Senior Books Gallery

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Alexis Abrams-Bourke

  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 1 year in the library

ALEXIS’S BOOK SELECTION

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Kaija Bergen

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Office
  • Worked 4 years in the library

KAIJA’S BOOK SELECTION

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling

ABOUT THE SELECTION

At some point in the not-so-distant future, there will be entire incoming classes of students at Macalester, none of whom have grown up with Harry Potter. For me, however, this book series continues to represent a substantial part not only of my childhood but my transition from preteen to high school graduate. I have memories of reading these books from fourth grade to twelfth and for that reason, Harry Potter will always hold a very special place in my heart. In addition to that, the books represent to me the importance of standing up for what you believe in, and–cheesy as it may be–the importance of acting with love. As Dumbledore so wisely tells us, life is about making the choice between “what is right, and what is easy.”

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

My four years at the library have been wonderful. Working with Jacki, Terri, Dave, Ellen, and all the rest of the staff has always been immensely rewarding. Whether it be creating displays, learning how to use a sewing machine, washing dishes, typing transcripts, or entering information into the many spreadsheets, I’ve always enjoyed the supportive, collaborative energy here. It’s been a welcome reprieve from the day-to-day academic life, and I’m going to miss everything and everyone here.

Cali Cope-Kasten

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Reference
  • Worked 2 years in the library

CALI’S BOOK SELECTION

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I love British mystery novels, and I have always had a soft spot in my heart for the little Belgian detective. I thought it fitting to choose the adventure for which he is best known, Murder on the Orient Express.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

It is a great space to work with friendly staff members and a flexible schedule. It has also taught me how to do shelf-reading and equipped me with the tools to do extensive searching for library resources.

Tenzin Doshi

  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Reserves
  • Worked 3 years in the library

TENZIN’S BOOK SELECTION

Why the Dalai Lama Matters by Robert A.F. Thurman

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I really like this book because I think that the Dalai Lama’s philosophy and leadership qualities are very unique and inspiring. The author, Robert Thurman, is also a highly engaging person: his insightful perspective effectively displays the nuances of Tibetan Buddhism, as well as Tibetan people, their history, and culture. The present is a critical time for Tibetans in Tibet and in exile as the year 2010 marks the 51st anniversary of Tibet’s illegal occupation by China. The Dalai Lama’s message of finding one’s inner peace and demonstrating by non-violent resistance is something that is crucial for every sentient being’s wellness.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Having exposure to a constant stream of a wide variety of books, as well as the cool student employees that I get to work alongside.

Eitan Feldman

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Technology Support
  • Worked 2 years in the library

EITAN’S BOOK SELECTION

Charles Bukowski : portions from a wine-stained notebook : uncollected stories and essays, 1944-1990 by Charles Bukowski

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Charles Bukowski is life as real as it gets. When it comes down to it, any time is a good time to read Bukowski. As the days go by and his books become rarer and rarer and I think of how much people will miss out when his books finally disappear. Sadly, we do not own much Bukowski at the library, but this book more than titillates the reader into getting more Bukowski.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I love the people that come into the library often and the ones that say hello. I love helping people out with their computer issues and finding materials and immersing myself in magazines that never seem to go out of date.

Casey Harrington

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 3 years in the library

CASEY’S BOOK SELECTION

The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Isabel Allende has a beautiful writing style and does an incredible job crafting characters. I read the book a couple of summers ago and couldn’t put it down.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I love working in the library because I get to see so many wonderful books and plan out which ones I want to read in the future!

Erin Hocking

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

ERIN’S BOOK SELECTION

The Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing byMelissa Bank

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book is like comfort food for me – probably not that nutritional and I’m a little embarrassed that I love it so much, but I do and I read it in excess when I’ve got the blues. While it might seem a little chick-lit-y, it surpasses that genre with great wit and a real sense of melancholy. An easy read, a funny read, and maybe my “favorite” read, in spite of myself.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Everything! I have an unreasonable love for this job. The people I work with and for are wonderful and it’s nice to have a job that’s equal parts work/homework time/human interaction. And I love being around the books – I hope after graduation they’ll let me come back and shelve.

Bassam Khawaja

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Media Services
  • Worked 4 years in the library

BASSAM’S BOOK SELECTION

The Question of Palestine by Edward Said

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book is a powerful historical resource that captures the story behind one of the most prevailing injustices of our time.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Working at Media Services is quiet and low key, but rooted in human interaction. It is an excellent complement to academic life.

Ruby Levine

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Reference
  • Worked 4 years in the library

RUBY’S BOOK SELECTION

Gardens in the Dunes by Leslie Marmon Silko

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This is just an excellent novel and I think more people should read it.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The librarians! They are so friendly and nice.

Hannah Longley

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Reference
  • Worked 4 years in the library

HANNAH’S BOOK SELECTION

No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Miranda July has a sensitive and earnest approach to brief human experiences and gives a lot of significance to things that are minute or seem simple. Beneath her accessible language, I think, there are leagues of complexity and thoughtful intention. She’s funny, too, and these stories can make for a light read or a more sentimental one depending on what you want to take from them. They’re totally lovely!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The reference librarians are wonderful people! In fact, all of the librarians are, and I’ve gotten to know pretty much every one of them since beginning here my first year. Everyone is so kind. And being able to navigate the library’s resources because of my reference experience has given me many almost-painless paper-writing experiences, for which I’m pretty grateful.

