A collection of books on a library shelf.

As June continues, and we celebrate two significant occasions, Pride Month and Juneteenth, I am so proud of the rich diversity of identities who make up our OUE community. 

We continue to do important work across OUE during the summer months, however it’s important to take time for family, fun, and relaxation that might have moved down the priority list during the busy academic year. I encourage you to slow down, spend some time by the pool (or wherever you find joy), use your vacation time, and maybe pick up that book you’ve been meaning to get to!  

I know I’m looking forward to finally starting (and finishing) Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt. It was given to me for my birthday, and it’s been sitting on my nightstand since.   

Looking for some inspiration for your next book? Here’s what a few of your OUE colleagues are reading this summer! 

Katherine Lawlor 

Is reading: Acceptance: A Memoir by Emi Nietfeld 

What’s it about? “A limited income student who was forcibly hospitalized by her mother growing up and eventually found her way to Harvard. I've only read 2-3 chapters so far so I'm currently reading about her childhood/teenage years where she realizes education can help her get out of her current life situation where her mother is a hoarder, and the messy house causes her to have medical problems.” 

Do you recommend it? It’s too soon to say. 

Emily Creager 

Is reading: The Midnight Library by Matt Haig 

What’s it about? “Nora is unsatisfied with her life and decides to end it. She wakes up in the Midnight Library, where she is given the chance to experience alternate life paths. Through each alternate life book, Nora must search within herself to decide what is truly fulfilling in life and what makes life worth living.” 

Do you recommend it? Yes 

Lorett Swank 

Is reading: Trust by Hernan Diaz 

What’s it about: "Even through the roar and effervescence of the 1920s, everyone in New York has heard of Benjamin and Helen Rask. He is a legendary Wall Street tycoon; she is the daughter of eccentric aristocrats. Together, they have risen to the very top of a world of seemingly endless wealth—all as a decade of excess and speculation draws to an end." 

Do you recommend it? Yes 

Lacy Hodges 

Is reading: Bright Young Women by Jessica Knoll 

What’s it about? “The novel centers on two women—one is the survivor of a serial killer's attack on a Florida sorority house in the late 1970s, and the other is a woman who is trying to find out what happened to her girlfriend who went missing across the country in Washington state a few years before. Both women are dealing with law enforcement who dismiss them as hysterical victims as well as the media's fascination with and glamorization of the suspected killer. The crimes in the novel are based on the real-life murders committed by Ted Bundy, and the title is a play on a statement made by a Florida judge who referred to Bundy a 'bright young man' during his sentencing hearing after being convicted of murdering multiple women across the country.” 

Do you recommend it? Yes 

Lauren Evans 

Is reading: Such a Bad Influence by Olivia Muenter 

What’s it about? “What happens when one of the first child stars of the social media age grows up . . . and goes missing during a livestream? It's told through the POV of her social-media-averse older sister as she tries to understand what happened. Come for the mystery, stay for the commentary about social media and internet culture. Lots of twists and turns, but more unsettling than scary (great for people like me who don't usually do thrillers)!” 

Do you recommend it? Yes 

Criss Miller (has three recommendations!) 

1. Is reading: I Did a New Thing by Tabitha Brown 

What’s it about? “Tabitha takes you on her journey of trying something new every day for 30 days. She inspires you to try implementing new things into your life. Some big, some small...but always leading toward your growth as a person.” 

Do you recommend it? Yes 

2. Is reading: Finding Me by Viola Davis 

What’s it about? “Her story of growing up in abject poverty to becoming an EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner). This is an amazing and inspirational story.” 

Do you recommend it? Yes 

3. Is reading: Orchestration by Saundra Henderson-Windom 

What’s it about? “This memoir tells the story of Sandy Windom, who was born during the Korean war to a Black father and Korean mother but abandoned and taken to an orphanage. She was adopted by a family in the US, and these are her memories of coming to the US, leaving her Korean heritage behind and finding her way in the world.” 

Do you recommend it? Yes 

Roberta Berry 

Is reading: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 

What’s it about? “A tale of romance, told with wit and insight into character, social conventions, and different kinds of pride and prejudice. Worthy of reading and re-reading.” 

Do you recommend it? Yes 

Rachael Greene (has two recommendations!) 

1. Is reading: Words Are My Matter by Ursula Le Guin 

What’s it about? “A collection of essays, talks, and book reviews by the speculative and science fiction powerhouse Ursula Le Guin. I’ve always been a fan of Le Guin’s fiction (The Lathe of Heaven is a favorite), and this is my first attempt reading her nonfiction. I would recommend this for anyone interested in learning more about Le Guin's craft and personality as a writer.”  

Do you recommend it? Yes 

2. Is reading: Ask the Dust by John Fante 

What’s it about? “This novel was described as the ‘west coast Great Gatsby’ by author Ryan Holiday. Published in 1939, it was only recently rediscovered as an American classic because the publishing house went under after they were sued by the Nazi party. Yet to see if this book lives up to its backstory!”  

Do you recommend it? It’s too soon to say.