Roundtable: What we're reading

A stack of books waiting with pages wide open to be read. The Daily Campus Life Section shares the books that are sitting on their own bedside tables. (Ann Arbor District Library/Creative Commons)

Members of the Daily Campus Life Section at The Daily Campus share what books they are currently reading for fun, or (more likely) what books are sitting on their bedside tables waiting to be opened.

Dan Wood, Staff Writer

Sitting in a stack of books that I have received as gifts or purchased of my own accord are the works of Michael Pollan—a book about canning sweet things, a food waste book and an old copy of Bon Appetit. But the two books at the very top of the stack are the two I have yet to finish, and represent how I often read: one fiction, and one science/theory. It creates a nice balance for when things get too dry, or too whimsical. The latter is Great Stories of Space Travel: eleven fantastic voyages into the unknown from 1969. This collection includes many great science fiction writers like the great Isaac Asimov. On the former side is The Vital Question by Nick Lane. This book is a deep exploration of evolutionary and cellular biology that made Bill Gates’ must read list in 2016. I highly recommend both.

Francesca Colturi, Associate Life Editor

Recently I’ve been trying to experience travel through the words of others. I have just finished Travels by Michael Crichton, the notorious author of Jurassic Park and the original Westworld. Now I’m reading The Way of Wanderlust: The Best Travel Writing of Don George, an eloquent book with chapters from all over the world, starting in Tanzania on Kilimanjaro with many places in sight before page 269, written by an editor for “National Geographic Traveler.” Travel writing is about more than getting from one place to another. It’s as much about learning who you are, what your purpose is and how to survive as it is about new friends and foods. And what better way to escape the gloom of UConn in winter than by seeing the Galapagos and swimming with whales in Mexico.

Marlese Lessing, Staff Writer

Right now I'm reading Rogue Heroes by Ben MacIntyre. It's about the Special Air Services in World War II, who basically exploded Italian and German planes in Northern Africa to aid the war effort. It's a ragtag bunch of soldiers in the desert who jump out of planes and band together, through misery and victory, which fills me with confidence for my busy semester ahead. I haven't read a nonfiction book that isn't required for a class in awhile, so it's a refreshing change.

Angie DeRosa, Life Editor

Currently sitting on my dresser waiting for me to get back to reading is the book Here I Am by Jonathan Safren Foer. From the inside jacket of the book, it’s about a series of events that “impacts members of a jewish family living in Washington, D.C.” I am a big fan of Foer’s other works (Everything is Illuminated, Eating Animals and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close) so as soon as I heard he had a new book I had to purchase it immediately.

Brian Roach, Campus Correspondent

As a chronic procrastinator who fancies himself an English major, I’m always supposed to be reading something. On the rare occasion that I’ve caught up on my assigned readings, Alistair MacLeod’s auspicious novel No Great Mischief awaits me on my nightstand. The story follows Alexander MacDonald (whose name indeed bears suspicious similarity to the author’s), a middle-aged dentist in southwestern Ontario who periodically heads into the city to take care of his eldest brother, a longtime alcoholic going senile. Whilst doing so, Alex reflects on his family’s ancestral history, which originates in the Scottish Highlands and then begins anew in Cape Breton of Nova Scotia. No Great Mischief teems with heartfelt sentiment for family, and reminds us all just how far we go sometimes for those we love.

Ryan Amato, Staff Writer

All The Bright Places is about Finch and Violet, two suicidal kids who meet on top of a bell tower and save each other from jumping off, forming an unlikely friendship. Just from the beginning lines, it’s impossible not to be pulled in for another quirky love story between two high schoolers trying to find their way through life. Fortunately, the book does a great job at straying away from stereotypes and paves the way for an original storyline with characters to fall in love with.


Dan Wood is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at daniel.wood@uconn.edu.

Francesca Colturi is associate life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at francesca.colturi@uconn.edu.

Marlese Lessing is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at marlese.lessing@uconn.edu. She tweets @marlese_lessing.

Angie DeRosa is the life editor for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at angelina.derosa@uconn.edu.  She tweets @theangiederosa.

Brian Roach is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus.  He can be reached via email at brian.roach@uconn.edu.

Ryan Amato is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ryan.amato@uconn.edu.