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Books with POJ 2: About This Guide
This guide includes a list of novels recommended by Paul O. Jenkins, University Librarian.
An amusing and moving family saga, The Brothers K is also a love letter of sorts to baseball. Hugh Chance is a minor league pitcher raising a family with his wife, a seventh day Adventist. Each of the children is strikingly different, yet they all share a great love for sibling Irwin. While not the smartest or most talented of the brothers, Irwin is the happiest and most sincere. The often dysfunctional family finally unites when Irwin is committed to an Army psychiatric facility. This is a book that displays great humor while proving it has a huge heart.
Burning Marguerite by Elizabeth Inness-Brown
Publication Date: 2003-05-13
Though the main story line concerns a young man caring for his aging, adoptive mother, several other love stories blossom within the book’s pages. Taken together, they demonstrate the complexity of life’s most treasured emotion.
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens; Frederick Page (Introduction by)
Publication Date: 1987-10-22
One of my favorite Dickens novels, Great Expectations is perhaps best regarded as a novel of friendship. As he grows up, Pip learns to distinguish between illusory pleasures and the value of truly meaningful relationships.
Fathers and Children by Ivan Sergeyevich Turgenev; John Bayley (Introduction by); Avril Pyman (Translator)
Publication Date: 1991-10-15
This brief 19th century Russian novel is nevertheless broad in scope, exploring as it does themes as universal as parenthood, love, and belief systems.
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
Publication Date: 2001-08-06
This novel is narrated by Anna Frith, housemaid to a small village’s rector, Mr. Mompellion. It is through her eyes that we see the ravages of the bubonic plague that swept through parts of England in 1665-66. Engrossing both as an historical novel, and as a brilliant study of character, Brooks’s novel recounts the village’s decision to isolate itself from the outside world in order to halt the contagion. An unexpected twist at tale’s end provides the icing on an intriguing literary cake.
The Passion of Artemisia by Susan Vreeland
Publication Date: 2002-01-14
This is a fascinating historical novel about Artemisia Gentileschi (1593-1656), one of the world’s first famous female artists. The story concerns her struggles to establish herself in a man’s world, and her difficult relationships with her husband, her daughter, and her father. Narrated in the first person, the book reads quickly and is an excellent illustration of an artist struggling with the demands of her society, her family, and her artistic vision.