Student Book Reviews

Posted on April 10th, 2019 by

In the Library’s Spring Reading Workshop, students read and discussed a common book (Gustavus alum Kaethe Schwehn’s post-apocalyptic science fiction novel, The Rending & the Nest), wrote reviews of a second book of their choice, and reflected on their own reading tastes and the place of reading in contemporary culture.

Excerpts from student book reviews:

Colorless: Tsukuru Tazaki & His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami: “A coming of age story from a more grown up perspective as the story follows Tsukuru, during his mid and late twenties, as he deals with a life changing loss that sends him on a self discovery journey… An insightful read for young adults and college students that may be facing similarities in changes of life stages, not everyone knows who they are or are always sure of themselves but that’s alright.”

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown: “An adventure novel that is the first in the Da Vinci Code series…Overall, Angels and Demons is a very enjoyable book and I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in history and classic lore or just looking for something a little different than a textbook.”

Acts of Faith by Eboo Patel: “A memoir about his journey to faith. Patel is an Indian-Muslim; growing up in Chicago, he didn’t feel a strong connection to the Muslim community…Patel found his purpose in service and began to feel purpose in his faith. The unity of the two led him to founding youth organizations focused on providing a safe and tolerant space for young adults. Patel’s memoir style is perfect to help readers understand the complexities of his experience through his lens.”

Beautiful Lessons of the I by Frances Brent: “Through short poems of objects from a minimalist perspective, the idea that beauty is in the eye of the beholder is emphasized… From start to finish, the book demands the reader’s full attention and questioning mindset. Each of the poems function individually by balance between lack of detail and emphasis on the detail that is provided in order to create a larger picture. If you are a person open to the challenge of finding your place in an unknown situation or, drawn to the idea of creating your own conclusion, this book is for you!”

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon: “A powerful and heart-wrenching novel that has the reader going through a roller coaster of emotions…This novel started off with two different people and their personal life, and then eventually they coincidentally meet up and develops into one single story about them both.  …I would recommend this book to people who enjoy reading fictional books that have potential real life scenarios in them.”

Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho: “In this book, Coelho breaks the taboo of sexual intimacy, its myths, and realities. In addition, he talks about the issues of prostitution, materialism, human morality, spirituality, and the complexity of love. Definitely, one of the most revolutionary writings by the magnificent writer Paulo Coelho. Nonetheless, I must say, Eleven Minutes is not an all-audience novel. As the author warns its audience, Eleven Minutes explores a subject that is harsh, difficult, and shocking, which is prostitution.”


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