What to Read During Winter Break

from gatech.edu

The weather outside may be frightful but snuggling with a good book sounds delightful. What should you read?

We asked several Georgia Tech Library staff members for recommendations. The books range from a graphic novel series on how disinformation can become reality to a memoir by longtime Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek

The Department of Truth

By James Tynion IV, author, and Martin Simmonds, artist, Image Comics (2021 and ongoing)

“Cole Turner has always been a bit of a conspiracy theorist: JFK assassination, lizard people, shadowy government superagencies, and the like. He had no idea that he was right. This ongoing graphic novel series details what goes on when Cole gets recruited into the government agency that helps determine what reality is. This series is a dystopian contemporary science fiction take on how disinformation can become reality — and it is both farfetched and a little too real. The first three trade collections are currently out and will make quick reading for those without lots of spare time over the break.”

—John Mack Freeman, head of public services librarian

Black Cake

By Charmaine Wilkerson, Ballantine Books (2022)

“Estranged siblings, Benny and Byron, reunite when their mother passes away, leaving them just two things: an eight-hour voice recording (and a stipulation that they must listen to the whole thing together, in the presence of their family lawyer), and a black cake (a traditional Caribbean dessert). Listening together, they hear the story of a determined Caribbean girl named Covey who loves to swim. They learn long-kept family secrets, turning what they thought they knew about their mother on its head. This evocative and beautifully written story traces the extraordinary journey of a family forever changed by the choices of its matriarch.”

—Alex McGee, university archivist

The Secret to Superhuman Strength 

By Alison Bechdel, Mariner Books (2021) 

“What compels some of us to time every mile we run, track our resting heartrate, or buy the coolest new workout gear? Alison Bechdel’s incisive, funny The Secret to Superhuman Strength is a memoir focused on exercise and the aging body. Anyone who takes an obsessive interest in a sports hobby only to pick up a new favorite a few years later will see themselves affectionately skewered here. Bechdel’s illustrations are lovely and sardonic; the details and small gags throughout reward repeat readings.”

—Liz Holdsworth, librarian for STEM disciplines and digital learning objects

The Guest List

By Lucy Foley, William Morrow (2020)

“This mystery novel is set on an island off the coast of Ireland with a cast of characters thrown together for a wedding. The characters narrate chapters from their own perspective, and their complex web of relationships is revealed while the plot advances. As the festivities begin, old resentments, feelings, and traditions begin to surface, and eventually someone turns up dead. This novel reads like a classic Agatha Christie novel — full of clues and a bit dark, yet cozy.”

—Catherine Manci, public programming and community engagement specialist 

The Midnight Library

By Matt Haig, New York: Viking (2020)

“The Midnight Library tells the story of Nora Seed, a woman who may be at the end of a life full of regrets and resentments. Before she goes, however, she passes through a liminal space full of books (overseen by a librarian) that tell the story of her life’s choices and how things might have otherwise turned out. The librarian acts as a spirit guide, but at heart, she is a true librarian — not giving Nora the answer but providing the tools Nora needs to find her own way toward happiness.”

—Marlee Givens, librarian for modern languages and Library learning consultant

Leading Up: How to Lead Your Boss So You Both Win

By Michael Useem, Soft Cover: Three Rivers Press, Hard Cover: Crown Business (2001)

“This book explores the role of leadership from several different levels. The author uses historical events that most readers would be familiar with, such as the Rwandan genocide, and cleverly weaves them into a compelling leadership story and coaching session. ‘The complete disconnect between the front line in Kigali and the executive suite in New York was a reminder that getting an unwanted message up to the top can be one of the most challenging but also one of the most important actions for the upward leader.’”

—Garth Milford, IT service delivery manager

Read more here.

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