Summer Reading Recommendations, Part 7: Anne Marie McLean

As we enter the last week of July, Pitts continues to consult library and Candler staff for “the best resource you discovered during quarantine.” For Pitts’ Reference Librarian & Outreach Coordinator, Anne Marie McLean, resources that qualified were those that took her out of the present and let her escape into the stories of others in historical fiction. Check out her recommendations set against the backdrops of the mountains, sea, and even a province of rural Itlay.

Anne Marie’s first recommendation is Where the Crawdads Sing (G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2018), a novel by Delia Owens that has topped The New York Times Fiction Best Sellers of 2020 for 32 non-consecutive weeks, with a film adaptation coming to theaters in 2022. This “ode to the natural world” spoke to her in one of her favorite environments: the coast. Give Anne Marie a semi-murder mystery about another girl who feeds seagulls, and she’s all for it! Find this book at Emory libraries on the shelves, as an ebook, or as an audiobook.

Her second recommendation is The Shoemaker’s Wife: A Novel (HarperCollins Publishers, 2012).  Adriana Trigiani is one of Anne Marie’s favorite authors because of her ability to merge history with engaging stories that highlight family sagas. The Shoemaker’s Wife is a “riveting historical epic of love and family, war and loss, risk and destiny, inspired by the author’s own family history,” with the Washington Post describing the author as “a master of palpable and visual detail.” Listen to this story as an audiobook, or read it online through Emory.

Anne Marie’s last recommendation is Wendell Berry’s Hannah Coulter: A Novel (Shoemaker & Hoard, 2004). Berry is an American novelist, environmental activist, and farmer. As his seventh novel, it is the first to be told from the perspective of a female narrator. Anne Marie cites Berry as her favorite author, explaining “His writing speaks to many of the stories and scenery of my own upbringing in rural southwest Virginia, and sheds light on the industrialization of farming amidst the backdrop of the romantic ‘old ways.’” Find this novel on Emory Libraries’ shelves to get a glimpse of Berry’s world!

We hope you enjoyed recommendations from Pitts’ Reference Department this week. Check in next week for more of our favorite resources from Candler faculty! Looking for more recommendations? All summer reading blog posts are archived at