Summer reading suggestions

2 June 2021
By Iris Jastram

The last few summer issues of ITS Update have included a Books and Movies section. Before sharing the recommendations that we had been gathering over the past few months, we suggest looking at these anti-racism books, podcasts, and movies recommended by the Carleton Student Association, OIL, and others.


Girl reading a book by the sea

Krueger, William Kent. Ordinary Grace. New York: Atria Paperback, 2014.
Submitted anonymously: “This is a Minnesota author and this story takes place in Minnesota in the early 1960’s.  It tells a wonderful story of how tragedy affects a family and how these two boys find their way as they grow up.”

Owens, Delia. Where the Crawdads Sing. New York: GPPutnam’s Sons, 2018.
Submitted anonymously: “This is a story about how Kya, the Marsh Girl, who grew up alone in the marshlands in North Carolina. You will fall in love with her character.”

Quinn, Kate. The Alice Network. New York, NY: William Morrow, 2017.
Submitted anonymously: “I enjoyed reading about Charlie who is trying to track down her favorite cousin Rose after WWI. She met Eve along her journey who was a secret spy within the Alice Network.”

Rochon, Farrah. The Boyfriend Project. New York: Forever, 2020.
Submitted anonymously: “A group of friends meet after finding out they’re dating the same guy and decides to spend time on themselves. During a global pandemic, a romantic comedy with a happy ending hit the perfect note for me. And a sequel is in the works!”

Schwab, V. E. The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. New York: Tor Books, 2020.
Submitted by Amy Rachuba: “As a sucker for books with a setting in France, this one offers a character driven plot with a touch of time travel and intrigue.”

Yu, Charles. Interior Chinatown. New York: Pantheon Books, 2020.
Submitted by Wiebke Kuhn: “An unconventional novel that plays with genre, plays with stereotypes and shows how stereotyping impacts individuals who are subjected to this – and it does it with a sense of humor.”


Hirsch, Jennifer S. Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2020.
Submitted by Wiebke Kuhn: “This study not only does the tough work of relating interviews of sexual assault victims and perpetrators at a private university, but it also offers a model and solutions for a college to move forward on addressing root causes of the high numbers of sexual assault we see at US higher ed institutions.  I liked it because of the way it combined theory, events, and solutions – this was a book club at Carleton this year, so others may offer this.”

Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Minneapolis, Minnesota: Milkweed Editions, 2013.
Submitted by Wiebke Kuhn: “This collection of essays connects beautifully and painfully the world of (Privileged) Science with indigenous knowledge, sets in contrast White with Tribal mythologies, spirituality, knowledge and life.  Her descriptions are amazing, her examples are breathtaking to me and so much of this content is directly meaningful for a place like Carleton.”

Ruffin, Amber. You’ll Never Believe What Happened to Lacey: Crazy Stories about Racism. New York, NY: Grand Central Publishing, 2021.
Submitted anonymously: The book description explains well, “Painfully relatable or shockingly eye-opening (depending on how often you have personally been followed by security at department stores), this book tackles modern-day racism with the perfect balance of levity and gravity.”

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