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EvCC Reads!   Tags: book_of_the_year, reading  

A guide to books we're reading and talking about this year.
Last Updated: Jul 16, 2016 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

Week 2 Print Page

Week Two - We Hit the Road

The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25th.  As part of summer reading, take this opportunity to explore more about our national natural treasures.  You can do a lot without leaving home and there are three parks just around the corner.  Stay home and read and then get out and roam!

  • Find Your Park
    The National Park Service turns 100 on August 25th. As part of summer reading, take this opportunity to explore more about our national natural treasures without leaving home!
  • Check Your List
    There are 50 national parks in the United States! Which ones have you visited already?
  • Novels set in National Parks
    Need a quick getaway? Pick up one of these novels from a list compiled by Backpacker magazine.

Celebrate America's Parks

Take a quick video tour and learn more about park history.  Want more? Check out the PBS series The National Parks: America's Best Idea from your own EvCC library.  Click here for the catalog information.  


What's Your Spot?

What's your favorite national park?  Select from the list below!


The Weekly Reader

Peg Balachowski is our reader for the week of July 11th. While she is now the Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning, Peg's early career was as a park ranger (that hat is the real deal) and her previous occupation continues to influence her reading.  Peg shared that she was very shy as a child and that reading has always been a big part of her life. She has eclectic tastes, reads more fiction that non-fiction, and especially likes the flawed detective with a dark past, as you will see below.  In addition to books, Peg is a voracious reader of magazines and newspapers and she always has an article (or two or three) to share.  Just ask her for a suggestion anytime!


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The Big Burn - Timothy Egan; Jeanette Ingold
ISBN: 0547394608
Peg calls this "must reading" for anyone interested in the national parks. From Amazon: "in 1910, several small wildfires in the Pacific Northwest merge into one massive, swift, and unstoppable blaze, and the Forest Service is pressed into a futile effort to douse the flames. Over 100 firefighters died heroically, galvanizing public opinion in favor of the forests ..."

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Firewall - Ebba Segerberg (Translator); Henning Mankell
ISBN: 1400031532
Publication Date: 2003-09-09
This series would be in that category of "flawed detective" that Peg mentioned and she's read all of them. From Publisher's Weekly: "In the sixth Kurt Wallander book to appear in English (One Step Behind, etc.), Mankell proves once again that spending time with a glum police inspector in chilly Sweden can be quite thrilling."

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Small Teaching - James M. Lang
Publication Date: 2016-03-07
This is a good example of the professional development literature on teaching and learning that Peg reads regularly. From the cover: " Developed by a global authority on teaching and learning, the practice of "small teaching" enables every type of educator in all disciplines to energize and boost student understanding by introducing small activities that require minimal preparation and grading."

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The Pillars of the Earth - Ken Follett
ISBN: 045123281X
Publication Date: 2010-06-29
This is a perennial favorite among EvCC readers and it was on Peg's list as well. From Library Journal: "this chronicles the vicissitudes of a prior, his master builder, and their community as they struggle to build a cathedral and protect themselves during the tumultuous 12th century, when the empress Maud and Stephen are fighting for the crown of England after the death of Henry I."

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The Pelican Brief - John Grisham
ISBN: 0440245931
Publication Date: 2010-01-05
Grisham is another specific author on Peg's "go to" list for a quick escape. This one moves fast as described by the publisher: "In suburban Georgetown a killer's Reeboks whisper on the front floor of a posh home... In a seedy D.C. porno house a patron is swiftly garroted to death... The next day America learns that two of its Supreme Court justices have been assassinated."

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The Silver Pencil - Alice Dalgliesh; Katherine Milhous (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0140347925
Publication Date: 1991-08-01
From the bookshelves of childhood, Peg picked out this as an important title to her in the sixth grade. The main character is Janet who uses the special pencil she received from her father to turn her life into stories. And ... apparently her goal was to be a teacher. Sounds like this really did influence our Peg!

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The Beautiful Mystery - Louise Penny
ISBN: 1250031125
Publication Date: 2013-07-02
Peg is a huge proponent of mentoring and this series offers a wonderful example in the form of Chief Inspector Armande Gamache. This installment takes place in the monastery of Saint-Gilbert-Entre-les-Loups, hidden deep in the wilderness of Quebec where two dozen cloistered monks live in peace and prayer (before one of them turns up dead).

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Wild - Cheryl Strayed
ISBN: 0307476073
Publication Date: 2013-03-26
Peg described her reaction to this true story of trekking the Pacific Crest Trail as "conflicted" and she found Cheryl Strayed to be either extremely brave or painfully naive. Strayed impulsively begins her walk of more than a thousand miles ill prepared and in a heightened emotional state. Read it and talk to Peg about your impressions!

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Nemesis - Jo Nesbø; Don Bartlett (Translator)
ISBN: 9780062119698
Publication Date: 2012-02-28
This is yet another good example of the type of series that Peg chooses. The plot is really too complicated to explain but just know that the Seattle Times called this one "assured, complex and evocative" and Kirkus Reviews that it is "is threaded through a series of Chinese boxes revealing one false solution after another before the brilliantly inventive final twist.”

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A Superior Death - Nevada Barr
ISBN: 042519471X
Publication Date: 2003-09-02
We started with mention of the national parks and we'll end there as well. Peg, of course, has enjoyed this series that revolves around Anna Pigeon of the National Park Service. From Amazon: In this novel, the setting is "Royale National Park, a remote island off the coast of Michigan ... [and] Anna finds herself 260 feet below the forbidding surface of the lake, searching for the connection between a drowned man and an age-old cargo ship."


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