Home > Fun, New Titles > More Wintery Reads: Recommendations from WFU Faculty

More Wintery Reads: Recommendations from WFU Faculty

Ever wonder what your professors read outside of school?  Check out their recommendations for what to read over break to gain some insight in their personal choices.

First up is a book recommendation from Dean Ann Gibbs, and a possibility for the 1L book read for next Fall, Picking Cotton: Our Memoir of Injustice and Redemption by Jennifer Thompson-Cannino and Ronald Cotton with Erin Torneo.  One of the authors, Jennifer Thompson-Cannino lives in North Carolina and often speaks on judicial reform as a member of the North Carolina Actual Innocence Commission, the advisory committee for Active Voices, the Constitution Project, and Mothers for Justice.   The story behind the book begins with a man breaking into Jennifer’s apartment and raping her at knife point.  That man was later identified as Ronald Cotton.  Picking Cotton takes the reader from start to finish of Jennifer and Ronald’s story.  According to the book description, “in their own words, Jennifer and Ronald unfold the harrowing details of their tragedy, and challenge our ideas of memory and judgment while demonstrating the profound nature of human grace and the healing power of forgiveness.” [Available at ZSR] Please leave us a comment on your thoughts on the book, including whether it should be our 1L pick for the fall.

Next we have a list of suggestions from Professor Kate Mewhinney, at the Elder Law Clinic.  She recommends a few titles:

  • The Man in the Rockefeller Suit by Mark Seal. [Available at the Forsyth Public Library]  “In striking detail, and at a rapid clip, the writer unravels the complex and fantastically bizarre tale of a man aspiring to the American Dream by any means necessary.”  – NPR.org
  • Bel Canto by Ann Patchett. “Lucky Mr. Hosokawa. The well-connected Japanese businessman, now in an unnamed South American country on yet another job, is having a very special birthday party. At the home of the country’s vice president, opera singer Roxane Cos will be performing for him and his guests. But what’s this? Armed men invading the premises? These ragtag revolutionaries are looking for the president and disappointed that he is not there, but that doesn’t stop them from holding the party goers hostage. What happens after that was, for this reviewer, a story that failed to ignite. Patchett (The Patron Saint of Liars) generates little tension as she moves her players around the board, and one is disappointed that there is little reflection about the head-on clash of art and life. This book is getting a big promotional pitch, however, so libraries may want to consider.” – Barbara Hoffert, “Library Journal” [Available at ZSR]
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett. [Available at ZSR] In his book review of The Help, Bess Newman wrote “The Help is told in the alternating narratives of the various women. The story is powerful because it doesn’t get lost in big, sweeping points about the era but rather focuses on a nuanced portrait of individual characters, and of the horrors and blessings that come from these complicated racial relationships.”

On our list is an author recommendation from Professor Ron Wright.  Professor Wright recommends Scott Turow’s collection by saying that “Scott Turow’s fiction is actually quite realistic — closer to reality, I think, than John Grisham’s novels.”  The PCL has an entire Scott Turow collection available to students for a 28 day check out, which is plenty of time to travel home and read a few before returning to school.  Additionally, Professor Wright recommends “the David Heilbroner memoir [which] is a fun holiday read for those who want a picture of work as a prosecutor.” David Heilbroner, in Rough Justice, details his fall from idealism as he worked as a prosecutor in New York City from 1985 to 1988.

Wrapping up this list of faculty recommendations, Professor Barbara Lentz recommends Why We Buy: The Science of Shopping by Paco Underhill. [Available at the PCL] Professor Lentz stated that once you’ve read this book, “you’ll never shop the same” again.  And the New York Times reviewed this title by stating “at last, here is a book that gives this underrated skill the respect it deserves.” More recommendations from Professor Lentz in a forthcoming blog post.

Can you think of any titles we’ve left out?

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