Senior Books Gallery

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Cara Harwood

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

CARA’S BOOK SELECTION

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This is one of my favorite books, and is the book that I always recommend to everyone, so it seemed appropriate to recommend it to the library. I read it first in high school and have re-read it since then, even though it is more than 900 pages long. This book is amazing. From I Know This Much Is True: “Life is a whoopee cushion; a chair pulled away just as you were taking a seat.”

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Suphachai has been the best part about working in the library. Every semester for the four years I have worked here I have had a night shift with him, and he is still surprised that now I am graduating, saying, “oh really? Cara, you are a senior? I had no idea”. Suphachai- it’s been fun knowing you on Monday nights, talking about Harry Potter (and other books), and hearing your stories.

Aaron Hawkins

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Computer Lab
  • Worked 1 year in the library

AARON’S BOOK SELECTION

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Just Above My Head by James Baldwin

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This is the first book I’ve read by Baldwin, but it has really opened my eyes to a new way of perceiving certain kinds of experience, like heart-rending love or unerring family devotion. He writes in a way that suffuses every superficial detail of life with a luminosity that cuts straight to the brightness we once knew as a child, or perhaps still know beneath all the accumulated layers of social conditioning. It inspires me to unearth what might be hidden, and let it come forth through me into the world.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Librarians are where it’s at.

Thao Huynh

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department:Acquisitions
  • Worked 4 years in the library

THAO’S BOOK SELECTION

Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I loved this book when I was a kid. The animals were devious or clever and always had fun adventures illustrating some sort of moral. The stories were short enough to hold the attention of a youngster but intricate enough to make people think. It was a good, yet sneaky, way to teach kids lessons about life without actually telling them what to do. I still remember some of the fables well.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I enjoy looking at all the new books that come knowing that I had a hand in that process. Everyone is very nice and contributes to a family like atmosphere. The treats the staff provides for the students are a plus too! In all honesty, I will miss the library when I graduate.

Katharine Patton

  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Lower Level Lab
  • Worked 1 year in the library

KATHARINE’S BOOK SELECTION

Ordinary Resurrections by Jonathan Kozoi

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book, among others by Kozol, has stirred my passion for fighting the injustice of poverty in America. It gives voice to the children and families who need most to be heard and whose struggle should move us all to be more compassionate.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Supportive and appreciative staff.

Casey Reynolds

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

CASEY’S BOOK SELECTION

The Source by James Michener

ABOUT THE SELECTION

As an archaeology major, this book appeals to me on many levels. I enjoy historical fiction, and Michener’s methodical accounts of historical events, however fanciful, appeal to my sense of chronology. I was very young when I first read this book, and although the inaccuracies in it are much more evident now, I still enjoy it immensely. It is an excellent read for anybody interested in both the ancient and recent history of the Middle East.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

My co-workers, of course! I also enjoy seeing what other Macalester students are reading and researching.

Danielle Boucher

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Reserves
  • Worked 2 years in the library

DANIELLE’S BOOK SELECTION

Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture by Editors Aarons Rose and Christian Strike

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book was created in conjunction with an art exhibit, which I had seen in San Fransisco. Many of these artists were the founders of a newer movement of art that came out of graffiti, street and subculture. The art, artists and their philosophies have been some of the most influential to me and how I view art.

Nyalleng Moorosi

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Reserves
  • Worked 3 years in the library

NYALLENG’S BOOK SELECTION

The Stranger by Albert Camus

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I enjoyed his style of writing and it is this book that introduced me to existentialism, which I find completely fascinating. I liked the way he described his characters, especially the main character. He managed to capture the character’s indifference without making him unreal or inhumane.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Seeing almost everybody on campus. Seeing people in their relaxed mode (the day before a break) and in their stressed out modes (days before a big paper is due, or before an important exam).

Yana Mihaleva

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Computer Lab
  • Worked 4 years in the library

YANA’S BOOK SELECTION

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century byThomas Friedman

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I would really like to read it and I am looking forward to graduation, when I will actually have the time to do it! I read “The Lexus and the Olive Tree” by Friedman for my first-year course at Mac and I think that another book by him would be a nice wrap-up of my book explorations while at Mac. Thank you!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

That it is quiet, and the Girl Scout cookies in spring. Thanks, Ron!

