Smith College Alumnae Reading Suggestions

From Ann E. Shanahan ’59, FSCL Chair and former Public Relations Officer at Smith

I read a lot of books—my husband is a book dealer with 5,000 books on line. For the last five years I have kept a list of what I’ve read to prevent that “oh, I’ve already read this” feeling.  Here are a few of my favorites over time:

book cover Little Heathens by Mildren Kalish Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm during the Great Depression by Mildred Armstrong Kalish
I would never have chosen this myself but it was so highly recommended by a friend, I couldn’t resist.  I LOVED it. Describing this book won’t do it justice.  I’ll just say it is about a world of by-gone days that  none of us has known but will wish we had.
book cover Silen in Hanover Close by Anne Perry Silence in Hanover Close by Anne Perry
I have an Ann Perry fetish.  Wonderful historical mystery and intrigue. Search for <Perry, Anne> in the Five College Library Catalog.
book cover Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout Abide with Me by Elizabeth Strout
It’s the late 1950s in a small Maine town, a minister struggles to regain his calling, his family and his bearings in the wake of a profound loss.  Strout has written three novels.  Her Olive Kittredge won the 2009 Pulitzer Prize.  I hope she is at work on another.
book cover The Help by Kathryn Stockett The Help by Kathryn Stockett
I resisted this for a long time; it has spent more than 40 weeks on the NY Times best seller lists—as a print book, an e-book and now in the “trade fiction” category.  It’s about a young white woman who works with Black maids in a Southern town to tell their story. There is something about it….but you’d have to find out for yourself, or probably you already have (or seen the film).