April Student and Staff Picks

Check out April’s Book Picks complied by student employee Mac and Faculty Librarian John Laubersheimer.  We have pulled the books from this list and set up a display near the front of the Library on the Level 2 (Main Floor). Stop by and check one out today!

Mac, a Student Worker

Mac’s Picks

  1. Mindfulness by Ellen Langer
  2. The Basic Works of Aristotle by Aristotle
  3. Man’s Search for Meaning: an Introduction to Logotherapy by Viktor E. Frankl
  4. Always Running: La Vida Loca, Gang Days in L.A. by Luis J. Rodriguez
  5. The Little Brown Handbook by H. Ramsey Fowler and Jane E. Aaron
  6. The Plague by Stuart Gilbert
  7. The Martian by Andy Weir
  8. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  9. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  10. Lord of the Flies: a Novel by William Golding
  11. The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck
  12. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  13. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  14. Love You Forever by Robert Munsch and Sheila McGraw
  15. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling
  16. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
  17. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
  18. Under the Blood-red Sun by Graham Salisbury
  19. The Lord of the Rings Collection by J.R.R. Tolkien
  20. Sabriel by Garth Nix
  21. Divergent by Veronica Roth
  22. American Gods by Neil Gaiman


John, a librarianJohn’s Picks

  1. Byzantium: the Apogee by John Julius Norwich
  2. Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
  3. Everything Bad is Good for You: How’s Today’s Popular Culture is Actually Making us Smarter by Steven Johnson
  4. Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art by Scott McCloud
  5. Amazing Fantastic Incredible: a Marvelous Memoir by Stan Lee, Peter David, and Colleen Doran
  6. The Absolute Sandman by Neil Gaiman
  7. Twenty Thousand League Under the Sea by Jules Verne
  8. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  9. 2001: a Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
  10. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
  11. Heart of Darkness and Other Tales by Joseph Conrad
  12. The Once and Future King by T.H. White
  13. The Hitchhiker’s Trilogy by Douglas Adams
  14. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
  15. Grendel by John Gardner
  16. Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
  17. The Physics of Star Trek by Lawrence M. Krauss
  18. A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking
  19. The Way Things Work by David Macaulay and Neil Ardley
  20. The Truth About Chernobyl by Grigori Medvedev
  21. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  22. Car Talk Classics: No Factory Recalls. So Far. by Tom Magliozzi
  23. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling

March Student and Staff Book Picks

March is here and so is our student and staff book picks! This month the CINRC team, comprised of Colleen, Leadership Lived Experience (LLE) student employee and Pamela Salela, Associate Professor and Coordinator, Central Illinois Nonprofit Resource Center, chose a mixture of classics and new books inspired by Women’s History Month.  We hope you discover something on this list to enjoy!

Colleen, a student workerColleen’s Picks

  1. Once Upon a Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA by Julia Alvarez
  2. Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie
  3. Latino USA: A Cartoon History by Ilan Stavans
  4. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  5. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  6. Trampling of the Weeds by Lajuanda Lilease
  7. Rhythm and Booze: Poems by Julie Kane
  8. Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson
  9. Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel by David Rakoff
  10. Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
  11. Yes, Please by Amy Poehler
  12. Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  13. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  14. The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison
  15. Echo by Pam Muñoz Ryan
  16. Barbara the Slut and Other People by Lauren Holmes
  17. It’s Okay to Laugh by Nora McInerny Purmort
  18. You’ll Grow Out of It by Jessi Klein
  19. Almost Famous Women by Megan Mayhew Bergman
  20. Is Everyone Hanging out Without Me (and Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

Pamela Salela, a librarianPamela Salela’s Picks

  1. Into That Darkness: From Mercy Killing to Mass Murder by Gitta Sereny
  2. Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  3. Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil by Hannah Arendt
  4. Acts of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a Generation by Eboo Patel
  5. The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich
  6. Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction and the Meaning of Liberty by Dorothy Roberts
  7. Wake up Little Susie: Single Pregnancy and Race Before Roe v. Wade by Rickie Solinger
  8. Night by Elie Wiesel
  9. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
  10. The Truth About Stories: A Native Narrative by Thomas King
  11. Phenomenal Women: Four Poems Celebrating Women by Maya Angelou
  12. Crazy Brave: a Memoir by Joy Harjo
  13. Stones from the River by Ursula Hegi
  14. The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
  15. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
  16. The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan
  17. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  18. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
  19. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  20. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
  21. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
  22. The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd

Check Out Our November Staff Picks

Don’t know what to read next? We have book-loving staff ready to help. This month Carolyn, a student worker of Brookens, and Sarah Sagmoen, Director of User Services have each put together a list of book & eBook recommendations. Check one out today!