Peter Anderson-Sprecher

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Lower Level Computer Lab
  • Worked 4 years in the library

PETER’S BOOK SELECTION

Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas R. Hofstadter

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book portrays a unique view of some of the structures underlying logic and human thought as represented in a variety of fields, including mathematics, the arts, and artificial intelligence. As a Computer Science major and a musician, I found that it gave me a new perspective for aspects of my own life and work which otherwise seemed independent and unrelated.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The library staff and my fellow student employees are fun and easy to work with, and the work I do in the computer lab is always varied and interesting.

Lauren Chesnut

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department:Cataloging
  • Worked 3 years in the library

LAUREN’S BOOK SELECTION

The Nuclear Age by Tim O’Brien

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book was the only light shining in my life while working at the county fair for two weeks one summer in a pizza booth. I believe it was read exclusively on the fairgrounds. Tim O’Brien just can’t get enough of the Vietnam War. Luckily, neither can I.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Having an excuse to alphabetize a lot of things.

Andrea Bronson

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Reference Desk/Interlibrary Loan
  • Worked 4 years in the library

ANDREA’S BOOK SELECTION

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Joyce has had a huge impact on my life and on my own creative writing style. I first read “The Dead” in high school which inspired me to read more of Joyce’s work. I have read “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man” 7 or 8 times, including 3 times in classes at Mac. The book influenced me to go to Ireland and study Joyce and Irish culture. When I came back from Ireland, I read “Ulysses” with Professor Stuart McDougal with a deeper understanding of the cultural references in Joyce’s texts. Now I have an Irish focus for my Humanities & Media & Cultural Studies major, am working on an Honors project about Irish women’s reproductive rights and have become more informed about my own Irish-American identity. More directly, whenever I read “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man,” I become enthralled with the story and savor the language– I really love this book!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I love understanding how the library operates and having knowledge of the best ways to complete research but most of all, I love the people that I have worked with.

Jamie Schmeits

  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Bindery/Mendery
  • Worked 4 years in the library

JAMIE’S BOOK SELECTION

The Time of Our Singing by Richard Powers

Laura Mills

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 3 years in the library

LAURA’S BOOK SELECTION

The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book is about preserving integrity in a world that is determined to destroy it. It is both devastating and inspiring.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Finding great books to read while shelving or processing them.

Pakou Vang

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Periodicals and Acquisitions
  • Worked 4 years in the library

PAKOU’S BOOK SELECTION

Bamboo Among the Oaks: Contemporary Writings by Hmong Americans by Edited by Mai Neng Moua

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This is the first anthology of Hmong American writings. As an aspiring poet/writer myself who happens to also be Hmong American, I feel I can relate to a lot of the writers in this book. This helps me realize that there are people out there who go through the same struggles and issues in life like me. I am hopeful that many more volumes will be published in the future.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I enjoyed the friendly and enthusiastic staff. They have always been very flexible about work schedules, and have been a great support system outside of academics for me in the last four years of college.

Neely Crane-Smith

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

NEELY’S BOOK SELECTION

Matilda by Roald Dahl

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Matilda was one of my biggest heroes growing up. Not only did she love to read, which was certainly my favorite activity, but she was smart, strong and had superpowers. I love all of Roald Dahl’s books, but Matilda will always be my favorite. It’s scary, funny, sad, touching and completely captivating. We need more books about powerful girls and women – this is a classic!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Learning walking meditation (shelving), discovering just how much dust can build up if no one checks out books from the third floor for a really long time, and making announcements!

Amanda Westley

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

AMANDA’S BOOK SELECTION

The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book is one of the most compelling love stories I have ever read. The prose is absolutely lyrical.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The interaction with people, both library employees and patrons.

Jordan Selbo

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Periodicals
  • Worked 3 years in the library

JORDAN’S BOOK SELECTION

Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Vonnegut remains one of my favorite writers, and I’ve really enjoyed all of his books over the years. Cat’s Cradle is one of my favorites though, as it’s got plenty of sci-fi nonsense and a sort of nuclear holocaust to boot. I also like the fact that Vonnegut is still alive despite smoking like a chimney for most of his adult life, and he still continues to publish articles and short stories despite his retirement from fiction writing ten years ago.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I enjoy the relaxed but passionate atmosphere and people who work for the common goal of distributing knowledge…and the occasional free chocolate.

Rita Lee

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Library Office
  • Worked 3 years in the library

RITA’S BOOK SELECTION

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I once did a solo performance of this book in elementary school. Needless to say, it was horrible and unnecessarily silly- I have no idea why my teachers thought every child had the potential to be an actor. I’ve always been a behind the scenes type person myself – or out of the scene entirely to be more accurate. Anyway, I rediscovered this book about two years ago at the Borders on University and I thought how great, this book sums up life in less than 50 pages. And it all simply boils down to never be giving because someone will come along and cut you up and then sit on you in the end. OK, I kid. But words + pictures = yay!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I simply enjoy my job. And it pays me – not much, but I’m a firm believer in starting from the bottom and working my way up. Unless I win the lottery. Then I’ll be working my way down.

