Kelli's Picks

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This book is filled with poignant prose and uniquely real characters. Conversions With Friends follows college friends and poetry duo Frances and Bobbi, as they befriend married couple Nick and Melissa after one of their poetry readings. This book will soon be a show on Hulu with Taylor Swift's boyfriend!

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The book is perfect for anyone working in biology, academia, or someone just looking for a nice summer read!

Cultish

Cultish is a book that investigates our innate intrigue and fear of the power of cults and how they function. Montell investigates how various types of cults employ language from Manson to SoulCycle, to attract new followers, manufacture ideology, and isolate new followers from society. Montell shows us how we are all influenced, whether we like it or not, by cultish language and the grip it has on American society.

Young Mungo

Young Mungo paints a portrait of the struggles of masculinity, religion, and class in this vivid portrayal of gay youth in working-class Glasgow that so many young people faced.

9780062060624

This book is sort of the adult version of the Percy Jackson series I read as a kid - a re-imagining of the Iliad, with Achilles and Patroclus’s romantic relationship as the primary focus. The book takes you through their entire relationship, so you grow and develop with them. You connect so much with these characters it makes you feel as if you are inside the myth itself. Miller’s heart wrenching composition makes you understand how this story has lasted through the millennia.

9780812973013

This book follows Dr. Paul Farmer; Harvard Professor, infectious disease expert, and anthropologist, from Harvard to Haiti, Peru, Cuba, and even Russia, bringing health care to underprivileged areas with his charity, Partners In Health. Dr. Farmer attempts to put his belief that every human has the right to quality health care into action. Mountains Beyond Mountains is a story of unquenchable hope that makes you believe in the innate virtue of humanity and that you too can be better person.

9780141439570

Oscar Wilde’s most famous piece of work definitely stands the test of time. This novel revolves around a portrait of Dorian Gray, a handsome hedonistic aristocrat. He sells his soul to make his portrait age instead of himself while he lives an immoral life that causes his portrait to decay with each of his sins. This novel plays into moral philosophical dilemmas that makes the reader question right and wrong and what it means to live a good life.

9781400083039

Rob Sheffield’s memoir reminds us of how important music is in our lives. This memoir details Sheffield’s life with his first wife, Renee, before she passed away and how the music they curated through the mixtapes they made for each other helped him cope with the loss and move on in his life. Sheffield’s intimate retelling of these moments reflects how there is underlying optimism and hope even in the saddest moments in life if you are willing to look for it.

9781400031702

This book is narrated by Richard Papen, a transfer student at a small New England liberal arts school, who becomes enraptured by the small cohort of pretentious, socially isolated students studying Classics with enigmatic Professor Julian Morrow. Based on Tartt’s experience at Bennington College during the 1980s, where she studied with other authors such as Bret Easton Ellis. This story shows off the horrifying elitism in academia and how problematic it can be when gone unchecked.

9780374529949

This novel is about a small-time actress and wife of a film producer, Maria Wyeth, who navigates her life after recovering from a mental breakdown in 1960s Hollywood. This novel is a social commentary on the drugaddled and morally void life of the Hollywood elite. While many books tackle similar topics, Didion uses such exquisite prose to subtly tell the tale of celebritism that makes this novel worth the read time and time again.