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Personal Recommendations from Belk Library and Information Commons' Students, Staff, and Librarians. Double click items to find in our library.

David Letterman once said, "The road to the White House runs through me." Find out why Stephen Colbert and other political humorists may have more influence than you thought. -Suzanne Wise, Curator of the Stock Car Racing Collection

Wild story of how a small Iowa town had their own bootlegging empire. Even the Catholic priest was in on it! -Suzanne Wise, Curator of the Stock Car Racing Collection

The real-life people followed in this book offer a fun and enlightening window into the world of competitive birding. The personalities, places, and stories make this a ripping read. How many birds have you identified in a year? -Ken Johnson, Coordinator of Learning and Research Services

We've all seen those roadside historical markers that tout George Stoneman's Civil War campaign in North Carolina. This concise book, written by an Appalachian history professor, describes the last days of the war between the states as they played out in central and western North Carolina. It was amazing to read about military combat that happened in places I walk every day. Fascinating. -John Doherty, Materials Processing Supervisor

Thus far, this is without a doubt the best book I have read all year. When I picked this book up I was expecting it to contain exciting stories of adventures in trespassing. It does. What I did not expect was deep questioning about the political aspects of private property, social dynamics withing sub-cultures and personal responsibility. All of that is in this book too. Outstanding! -John Doherty, Materials Processing Supervisor

Awesome series that reads like classic detective fiction, but with mystical/supernatural characters thrown in. -Belk Library Patron, Summer 2014

Japanese style magical realism with engaging characters and a slug of Cutty Sark whiskey. -John Doherty, Materials Processing Supervisor

Flowers for Algernon is probably one of the best books I've ever read even though it makes me cry like a baby at the end. It makes you appreciate the life you have, the people you have around you and makes you realize how much you actually take for granted. Never in my life have a felt such a closeness to a character like I did Charlie Gordon. Granted, it's an elementary school level book, but it deals with deeper things than the regular elementary school level book. -ASU Student, Summer 2014

It's set during WWII in Nazi Germany and follows the story of a girl who loves books and is just learning to read when they end up taking a Jewish man in. If you want a book that sucks you in and makes you feel things you have never felt before, this is it. You won't be disappointed. I promise. -ASU Student, Summer 2014

It was a better action and magic series than Harry Potter and that takes a lot for me to say. Winding details and super interesting concept at the end of the seventh book. Don't let the fact that it's a children's book scare you away! -ASU Student, Summer 2014

This novel, though in the walking dead genre, is really a fantastic literary read which far surpasses any zombie story. Whitehead's observations of what has been lost after what he terms the "break" are uncannily on point as observations of everyday life in America in the 21st century. He has already been recognized by many serious readers as the novelist of our time and place. Just check out the NY Times Book Review of Zone One. -Andrea Roller, Faculty in College of Arts and Sciences

If you like well-written, excellently plotted, and relatable epic fantasy, the Kingkiller Chronicles series does not disappoint. This is the second in the series, and the third is expected in 2015. The writing is on par with a Game of Thrones, but it is more enjoyable reading and less dark. -Jon Morris, Information Literacy Librarian

A skillful can't-put-it-down page turner that follows the indictment of three Duke University lacrosse players for sexual assault and exposes deeper entrenched issues of race, sex, violence, and entitlement at Duke. --Suzanne Wise, Curator of the Stock Car Racing Collection and Collection Management Librarian

Before I read this book I was already interested in quantum computing, Oliver Sacks and the larch. After reading this book, I knew more about those topics as well as rewilding, artificial leaves, psychopaths and lots lots more. -John Doherty, Library Serials Technician

Rumi is considered one of the great literary figures of Persia whose poetry transcends ethnic and temporal borders. You can find Rumi referenced through poetry and popular songs around the world, even in American folk and rock music. Take a look at some of the poems of this perennial poet of love. -Allan Scherlen, Social Sciences Librarian

An amazing true story. With limited financial resources but a passion to explore the world, James Holman, persists in his desire to circumnavigate the globe. The historical details of life in the early 1800's (in Europe, Russia, Africa and more) makes this story seem all the more improbable. Inspirational. -Lisa Abbott, Instruction and Research Librarian

Seven Brits attempt to travel around the world in 1995-1996 on dual sport bikes. They travel from London, across Asia, from Alaska to Chile, through Africa, across the Middle East, and finally back to London. Three of them travel the entire distance, over 35,000 miles! The book is a daily log of their adventures. What comes through is the optimism and good cheer of the bikers, and the friendly support and encouragement of people they meet along the way. -John Boyd, Information Literacy Librarian

Nigerian author's observations about race in America and the expat experience. Never read a voice like hers before. -Megan Johnson, E-Learning & Outreach Librarian

A fascinating look into the secret world of Scientology. This is a true page-turner full of bizarre cosmology, celebrity scandals and intriguing details that make up the very rich and very powerful Church of Scientology. -Amanda Bird, Information Literacy Librarian

Stranger in a Strange land by Robert Heinlein. A deep sci-fi classic that will challenge your perception of humanity. -Stephen Knotson, Belk Library Student Employee. *Audiobook and Paper copies available in the library

I went through a time of difficult decisions. As I adjusted to being a "grown-up," David Copperfield did, too. I felt that someone else was going through my situation with me. The prose is gentle and draws the reader in completely. Also, Uriah Heep is one of those creepy pervasive villains that you'll abhor with a passion. A very cathartic read. -ASU Student, Fall 2013

Why are some cities so much more liveable than others? Jan Gehl offers some practical advice in this short book, filled with pictures, on making cities, and small towns like Boone, for people (and not for cars). After reading this book you will look at Boone in a different way and realize that it could be so much better. -John Boyd, Information Literacy Librarian

A D&D aficionado explains why we love the game and the influence it has had on culture. If you play D&D, this is required reading. -Suzanne Wise, Curator of the Stock Car Racing Collection and Collection Management Librarian

Written at the tradewinds of two cultures, layered over time, over socio-economic statuses, over an imagined reality and one not much diverged from the author's real life, and two 'Time beings' straddling the same shared identities from different vantages, ages, and understandings. A book rich on interest in Japan, but also wizened with insight and introspective humanity. -Belk Instruction and Reference Librarian Jon Morris

This book is a gripping look at a closed society and how those who keep the secrets control the population. Hugh Howey is an Appalachian alum. This book would be an excellent choice as a summer reading title. -John Doherty Library Serials Technician