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The books listed below are recommendations from Worcester Academy students and faculty. Choose one of these books to read this summer or select a title of your choice!
The Glass Castle by
I loved this book because I could really feel the emotions of the character, and you grow up with her since she was little, and you feel as if you know her. It was also one of my favorites because it was a true story so the emotions came alive.
Recommended by Zoe Alpert
It is an interesting book and gives people a good idea of what the world of musicians is like and what can happen to them. This story is written by the author who was the guitarist for the Rolling Stones and describes how drugs and other substances affected their life and their music.
Recommended by Jack Baker
I Am Malala by
This book empowers women and education.
Recommended by Mia
When Breath Becomes Air by
At the age of thirty-six, on the verge of completing a decade's worth of training as a neurosurgeon, Paul Kalanithi was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer. One day he was a doctor treating the dying, and the next he was a patient struggling to live. And just like that, the future he and his wife had imagined evaporated. (publisher's description)
I think students who wish to continue in the medical field will enjoy this. The author himself was a doctor. He wrote this after he discovered he had cancer. -- Recommended by Siyu Chen
I really enjoyed the refreshing ideas in this book. It was interesting to learn more about one of our (now famous) alumni and her journey to where she is now in life. Initially I was looking on Amazon for a new book and Drop Out was a suggestion based on a book I read -- definitely a good choice. -- Recommended by Paige Keeler
Fresh off the Boat by
Fresh Off the Boat is more than a radical reimagining of the immigrant memoir--it's the exhilarating story of every American outsider who finds his destiny in the margins. (publisher's description)
This book would be very enjoyable to read because the author's delivery of his personal life experiences is funny, and many, myself included, will agree with what he has to say. -- Recommended by Ryan Ren
The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change by
It's about a man that has a dream to help struggling countries provide education. With just $25.00, he starts a nonprofit and now has amassed over 200 schools built and running worldwide. -- Recommended by Jamie Sullivan
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by
It is a very moving and thoughtful book which described the relationship of whites and black back in the old days. In the book, the main character Maya has been through lots of events, some are troubles and some are great memories which have helped Maya to grow up, from a innocent child to a thoughtful and intelligent young woman. -- Recommended by Rod Dong
Educated is an autobiographical account of Tara Westover's unorthodox upbringing in the mountains of Idaho. Her father is paranoid about any incursion of the government into the family's life, so Tara doesn't go to school or have much contact with the world outside of her family unit. As she grows up, she discovers a thirst for knowledge that will lead her to the outside world and to a better understanding of who she is and what it means to be truly educated. Educated is a fascinating read that allows us to think about the forces that shape who we are and the role we have to play in writing our own stories.
Recommended by Ms. Schlesinger
The Macho Paradox by
This is perhaps the best book on gender-based violence that I have read. It is specifically addressed to young men, but any can benefit from reading it. Katz's use of sports analogies and his recognition of the impact of student-athletes on school communities makes this a particularly engaging read for that population. Overall, The Macho Paradox is sure to provoke some excellent thought and discussion among those who read it.
Recommended by Jeremy Smith
Alibaba is now the biggest retailer in China, the world's biggest economy. Jack Ma, a former English teacher, has launched a radical transformation of the Chinese economy by introducing online shopping on a scale that Amazon can only dream of. And it's all happened in the last five years. As if the economic and technology weren't enough, Ma is also pursuing some radical new notions about the overall priorities of business within a society - placing an emphasis on supporting other entrepreneurs and reforming China's health care and education systems. I've only just started reading the book, but I'm intrigued as an economist, historian, educator, and citizen of the world. Jack Ma and Alibaba are changing the world - I want to understand how.
Recommended by Mr. Upton
Stars in Their Courses by
Shelby Foote, who cut such a courtly figure in Ken Burns's PBS series The Civil War, is an uncommonly graceful writer as well, and this careful study of the 1863 Gettysburg campaign assumes the contours of a classical tragedy. Foote positions readers on the field of battle itself, among swirling smoke and clattering grapeshot, and invites us to feel for ourselves its hellishness: "men on both sides were hollering as they milled about and fired, some cursing, others praying ... not a commingling of shouts and yells but rather like a vast mournful roar." Foote's fine book is history as literature, and a welcome addition to any Civil War buff's library.
