Hello and welcome to another exciting year at Hopkins! Here in Calarco we’ve got new textbooks waiting to be pulverized, fresh notecards itching to become memorization rectangles, and librarians gazing wistfully at beautiful summer photos instead of shelving books.
Three years running, we librarians asked you to tell us about the best part of your summer – that’s right, summer reading. A whopping 198 of you responded, recommending 139 different books. There was a lot of turnover this year – two of the top three books from 2015 (Paper Towns and To Kill A Mockingbird) weren’t mentioned at all. In fact, no John Green books were recommended for the first time since we began this survey.
What is it about The Da Vinci Code? Is it the ciphers, the fast-paced thrills, Tom Hanks’ rumpled (no, not rugged) good looks? Whatever the “it” factor, The Da Vinci Code is Hopkins’ most recommended book of Summer 2016! Seven respondents wrote that it was “exciting,” “incredibly suspenseful,” and that it “keep[s] you at the edge of your seat.”
Almost as popular were The Great Train Robbery and The Apothecary, both of which benefited from being assigned books. Other favorite books (or movies) were Emma Donoghue’s Room and Mario Puzo’s The Godfather – perhaps because of their film counterparts. David Levithan’s Every Day and Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood were the other two unassigned books to make appearances on the “most read” list.
This was the first year we asked for your thoughts about your favorite book(s). In doing this, we discovered that even faculty and staff enjoy ALL CAPS. Please see some of our favorite commentary below.
It was AMAZING. I went in thinking it would have a pace similar to other books of its time, with lots of description and thoughtshots. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it moved like an action film, and it kept me going despite the length.
Unreliable narration is key. What made this book so excellent was how you couldn’t trust anyone — even the protagonist with her flawed memories.
House of Leaves was the weirdest book I have ever read and it invokes mild paranoia.
This was an amazing book about African immigration. As a child of to Nigerians I found many similarities with their struggles. When many people think of Nigeria or Africa in general, they may think of thick jungles, aboriginal tribes, and no electricity. It is seen more as a charity case. This books lets you in on the lives of the people. The struggle to make it to America and become something. The stress of stereotypes and myths continually reminding them that they do not belong. The fear of coming back to their homeland and catching “Americanah.” And international love. How years and miles cannot erase true bonds. Wow. I wrote more than you probably wanted. Sorry about that.
[editorial note: no such thing as saying too much about a book you love]
I thought that this was a great book and I could not put it down. I also would have never chosen this book if it was not required.
It was great because it was kind of like a lot of kids dreams written out on paper. (Running away from home with your friends.)
It’s a great account of the Dreyfus Affair and is riveting from start to finish. My Dad forced me to read it, and when I finally gave in and started reading it, I was hooked.
[editorial note, again: good job, anonymous Dad]
Below you will find a list of every book recommended this year. Thanks to all of our respondents, and happy reading!