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Reading Middlemarch

This post starts with a confession: Middlemarch, by George Eliot (pen name of Mary Anne Evans), is widely considered one of the greatest novels ever written––certainly the odds-on favorite for greatest English novel. It is my fiancée’s favorite novel and she has written about it extensively. She’s not alone––many of the greatest literary critics of … Read More

Staff Picks: Charles C. Mann’s 1493

I selected Charles C. Mann‘s (Twitter linked because no website is available) 1493: Uncovering the World New World Columbus Created as an audiobook commuting read. A patron recommended the book to me at my last library job. We would often swap non-fiction recommendations because few others at the library read the genre. Even fewer read it … Read More

Rutgers Alumni Writers: Janet Evanovich

Rutgers Today, published by Rutgers University Communications and Marketing, recently featured a Douglass Alumna in its Alumni News. Author of the popular Stephanie Plum series, Janet Evanovich graduated from Douglass College in 1965, and was named to the Rutgers Hall of Distinguished Alumni, the highest honor given to Rutgers graduates of the University. This prestigious … Read More

In the Dream House and the Importance of Naming

Please note: This post discusses abusive relationships. If you or someone you know needs support regarding domestic or dating violence, please go to The National Domestic Violence Hotline or Rutgers Counseling Services. Carmen Marie Machado (the first author being examined in our Summer Tales program) doesn’t pull punches when exposing the grotesque realities of humanity. … Read More

Staff Picks: Severance

Although published pre-COVID, Ling Ma’s brilliant debut novel Severance eerily mirrors the pandemic that has upended our world for the past year and a half. In Severance, Shen Fever is the devastating disease, a bizarre syndrome that induces a zombie-like feverish condition, which proves fatal for anyone infected. Main character Candace Chen, a twentysomething first-generation … Read More