Starting a new book can be a bit like rolling the dice, the excitement of entering a new world on one hand and the fear of disappointment on the other. This time around, I decided to switch things up. Instead of relying on the usual bestseller lists or recommendations from friends and strangers, how about reading books written by people I walk past every day?
As students at UBC, we are surrounded by professors who are experts in their fields, and they have some amazing experiences to share. So, here are four books from my reading list, penned by UBC faculty!
The Double Life of Benson Yu by Kevin Chong
Available at UBC Library
Between the countless books with the names of our faculty on the shelves, this bright yellow cover and comic image grabbed my attention from the first glance. As if this was not reason enough, turns out that the story is also set in Vancouver’s Chinatown, one of my favourite places for weekend strolling. Written by Kevin Chong, an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies, the premise of the story sounds very intriguing. We have a writer, Benson Yu, a teenage boy, Benny, and a supposedly reincarnated medieval samurai, Constantine. Behind its pleasant cover, there appears to be a dark secret unfolding; perhaps this a sign to read and find how it unfolds?
Marlowe Banks, Redesigned by Jacqueline Firkins
Available at VPL
When life gives you lemons but you don’t know how to turn it into lemonade, a book could be the best way to get the recipe. Marlowe Banks, created by Associate Professor Jacqueline Firkins from the Department of Theatre & Film, seems to be the right company for my next “turn your life around” journey. Set in the behind-the-scenes of a TV show, we are promised an inspiring story of self-empowerment, redemption, and embracing second chances, with a sprinkle of heart fluttering romance. Surely this will be a good escape after exam season stress!
In the Defense of Liberty by Keith Maillard
Available at VPL
As a university student, nothing is more relatable than campus stories—tales full of chaos, dreams, unknown feelings, and shifting thoughts. Right up my alley, In the Defense of Liberty unfolds on a U.S. college campus in 1964, against a backdrop of cultural and personal turbulence. With a diverse cast of complex characters and relationships, UBC School of Creative Writing Professor Keith Maillard captures the essence of that era brilliantly. A book where can I imagine myself as part of the cast? I am all in!
The Birth Yard by Mallory Tater
Available at Koerner Library
Being a huge fan of dystopian fiction, the synopsis of the book immediately caught my attention. The Birth Yard by UBC School of Creative Writing Lecturer Mallory Tater promises a thrilling tale set in a world where female fertility and sexuality are controlled by a cult known as the Den. It seems like a combination of all my favorite tropes, including thriller, mystery, female empowerment, and an alternative reality. What more could I ask for?
Whether it is the weekend, or reading break, these books will be great companions for escaping the hustle and bustle of everyday life. As a self-proclaimed bibliophile, I’m always looking for my next read!
Let us know your book recommendations in the comments, we would love to hear them! All book cover images are from Amazon.
Interested in other books written by faculty? Check out this list by the UBC Bookstore!