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The Best Things We Read in 2014

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According to HoCoPoLitSo Board of Directors members and staff, here are the best things we read in 2014.

DCMOne of my favorites was Dear Committee Members, a short entertaining novel by Julie Schumacher. The novel pokes fun at academia and academics in general, and it was fun to laugh at myself while laughing at the characters. A lighthearted book that I read over the course of two evenings snuggled up in my reading chair.

on such a full seaThat is not the experience I had (and am still having) with Chang-rae Lee’s On Such a Full Sea.  Before you read the rest of this, I want to make clear that I love this book.

I’m having a year-long relationship with this book – I’ve been reading it all year mainly because I can manage to read only a few pages at a time (although this may not be a reflection on the novel but just my inability to concentrate at 11 o’clock at night when I finally settle down with a book).  It took some time and some mental-doing to really get into this dystopian novel by one of my favorite writers.  The novel takes place in B-Mor in the future. We follow the story of a young woman who ventures out of B-Mor to the “counties.”  The prose is poetic.  At times the story seems to move along a bit too slowly and the prose very dense.  The narrative structure and voice strike me as experimental.  It’s not exactly a page-turner, but perhaps we might call it a thought-turner. It’s challenging, thoughtful, and beautiful.  It’s quite an experience.

– Laura Yoo

member of HoCoPoLitSo Board of Directors

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