scheme, only to have it stolen by one of his partners. In despair Walter contacts Lindner, and almost begs to buy them out, but with the help of his wife, Walter finally finds a way to assert his dignity” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for Written in RedWritten in Red
by Ann Bishop

“As a cassandra sangue, or blood prophet, Meg Corbyn can see the future when her skin is cut—a gift that feels more like a curse. Meg’s Controller keeps her enslaved so he can have full access to her visions. But when she escapes, the only safe place Meg can hide is at the Lakeside Courtyard—a business district operated by the Others.

Shape-shifter Simon Wolfgard is reluctant to hire the stranger who inquires about the Human Liaison job. First, he senses she’s keeping a secret, and second, she doesn’t smell like human prey. Yet a stronger instinct propels him to give Meg the job. And when he learns the truth about Meg and that she’s wanted by the government, he’ll have to decide if she’s worth the fight between humans and the Others that will surely follow” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The Bhagavad GitaThe Bhagavad Gita

“The Bhagavad Gita, the Song of the Lord, is an ancient Hindu scripture about virtue presented as a dialogue between Krishna, an incarnation of God, and the warrior Arjuna on the eve of a great battle over succession to the throne. Their discourse takes place on a field between two armies of warring cousins. Arjuna, realizing that if he fights, he will be forced to kill his friends, relatives, and teachers, casts down his bow and arrow and refuses to engage in combat.

The Gita unfolds as a discussion of Arjuna’s moral dilemma, with Krishna as the wise interlocutor explaining to Arjuna that he must overcome his instinctual revulsion and convincing him that he must attend to his duties as a warrior, while Krishna reveals himself as an incarnation of God in human form. This poem, written in Sanskrit is composed of 700 numbered stanzas, divided into 18 chapters. It deals with common human issues such as how we should act, how we should perform virtue, and it’s universal themes of life and death, war and peace and sacrifice resonate in a West increasingly interested in Eastern religious experience and the Hindu diaspora” (Descriptive content provided by Syndetics).

book cover for The BibleThe Bible

This is a sacred text for the Christian religion. It contains both the Old and New Testament.

-posted by Gretchen Schneider

 

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