Published: May 8, 2018

While some are still preparing for one more final, and others anticipating donning their graduation cap on Thursday, many are already gearing up for summer jobs or internships, summer courses or new adventures. We hope everyone gets a chance to relax and enjoy a break—you have worked hard and deserve some time off!

We can't resist suggesting that one of the best ways to enjoy time off is to read a book for pleasure. Not in preparation for an exam or because it is required reading, but just for the joy of reading! Here are recommendations from several of our subject specialists. We encourage you to check out one, two or all of them in one of the University Libraries, which hold the largest collection in the Rocky Mountain region. Or, just come in and browse the stacks, find a shady spot on Norlin Quad or a comfy seat in the Commons and enter "the timeless fellowship of the human spirit!"

Megan Welsh holding her reading recommendation



"A Tale for the Time Being is an emotive, thought-provoking journey that takes you from a troubled teenage interpretation of an outsider’s life in urban Japan, to a peaceful Buddhist temple in the highlands, then back to the present-day shores of Vancouver Island. The author cleverly weaves people and places together across time leaving the reader with an understanding of the urgent interconnectedness of all things. This is a special story, classified as fiction on the verge of magical realism, filled with struggles of identity, serious life challenges, and opportunities for self-realization."
-Megan Welsh, Assistant Professor and Interdisciplinary Art and Humanities Librarian




Rebecca Kuglitsch holding her summer reading pick, The Lefthand of Darkness


"This book explores what life might be like without fixed genders, opens up new ways to think about gender roles, sex and sexuality, and is a classic of feminist science fiction. Plus, lots of it takes place in icy frozen conditions, which is nice for summer reading."

-Rebecca Kuglitsch, Head, Gemmill Engineering, Mathematics & Physics Library






Stephanie Bonjack holding her summer book, The Bees.


THE BEES by Laline Paull

The Bees is a captivating story about Flora, a worker bee born into a highly structured and authoritarian hive. All aspects of this microcosm are examined through the eyes of a protagonist who just can’t help but break the rules."
-Stephanie Bonjack, Head of the Howard B. Waltz Music Library





Book covers for The Meadow and Wolf Willow
David Hays, one of our archivist, recommends two books, saying, "we all ought to know something of where we live, at least before the cities, turnpikes and subdivisions came."

WOLF WILLOW by Wallace Stegner

It combines the nostalgia of a childhood on the Great Plains with the region’s history, in evocative prose:

“A muddy little stream, a village grown unfamiliar with time and trees. I turn around and retrace my way up Main Street and park and have a Coke in the confectionery store. It is run by a Greek, as it used to be, but whether the same Greek or another I would not know. He does not recognize me, nor I him. Only the smell of his place is familiar, syrupy with old delights, as if the ghost of my first banana split had come close to breathe on me.”

THE MEADOW by James Galvin

It's filled with poetic prose about a fading way of life and disappearing characters in a particular location on the Wyoming/Colorado border:“Lyle is sixty-three. When he sits in a straight backed chair he kind of folds himself down, like a folded union suit – the terrible posture of someone who is usually exhausted before they allow themselves to sit – legs crossed, hands in lap, almost liquid shoulders.”


Alex Watkins and his reading recommendations


Our Art & Architecture Librarian, Alex Watkins, couldn't narrow it down and has three recommendations for you:

Caravaggio by Howard Hibbard

Caravaggio’s short life was filled sex, violence, and art, essentially everything you want in an artist’s biography.

Ellsworth Kelly by Tricia Paik

This book is gorgeous, filled with excellent reproductions of Kelly’s hard-edged and colorful abstract paintings

The Brooklyn Rail

Keep up on everything hip in art, dance, film, music, and books. Available in the art magazine section.


Emily Gari



THE SIXTH EXTINCTION by Elizabeth Kolbert

"I recommend The Sixth Extinction both because of the importance of the subject—conservation of species in the face of human-driven environmental changes—and because of the engaging writing and storytelling.  It’s one of the top science books I’ve read in recent years."
-Emily Gari, Science & Engineering Librarian





Abbey Lewis



"I love the super smart and hilarious heroine in this novel and had a great time with all the literary references contained within the book itself—the chapters are all named after other books – Brave New World, Madame Bovary, etc."
Abbey Lewis, STEM Learning & Collections Librarian, EBIO






 Lindsay Roberts


"Have you heard that Norlin Library has a new Children's & Young Adult Collection, available on the 2nd floor looking out over Norlin Quad? Cry Heart, But Never Break is a perfect example that children's books can serve adults as well. Translated from Danish, the story involves Death visiting a household and the children grappling with loss, life, and the importance of being able to say goodbye."
-Lindsay Roberts, Assistant Professor and Education, Linguistics, & Ethnic Studies Librarian





Book cover of a couple in roaring twenties clothes for the novel Somewhere Still


Another recommendation goes to CU Boulder's own Denitta Ward and her debut novel, Somewhere Still. Kirkus Reviews calls it " a vividly drawn portrait of a young woman making her way in an era of opulence and abundance." A coming-of-age story, Somewhere Still demonstrates the transformative power of the human spirit to build bridges and extend a helping hand.







Cover of documentary Ken Burns The National Parks

Our Media, Communication & Information Librarian, Stacy Gilbert, recommends Ken Burns's series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea, available for streaming through the Libraries' Kanopy subscription. "Watch this six-part documentary to learn about National Parks and plan which parks you want to visit this summer," said Gilbert.







A backpack filled with resources like binoculars that come with the state park pass for check out

And if you'd rather stay local and visit Colorado State Parks, be sure to check out the Colorado State Park Pass, available at Norlin's Circulation Desk. It comes with a backpack, filled with resources like binoculars and a guide to Colorado's 42 state parks. Colorado State Parks and Wildlife provides these State Park passes to encourage and allow Colorado residents of all ages to visit State Parks and enjoy, explore and engage with nature. 

Titles with links are available in our Libraries, so you can find or request them from the University Libraries. All University Libraries will be closed May 12 and May 13, opening again on May 14 with summer hours. If you have a fun read to recommend, please email the title and a short description of why you'd recommend it to Deirdre Keating. We'd love to share student, staff and faculty picks!