Recommended by Mr. Thorn
Stuff Matters: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World by
We live in a "man-made world" of concrete, steel, glass, and plastic. We nibble chocolate bars, read books and magazines printed on paper, and wash our hands in porcelain sinks. But how much do we know about these materials? How were they discovered? How are they made?Why is glass transparent? Why is concrete strong? Mark Miodownik, a materials scientist, examines the "stuff" our world is made of. His book is an easy-going but informative blend of science, history, and personal anecdote. Every chapter is full of intriguing information. (The first plastic billiard balls sometimes exploded when they collided.) Reading this book will make you see the world around you with new and appreciative eyes. Who knew that concrete could be so interesting?
Recommended by Mr. Woodruff
When China Ruled the Seas by
Levathes tells the stories of seven epic voyages by the Chinese between 1405 and 1433. Looking forward to reading this book this summer!
Recommended by Mr. LaRose
Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet by
In this brutal work of nonfiction, Bill McKibben argues that human activity has already changed Earth so muchthat it may as well be a new planet, Eaarth. McKibben makes climate change comprehensible, conveying it's causes and vast effects in clear, digestible prose. To say that's enjoyable would be untrue, to say that it's a book that urgently needs reading and demands a response from us would be more accurate.
Recommended by Ms. Tseng
Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by
Just Mercy is a look at systemic problems with criminal sentencing in America, voted one of the best books of 2015 by just about everyone who votes on those things.
Recommended by Mr. Yanco
Incognito: The Secret Lives of the Brain by
Eagleman attempts to convince the Criminal Justice system to sentence men based off of their potential for reforming seen by neurological factors rather than whether they committed the crime. He divulges us into the secret world of how our brain functions and analyzes the conscious and unconscious mind's behavior by presenting controlled experiments where the brain has been injured or altered in different ways and the repercussions because of it. It is a credible book that will change your perception of human nature.
Recommended by Anastasia
What If? by
I think people should read this book because it uses funny, ridiculous situations to explain real scientific concepts, or vice versa. I liked it because of the humor and the scientific concepts in it. -- Recommended by Colin Padgett
On Looking: A Walker's Guide to the Art of Observation by
As we go through our daily routines, we filter out most of the sights and sounds bombarding us. On the whole, this habit of "selective attention" is a good thing; it enables us to focus on what's important at the moment. But from time to time we should try to open our eyes to the things we usually disregard. This is what the author of this book tries to do. She takes twelve walks, mostly in her Manhattan neighborhood, each with a different companion -- her dog, her nineteen-month-old son, an artist, a blind woman, a geologist, an entomologist, an urban sociologist -- who help her see the familiar environment with fresh eyes. This book will awaken, or rekindle, your sense of wonder at a world we too often take for granted. -- Recommended by James Woodruff
Caddy for Life: The Bruce Edwards Story by
This is the best book you will read about golf, but the real message involves a great deal more. It is about friendship and compassion in the real world.
-- Recommended by Bob Thorn
Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by
I thought it was a boring history book, but I couldn't stop reading it after I started. The author raises a prediction about the future, a technology-based world. Recommend to people who are interested in history and science fiction. -- Recommended by Bella Deng
The Swerve: How the World Became Modern by
I strongly recommend this book for students entering AP European History in the fall. It is a fascinating read about the shift from the medieval to the modern world in Europe, as people began looking beyond religion to understand the world. The Boston Globe describes it as "an intellectually invigorating, nonfiction version of a Dan-Brown-like mystery-in-the-archives thriller." -- Recommended by Kate Schlesinger
The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics by
The book is about the United States rowing team and their journey to the gold metal victory in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. -- Recommended by Tea Qatipi
On the Shortness of Life by
On the Shortness of Life is a short novel regarding human nature. It divulges into the viewpoint of one of the worlds greatest philosophers, Seneca of the Roman Empire. The novel contains many paradoxes that can only be understood using critical thought and analysis; it might also be best to relate the perspective to the life of any human, as it is applicable to all. Overall, a great read. -- Recommended by Anastasia Parafestas
Math with Bad Drawings: Illuminating the Ideas that Shape our Reality by
"With 24 chapters covering topics from the electoral college to human genetics to the reasons not to trust statistics, Math with Bad Drawings is a life-changing book for the math-estranged and math-enamored alike."
Recommended by Mr. Yanco
The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by
In the 1980s, Christopher Thomas Knight walked away from his life in Maine and disappeared. Twenty-seven years later, he was apprehended after breaking into a camp on Long Pond. He had maintained himself by stealing supplies from summer homes and camps, taking only what he needed to survive. This nonfiction work details how and why Knight chose this lifestyle.
Recommended by Mrs. Thorn
Mildred H. McEvoy Library at Worcester Academy | 81 Providence Street | Worcester, MA 01604