Facebook pixel Summer 2023 Staff Reading Picks - Library News | Pepperdine Libraries Skip to main content
Pepperdine | Libraries

2023 Summer Reading Picks - Part One

We recently polled library staff and librarians on their summer reading plans. We're pleased to highlight the first half of the selections. The featured titles cover a wide breadth of subjects to explore this summer, including historical fiction, science fiction, mystery, nonfiction, and memoirs. A physical display of the books is on view at Payson Library.


book cover

The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

Selected by Rankin Bullard, Makerspace Specialist

Detective duo Tommy and Tuppence Beresford apply their wits, charms, and adventurous spirits to a menacing mystery that spells certain poisonous death for a missing lady at the hands of dangerous unknown foe.

book cover

Truffle Hound: On the Trail of the World’s Most Seductive Scent..., by Rowan Jacobsen

Selected by Anastasia Armendariz, Librarian for Special Collections and the Malibu Historical Collection

Guaranteed to spark America's next great culinary passion, a James Beard Award-winning author explores the secretive and seductive world of truffles, the elusive food that has captured hearts, imaginations and palates worldwide.

book cover

The Way of the Bear, by Anne Hillerman

Selected by Elizabeth Parang, Research and Instruction Librarian

An unexpected death on a lonely road outside of Utah's Bears Ears National Monument raises questions for Navajo Tribal Police officers Jim Chee and Bernadette Manuelito. A second death brings more turmoil. Chee and Manuelito's visit to this achingly beautiful place is disrupted by a current of unprecedented violence that sweeps them both into danger. Illicit romance, a fossilized jawbone, hints of witchcraft, and a mysterious disappearance during a blizzard add to the peril.

book cover

Ancillary Justice, by Ann Leckie

Selected by Erik Helton, Drescher Graduate Campus Librarian

Now isolated in a single frail human body, Breq, an artificial intelligence that used to control of a massive starship and its crew of soldiers, tries to adjust to her new humanity while seeking vengeance and answers to her questions.

book cover

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, by Gabrielle Zevin 

Selected by Colleen Mullally, Associate University Librarian for Collections, Technical Services, and Scholarly Communications

A modern love story about two childhood friends, Sam, raised by an actress mother in LA's Koreatown, and Sadie, from the wealthy Jewish enclave of Beverly Hills, who reunite as adults to create video games, finding an intimacy in digital worlds that eludes them in their real lives.

book cover

The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich

Selected by Lauren Haberstock, Director of the Genesis Lab Maker Space and Librarian for Emerging Technology and Digital Projects

Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich’s grandfather who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington, D.C., this powerful novel explores themes of love and death with lightness and gravity and unfolds with the elegant prose, sly humor, and depth of feeling of a master craftsman.

book cover

Bird of Paradise: How I Became Latina, by Raquel Cepeda

Selected by Isabel Morales, Irvine Graduate Campus Librarian

In 2009, Raquel Cepeda embarked on an exploration of her genealogy using ancestral DNA testing to uncover the truth about her family and the tapestry of races and ethnicities that came together in an ambiguous mix in her features, resulting in “a beautiful story of reconciliation and redemption” (Huffington Post) with her identity and what it means to be Latina.

book cover

Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Selected by Lorene Duffy, Drescher Public Services Supervisor

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science. As a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, she embraces the notion that plants and animals are our oldest teachers. In Braiding Sweetgrass, Kimmerer brings these two lenses of knowledge together to take us on a journey that is every bit as mythic as it is scientific, as sacred as it is historical, as clever as it is wise.