Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week

It’s Banned Books Week and I just love seeing all of the discussion, advocacy and events around the country. This week always inspires me to find new writers to love and to pull out and re-read books that have become best friends. I was browsing the American Library Association’s list, 100 Most Challenged Books Of The Last Decade, and am proud to say it included many of my beloved titles. Here are a few of my favorites from that list – all of which I highly recommend:

Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Monster by Walter Dean Myers 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon

Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien

And although I tried to limit it to just 5, I can’t resist adding these challenged young adult books that I have loved and happily recommended. 

The Chocolate Wars by Robert Cormier

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

Happy, Happy Reading. I’ll leave you today with this beautiful quote from Maya Angelou. 

“When I look back, I am so impressed again with the life-giving power of literature. If I were a young person today, trying to gain a sense of myself in the world, I would do that again by reading, just as I did when I was young.”

College Transition Advice Books

College Transition Advice Books

It was so fun to see photos of freshmen move-in day at my alma mater this week. It brought back so many happy memories and reminded me of what a huge leap it is to leave the security of high school and home and plunge all-in to a whole new journey. 

Today’s Weekly Reads represent my favorite “how to” books for students heading off to college. There are hundreds of these titles available but these are a few that stand out.

How to Win at College by Cal Newport

I’m not one to quote book jackets but in this case, the comments hit the mark. How to Win at College proves that “success has little to do with being a genius workaholic, and everything to do with having the right game plan.” 


Getting the Best Out of College. A Professor, A Dean and A Student Tell You How to Maximize Your Experience by Peter Feaver, Sue Wasiolek and Ann Crossman 

Great practical advice for a broad range of college challenges and choices that come up from students AND their teachers.  What I love most about this one though is that advice is given within the perspective that college is an investment and your first job as a student is to grow it through wise choices, saavy moves, and taking thoughtful advantage of what is offered. 


First in the Family. Advice About College From First-Generation Students by Kathleen Cushman

You might be the first in your family to go to college but with the community you’ll come to know in this book (and the first rate advice they provide) you’re not going it alone. From the introduction, “Whether you attend a private four-year college, a state university, or the local community college, you have much to learn from others who have gone before you. In this book, students like you lend a hand along your college journey.”


Making the Grade With ADD: A Student’s Guide to Succeeding in College With Attention Deficit Disorder by Stephanie Sarkis. 

Written by a licensed mental health counselor who has ADD herself, this guide covers academics, money management, health issues, relationships with friends and intimates, and planning for the future.


Congratulations New Collegians!