SVC releases new student-recommended book picks list

Thursday January 10, 2013

BENNINGTON -- The library staff at Southern Vermont College compiled a list of books recommended by the students. The students' list, which is posted on the College's Web site at, includes why each book was suggested.

Heather Angell, Psychology student; Alex Becker, Nursing student; and first-year student Kay Hall recommends "A Child Called It" by Dave Pelzer. According to Angell, "This book . . . is written by a man who as a child was abused mentally and physically, put into foster care, and still was able to overcome all of it to become someone who has given back to the country." Becker comments, "It's inspiring the kind of resilience someone can have after going through so much." Hall states, "I recommend this book to others because it makes you more aware of what is going on in the world."

Elaine Guerro, a Radiologic Sciences student, recommends "The Art of Happiness" by Dalai Lama and states, "It gives a Buddhist take on how one can attain happiness and fulfillment in life through a series of interviews with, and insights from, the Dalai Lama. Readers learn that happiness is obtained by the state of one's mind rather than by one's external conditions or events."

Amy Koscielniak, a Nursing student, suggests "Bonjour Tristesse" by Francoise Sagan. Here are her thoughts about the book: "Despite the fact that the book was written in 1954, its uncharacteristically advanced theme makes it a book that seamlessly weaves in with a more modern time. Its characters search for attention, often in the wrong places, in order to fulfill some of the most basic of human needs."

Jaime Cameron, another Nursing student, recommends "Cannery Row" by John Steinbeck, and states, "It's a great book set in the Depression era. It shows that people can remain happy without lots of provisions and shows the blessing of friendship, and it is hilarious."

Hannah Cross, a Criminal Justice student, recommends "Death of Innocence" by Peter Meyer. According to Cross, "This story takes place in Essex Junction, Vt. It is about two 12-year-old girls who are both raped and one murdered on their way home from school . . . and how one girl is strong enough to live through this horrible tragedy and help police and investigators work to find the two men involved . . . ."

Katrina Plummer, a Creative Writing and English Studies student, suggests "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson, and states, "Normally I don't like reading books about history, but this creative nonfiction book was too good to ignore. It tells about the World's Fair that took place in Chicago in 1893." The author provides details about a serial killer who hires his victims in mysterious ways.

Kimberley Greene, a Psychology student, recommends "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls. She claims, "This is a ‘New York Times' best seller. It is a true autobiography of a young girl and her siblings who managed to survive the most unforgettable life."

Freshman Anna Lease offers one of her favorites: "The Great Gatsby" by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and states, "I read this book in high school and I thought it was a very powerful love story. Readers will gain a lot."

Rebecca Hamilton, a Biological Sciences student, recommends "Handle With Care" by Jodi Picoult. Hamilton remarks, "This book was about a girl with a collagen defect in her bones which made her susceptible to breaks very easily. The book really touched me because it showed how the decisions you make can affect everyone and everything around you."

Tim Patrick, another Radiologic Sciences student, suggests "Hero with a Thousand Faces" by Joseph Campbell, and comments, ". . . it is a book worth recommending for anybody appreciative of the arts . . . any individual that is doing any studying or research in the fields of theatre, film, creative writing, English, etc."

Zachary Hall, a Nursing student, recommends "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou, because "I believe this is an important book for college students to read . . . it shows the author's hardships of life and how she deals with them."

Hanifah Presley, a Psychology student, suggests "If You Come Softly" by Jacqueline Woodson. Presley states, "This book is about a young couple who meet each other by mistake after running into each other at their new school. They fall in love but they worry about what people will think."

Anastasia Wilkins, another Nursing student, recommends "In Cold Blood" by Truman Capote, a story detailing the brutal 1959 murders of Herbert Clutter, a successful farmer from Holcomb, Kansas, his wife, and two of their four children. Wilkins states, "We read this book in my school and it was an amazing one. It has a great moral and is an all around book to read."

Will Keen, a History and Politics student, suggests "Ishmael" by Daniel Quinn. Keen states, ". . . is a philosophical book that will show you some blatant errors in human society and culture through brilliant analogies and well constructed arguments. This book changed my perspective of the world."

Rachel Robtoy, a Nursing student, recommends "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini. Robtoy states, "It is a touching story of redemption that also shows a strong background on a culture and religion that is unfamiliar to most people."

Cynthia Richards, a Healthcare Management and Advocacy student, offers "Kristin Lavransdatter" by Sigrid Undset. According to Richards, "This epic trilogy, set in 14th Century (Medieval) Norway, tells Kristin's life story in vivid detail - from her girlhood, through romance, motherhood, politics, and pestilence."

Layla Carnaham, a Nursing student, and Diana Machado, a Criminal Justice student, recommend "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder. Carnaham claims, "This is a wonderful read that forces the reader to think about (rethink?) politics, wealth and society." Machado states, ". . . the amazing things one person is capable of doing for others. It makes you realize a lot about the little things."

Jamie Cousineau, another Nursing student, suggests "My Sister's Keeper" by Jodi Picoult. "This book has such a strong connection to any one that had a family. I feel that . . . other people will not only be drawn into the well written story, but will be able to understand the conflicts that can arise within a family when a child is sick."

Denise Hollister, another Nursing student, recommends "The Notebook" by Nicholas Sparks, because "It's a true story based on true love."

Molly Grzelcyk, another Nursing student, recommends "Tell The Wolves I'm Home" by Carol Rifka Brunt. Grzelcyk states, "This book focuses on many issues a young woman should never have to face. There were points where I laughed until I couldn't breathe and cried until I had to put the book down."

Victoria Ortega, a Radiologic Sciences student, recommends "Survival of The Sickest" by Dr. Sharon Moalem, because "It's a great book for anyone that loves science. It really makes you think about diseases and medicinal cures and how they can affect future generations."


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