Red Books for Winter Break!

It’s nearly Winter Break, and that means you’ll soon have time to relax with a book.  Choose one that’s….RED! Just for fun, we’ve assembled a quirky assortment of these brightly colored titles.


Red Fiction: Me Before You, by Jojo Moyes is a quirky, non-traditional novel about love.  The Word Exchange, by Alena Graedon, offers an eerie, dystopian take on a world where words are disappearing in favor of memes.

Red History & Politics:  The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914, by Christopher Clark. If you’re intrigued by the causes of the 1st World War, this is a richly detailed read.  Dear Leader:  My Escape from North Korea, by Jang Jin-Sung, tells the author’s story of his time as the poet to Kim Jong-Il, propping up the leader’s ego, and forming a member of his inner circle.  A series of events, from a forbidden volume of poetry to his increasing disgust with the gap between the haves and have nots caused him to flee for his life.  It’s a jarring story, and one that may appeal to readers of Catlin Gabel speaker Adam Johnson’s The Orphan Master’s Son.


The US Library is Closed for the Summer

Thank you, students and colleagues, for another great year.  Our Summer Borrowing program was a huge success, and we hope that you all have the chance to enjoy some lazy hours reading this summer.  See you in September!

My first deer sighting on campus occurred earlier in June!

Deer enjoyed a wander before the school day began.  June 2014.




Feed Your Brain Over Spring Break!

Whether you’re flying away to a warm place for Spring Break, or plan to watch the daffodils flower under grey Portland skies, we think you’ll enjoy your time off more if you have a few books to read.

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Our Portlandia
What is it about our rain and fog that engenders so much good writing?  Check out Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson.  It was made into a movie by Gus VanSant.  There’s the three part Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy of the Decemberists.  The newest is Wildwood Imperium.  If you prefer history, how about Sweet Cakes, Long Journey, The Chinatowns of Portland, Oregon, by Marie Wong, or The Portland Red Guide:  Sites and Stories of Our Radical Past, by Michael Munk.  For adventuring, either active or the armchair variety, read Chuck Palahniuk’s saucy Fugitives & Refugees:  A Walk in Portland, Oregon, or Portland Forest Hikes, by Catlin parent James Thayer.

Sometimes it’s good to let an author shake your emotions like a Raggedy Ann.  Have we got a book for you!  The Fault in our Stars by John Green is a student favorite, and Blue Nights by Joan Didion will make parents sniffle and wonder about their lives.  Try Ian McEwan’s Atonement for a powerfully heartbreaking novel.

Coming up next:

Nerds Throughout the Ages:  some recommended sci/tech titles, and
Tougher Than You:  books with powerful women and girls as main characters.

Happy spring break!


Winter Break Blizzard of Books

There’s a light dusting of snow on the ground, and in less than two weeks, we’ll all be on Winter Break.  What a perfect time to check out some books to enjoy.  NOT SURE IF WE HAVE A TITLE?  Click to check the catalog (

Here are our recommendations:

Be Who You Are

Be Who You Are

New Arrivals

New Arrivals

Prep School Literature

Prep School Literature

Secret Knowledge

Secret Knowledge

New Arrivals
Some great new fiction includes The Innocents, by Francesca Segal, and Longbourn, Jo Baker’s below-stairs version of Austen’s Pride & Prejudice.  Two newer history-themed graphic novels we’ve added are Genius, about Albert Einstein and, um, Ted, a physicist, by Seagle and Kristiansen.  March:  Book One is about the March on Washington, and is by Congressman John Lewis, Aydin and Powell.  Doris Kearns Goodwin has a new one out.  If you liked Team of Rivals, you might love The Bully Pulpit, which deals with presidents Taft and Roosevelt.  Sabato’s new book The Kennedy Half Century will appeal to Kennedy fans.  On the lighter side, how about Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, or Fangirl, by Rainbow Rowell?

World War II Fiction
City of Women by David Gillham and Atonement by Ian McEwan are two wrenching tales about the effects of war.  Joseph Heller’s Catch 22 is a classic, and you might enjoy Suite Francaise, which was pieced together by the notes left by Jewish Ukrainian writer Irene Nemirovsky after she was swept up in the Nazi occupation of France in the 2nd World War.  On the home front, in Wales at least, Peter Ho Davies’ novel, The Welsh Girl, is one I’d personally recommend for a rural glimpse of German POW’s in a small community.

Prep School Lit
Tobias Wolff’s Old School is a fine new classic, and you may enjoy Reconstructing Amelia, about the questions raised by the death of a teen at a private school.  Prep, by Sittenfeld is a guilty pleasure.

This is Your Brain on Books
Try the Compass of Pleasure, by David Linden, which arguably has the most eye-catching subtitle I’ve seen for a book.  To improve your memory, Moonwalking with Einstein, by Joshua Foer.  Medina’s Brain Rules may help you organize your life at school and home.  What do you notice, and what do you overlook?  Read The Invisible Gorilla by Chabris and Simons, and be surprised.  Check out this video by Simons to get the general idea:

Come see us before the end of the day on Thursday, December 19th to check out an armload of good reading.

-Sue and Dennis

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