Local bookworms give reading recommendations for winter break

Unplug this winter break with a good book.

Nina Raemont, Arts and Entertainment Reporter

Imagine: The snow is falling, you’ve finished a stressful set of finals and you’ve survived another semester of “Zoom University.” Holiday music is playing, and your worries are as far away as the beginning of spring semester. You can finally read something you enjoy.

If you still haven’t picked your winter break novel, here are a few reading recommendations to keep you busy over the well deserved break.

“Wow, No Thank You” by Samantha Irby: This book of essays, recommended by Kesha Nash, the library services specialist at Washburn Library, is one of Nash’s favorite books of the year. “I connect with her. She’s just trying to go through life and figuring out what ‘adulting’ means,” Nash said.

Irby’s book is witty and relatable and explores her life at 40 years old. The third book of her collection, “Wow, No Thank You” is a humorous page turner.

“Dune” by Frank Herbert: Next year, “Dune,” the 1965 science fiction novel, will become a movie starring Timothée Chalamet and Zendaya. Lacie McMillin, a library assistant for the University libraries, recommends reading the bestselling novel that explores themes of politics, colonization and mind control before watching the movie.

“The Plague” by Albert Camus: If you’re interested in a philosopher’s assessment of a previous pandemic, Christian Uwe, an assistant professor of cultural studies and comparative literature, recommends Albert Camus’ 1947 novel about the plague that swept through the city of Oran in French Algeria. Uwe said that this novel reflects on the plague as a “philosophical allegory for the human condition.”

“This Town Sleeps” by Dennis E. Staples: Staples’ novel takes place on a reservation in northern Minnesota and follows the romance between a gay Ojibwe man and a closeted white man. The novel quickly unfolds to investigate the mystery of a murdered Ojibwe basketball star and discoveries unravel. Nash, who recommended this book, said she loves the suspenseful writing Staples employs to create this page-turning story.

“Season of the Shadow” by Léonara Miano: According to Uwe, Miano’s novel details how the trans-Atlantic slave trade impacts everything in an African village and how human existence is completely upended by the presence of slavery. Miano imagines through this novel what it might have been like for African communities when slave traders came to villages and took people away. Uwe explains how the trans-Atlantic slave trade is something African writers have only recently begun to address in literature, and Miano accomplishes the feat of writing about this important topic with poetic eloquence.

“The Chiffon Trenches: A Memoir” by André Leon Talley: Ever wondered what it’s really like to work at one of the most prestigious magazines in the world? McMillin recommends André Leon Talley’s memoir for those curious about the high-fashion universe. Talley, the creative director at Vogue when the fashion magazine was on the rise, details his experience working in the world of fashion and how he struggled with the issues that arise in this dog-eat-dog industry.