Practice & Voice

Quarantine Reads: Recommended reads from Our Bookstore Volunteers

The All Souls Bookstore volunteers wish to share with you some of their favorite books to read this summer. Several of them are novels designed for the whole family and others are non-fiction.

Bookstore Reads for Quarantine Time

Roz Hand has suggested The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make A Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell.The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

In The Tipping Point, New Yorker writer Malcolm Gladwell looks at why major changes in society happen suddenly and unexpectedly. Just as a single sick person can start an epidemic of the flu, so too can a few fare-beaters and graffiti artists fuel a subway crime wave, or a satisfied customer fill the empty tables of a new restaurant. These are social epidemics, and the moment when they take off, when they reach their critical mass, is the Tipping Point.

Other books by Gladwell include David and Goliath; Blink; and Outliers. All of these are non-fiction

John Campbell has suggested the following books for summer reading:

Humor, satire, and parody: Sir Terry Pratchett’s Guards! Guards! a novel featuring magic, mayhem, and a marauding dragon!

For younger readers

Lamb by Christopher MooreFor younger readers, John suggests Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men, where young witch-to-be Tiffany Aching must face headless horsemen, ferocious grimhounds, and six-inch-high blue men (Smurfs?).

Finally, Christopher Moore’s Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Pal is a humorous take on the missing years of Christ’s early years. Biff is the narrator and there are remarkable journeys including magic, healings, kung fu, demons, and hot babes.

Ros Elder recommends Figuring by Maria Popova. Intertwining the literary, artistic, and scientific communities can be difficult, but Popova achieves this with a flow and adherence to fact backed up by extensive research.

No photos are needed as you are propelled into the lives of women scientists, authors, and artists. Their link is their creativity in all endeavors and success in spite of cultural norms committed to white male dominance. Expect to be surprised.

Popova begins with Kepler and his beleaguered mother who is accused of witchcraft after her son pens a tale advancing the Copernican theory of the universe.

The reader is intertwined through history into the lives of Maria Mitchell, astronomer, Margaret Fuller, author, Emily Dickinson, poet, and Rachel Carson, whose Silent Spring allowed our consciousness to be raised into the environmental movement that followed.  Their passionate love lives are revealed through their letters adding another dimension to the narratives.

You will find Unitarian thinking a common thread with the many lives revealed in this hard to classify book.

Eileen Simmons suggests young readers might enjoy Dorothy L. Sayers Emma by Jane AustenLord Peter Wimsey mysteries such as Whose Body?: The Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries, Book 1.

And of course, a great summer read tying in with the current movie is Emma. Jane Austen’s novel about youthful hubris and the perils of misconstrued romance is a classic.

What are you reading this summer? Let us know in the comments section!

Read more book reviews and selections from our Bookstore volunteers. Check out Danna Vitt’s pick, The Moment of Lift.

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