Archive for March, 2022

Olivia Arnold

Title: Olivia Saves the Circus

Author: Ian Falconer

Why this book? This was one of my favorite books growing up. I have many memories for reading this book with my parents.

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Leah Blair

Title: Mistborn: The Final Empire

Author: Brandon Sanderson

Why this book? I always loved reading when I was younger, but found that I didn’t have as much time for it as I got older. I read this last year and it brought me back to a time when I loved reading and helped me get back into books.

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Rebecca Therese Cervoni

Title: Rules of Civility

Author: Amor Towles

Why this book? Rules of Civility was recommended to me to read during my senior year of college since it is a book about reinventing oneself. It discusses how taking a chance and making snap decisions can shape the rest of your life. As a young female looking to find herself and one day move to the city, this book is a must read.

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Clayton Dalton

Title: 1984

Author: George Orwell

Why this book? I read this book for a class I had with Dr. Kalliney and it reminded me how important it is to explore new ideas, discuss controversial or unpopular topics, and learn new things without fear of repression. I am thankful for the creative and intellectual liberty I have been granted as a student at the University of Kentucky.

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Megan Day

Title: Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Complete Series

Why this series? Buffy has been my favorite TV show for 25 years and it means a great deal to me.

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Lissette De la Cruz

Title: Stories That Must Not Die

Author: Juan Sauvageau

Why this book? I vividly remember as a child hiding in some far back corner of the library reading a little red, old, and harshly loved book, a book that my hometown library only had two copies of and that no one could ever get their hands on. My cousin Cassie once brought the book home only for our little pack to fight for our chance to read a story aloud. The book was called Stories that Must Not Die. Filled with stories we all grew up hearing, perhaps around a campfire, in the hallways, when you could hear the women in your family whispering across the kitchen table, or those cutting stories you never forgot about because they lingered in the air from those wavering voices. So now, here they were, fully realized on yellow, tatter paper! As children, we thought out loud, did this mean they were true? Maybe our grownups weren’t making these stories up to scare us. This could only mean these stories were real, maybe real enough to frighten our grownups too. What made these stories even more chilling was that each short story took place in our hometowns or only a few miles away, in cities we had family in and often visited. It make it possible to imagine the side of the road where a small child wandered late at night and soon discovered to have passed years before. Or the river where La Llorona would be heard begging for her children, and the dance floor where a young, foolish woman was seen dancing with a handsome may and would soon perish. It was all there on paper. Undeniable and never forgotten.

John James Sauveageau was the author of all four volumes of Stories that Must Not Die when he lived in the Rio Grande Valley in South Texas. Intrigued by Tejano culture, he visited rances and towns from Laredo to Brownsville in search of folklore.

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Ashlyn Fisher

Title: Heaven Official’s Blessing

Author: Tian Guan Ci Fu

Why this book? It was the first book in years that got me back into reading. I used to read a ton as a kid, but after high school, I fell out of it. I picked up the fan translation of the book over the summer and loved every moment of it and remembered why reading was so fun in the first place. It taught me so much about Chinese culture, language, and ancient Daoism while also providing a lovely queer love story (though it has its darker themes as well). Now that there’s an official English translation, I’ll be sure to reread it!

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Carly Jessup

Title: Educated: A Memoir

Author: Tara Westover

Why this book? “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

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Addison Lander

Title: Interstellar

Director: Christopher Nolan

Why this film? From the moment I first watched Interstellar, I fell in love. Yes, it’s about exploring the vastness of space, but it’s also so much more. Interstellar tells the story of love, that which a father has for his children that would drive him to vast lengths to ensure their survival, even at the risk of his own. It is a story of the emptiness of space that beckons us to see all the more clearly the beauty of what fills that emptiness, not only in outer space, but within our own experience. The soundtrack, composed by the legendary Hans Zimmer, only reinforces all of these things. Interstellar is a movie that goes so much deeper than an interesting sci-fi space movie, and the story it tells unfolds in beautiful ways to create a complete picture. I could talk about it so much more at length, but it is probably best I stop here before I write a novel of my own.

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Dylan Lee

Title: Where All Light Tends to Go

Author: David Joy

Why this book? I choose this book because it reminds me of my hometown, and how daunting it is to be able to escape the poverty and drug use that seems to go hand in hand in my county. My family was never poor, but there were things that we did without to ensure that ends met. My brother and I are the first of our family that went to college and we always reflect on how we “made it out”, which is a recurring theme in the book.

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Javier Llarena

Title: Naruto Returns, v.46

Author: Masashi Kishimoto

Why this book? This is the manga that created one of my favorite shows I have ever watched, and this is a very important scene in the story.

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Maraki Meressa

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Author: J K Rowling

Why this book? All of the Harry Potter books have huge sentimental value to me. As a child or as a grownup, it will always be a refreshing read.

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Savannah Sawyers

Title: Kingdom of Ash

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Why this book? This was the close to an amazing and heartbreaking, but beautiful fantasy series about perseverance and believing in the outcome. The world building is almost unparalleled in my opinion. This book inspired me to keep going through college even though there were many times I couldn’t see an end. The characters will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Annabelle Smith

Title: Wizard of Oz

Author: L. Frank Baum

Why this book? This book and movie has been very special to me all of my life – I’ve watched and read it more times than I can count. It was one of the first movies I remember watching as a child, and it has been a lifelong favorite. Each time it plays at the Kentucky Theatre, I have to go see it. I can sit down and watch it anytime, so I typically make time to view it after finals end as a treat to myself.

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Mackenzie Smith

Title: The Outsiders

Author: S.E. Hinton

Why this book? When I was little, my family moved around quite a bit. At the beginning of my 6th grade year, we finally moved back to my mom’s hometown for me to start and finish school. I was excited to stay in one place, but I was very nervous, as I had spent the past few years in homeschooling and I did not know anyone. Much to my chagrin, I was enrolled in a drama class, but little did I know, this class would change my life. I became fast friends with my teacher, whose name was Mrs. Holtson. We bonded over our shared obsession with Twilight and reading in general, and I ate lunch with her every day. Even though I hated drama, I loved her, and she loved The Outsiders. This book resonated so deeply with me for several reasons. At the time, and even continuing through my life, I too have often felt like an outsider. I felt like I did not belong at school or even in drama class, but Mrs. Holtson showed me just how untrue that was. It was her love and support and our bonding over The Outsiders that helped me adjust and come out of my shell through middle school. Unfortunately, Mrs. Holtson passed away a few years ago from an aggressive form of cancer, so now The Outsiders is even more special to me. In my own book collection, I have been endeavoring to collect each edition of this novel. It would mean the world to me to have this book included in the display case in her memory.

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Bailey Truitt

Title: Shadow of the Wind

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafron & Lucia Graves

Why this book? This book reignited my love for reading and all things literature. I have followed this author since 2014 and was able to finally read a translation of his last novel in 2019. The copies of this book are very important to me and one of my most prized possessions.

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Michael White

Title: David Goes to School

Author: David Shannon

Why this book? This book was one of the first books I read in grade school.

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William Zheng

Title: Beginning c++

Author: Ivor Horton

Why this book? language that I got to learn here at UK was c++ and this book gives me that nostalgic feeling of freshman year when I first began my undergraduate career.

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