Anna’s Book Nook: A switch in speaker


Photo illustration by Anna Keneally

Stories shape people into who they are, people shape places into what they are. Stories shape Wootton.

Over the past two years I have had the pleasure and privilege of sharing my passion for reading in this column. My goal from the beginning has been to make the literary world feel more acceptable and I hope that I have been able to do that through my photo illustrations and honest reviews. As the Book Nook approaches its final chapter, I have been able to truly appreciate the platform I have been given and the feedback I have received. From the bottom of my heart, thank you all for being here with me, for reading, for commenting, for reaching out. As a way to show my appreciation, I am passing the platform to you. So here are books that have impacted you and also books you just simply love. 

Senior Sammi Kimbis said that the book that has most greatly impacted her is Something Happened to Ali Greenleaf, by Hayley Krischer. “It’s a scarily accurate depiction of high school, and shows how multiple girls cope with traumatic experiences. It’s an uncomfortable read but definitely one worth doing,” Kimbis said. 

Senior Allie Gritz’s favorite book is Educated, by Tara Westover. “I remember going into it thinking how a story of a girl from a Mormon family seeking education could possibly be interesting but it more than proved me wrong. The fact that it’s a real story and all of it was absolutely insane is so interesting to me,” Gritz said.

Senior Nico Depalma said that his favorite book is Paper Towns, by John Green. “It’s set near my hometown in Florida so that made it more exciting. I love its mysterious storyline. It’s like watching the main character solve a puzzle with missing pieces by making new ones. The movie is a lot of fun too, so visualizing people like Cara Delvigne and Nat Wolff as the characters in my head made it more fun to read,” Depalma said.

Senior Katie Kerns said that the book that has most greatly impacted her is Flowers for Algernon, byDaniel Keyes. “The book made me reflect a lot on how I define intelligence, and what intelligence really means. Although my interpretations may be different from others, I really felt that the novel reminds us that there are different kinds of smart and that how you do in school or even in certain work fields doesn’t define you. I love the message that smarts present themselves in different ways, and that even if one isn’t ‘smart’ they’re still valuable,” Kerns said. 

Junior Zara Kudo’s favorite book is One of Us is Lying, by Karen M. McManus. “I really like murder mysteries and loved the plot and rotating points of view of all of the involved students,” Kud said

Senior Grace Mahon’s favorite book is A Little Life, by Hanya Yanagihara. “As dark as it was, I think it changed me and how I viewed the experience of living with trauma and the timeline of grief and anxiety,” Mahon said. 

Senior Olivia Kim’s favorite book is My Year of Rest and Relaxation, by Ottessa Moshfegh. “Although it seems bleak, I think it’s a humorous and comforting story about grief and privilege. A perfect book for people who love unhinged narrators,” Kim said.

Pictures may paint a thousand words, but books paint a thousand pictures. I have loved hearing about all of your favorite stories because I think that what we read sends a message about who you are, what your goals are, things you love and ways that you like to pass your free time. My favorite books are Circe, by Madeline Miller, We Ride Upon Sticks, by Quan Barry, Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis (Specifically The Magician’s Nephew) and Good Omens, by Terry Patchett and Neil Gaiman. Thank you again for allowing me to give my unsolicited book opinions for two years. Only one more chapter to go: the epilogue.