Published: Dec. 17, 2019

Finishing a semester is no easy feat, and we at the University Libraries are in awe of the work you accomplished this semester! Now that the semester is over, you may have an opportunity to read that book you've had your eye on but couldn't start while studying for exams. Winter break is just as much about rest and recovery as well as celebration. If you’re in need of a recommendation, well, we’ve read a lot of good books this year: 

Robert McDonald with book One Giant Leap

Robert H. McDonald, Dean of the University Libraries recommends “One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to The Moon” by Charles Fishman. This recent nonfiction book examines the history of space exploration, technology and more. “It’s a great book with riveting chapters on the computer that brought Americans to the moon for the first time.” 

 Clara Burns recommends Milkman

Music Copy Cataloger Clara Burns recommends “Milkman” by Anna Burns. Winner of the 2018 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, Burns calls the book “intense, beautifully written, and important. Milkman tells of Ireland during the Troubles from the perspective of a young woman. With a misleadingly blunt style, Burns expresses exquisite subtleties of perception and experience, in a context of insecurity bred by the unpredictable outbreaks of violent conflict.”

Jennifer Sanchez recommends Bossypants

Photographic Archivist Jennifer Sanchez recommends comedian Tina Fey’s memoir “Bossypants” as an audiobook. “I thought it was light, fun, and an interesting view into the world of comedy and SNL.” 

 Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout” by Lauren Redniss. Dommermuth describes this story as “a beautifully artistic graphic novel,” telling the story of chemist and physicist Marie Curie alongside the history of nuclear science.

Science & Engineering Librarian Emily Dommermuth recommends “Radioactive: Marie and Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout” by Lauren Redniss. Dommermuth describes this story as “a beautifully artistic graphic novel,” telling the story of chemist and physicist Marie Curie alongside the history of nuclear science. 

Hillary Morgan Recommends The Future of the Past

Conservator Hillary Morgan recommends "The Future of the Past" by Alexander Stille. “It’s a fascinating dive into various examples of our collective world history, from the Great Sphinx to digital collections at the US National Archives. Stille explores our views on the past, the dangers that threaten it, as well as the pros and cons of trying to preserve historical riches for the future.”

Abbey Lewis, recommends My Sister, The Serial Killer

STEM Learning & Collections Librarian Abbey Lewis recommends “My Sister, The Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite. The book, Lewis explains, asks the important questions like, “what do you do when your sister keeps killing her boyfriends?” This darkly funny novel is perfect for anyone headed back home to deal with unruly siblings.

Dylan Wiersma recommends Circe

Dylan Wiersma, the Libraries Human Resources Manager recommends “Circe,” by Madeline Miller for anyone who has recently read “The Odyssey” by Homer. Wiersma calls this story of the goddess Circe “an engrossing tale.” 

Lindsay Roberts recommends My Grandmother's Hands

Education Librarian Lindsay Roberts says that “My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending our Hearts and Bodies,” by Resmaa Menakem is an amazing and wise book about understanding trauma and race can become encoded in us and passed down through generations, and what we can do to reverse these harms. “It starts with each of us and learning to recognize and settle our own bodies across differences.”

Katie Fletcher recommends The History of WWII Podcast

Metadata Coordinator Katie Fletcher recommends listening to “The History of WWII Podcast,” from Ray Harris Jr. “This is a fantastic podcast that breaks down the events of World War II and does a dive into the military tactics and political ‘why’ for each period of battle it focuses on, and how all of that links to the bigger picture,” Fletcher said. She recommends this podcast for listeners interested in learning more about WWII. 

Stephanie Bonjack recommends Catch and Kill

Stephanie Bonjack, Head of the Howard B. Waltz Music Library recommends “Catch and Kill: Lies, Spies, and a Conspiracy to Protect Predators,” by Ronan Farrow, noting that it was a page turner. “The nature of the subject, Harvey Weinstein, as well as the Hydra-like infrastructure that enabled him to hold so much power and influence in our society, turned this work into a spy thriller. I couldn’t put it down.”

Chris Lovejoy recommends  Strange Angels

Business Librarian Christopher Lovejoy is recommending the book “Strange Angel: The Otherworldly Life of Rocket Scientist John Whiteside Parsons” because it focuses on the early days of rocketry development and the founding of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. L. Ron Hubbard and Aleister Crowley also make an appearance. “That's a heady brew,” quips Lovejoy.

Debbie Hamrick recommends Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

Deborah Hamrick, the Libraries Information Technology Manager recommends the contemporary fiction book “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine” by Gail Honeyman. “Eleanor is a character who will make you laugh, cry, root for her, and sometimes feel exasperated by what she is thinking,” Hamrick said. "It is a book that shines a light on the real issues of loneliness, long term effects of abuse, and social awkwardness–while still being entertaining and inspiring. Best of all it has a surprise ending you won’t see coming!”

Associate Dean Jennie Gerke recommends the podcast CU at the Libraries.

Associate Dean Jennie Gerke recommends listening to “CU at the Libraries,” a podcast produced right here at CU Boulder. “The ten episodes this season highlight the diverse work being done at the Libraries,” said Gerke. “I especially recommend the Episode 6, which dives into the archives of the U.S. Navy Japanese Language School at CU Boulder during WWII, and even features an interview with a veteran of the school.”

If there is a book we don’t have that you’re craving, go to Prospector, a unified catalog of academic, public, and special libraries in Colorado and Wyoming. Prospector has around 30 million books, journals, DVDs, CDs, videos and other materials you can request and have delivered to your local library.