So you are looking for some books to read over Reading Week, but you have no idea where to start. Here at Chapman Learning Commons, we’ve compiled some of our favorite books into a short list so that you don’t have to spend any more time looking for something new to read. All of the feedback below has been shared by various members of our Chapman Learning Commons Assistants team!
Find yourself a comfortable place to sit in, grab something to drink (maybe even a snack on the side) and dive right into these amazing books!
For readers looking for an action-packed book,
Mossflower by Brian Jacques
Synopsis: This Junior Fiction Fantasy transports you to a magical world of small woodland creatures locked in a struggle to escape the tyrannical rule of cats.
Why Minori Loved it: Jacques creates a vibrant, action-packed world that’s quick & easy to read without compromising on depth of the story! This is one of the first books I read by myself as a child, and it still holds up to my tastes more than 15 years later!
Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson
Synopsis: In a world where everyone has “BioChromatic Breath” that can be used to “Awaken” inanimate objects to follow commands, two sisters, an immortal, and a very reluctant God of Bravery find their paths unexpectedly intertwined in a joint effort to avoid a war.
Why Johnson loved it: Full of characters that seem to pop out of the page, Warbreaker keeps you at the edge of your seat with twists and turns and a thoroughly fleshed out magic system. One of my favorite Fantasy books of all time, and would recommend to anyone looking for an unconventional but exciting Fantasy book.
For readers looking for a good laugh,
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Synopsis:After being taken hostage during a robbery, a group of strangers from all different backgrounds find commonality in the strange predicament.
Why a Chapman Learning Commons Assistant loved it: I love that this book is both sweet and heartwarming. It also explores concepts such as forgiveness and hope during stressful and anxious times; a very relevant theme today.
The Best Laid Plans by Terry Fallis
Synopsis: Wacky hijinks ensue in this Canadian comedy novel when the protagonist convinces an engineering professor to become a Member of Parliament candidate for the federal elections so that he can avoid teaching English to engineers.
Why Lina loved it: Holding a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering and with over 30 years of experience in politics, Terry Fallis has written a modern classic that is a must read for anyone curious about politics, but also wants a good laugh
For readers looking for an emotional journey,
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Synopsis: A story about two men looking for a job and ending up working on a ranch, this classic book encapsulates the struggle for survival during the Great Depression, and illustrates how dreams and aspirations drive us as human beings.
Why Johnson loved it: I love this book for how it made me love the characters in such a short page count, how it hits all the emotional notes with its dialogue, and how it treats the reader intelligently by showing and not telling. There is no doubt that this is one of my favorite books of all time, and I would recommend it to everyone.
The Place of Scraps by Jordan Able
Synopsis: This beautiful example of concrete poetry uses the insensitive writings of Marius Barbeau to better describe the acts of colonial violence done upon the Indigenous nations of Canada.
Why Minori loved it: Visually and thematically striking, this book is accessible to established poetry lovers and new poetry readers alike!
For readers that are curious about the hidden lives of famous individuals,
Becoming by Michelle Obama
Synopsis: A memoir written by the former First Lady of the United States of America, Michelle Obama, this book follows her life, starting from her roots and through her journey in the White House.
Why a Chapman Learning Commons Assistant loved it: This motivating book will help you keep going and achieve the goals in your life!
Reporter: A Memoir by Seymour Hersch
Synopsis: Seymour Hersh, reporter of famous incidents such as the My Lai Massacre and war crimes in the Abhu Graib prison, offers an inside look into reporting and shows just how difficult it is for truth to come to light.
Why Johnson loved it: I love this book for how accessible it is to read from the perspective of a person who is not informed about Hersch’s background and reporting history. Hersch makes sure that the memoir is informative and captivating at the same time, leaving you wanting to read on.
For those looking to rethink traditional ideas and read something unconventional,
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
Synopsis: Harari is a captivating author and his survey of everything from agriculture to credit gives readers a new lens for examining the forces that have led our species to where we are today. The book is inspired by a course Harari taught at the University of Jerusalem.
Why Chris loved it: This book lands on a very short list of books for me in that I would label it an essential read for all types of readers. Harari’s efforts to gather evidence from across disciplines and weave it into a cohesive narrative about our journey from apes to dominators of Earth is staggering. Read Sapiens and come back from reading week with an abundance of conversation material.
For those looking to change their habits for the better,
Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
Synopsis: Charles Duhigg showcases a variety of individuals, experiments, and workplaces to determine the effectiveness of habits on success.
Why Lina loved it: Students looking to develop good habits in school and in life will benefit from learning how the habit loop works, how to break bad habits and replace them with good ones! The book was so engaging and easy to read that I finished it in just 10 days.
Outliers: The Story of Success by Malcolm Gladwell
Synopsis: In his third non-fiction book, Malcolm Gladwell explores factors to success, such as why Bill Gates and the Beatles were successful and why most Canadian hockey players are born in the first half of the year.
Why Lina loved it: Malcolm Gladwell’s writing is so engaging and his research presented reasons for success never previously considered. He also came up with the “10,000-hour rule” in which anyone could become a master at anything as long as they put in the time of 10,000 hours.
I hope that this list helped you find a book to read during your Reading Break! If you have any book suggestions and recommendations, be sure to leave a comment in the comment section below. Have a safe and relaxing break!
- Abel, J. (n.d.). The place of Scraps. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from https://talonbooks.com/books/the-place-of-scraps
- Backman, F. (n.d.). Anxious people. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Anxious-People/Fredrik-Backman/9781501160837
- Duhigg, C. (n.d.). The power of habit. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from http://www.randomhousebooks.com/books/9780812981605/?ref=rhbookcard
- Fallis, T. (n.d.). The best laid plans. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/47824/the-best-laid-plans-by-terry-fallis/9780771047589
- Gladwell, M. (n.d.). Outliers. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/564/56495/outliers/9780141036250.html
- Harari, Y. N. (n.d.). Sapiens by. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/237149/sapiens-by-yuval-noah-harari/9780771038518
- Hersh, S. M. (n.d.). Reporter: A Memoir. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/79187/reporter-by-seymour-m-hersh/
- Jacques, B. (n.d.). Mossflower by Brian Jacques: 9780142302385: Penguinrandomhouse.com: Books. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/289823/mossflower-by-brian-jacques-illustrated-by-gary-chalk/
- Obama, M. (2021, February 02). Becoming. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from https://becomingmichelleobama.com/
- Sanderson, B. (2021, February 02). Warbreaker. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from https://www.orionbooks.co.uk/titles/brandon-sanderson/warbreaker/9780575097469/?v2=true
- Steinbeck, J. (n.d.). Of Mice and Men. Retrieved February 02, 2021, from https://www.penguinrandomhouse.ca/books/354251/of-mice-and-men-by-john-steinbeck/9780142000670
- Direct Links to Photos
- https://talonbooks.com/books/the-place-of-scraps https://becomingmichelleobama.com