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Rice Library’s recommended reading list

July 25, 2023

Fall Semester is creeping toward us; if you’re looking for one more good book to finish out your summer reading or something for the fall, check out these recommendations from the Rice Library staff! Be sure to pick one or all up at the Library or browse all of the recreational reading options available to USI employees.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End
Atul Gawande

Recommended by: Peter Whiting, Scholarly Communication Librarian and Professor of Library Science

Why he recommends it: During the spring 2023 semester, the USI Minka House led a reading book club called “Meet Me in the Minka” that read the book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End by Atul Gawande. Modern medicine has made great strides, yet well-being must be a better approached in how we deal with ageing and death. We all want independence as we age, and health care needs to be emphatic and compassionate with aging health challenges. Throughout the book Dr. Gawande gives an engaging narrative of stories of people in society and how we can help people continue to have purpose and value with a sense of well-being. I highly recommend this book that it is available in Rice library since it is easy to read.

More about the book: Medicine has triumphed in modern times, transforming birth, injury, and infectious disease from harrowing to manageable. But in the inevitable condition of aging and death, the goals of medicine seem too frequently to run counter to the interest of the human spirit. Gawande offers examples of freer, more socially fulfilling models for assisting the infirm and dependent elderly, and he explores the varieties of hospice care to demonstrate that a person's last weeks or months may be rich and dignified.

Where to find it: General Collection, Third and Fourth floors

Call number: R726.8 .G39 2014

The Lonely Ones
Kelsey Sutton

Recommended by: Cecilia Pryor, Senior Library Assistant

Why she recommends it: A novel in verse from an author clearly writing from a place of deep empathy on a subject many try to tackle but few do so successfully.

More about the book: The stress of her father's job loss causes Fain to feel invisible at home and in her new school, but she escapes with the monsters of her imagination until a family crisis and a human friend cause her to reconsider.

Where to find it: Midgrade/YA Collection

Call number: PZ7.5.S88 Lon 2016


Orphan Island
Laurel Snyder

Recommended by: Cecilia Pryor, Senior Library Assistant

Why she recommends it: This book tackles coming-of-age in a metaphor that has been done before, while still managing to add something new to the conversation. It’s a book that definitely ignites the imagination even after the book is over. 

More about the book: On the island, everything is perfect. Only one thing ever changes: on that day, each year, when a boat appears from the mist upon the ocean carrying one young child to join them—and taking the eldest one away, never to be seen again.

Where to find it: Midgrade/YA Collection

Call number: PZ7.S6851764 Or 2017

Because of Miss Bridgerton
Julia Quinn

Recommended by: Tammy Jewell, Senior Library Assistant

Why she recommends it: Historical Fiction is always my favorite to read and this one piqued my interest because of its popularity on Netflix when they made the Bridgerton series into a show.

More about the book: Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers. The two families have been neighbors for centuries, and as a child the tomboyish Billie ran wild with Edward and Andrew. Either one would make a perfect husband... someday. But sometimes fate has a wicked sense of humor. There is only one Rokesby Billie absolutely cannot tolerate, and that is George. He may be the eldest and heir to the earldom, but he's arrogant, annoying, and she's absolutely certain he detests her. Which is perfectly convenient, as she can't stand the sight of him, either. Because when Billie and George are quite literally thrown together, a whole new sort of sparks begins to fly. And when these lifelong adversaries finally kiss, they just might discover that the one person they can't abide is the one person they can't live without.

Where to find it: Popular Reading, Romance/Historical Fiction, First Floor

Call number: POPULAR ROM/HIST Quinn

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