Senior Books Gallery

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Jayne Discenza

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 3 years in the library

JAYNE’S BOOK SELECTION

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I haven’t read too many books that I feel compelled to revisit frequently, but this is one novel that I cannot give up. It could be characterized as an adventure, a romance, a thriller, or perhaps the classic American novel. Aside from the moral lessons (of which there are many), this book is artfully crafted. The prose is fantastic, and Chabon creates the most vivid characters I’ve ever encountered. Please, for your own good and the good of us all, go read it!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

JesConsin, Suphachai, Danielle, Janet, donuts, the new scanner, the time when the FBI locked my computer, and all the cool cats I get to work with!

Julia Gartzke

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: Archives
  • Worked 4 years in the library

JULIA’S BOOK SELECTION

d’Aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths by Ingri and Edgar Parin d’Aulaire

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This was my favorite book growing up, first for the pictures and then for the stories. Whenever I hear/read/see a reference to a Greek myth, my mind goes right back to these beautiful lithographed illustrations.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Working in the Archives, I find out something new every day! It has been so much fun to learn all of the eclectic personal narratives that make up Macalester’s history, and it has really fueled my interest in public history.

Selamawit Gebremariam

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: AIRS Specialist
  • Worked 3.5 years in the library

SELAMAWIT’S BOOK SELECTION

Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book is set in Ethiopia and the United States, and written of a time in Ethiopia when the old order gave way to the new. In describing that time period in Ethiopia, this books gives a lot of historical facts about my home country, Ethiopia, which I did not get to learn about as much, as I left the country at an early age. Hence, I particularly loved reading about Ethiopia’s politics, history and culture Moreover, Verghese’s writing infuses both surprise and humor of the political and moral crises that emerge in the medical field. His simplicity in describing the challenges, hard work, pain, and rewards of the medical profession left me speechless as someone who is also interested in the health field. Very impressive. Also, I read this book summer of 2012, when I was in very remote part of the country implementing a Davis Peace Project. Hence, this book (of which I have a personal copy) is a symbol of my time with the community I was working with.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Just being helpful and being thanked for it (Ron did a good job of thanking us for what we did, not matter how big or small). He is also simply an amazing boss! Also, the new friends I made!

Tyler Hanck

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: AIRS Specialist
  • Worked 4 years in the library

TYLER’S BOOK SELECTION

An Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke, edited by Peter H. Nidditch

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This is one of the most influential books ever written, by one of the most fecund thinkers the world has ever known.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Ron Joslin has been a wonderful boss.

Charles Kilian

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

CHARLES’S BOOK SELECTION

Frankenstein, or, The Modern Prometheus by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

ABOUT THE SELECTION

While abroad, one of the most effective ways for me to alleviate homesickness was to read novels in English, unfortunately, though, finding books in Paris that aren’t written in French is a bit of an ordeal. After visiting six or seven shops, I managed to locate a copy of Shelly’s magnum opus and was pleasantly reminded about the high quality of her writing. The ending in particular is quite a remarkable scene.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

It’s been a really wonderful experience working directly with Suphachai, Elvi, Janet, Danielle, Dave, Connie, Jesse, and all the other student employees throughout the years. I’ve also enjoyed the constant day-to-day interactions at the desk and being a resource for everyone on campus.

Emma Rose Lynn

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 3 years in the library

EMMA’S BOOK SELECTION

Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This book is so important to me in the way it conveys how growing up in the Pacific Northwest seeps into your bones and becomes a part of everything you do. The novel centers on a logging family, the Stampers, and the tense relationship between two formerly estranged half-brothers. The complex power dynamic between them and their environment encapsulates the feeling of the Northwest woods in a way no other book I’ve read does, and it is relatable to people from all over because of a similar connection many people have with the geography of their home. It is frustratingly complex, but at the same time it deals with a family and its relationships in a truthful and honest way. Beautifully written and filled with music, it’s opening scene is a disembodied human arm hanging from a rope out the window of a house, flipping everyone off. Why would you not want to read on?!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I love how easy-going and low-stress the library is, while still being focused on doing what we can do to help people. It’s a nice break from the stress of academic life, but at the same time I’ve definitely learned how to research better and ask the right questions by working here!

Tulsi Mehrotra Menon

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

TULSI’S BOOK SELECTION

Room by Emma Donoghue

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Different. Chilling. Haunting. Years after reading this, just the mention of the title brings back the powerful emotions and state of vulnerability that I experienced when reading it for the first time. Not many books have had that extent of an impact on me.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The bosses, hands down! The bizarre conversations, hilarious jokes and constant banter-Laughing uncontrollably is definitely part of the job.Working here always lifts your spirits, Connie and Jessie make sure of it. My friends also really get a kick out of me working at the library, especially when I had to speak over the PA system. I would have friends visit the library specifically at that time just to mock me and try and get me to laugh over the loudspeaker. Who knew a place meant for diligent work could also be one of the most entertaining places to be at.

Sylvia Messerole

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 3 years in the library

SYLVIA’S BOOK SELECTION

Dealing With Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede

ABOUT THE SELECTION

This was the first book that I ever loved. I got it at a library used book sale for 25 cents in the third grade, I have reread it at least once every year since. My copy is falling apart and is held together by a rubber band, but I will never get rid of it.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

The best part of working in the library is the people I work with, there isn’t a nicer group to be found in any other building on campus.

Tim Neuman

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: AIRS Specialist
  • Worked 4 years in the library

TIM’S BOOK SELECTION

The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

Erin O’Leary

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: Reference
  • Worked 3 years in the library

ERIN’S BOOK SELECTION

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Steinbeck is one of my favorite authors, and I love his writing style. East of Eden deals with the nature good and evil in the human spirit. It is really a beautifully written book.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I love the library atmosphere. I have enjoyed the intersect with people I get working at the reference desk as well as getting to know the librarians. I have also vastly expanded my reference knowledge and skills for unjamming staplers which undoubtably will be useful down the road.

Jocelyn Pickreign

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: Cataloging and Acquisitions
  • Worked 4 years in the library

JOCELYN’S BOOK SELECTION

The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle, Christopher Morley

ABOUT THE SELECTION

I love detective stories and Sherlock Holmes is one of my favorite detectives. The short stories are my favorite. Every time I reread them, I notice something new or learn something more about the characters. Plus, they are the perfect length for homework breaks and de-stress sessions!

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

I love working with the books and working with people and being a part of a great Macalester resource.

Reed Polakowski

  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: AIRS Specialist
  • Worked 4 years in the library

REED’S BOOK SELECTION

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The American statehouse : interpreting democracy’s temples by Charles T Goodsell

Danait Teklay

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: Media Services
  • Worked 2 years in the library

DANAIT’S BOOK SELECTION

I didn’t do it for you: how the world betrayed a small African nation by Michela Wrong

ABOUT THE SELECTION

Michela Wrong’s book is a beautifully narrated story of Eritrea’s history from colonialism to the present. It’s humorous, enlightening and at times heart-breaking. I learned a lot from it and I’m glad that it puts a deserving spotlight on a country that is overlooked way too often.

ON WORKING IN THE LIBRARY

Bonding with my co-workers.

Tony Thao

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  • Year of Graduation: 2013
  • Library Department: Circulation
  • Worked 4 years in the library

TONY’S BOOK SELECTION

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

ABOUT THE SELECTION

A phenomenal book and an amazing read.

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