In celebration of World Book Day, a few of TCC’s English professors shared their favorite reads.
Monica McFerrin, assistant professor of English on the Virginia Beach Campus
Recommended read: “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Garth Stein is a 2008 novel told from a dog’s point of view. The philosophizing dog, Enzo, realizes life, like racing, isn’t about going too fast.
“I love the point of view; it’s so unique,” said McFerrin, whose two German Shepherd mixes are Lulu and Koda. “We all hear our dogs talk in our mind. I love this book because it’s non-gender specific. This is a book for anyone – creative, touching, but not sappy.”
“My bookshelf is schizophrenic depending on the day. Right now I’m reading “Timequake” by Kurt Vonnegut. I like anything by Christopher Moore. I like reading the classics like “Murder on the Orient Express” – anything to tide me over between episodes of ‘Sherlock.’”
Josh Howell, assistant professor of English on the Norfolk Campus
Recommended reads: “They Say, I Say” by Gerald Graff and Cathy Birkenstein is a 2009 reference book that provides readers tips on presenting sources and ideas effectively in academic writing.
“Not only has this book become a staple for my grad classes, but also for some of my own lessons in the way that students approach academic writing. It brings undergraduate writing to the graduate level.”
“Cat’s Cradle” by Kurt Vonnegut is a 1963 sci-fi novel that explores topics of science, technology and religion, satirizing the arms race.
“I was not an English major as a kid. I hated reading and writing. Off of an undergraduate elective course, I came across Kurt Vonnegut and it changed my life. This book really set me on a path to where I am today as an English professor.”
“I pride myself on my shelves. It’s split pretty evenly among fiction, poetry and research. It’s the life of an English teacher – you get books all the time. I tend to really enjoy the classics. I find myself going back and reading books like ‘Frankenstein’ and ‘The Rime of the Ancient Mariner’ more than anything else.”
April Campbell, English instructor on the Portsmouth Campus
Recommended read: “In Cold Blood” by Truman Capote, the 1966 nonfiction novel that details the 1959 murders of four members of the Herbert Clutter family by two drifters in Holcomb, Kansas.
“I was assigned it in college English class and my son just read it for his English class at Florida State. It’s told from multiple perspectives – the minds of the killers, the families and the investigators.”
“My bookshelf is mostly nonfiction. I like biographies or any books about people overcoming something. I like Hemingway and Flannery O’Conner.”