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What was your favorite book while you were on Grounds?

Cover of One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez

The book that alumni mentioned most was One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Márquez, mentioned by several students of Douglas Turner Day III (Col ’54, Grad ’59, ’62). Paula Peters Chambers (Col ’89) told us: “I remember finishing the book on the first floor of Clemons, surrounded by friends who were all doing their own work. When I closed the book and sighed, one of my friends asked me to describe what the book was about. ‘Everything,’ I said.”

Native Son by Richard Wright. I was introduced to the novel in one of Claudrena Harold’s Intro to African American Studies classes. I’ve read it a few times since, and each time I’m struck by how much hasn’t changed with regard to racial relations in American society.”
—Nancy Cruz-Lara (Col ’13)

“By almost scary coincidence, I am at this moment rereading my fave, The Worldly Philosophers by Robert L. Heilbroner. It is a quick and lively read about the founders of economic thought. I first read it in 1961 as part of a course aimed at getting me graduated.”
—Taylor Buckley (Col ’61)

The American Constitution: Cases and Materials and Constitutional Interpretations for my con law classes with the late Dr. Henry Abraham.” 
—Chris Kniesler (Col ’78)

Author Terry McMillan
A Day Late and a Dollar Short by Terry McMillan. It is a story of an African American family, their ups and downs and resilience. Being a Black student at UVA far away from my family, this was a welcomed read reminding me of the importance of family and leaning on each other.”
—Jennifer Jones (Col ’03) Bryce Duffy/Corbis via Getty Images
Sculpture of Marcus Aurelius
The Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. I kept it bedside after moving into Lambeth as a transfer student. It’s still on my nightstand, showing some age after enduring coffee spills and trips overseas.”
—Paul Hodskins (Col ’12) Ad Meskens

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I loved the complexity of the issues but also the humanness of the characters.”
—Emma Nargi (Col ’22)

The Unconsoled by Kazuo Ishiguro. It forces one to contemplate where and why one finds meaning in one’s life.”
—Asad Ali (Col ’20)

Overcoming the Problematics of Art by Yves Klein, translated by Klaus Ottmann. It was checked out under my name (and regularly used) for about two years before I finally caved and bought my own copy!”
—Frankie Mananzan (Col ’21)

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, The Da Vinci Code, The Sun Also Rises, and Atlas Shrugged were all mentioned by alumni.

Author Wallace Terry
Bloods by Wallace Terry. I was drawn to read it not only because the author’s daughter was enrolled at the University at the time but also because it focused exclusively on the Afro-American experience in Vietnam, a subject that was not discussed at length in the public space. The book was absolutely riveting.” 
—Wendi Hill (Col ’86) Wikimedia Commons
Albert Camus
The Stranger by Albert Camus was mentioned by a few alumni from the 1960s and 1970s. Getty Images

The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice. Being away from home and being able to stay up to all hours, I identified with the idea of turning night into day and day into night!”
—Yann Pirio (Col ’94)

“As you walked into Alderman Stacks, B2, there was a book on the left called Życie Gospodarcze. I never once opened it, but for my college roommate Jennifer (Streelman) Bell and me, it is a symbol of the many, many nights we spent in the library from 1996 to 2000. We still laugh over our attempts to pronounce it, and still remember what it looked like sitting there, untouched, for years—just waiting for our return each semester.”
—Lydia (Grammer) Klinger (Col ’00)

“1. Roots by Alex Haley and 2. Weevils in the Wheat by Charles Perdue Jr., Thomas Barden and Robert Phillips. I had the privilege of seeing some of the original documents during an office visit with Professor Perdue. As an African American studies major, it was an electrifying moment.”
—Susan (Henderson) King (Col ’78)

Cover of William Golding’s Lord of the Flies

“William Golding’s Lord of the Flies told how even upper-class boys could revert to savagery. [I read it] in my engineering school humanities course.”
—James Ralston (Col ’68)