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

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

Yes, this is the history of Betty Crocker and her reign as the “First Lady of Food." However, that reign reveals how General Mills has responded as a corporation to societal changes: struggles with gender role expectations, our move from slow-from-scratch meals to “quick n’ easy” food, free enterprise and government collaboration in times of war, and recognizing our culture's diversity. An easy, yet interesting read. Is Betty Crocker real…or not? -E-Resources Librarian Andrea A. Leonard

Seven stories of broken, wonderful, heartbreakingly beautiful and sometimes thoroughly messed up people living in El Paso and the Mexican border. Everything seems so haunting and sad through addiction, struggling with relationships and being gay, families and abuse and passion. People just break down sobbing in the book, but then there's so much redemption too, such as someone who listens when no one else ever has. It's just a great book. -Associate Dean of Libraries Georgie Donovan

An interesting insight into the US Military Academy accomplished by following several cadets through their 4 years. The author is a little bedazzled by it all, distracting from the story, but observing the cadets' journey makes the read worthwhile. -Coordinator of Collection Management and Science Librarian John Abbott

This is a readable and engaging study of the life of Muhammad that is useful for non-Muslim American readers who want to understand more about the foundations of Muslim faith. ASU and the Belk Library are encouraging community members to read this short book as part of our Muslim Journeys Program and to participate in a book discussion on Tuesday Oct 29 at 5:00 PM in Library room 114. Copies are available for checkout in the Browsing Section. -Social Sciences Librarian Allan Scherlen

This is one of those rare books with the potential to transform the way you look at the world with every turn of the page. This inspired work offers page after page of profound insights from a master musician/spiritual teacher and you don't have to be a student of music to derive benefit from the reading and contemplation of this text. Highly Recommended! -Belk Library Web Programmer Jonathan Priest

Follows a group of friends who meet at camp- a big theme is talent - sample: “And specialness - everyone wants it. But Jesus, is it the most essential thing there is? Most people aren't talented. So what are they supposed to do - kill themselves? -E-Learning & Outreach Librarian Megan Johnson