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Summer reading

Faculty, staff and students share their top recommendations

Campus and Community

Looking for something new to read?

Memorial University is filled with book enthusiasts and as the summer slowly heats up, members of our community are sharing their top picks for your reading pleasure.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

“This debut novel takes you inside the (slightly) twisted world of its title character, Eleanor, as she deals with her demons (often in hilarious ways) and figures out what it means to be a functional adult.

It’s sweet, touching, and funny, and deals with Eleanor’s tragedy in a thoughtful way. Bonus: it’s available at the library – to read for free!”

Recommended by: Amy Fudge, program coordinator with the Atlantic Regional Training Program’s ACCESS-MH initiative in the Faculty of Medicine.

A Month in the Country

by J.L. Carr


“WWI vet Tom Birkin arrives in the Yorkshire village of Oxgodby at the height of summer, where he has been hired to restore a medieval mural in the parish church. The Great War has left Tom in poor condition, but as he sinks into his work and becomes involved in the social life of the village, he begins to find his hope in life returning. To me, A Month in the Country is a perfect book–sincere, humorous, meditative, melancholy, and all that in under 200 pages. Reading Carr’s wistful novel is like taking a deep breath of cool air—you feel expansive afterward.”

Recommended by: Jordan Patterson, cataloguing and metadata librarian, Marine Institute.

The Farm

by Joanne Ramos

“This novel is a lighter, modern take on the Handmaid’s Tale. In the book, young women are recruited to become surrogates for wealthy clientele. The surrogates, largely immigrant women, are kept isolated at Golden Oaks – a supposed “oasis” for pregnancy where every morsel of food, every step they take, and every minute of sleep they get is carefully monitored, with bonuses provided for healthy pregnancies. While I do think the book could have been better (maybe I am warped by the darkness of the Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood!), the parallels to the current divisions between class, race, and gender are clearly evident in the book. It makes for a good summer read!”

Recommended by: Dr. Alyson Byrne, assistant professor, Faculty of Business Administration.

Oryx and Crake

by Margaret Atwood

“This is one of my favourite books of all time; not to mention a great series by a Canadian author! This book, set in a futuristic version of our world, is pretty out there, but is still realistic enough to may happen in the next 45 years. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys science fiction; even though I wouldn’t necessarily consider it pure science fiction. I would put it in the same category as 1984 by George Orwell. Overall, I would rate it a 9/10.”

Recommended by: Maddie Hache, leadership experience designer in Student Life, and 5th year English (honours) student.

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life

by Mark Manson

“This book was recommended by a very close friend of mine this summer, actually he sent me this as a birthday gift last month! This is a great read for students, faculty and staff who get over-stressed about small things in life. The book opens up a real image of what actually matters and what doesn’t. The book gives you a new perspective in a refreshing way. It is a strong self-help book which helps you calm down some, if not all, of your worries, and will provide you with new practical approaches towards life’s struggles!”

Recommended by: Killol Chokshi, research coordinator with the Department of Sociology and Department of Emergency Medicine.

The Power

by Naomi Alderman

“If you like Margaret Atwood you will enjoy this science fiction novel of a world where women develop the power to release electric shocks from their hands. That new power ends a patriarchal society but that does not mean that it brings an equitable one.”

Recommended by: Paula Mendonca, acting director, Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office.


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