Phillips Library fans recommend and review good summer reads

Aurora University freshman Alyssia Evans, a special education major from Oak Park, Ill., checks out a Phillips Library recommended "book of summer."

With finals week approaching, many Aurora University students can’t even begin to think about reading for pleasure. But as soon as that last exam or paper is turned in, it’s like a weight is lifted and summer mode kicks in.

When that happens, students like Shannon Day look forward to reading for fun again. Day, a junior math and secondary education major, is one of the students who recommended and reviewed a book for Phillips Library’s annual “Books of Summer” brochure — what the library calls “recommended reads from Phillips Library fans.”

“I love reading not only for entertainment but also because I have a passion for learning,” Day said. “Both fiction and nonfiction alike provide avenues to learn more about yourself and the world around you.”

This tradition of supplying leisure reading recommendations from Aurora University faculty, students and staff began in 2003. The first brochure contained suggestions from 26 members of the Aurora University community. Initially, Phillips Library printed out the brochure and distributed copies. In 2008, we switched to making it available it electronically to save costs and be environmentally friendly.

Nancy Mactague, Research and Electronic Resources Librarian, solicits recommendations each year and coordinates the production of the brochure.

“The great thing about ‘Books of Summer’ is that we get such a wide variety of genres represented every year,” she said. “There is literally something for everyone — fiction, nonfiction and all manner of subjects. People also appreciate getting reviews from ‘real people.’”

This year is no exception. The list includes a Stephen King title, a book about the parasites that live inside of us, historical fiction set in the 15th century, memoirs, an exciting recounting of a river rafting trip on the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, and a novel in which the protagonist is a dwarf.

Because each issue of “Books of Summer” contains a couple dozen reviews, and this is the 10th year of production, there are hundreds of good reads from which to choose. All of the past brochures are located in one of Phillips Library’s online research guides. The current issue is located there as well and will be available on the Phillips Library homepage throughout the summer.

Library staff also post individual reviews on the Phillips Library Facebook page throughout the summer. This year’s recommendations and many books from previous years will be on display in the reference area of Phillips Library until mid-August and will be available for checkout all summer.

See what AU is reading these days, then stop in and pick up a good book. Happy summer!