Published: Dec. 5, 2022

We asked for your media recommendations and you delivered. Ride out the dark days of winter by reading and watching CU Boulder’s favorite media.

Looking for more? Check out books from the libraries’ Popular Reading collection and stream documentaries and films through Kanopy and Swank Digital Campus.


The Last White Man

Libraries Student Assistant Shannon Rutherford O'Neill enjoyed “The Last White Man” by Mohsin Hamid. “A lot of media that came as a result of the pandemic has felt hollow to me,” O’Neill explained. “This book confronted and analyzed issues from 2020 in a way that felt timely and sincere.”

Poison for Breakfast

Shannon Rutherford O'Neill also recommends “Poison for Breakfast” by Lemony Snicket. “I thought that philosophy was boring and irrelevant until I read this book and I enjoyed every second of it!”

See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love

Center for Humanities and the Arts (CHA) director Jennifer Ho recommends “See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love” by Valarie Kaur. “Kaur's memoir is an inspiration for how to fight injustice by maintaining curiosity and extending love,” Ho said.

The Year of Magical Thinking

Lydia Darlington, interim senior executive aide in Student Affairs, recommends the memoir “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion. “This book is an excruciating account of powerful loss and merciless grief,” Darlington explained. “It’s truly a beautiful and honest human story.”

A Gentleman in Moscow

Hillary Morgan, conservator for the University Libraries, recommends the novel "A Gentleman in Moscow" by Amor Towles. “Towles' writing is beautiful and compelling,” said Morgan. “The main character Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov offers a poetic and witty lens on some of the most tumultuous years in Russia's history, all while reminding the reader of the importance of savoring life and finding purpose in the everyday.”

Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family

Assistant Vice Chancellor for Public Safety and Chief of Police Doreen Jokerst recommends reading “Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family” by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia. “In our police department, co-workers truly are family: we keep each other safe, we help and trust each other and we hold each other accountable.” Jokerst explained. “This book exemplifies how to bring out the best in team members, no matter the profession, by caring, listening and respecting all viewpoints and life experiences.”

Bitter Root

Norlin Evening & Weekend Supervisor Alex Maycraft recommends “Bitter Root” by David F. Walker, Chuck Brown and Sanford Greene. “This comic book has beautiful artwork and a poignant message on racism, hate, morality and family that is interwoven into the 1920s paranormal setting and plot,” Maycraft explained.

Something is Killing the Children

Alex Maycraft also recommends the graphic novel “Something is Killing the Children” by James Tynion IV. “If October didn't give you enough spooky horror, I would recommend this novel. The artwork is fantastically horrifying and the characters and plot will draw you in the further into the series you get.

The Woman in the Library

Shannon Rutherford O'Neill recommends “The Woman in the Library” by Sulari Gentill. “It’s the perfect murder mystery for a snowy day — full of lovable characters and twists you won't see coming,” said O’Neill.



Stephanie Bonjack, head of the Howard B. Waltz Music Library, recommends the opera “Akhnaten” by Philip Glass. “Glass distills the essence of opera into this majestic work,” said Bonjack. “The scale of everything is enormous — the singing, the sets, the costumes... the professional juggling! No detail is spared. Glass’ music draws the viewer into a walking meditation of sonorous beauty. Anthony Roth Costanzo’s virtuosic countertenor voice, a relatively rare male vocal type that sits at the same register as most female voices, adds to the otherworldly nature of the sonic landscape. For newcomers and seasoned opera fans alike, this exceptional performance is not to be missed.”

The Vow

Access Services Librarian Baylee Suskin enjoyed the HBO documentary, “The Vow” directed by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer. “I love the balanced exploration of the reasons people joined the self-help group (turned sex-cult) Nxivm,” Suskin said. “There was a deep desire in participants for self-improvement and often for women's empowerment, which was, sadly, taken advantage of by one man who gained the women's trust.”

Tuntematon Sotilas (The Unknown Soldier)

Thea Lindquist, executive director for the Center for Research & Digital Scholarship (CRDDS) recommends the war film “Tuntematon Sotilas” (The Unknown Soldier) directed by Aku Louhimie. “This film brings home the sheer rawness and desperation of a war fought on the front between Finland and the Soviet Union during WWII,” Lindquist explained. “It is the third film adaptation of the Finnish classic novel, widely considered a pacifist piece. Don't miss the interviews with today's Finns in the extras.”

20th Century Girl

Rezwan Masud, PhD student in Political Science recommends the Netflix film 20th Century Girl directed by Woo-ri Bang. “It is a beautiful story about friendship, love, sacrifice and art,” said Masud. “The movie touches the soul and helps us understand the value of our near and dear ones at a deeper level.”