Relax Over Break with a Good Book: Reviews and Reads

Posted by on December 23, 2014

Written by guest blogger Michael Schneider, campus librarian

As we approach the holiday season, many of us are looking forward to some well-needed relaxation, sleeping in, watching movies or lounging about. Some will be picking up a good book to aid in their rest and relaxation.

If you are a member of that last group, then this is a blog for you.

Suggested books, courtesy of Michael Schneider, Elk River Campus Librarian

Thinking about the books I like to read, I broke it down to one thing: good books! Easier to say, harder to find.

Fooled by the clever descriptions and cover art, many of us recklessly dive into books without checking to see if they are well-reviewed or not. Well, rest easy fellow readers! I have done some leg work for you.

Listed below are just some of the highly acclaimed books that are available from the Minnesota School of Business-Elk River Library

One Summer: America, 1927 (Bill Bryson)

What do flagpole sitting, Al Capone, Babe Ruth and Charles Lindbergh have in common? Why the author, Bill Bryson, of course.

Bryson reviews the summer of 1927 and the news-worthy and sometimes crazy things that went on in only the way Bryson can…very humorously.

The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (Elizabeth Kolbert)

On darn near every “Best of” book lists for 2014. As the title suggests, this is a book about extinctions. Kolbert introduces us to the first five extinctions and how the earth and creatures were affected. Then the author shocks us with what she ultimately sees as the sixth: us.

Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson)

About as soon as this came out it was a bestseller. Not long after it was considered the ultimate bio on the scion of Apple. As an Amazon Best Book of the Month, this biography is honest and shows Jobs at his best and worst.

Orange is the New Black (Piper Kerman) 

Netflix based its highly successful show on Piper’s memoir. Elk River’s criminal justice Chair Janelle Trocke thought it was “much more realistic and less dramatic than the Hollywood version.” She also thought it was “insightful” and “provides a practical view into federally incarcerated females.”

Chronicles Vol. 1 (Bob Dylan)

Minnesota’s own Robert Zimmerman autobiography. An interesting and detailed look into the life and loves of the great musician from the man himself!

The Old Man and the Sea (Ernest Hemingway)

I had not read Hemingway and decided to find out what all the praise was about. This is more than just a fishing story, and now I see why he is so praised. A short and rewarding read.

Food Rules: An Eaters Manifesto (Michael Pollan) 

With all these fad diets going around, with the science community telling us to eat one thing one day and not the next, Pollan gives us a highly readable, useful, common-sensical book to help us all with our daily struggle: what to eat.

Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt (Michael Lewis) 

Another title that seems to be on everybody’s book of the year lists. This time around, Lewis takes a somewhat historic, somewhat investigative reporting look at Wall Street and those who are attempting to change it for good… and bad.

Stay tuned for more reviews and book suggestions in future blogs from Michael!


Thank you for your Interest in Minnesota School of Business.