Kate Murdock

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 3 years in the library

KATE’S BOOK SELECTION

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book is quite honestly, one of the few books I’ve had time to read just for fun in a long time! It deals with very serious issues in the early 60s in Mississipi, but is able to provide a lot of humor and fun as well. It’s written in an extremely interesting way, each chapter from the perspective of 1 of 3 different characters–you get sucked into their individual stories and secrets. I started reading this book over winter break and at a time when I really needed to get my mind off of things going on around me, and it acted as a wonderful diversion. It was one of those books you really don’t want to put down and I definitely recommend it. (Note: I think women would enjoy it more than men!)

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

More than anything, I think I’ve really enjoyed the people I’ve gotten to work with, as well as the relaxing environment!

Mary Neely

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Technology Support
  • Worked 4 years in the library

MARY’S BOOK SELECTION

Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I read this book during the fall of my sophomore year at Macalester. It meant a great deal to me then and has since become one of my all-time favorites. “The meaning of the words, art, love, beauty, purity, passion, all this was made clear to me by the simplest of human words uttered by this workman.”

Kate Petersen

  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

KATE’S BOOK SELECTION

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

ABOUT THE SELECTION

It’s a smart book, it’s beautifully written, and it’s got some important things to say about academia.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The library is the best place to work. Good people, full of books.

Deirdre Ratigan

  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 3 years in the library

DEIRDRE’S BOOK SELECTION

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Freedom is about two Macalester friends and roommates: one becomes a self-destructive rock star, the other becomes a very unconventional environmentalist. Franzen is a hilarious writer, though his sense of humor is a bit dark. He tackles big issues, including politics and the struggle to be a good person. Most of all, he understands the intricacies of human relationships.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I have enjoyed working with Suphachai, Elvi, Janet, Danielle, Dave, and all the other student employees, they’re wonderful. Working at the library is fun, and it’s relaxed. Plus, I get to be around books!

Jesse A. Sawyer

  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Technology Support
  • Worked 3 years in the library

JESSE’S BOOK SELECTION

Underworld by Don DeLillo

ABOUT THE SELECTION

It’s a book about taking out the trash, sort of. But it’s also kind of about baseball. And immigrants. And art. Is it a cop-out to say that this book is about ‘America,’ whatever that is? It’s a long book, so people think that makes it DeLillo’s masterpiece. Maybe that’s what it is. In any case, you probably shouldn’t read it. I read it once, and that was the beginning of the end for me. Not that the two are causally related, mind you. They simply coincided temporally.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Books and the people who work with them. It’s like in Nabokov’s Invitation to a Beheading, how the prison librarian has just a little bit more humanity than the others, a little opacity from the dust of the books that he handles. Also, Janet says if I say all positive things in this section, she’ll buy me a pizza!

Nika (Dominika) Seblova

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Technology Support
  • Worked 4 years in the library

NIKA’S BOOK SELECTION

Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera

ABOUT THE SELECTION

There are many books, I love, so selecting single one, was extremely hard. I decided for Milan Kundera – Laughable loves, because I am always touched by this collection of short stories and keep re-reading them. What I love about these stories of love is how they illustrate the intersection of personal lives and society, history and politics. They show aspects of history of my country, people do not think about. They gently describe how were intimate relationships politicized and how masks people put on for multiple reasons had rippling effects in their lives. Even though it speaks about past, it makes me think about relationships, emotions and politics today.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I loved working in the library because all of my supervisors, co-workers and people I interacted with were friendly and welcoming. I enjoyed when I could help someone with computer and they would look less stressed. Finally, I enjoyed the beautiful building and the presence of books. Walking through the stacks makes me feel like there is still so much to discover and I am looking forward to graduating and reading again some fiction.

Margaret Shaklee

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Reserves
  • Worked 4 years in the library

MARGARET’S BOOK SELECTION

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Robin McKinley is one of my favorite authors, and The Blue Sword is my favorite of her books. It’s the kind of book I would like to write if–when–I am an author. It has just the right mix of adventure and heroism and friendship and battles to fight and day-to-day life to live out. I’ve read many fine books and articles and great works of fiction since beginning college. But none can replace The Blue Sword in my affections.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The library has been a great place to work. I enjoy being around books all the time, and I enjoy the camaraderie among library employees. Everyone is so friendly! It’s fun to know the inner workings of the library and to know how to solve problems for patrons. It’s always interesting to see what books are being checked in and out. And tasty snacks are pretty common!

Nadia Stennes-Spidahl

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  • Year of Graduation: 2011
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

NADIA’S BOOK SELECTION

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book is one of my favorites, and has been for as long as I can remember. My father read The Lord of the Rings aloud to me when I was in third grade. He would sing all the songs, making up melodies, and he has the best version of Gollum’s voice that I’ve ever heard. I also have fond memories of reading the entire story while on a train trip from my hometown all the way to Portland, Oregon – a 2-day trip that would have been interminable had I not had The Lord of the Rings to keep me company.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I love seeing all the books that circulate – it’s fun when you see a bunch of books with a clear theme and you can just imagine someone’s exciting research. I also love that at the library one gets to see almost everyone who is a part of the campus community, as well as neighbors and friends. Working during the summer has been especially fun, when things are quieter in terms of patrons, but we’re getting all sorts of new books – and when you work here, you get first dibs!

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