Ekke Soot

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Reserves
  • Worked 3 years in the library

EKKE’S BOOK SELECTION

An Uncertain Grace by Sebastião Salgado

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Photography is a long-time admiration of mine & this book, like all the other books by Sebastião Salgado, is a powerful and heartrending depiction of humanity. By portraying the most dehumanizing suffering of all, it really provokes compassion and care for all the humanity.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The library, like Macalester College as a whole, has been for me like a window to the wider world, broadening my horizons and giving me an outlook. It has drawn in front of me both the incredible riches and diversity of the world as well as its unquestionable complexity. Thanks!

Pranav Vaidya

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Lower Level Computer Lab
  • Worked 2 years in the library

PRANAV’S BOOK SELECTION

Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

ABOUT THE SELECTION

hmmm…

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The people, they’re all great! and the occasional treats as well.

Dion Cunningham

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Reserves
  • Worked 1 year in the library

DION’S BOOK SELECTION

Driven From Within by Michael Jordan

ABOUT THE SELECTION

He is not only one of my favorite athletes of all time, his struggles and his victories teach so many life lessons. Those will will stay with me for the rest of my life.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Working with great bosses like Elvi and Janet, and the student interaction.

Joseph Sedillo

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 1 year in the library

JOSEPH’S BOOK SELECTION

Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I chose this book because one of my favorite genres is the memoir. This book is very fun and twisted and lets us know that even those who practice psychology can be the craziest of them all. I laughed out loud in every chapter of this book and I recommend it to anyone that has a good sense of humor and a slightly twisted mind. It’s great for those psych students who just need a break from their assigned readings and want to delve into a world where psychology becomes the butt of the joke.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The people. My coworkers are all really great people. There is not one that I can’t laugh with and that’s really important to me. The staff at the library is also very understanding of everyone’s needs. They are very flexible and always willing to work with you.

Lisa Kraushaar

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Periodicals/Mendery
  • Worked 4 years in the library

LISA’S BOOK SELECTION

Learning to Sing by Clay Aiken

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I I arrived at my job in the library through a little chance, luck and skill just as Clay rose to national notoriety, through a little chance, luck and skill. The book for which I hold the most respect and would have chosen to showcase is “Sometimes A Great Notion”, by Ken Kesey. However, our library does not carry this book; we do have this inspirational tome however as well as several Anne Coulter books, and even Pamela Anderson’s “Star” (check the inside cover to see her naughty bits). I can’t fault the library’s policy of purchasing those books heralded as culturally relevant by their status upon the New York Times best sellers list. But maybe I can blame America for the wear and tear of my teeth grating, inevitable everytime Rick Santorum’s books have to be processed. This aggravation aside, Clay Aiken makes me laugh, and helps me to believe that with a little luck, a bare modicum of skill, and an untold amount of shameless self-promotion even I can attain some degree of unwarranted success (besides I don’t even have to lie about my sexuality to be accepted by society, yay being hetero, two steps ahead!). So take a look at “Learning to Sing”, then do something that I doubt Clay could never have the mental capacity for, go get “Sometimes A Great Notion”, read it, learn something, and then appreciate the fact that substance doesn’t get your book in the library. On a certain level it’s comforting.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Candy!!!

Jeffrey Berman

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  • Year of Graduation: 2006
  • Library Department: Lab Manager
  • Worked 2 years in the library

JEFFREY’S BOOK SELECTION

The Giver by Lois Lowry

ABOUT THE SELECTION

The Giver by Lois Lowry touched me as both a child reading it under the covers at 2 a.m. and as a student reading it on the couch at 2 a.m. As a child, I was moved by the alternative world that Lowry created and the struggles of the characters within that world. As an adult, I am moved by the simple and fascinating parable of the “safe” society. Indeed, it is a book on par with two of the best dystopian novels of all time: Brave New World and 1984. But The Giver is not set in a place devoid of civil liberties and freedoms, as in 1984, nor has its society been stripped of individualism and free will, as in Brave New World. In the world of The Giver, the ultimate safe and painless society is one without humanity. It is not a concept that is equally translated to the political sphere, but it is a beautiful and touching one with broad implications for the decisions we make… at least it has certainly changed how I view the world. And if you haven’t read it, what are you waiting for?

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