New Suggestions for Your 'To Be Read' Pile

Aug 23, 2019
book cover collage

What have you been reading in 2019? Has a book ever changed your life? We asked and you responded with all the fiction and non-fiction grabbing your attention. The suggestions include links to Amazon to read the book summaries or make a purchase.

Middle school English teacher Amy Baverso shared her love of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, and the impact the author had on her life. As a teacher struggling to find a job, she was considering a career change when she met Chbosky at a teaching conference.

“He told me that he wrote Perks for students who felt like wallflowers, and it would take a special teacher to share those books, to break away from the traditional canon,” said Baverso. “He said I needed to be in the classroom so I could reach those kids who have nothing.”

As she now enters her tenth year of teaching – and after sharing the book with hundreds of reluctant readers over the past decade – Baverso believes that the book changed her mindset, and the author changed her life.

Other books suggested by respondents include:

  • Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir, by Joyce Johnson – Suggested by Mara Wiltshire who deems it a “fresh perspective on the women in [Jack] Kerouac’s circle” that also “brings [Allen] Ginsberg, Kerouac and the rest into the human realm.”
  • The Kite Runner, by Khaled Hosseini – Suggested by Stevie René who said it’s “definitely worth a read or two or three.”
  • You Are a Badass®: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by Jen Sincero – Suggested by Amy Brady who shared, “I generally dislike the term self-help but this book definitely helped me change my life! I highly recommend it to everyone!”
  • Academic Diary: Or Why Higher Education Still Matters, by Les Back – Suggested by Monica Arroyo who wrote, “I highly recommend it to faculty members and post-docs or graduate students considering academia.”
  • Redeeming Love, by Francine Rivers – Suggested by Alannah McDermott who shared that “fiction is great to read to expand my creativity and storytelling, and the nonfiction books are great at growing my skill set and learning something new!”

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