Book of the Fortnight

Recommended by Emerson Jolliffe  

What is more important, the earth or the law? This question is divulged in Jolliffe’s recommendation, Edward Abbey’s Monkey Wrench Gang. Premised on the environmentally damaging activities of the American Southwest and a group of environmental warriors, Monkey Wrench Gang “challenges people to think about their own morals and what they believe is more important, and what lines can be crossed in order to protect those morals.” 

Certainly applicable to current political tensions regarding environmentally damaging developments, the novel is a “weird and strange mixture between philosophy and psychology” that Jolliffe contends is “important to look at due to what is currently happening around the world.”  

Recommended by Doe Dahm 

VTSU-Castleton’s Writing and Humanities Development Coordinator and Writing Specialist Doe Dahm employs her expertise to recommend Aarto Paasalina’s, The Year of the Hare.  

Likely unfamiliar to most, Doe assures that readers of all ages will enjoy the captivating tale of an unexpected relationship.  

“When a journalist’s vehicle hits a wild hare, he abandons his car, his career, and his life to nurse the animal back to health. He succeeds—and the newly bonded man and hare spend a year wandering around rural Finland, befriending and sometimes evading the other beings they encounter,” contextualized Dahm.  

“Aarto Paasalina’s understated prose complements the madcap narrative and its absurd, occasionally dark humor. A delightful read for anyone who’s ever wanted to walk away from it all, The Year of the Hare is also a sad reminder that only two of Paasalina’s novels have been translated into English.”

Recommended by Sara Al-Shameri   

“Just an empowering woman” complimented Al-Shameri, recommending the biography, Becoming, by Michelle Obama. 

Michelle Obama’s challenges following the election of her husband to the highest political office in America are detailed in this powerful biography. “Yes, Barack is my husband, but I’m also a strong, independent woman with my own accomplishments,” explained Al-Shameri on her impressions of the book.  

Becoming focuses on the success and drive of America’s previous First Lady, from before she met Barack, to her initiatives within the White House, and her own independent goals. An inspirational and compelling read, Al-Shameri recommends the book for all to gain an insight into the powerhouse woman who balanced success with “the limelight of Barack being president.”

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