GPL Blog

Staff Picks — Kaitlin

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison

Tony Morrison is my favorite author and I would honestly recommend any one of her novels! Morrison is known for examining the complexity of the legacy of racism in America and Song of Solomon is no different. First published in 1977, this novel has won many awards, including the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction in 1978. The book details the life of Macon “Milkman” Dead III. In 1931, Milkman is the first Black baby to be born in Mercy Hospital in an unnamed suburb of Michigan. As a young man, Milkman travels to Virginia to search for his father’s gold where he discovers the truth about his family. Spanning four generations, starting with Solomon, Milkman’s great-grandfather who escaped slavery by flying to Africa, Morrison uses magical realism to examine the “flights” of her characters. Through his journey, Milkman reconnects with his family, community and cultural roots.

Stranger Things

I would watch Stranger Things over and over! It is by far one of the best series that I have watched in recent years. Combining science fiction, horror, and drama this show tells the story of a group of young friends in 1980s rural America. In fall of 1983, a scientist is attacked by an unknown creature at a U.S. government laboratory in Hawkins, Indiana. When 12-year-old Will Byers goes missing after an encounter with the creature, his friends Mike Wheeler, Dustin Henderson and Lucas Sinclair set out to find him. Along their journey they uncover a mystery involving secret government experiments, supernatural forces, and a peculiar young girl named Eleven.

The Buddha in Your Mirror by Greg Martin, Ted Morino, and Woody Hochswender

This is a book that I go back to again and again. You can literally open to any page and find practical encouragement for your life! The authors explain how to realize the ancient Buddhist teaching that true happiness comes from within, using real-life examples. Specifically, it gives a quick overview of the basic principles of Nichiren Buddhism and hits all the key points on how to make this practice a part of one’s daily life. This book also gives insights into international concerns of peace including environmental and social issues. The overarching message is that you yourself are a Buddha. You are in the driver’s seat of your life and you can absolutely tap into the infinite potential that already exists within you, while making a positive impact in your community and the world at large! If you want to learn how and why Buddhism might be useful to you, this is the book to start with.


Matilda is my favorite movie from childhood! This story is centered around a young girl who loves to read. Through books she can escape her difficult home life. Matilda soon discovers that she has magical powers and begins to use them to help not only herself, but also her school friends and beloved teacher, Miss Honey.

Sarah’s Scribbles: Big Mushy Happy Lump by Sarah Anderson

I simply adore the Sarah’s Scribbles series of cute, yet relatable comics about young adult life! Sarah Anderson originally released her comics online, but has since had several books published featuring her webcomics and illustrated personal essays. Big Mushy Happy Lump is the second in her series of comics which depicts the ups and downs of becoming an adult. If you enjoy frank, self-deprecating humor with inspiring undertones, these are the comics for you!

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