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Dear ones,

Really, really, really: English teachers do not disappoint! You sent me QUITE THE READING LIST . . . it is attached for all to enjoy and dive in. And I’m sending it to all of the Folger staff; they are a group of readers too, as you might imagine, and will appreciate your wisdom.

One of you said, “I feel like you are asking a bunch of sugar addicts what their favorite candy is, or asking a chef what her favorite food is when you ask a bunch of (Humanities type) teachers what to read for the summer.” Absolutely! We addicts recognize and appreciate one another.

A few things:

  • Besides recommending titles to read or re-read, you wrote wonderful notes, told me what you were reading and why you liked it, told me what your students liked, all kinds of stuff. I felt a little like I was in the teachers’ lounge for a bit, and that is a great, great feeling.
  • You totally honored my begging request for no horrible politically relevant titles and offered uplifting ones instead, in light of what many of you described as “the current situation.” You also mentioned that many of your suggestions flat out made you laugh. Oh bless you.
  • If there are winners—and there should never be, even thought we seem to see #winning all the time these days--A Gentleman in Moscow and A Man Called Ove received the most recommendations, but only a few more than All The Light You Cannot See, which was the most highly recommended title on your list last summer.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. I’m psyched, and now thinking about where to start . . .

Breathe, even those of you teaching summer school!


Peggy O'Brien, Ph.D.

Director of Education
Folger Shakespeare Library 
201 East Capitol Street, SE 
Washington, DC 20003