Student employee, CarolynCarolyn’s List

  1. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
  2. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  3. The Martian by Andy Weir
  4. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  5. Scatter, Adapt, and Remember by Annalee Newitz
  6. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
  7. Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
  8. Feed by M.T. Anderson
  9. Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception by Claudia Hammond
  10. The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing by Alfie Kohn
  11. Ragtime by E.L. Doctorow
  12. Different Seasons by Stephen King
  13. Spring Awakening: a Children’s Tragedy by Frank Wedekind
  14. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  15. The Magnetic Universe: the Elusive Traces of an Invisible Force by Jack B. Zirker
  16. Beyond UFOs: the Search for Extraterrestrial Life and its Astonishing Implications for our Future by Jeffery O. Bennet
  17. Otters: Ecology, Behavior, and Conservation by H. Kruuk
  18. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
  19. Sears Spring and Summer Catalogue 1959 by Sears



Sarah’s List

  1. Me Talk Pretty one Day by David Sedaris
  2. Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
  3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  4. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
  5. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
  6. Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
  7. Notorious RGB by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik
  8. The World According to Star Wars by Cass Sunstein
  9. The Constant Princess by Philippa Gregory
  10. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
  11. Deck the Halls by Carol Higgins Clark and Mary Higgins Clark
  12. Lady Susan by Jane Austen
  13. Love, Lucy by Lucille Ball
  14. The Women who Made Television Funny by David C. Tucker
  15. 80 Years of the Oscar by Robert Osborne
  16. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling
  17. The Boy, the Bear, the Baron, the Bard by Gregory Rogers

What We’re Reading – Max Stewart

What We’re Reading: Max Stewart

1.)  What are you reading?
I Just started reading The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett.

2.) How did you make your selection?
I had read another book by Terry Pratchett and thought I’d give it a try.

3.) Describe the book in 20 words or less
A traveler arrives at the strange place called Discworld

4.) What did you like?
I enjoy the humor and how truly strange it can be at times.

What didn’t you like?
I don’t like how short it is and how many books are in the series, but this is a minor problem

5.) Who would you recommend should read this book?
Fans of books like The Hitchhikers guide to the Galaxy or other British Comedies would probably find it interesting.

What We’re Reading: Alex Bauman

What We’re Reading: Alex Bauman

1.) What are you reading?
I am currently reading the third book from the A Song of Ice and Fire series: A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin.

2.) How did you make your selection?
I started reading the A Song of Ice and Fire series because of the HBO series A Game of Thrones. I started the series Spring Break of 2013 out of boredom. After I saw the first couple of episodes I marathon watched the whole series, which only took me a couple days. After those few, glorious days I found myself without any new episodes. So, naturally, I looked up when the next season was coming out. When I learned that season 4 wouldn’t air until April 2014 my heart was crushed. After a couple of months of Game-of-Thrones-less misery I decided to start reading the books. The books are pretty thick so reading has been slow going, but I’m really enjoying them. I hope to finish all 5 books before season 5 comes out which should be plenty of time.

3.) Describe the book in 20 words or less using your own words.
Fantasy, emotion, mystery, action, adventure, basically anything anyone could ever want in a book. Oh, and more characters than you can imagine.

4.) What did you like? What didn’t you like?
I really like that G. R. R. Martin has no problem killing his characters. What I don’t like is that G. R. R. Martin has no problem killing his characters.

5.) Who would you recommend should read this?
People like me who can’t wait for season 4 to come out. But anyone that enjoys readings could enjoy the books. I think G. R. R. Martin writes in a way that gives you views from all sides of the story. While this makes the books a little more complicated, it also makes them more fun to read.

What We’re Reading – Sarah Sagmoen

It’s Tuesday and time for the second edition of the Spring Semester  “What We’re Reading” Blog Series. Each week we ask one of the Brookens Library staff members to tell us a little bit about what they are reading. This week we are featuring Sarah Sagmoen – Director of User Service. Enjoy!

1. What are you reading?

I just finished Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

2. How did you make your selection?

It was recommended by members of the Brookens Student Book Club and it was available in a platform that we are testing to offer a new service here at Brookens Library.  No spoilers here, but be on the lookout for an announcement regarding new services this semester!

3. Describe the book in 20 words or less.

A girl has magical powers and must choose Good or Evil. And it’s YA (Young Adult) lit so there is a love story.
4. What did you like? What didn’t you like?

It’s certainly not the best book I’ve read lately, but it was entertaining enough. It definitely fits the usual form used by most YA authors and is a little predictable.  However, what I really like is that this story has a male protagonist, when many of the popular YA novels are told from a female point of view.    That is certainly a nice change of pace in this genre.

5. Who would you recommend should read this book?

I’d recommend this book to anyone who has already read some of the big names in YA literature and is looking for a new series to explore.  Otherwise, there are some books or series that I would suggest before I’d suggest this one.

What We’re Reading: Laura Berndt

Welcome back! We are excited to start another semester and to continue our “What We’re Reading” Blog Series.

“What We’re Reading”gives the Brookens Library staff the opportunity to highlight a variety of books, audio books, or e-books you might find enjoyable. This series will post every week on the “What’s New at Brookens” Blog. The first installment for the new year features Laura Berndt a student worker at Brookens.  Learn more about what Laura has been reading:

1.) What are you reading?

I am almost done reading “Shadow and Bone” by Leigh Bardugo

2.) How did you make your selection?

My roommate recommended it to me

3.) Describe the book in 20 words or less using your own words.
A book about a girl in a world where her newfound power can either save or destroy the kingdom.

4.) What did you like? What didn’t you like?

I like the overall story and that it is set in a fictional world, but I also just like the idea of a plain girl who finds out she is much more important than she ever gave herself credit for. There’s lots of action and mystery so that’s always exciting too.  One thing that I’m not crazy about in this book are all the weird names given to things in this world, it’s sometimes hard to keep track of.
5.) Who would you recommend should read this?

Young adults, or just anyone! it’s good and there are two more books in the series.