Summer Reading, vol. 8: Sarah Bogue

This week, the jig is up—I, Reference and Instruction Librarian Sarah Bogue, will be offering you my own recommendations. In addition to authoring summer reading blog posts, I oversee the instructional offerings at Pitts and teach as much medieval history as I can. You’ll often see me at the reference desk and you might also get the Pitts Prospectus, a weekly update email, from me (sign up to get those here).

My academic background spans classical and medieval history, so my first recommendation is for the historians among us. I highly recommend Nicola Denzey’s The Bone Gatherers: The Lost Worlds of Early Christian Women (Beacon Press, 2007). Having been trained as a religious studies scholar, Denzey uses literary, art historical, and archaeological evidence to understand more about early Christian women. In particular, she focuses on the role of women in burial practices, a role that underwent significant chances in the fourth century centralization of Christian authority. Denzey’s narrative style is approachable and often enthusiastic—you won’t regret borrowing this from your local library!

One of my all-time favorite reads (and re-reads, nearly every year) is Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird (Anchor, 1995). This readable, touching, and truth-telling book should be required reading for all students. Lamott’s slim volume discusses the reality of the writing process with all its highs and all its lows. Full disclosure: I love everything Anne Lamott writes; but Bird by Bird remains my favorite for its combination of honesty and inspiration– pick it up today!

Finally, if you need a true beach read, you could do no better than Barbara Louise Mertz’s Crocodile on the Sandbank (Mysterious Press, 2010). Mertz, who wrote under the pseudonym Elizabeth Peters, received a doctorate in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. This training is abundantly clear in her series of mystery novels featuring the intrepid nineteenth century spinster/Egyptologist, Amelia Peabody. Crocodile on the Sandbank is the first of nearly twenty books in this series, so buckle up and prepare to be transported to the hilarious and (surprisingly) historically accurate world of Amelia Peabody.

Stay tuned friends, next week we will talk to Pitts Circulation Specialist Hannah Parks!

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