Skip to main content

reading list

Meg Wolitzer's book cover

Nic’s Picks: Winter Reading List

By UncategorizedNo Comments

There’s a chill in the air now, and while finals are a few weeks away, curl up with one of these books instead of prestressing about that project or test you’ll probably ace.

The Female Persuasion
Novel by Meg Wolitzer

After shy college freshman, Greer Kadetsky, is assaulted at a frat party, a friend introduces her to feminist icon, Faith Frank. Faith influences Greer to be less passive, more aggressive and to find her voice. After the two meet, they stay in close contact and Greer is offered a job at Faith’s newly formed feminist, girl-power driven publication. However, the company was formed with some shady funding and a mess of a PR team. Greer does what is right, and we follow not only her story, but Faith’s rise to fame. The perspective of Greer’s boyfriend Cory is also included, and how he drops his plans for a startup due to a family crisis shows that men can also have positive roles in feminism.

The Woman in the Window
Novel by AJ Finn

Anna Fox is a psychologist dealing with her own problems: her husband has left her and taken their daughter, and because of a traumatic incident, she is now a recluse and an alcoholic. Her only pleasures in life now include watching old films, counseling fellow agoraphobes online, and spying on her neighbors through her window. When a new, mysterious family moves in, Anna is intrigued by the fact that the son is incredibly sensitive, the husband is controlling, and the wife seems to be a figment of Anna’s imagination.
The novel, which is Finn’s debut, has at least three unexpected but still impressive twists. A movie based on this book is expected to be released next October.

Novel by Daniel Torday


This novel encompasses the millennial frustrations that are so common: lack of job prospects, housing, high cost of rent and the misconceptions that the baby boomers have about us. Former journalist, Mark, is upset with a lack of teaching positions due to baby boomers not retiring, so he heads from New York to his mother’s basement and begins a revolution online under an alias. He calls on his fellow millennials to create anarchy against the older generation, and chaos ensues. The novel shifts between Mark’s perspective, his ex-girlfriend Cassie, and his baby boomer mother as a way to show a counterpoint: Not all millennials like Cassie are struggling, and not all baby boomers are bad. The novel is exciting, well paced and amazingly written. Today really takes the idea of “showing, not telling” in writing to the extreme, which works great for the plot line.

David Duchovny's book cover

Book Review: Miss Subways

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Book by David Duchovny, Review by Nikki Moylan

While Duchovny is best known for his role as FBI agent Fox Mulder on The X Files, his newest novel rivals any plotline from the 90s sci-fi television show. Following the life of second grade teacher, Emer, as she navigates a new relationship with a man who has a mysterious and somewhat sketchy presence. Her life is turned upside down when she finds strange visitors warning her about this man and the sacrifices she must make in order to keep the relationship. The story does a great job of blending fact and fiction, mixed with some mythological creatures  in present day New York. Readers will enjoy the colorful cast of characters, like the over-the-top spoiled brats that run Emer’s classroom along with Emer’s humorous monologues.

Rowenna Miller's book cover

Book Review: Torn

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Book by Rowena Miller, Review by Maggie Schmutz

Torn by Rowena Miller is a fantasy novel that follows Sophie, a dressmaker who is known for sewing charms into garments. She supports herself and her brother Kristos with her business and by continuing to make dresses for the nobles of their kingdom. Her brother Kristos is a revolutionary and is strongly against the monarchy and the nobles that support it, which challenges Sophie.

She knows that she is supported by these people, and as she gets to know them she finds that many of them see the struggle the lower classes are facing, but at the same time she can’t relate to the elegant lives they lead. She is stuck in between friends, family, and two very different sides of her life. As Kristos’ rebellion grows she must choose between the two worlds she has come to inhabit. This novel is the first in its series and is perfect for anyone intrigued by the mix of politics and fantasy with a fair share of suspense thrown in

Gillian Flynn's Book cover

Book Review: Gone Girl

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Book by Gillian Flynn, Review by Taylor Avery

Do you ever get the feeling that people aren’t quite what they make themselves out to be?

Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl is a cleverly written book, with near whiplash inducing plot twists and beautifully crafted characters. At first the book appears rudimentary, complete with boy-meets-girl and marriage-turned-sour elements. However, Flynn quickly sets herself apart by alternating chapters between Nick and Amy, whose narratives are told in different times of their relationship. This unique format gives readers the feeling of a near 360 degree perspective yet with frustrating blind spots that leave the reader guessing until the very last page. Gone Girl puts readers on a roller coaster of emotions, leaving the reader feeling dizzy and with a rush of adrenaline at the end of the ride.

Rachel Kushner's book cover

Insight’s Fall Reading List

By UncategorizedNo Comments

Have you reached that point in the semester where school is kicking your ass? Need a mental break but don’t want to scroll on your phone for hours on end? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Check out our fall reading list for some fun, enjoyable books that are the perfect escape from school or work.

The Mars Room

Novel By Rachel Kushner

Review by Nikki Moylan

In 2003, Bay Area native and former stripper Romy Hall is sentenced to two life terms in prison due to a botched trial. Acting in self-defense, Romy is seen as a true murderer despite what really happened and feels like a misfit once she is locked up. She meets intimidating characters that quickly warm up to her, despite their bleak chances of ever getting out. Kushner does a great job of showcasing the serious flaws in the California prison system, and writes the diverse prisoner population in a realistic and somewhat sympathetic way. The novel also includes the perspectives of other characters for some chapters. Romy’s fate at the end, however, seems unjustified based on the other circumstances she’s already endured.

The Chalk Man

Novel by C.J. Tudor

Review by Nikki Moylan

Five childhood friends, all disconnected from each other due to unfortunate circumstances, come together once again to solve a series of murders in their tiny English town. The killer communicates using chalk symbols like Eddie and his friends used to when they were in school. The novel switches between present day and the memories of Eddie’s youth. Readers identify with Eddie in the present day, as he is just overwhelmed with stress and life. In between the thrills, it’s humorous how Eddie tries and fails to connect with the high school students he teaches and also his gothic and stereotypically millennial roommate. It is well-paced, beginning and ending with gruesome twists. This thriller is Tudor’s first book, and it sets high expectations for the next, all while making her an author to watch in the future.

Scar Tissue

Book by Anthony Kiedis with Larry Sloman

Review by Andrea Heerdt

Scar Tissue begins by Anthony Kiedis exploring childhood memories after he decides to move from his mom’s house in Michigan to live with his dad in Los Angeles. Kiedis recalls going to clubs in Hollywood as a kid with his dad who was heavily involved in the acting and celebrity scene at the time. The book explores Kiedis’s first encounters with drugs and sex at a very young age as he remembers smoking pot for the first time when he was just 11 years old and his dad offering up his girlfriend to help Kiedis lose his virginity in middle school.

Throughout the book Kiedis continually struggles with heavy drug use especially when his funkadelic mega band, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, starts to explode in the late 80s music scene. The memoir is a sincere look at the lead singer’s struggle to get his substance abuse problem under control as he disappears on several day-long drug binges causing him to miss recording sessions and shows. Kiedis dives into the detail of his outings using dirty needles on the street to inject China white heroin and dirty socks to clean up the injection site, while also facing homelessness for a period of time.

There are many ups and downs in the book as the band’s success skyrockets them to the top of the music charts, but crack, heroine, and speedballs are a reoccurring theme as many of the band members can’t seem to shake the drug use despite the early demise of former Chili Peppers guitarist, Hillel Slovak. For musical and non-musical people alike, this book is a captivating read that explores themes of substance abuse and sobriety, love and belonging, and musical artistry as the book walks through the formation of every Red Hot Chili Pepper’s album.