Skip to main content

Pages from the Profs

Endicott faculty recommend good books this holiday
With the holidays fast approaching, we rounded up a list of faculty-authored books and faculty recommendations to gift or sit by the fireplace with.
By: Madison Schulman

Don’t know what to read next or looking for a good book to round out your holiday gift-giving? Endicott’s faculty have got you covered—from faculty-authored publications to their must-read recommendations, we’ve rounded up everything you need to get cozy by the fireplace!

Rimonda Maroun, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice

I am currently reading Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty by Patrick Radden Keefe. Keefe meticulously reports on a devastating story of corporate greed and its tragic influence on social institutions. The book first focuses on the Sackler family, followed by the rise of their company, Purdue Pharma. The third part of the book focuses on the fallout and criticism of the Sackler family and the attempts to expose Purdue Pharma as well as institutions that profited from their donations and gifts. This book is amazingly compelling and also incredibly painstaking. It highlights the indifference to human pain and health that characterizes so many institutions and people with social status and wealth. I find myself asking the questions “Where is the accountability?” and “Where do we go from here?”

Gabrielle Watling, Professor of English

During the pandemic, when the one thing I could do unmasked was walk our little dog, I became very familiar with the “Little Library” box along our usual neighborhood route. The habit has stuck with me, and now I think of the Little Library as a little wonder. Apart from its revolving stock of books, it’s also a tiny demographic experiment. One can “read” the neighborhood by examining what’s in the box. I see what the locals have loved, what they’ve grown out of, and what they might be likely to read next. Was this best-seller adored? Are its pages dog-eared, or are they pristine after about the middle of Chapter 1? Which political biographies “sit,” and which get snapped up? Has that “how to” book been boxed because of success? Or failure? I’ve added and subtracted many books from the box, and have to admit, I love it when one of my contributions has disappeared by the time I pass the box again. Right now, I’m enjoying The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, and I’ve got Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid lined up next. But I’ll be re-boxing the one about the singing crawdads.

Thomas Kushner, Dean of the Curtis L. Gerrish School of Business

I’m usually a voracious reader except that I had eye surgery this year which curtailed my ability to read. While recovering, a colleague suggested a book on tape and I selected Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don't Know by a fave of mine, Adam Grant. This book was exactly what I needed to take on the role of dean. Grant challenges the reader, through research and storytelling, to unlearn and relearn and embrace the discomfort of doubt rather than the comfort of conviction.

I love nonfiction and stumbled upon Spies in the Family: An American Spymaster, His Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship That Helped End the Cold War. This true-life thriller/memoir, from the daughter of an American intelligence officer, is about two spies, their families on opposite sides of the Cold War, and the noble motivations behind these gentlemen warriors.

Lastly, I recently got a great recommendation from Mark Herlihy [Dean, School of Social Sciences, Communication, and Humanities] to help me better understand the surrounding area: A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience. It’s well-researched on the times and influences surrounding this most fascinating of times in American history.

Aubry D. Threlkeld, Myrt Harper Rose ’56 Dean of the School of Education

I’m a voracious reader of poetry and nonfiction and this year I focused on reading more poetry by indigenous writers. Here are a few of my favorites: Tayi Tibble’s (Māori) Poūkahangatus; Chrystos’ (Menominee) Fire Power; and Margaret Noodin’s (Ojibwe) What the Chickadee Knows.

Each book of poetry in its own vernacular transforms our notions of self in relation to land, violence, gender, and ongoing settler colonialism. Poūkahangatus (a Māori transliteration of Pocahontas) particularly moved me through Tibble’s ability to erase boundaries between global popular culture (think Disney, Johnny Cash, and Elizabeth Arden) and Māori experience (historical erasure and inadequate representation in the media) directly addresses the myth that indigenous people are all gone.

I also read quite a few graphic novels including most recently Maia Kobabe’s Gender Queer: A Memoir, which doodles its way into your heart. It’s a frequently banned book I found myself interested in for its acclaim and stayed for its power. Being genderqueer myself, this was the first time I had seen a story so closely mirroring mine represented in popular culture. I have it on my Christmas list and will be buying it for my closest friends.

Steven Bruso, Assistant Professor of English

One of the things I've been reading this semester is Andrzej Sapkowski’s Witcher series of novels, beginning with The Blood of Elves and concluding with The Lady of the Lake. I picked up this series because I research and teach fantasy fiction, and had heard from colleagues in my field that it’s a series worth reading. I also very much enjoy fantasy fiction in its own right, so I was happy to dive into something new.

The narrative is so interesting to me, partly because of Sapkowski’s unique style and how he can ‘make new’ various literary elements from a genre that can become stale over time from overuse. For example, it is often the case in fantasy fiction that there will be a character whose narrative function is to reveal to the reader the history of the fictional world, its cultures, peoples, etc. so that the reader has a clearer understanding of why things are the way they are. Gandalf tends to have this function within Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. Sapkowski does not do this; instead, things begin in media res and the reader discovers the larger world and its conflicts along with the characters whom themselves don’t necessarily know what is happening or why. Rather than being frustrating for a reader, this technique is incredibly intriguing because you, as the reader, begin piecing things together like a detective. It’s an incredibly engaging narrative style.

Give the gift of Endicott with these faculty-authored publications:

Professor of Communication Amy Damico’s book, Women in Media: A Reference Handbook, provides a one-stop resource for understanding the participation and representation of women in the U.S. media in such areas as narrative film, scripted television programming, advertising, video games, news, and sports.

Joy Dangora Erickson, Assistant Professor of Education, published Reading Motivation: A Guide to Understanding and Supporting Children's Willingness to Read, which explains the importance of paying careful attention to children’s developing motivation to read and offers a step-by-step guide for conducting rigorous and systematic case studies of children’s motivation to read in specific contexts.

Professor of Sport Management Dina Gentile’s new book, Introduction to Esports Management, delves into a rapidly growing industry and her book is a first-of-its-kind resource to explore the full breadth of topics on the management and administration of esports and gaming across a variety of settings.

Krystal Demaine, Professor of Expressive Therapies, recently published The Roots and Rhythm of the Heart: Our Musical Connection to Identity, Spirit, and Lineage. Demaine’s book examines stories of the heart and offers an invitation for creative reflection and music listening that supports the reader’s journey in considering how music in the heart can influence one’s personal story, identity, health, and wellness.

Luke Reynolds, Assistant Professor in the School of Education, published Braver Than I Thought: Real People. Real Stories. Real Courage. The book explores the ways in which people work through trauma, including Chadwick Boseman, Tammy Duckworth, Aron Ralston, Padma Lakshmi, and others.

Professor of Biology Anne-Marie Scholer’s Human Embryology Coloring Book is a visualization and study tool that enables students to better comprehend and remember the processes and stages of human embryology.

Learn about more Endicott faculty accomplishments