Skip to main content

University Libraries

blog author standing in front of the library's leisure reading shelves

Reading at Roesch II

By Scott West

In my initial Reading at Roesch post, I discussed the significant number of award-winning books that were recently added to the leisure reading collection. This month I intend to discuss bestsellers and some award winners and highlight books honored with the Dayton Literary Peace Prize.


Bestselling books are a high priority for the leisure reading collection. Here’s just a sampling from the Oct. 20 New York Times bestsellers:

It is interesting to see the draw of fantasy novels. This list includes two overall bestsellers plus another in the third spot. The genre encompasses a wide range of tastes — young adult, romance, folklore, contemporary — and I cannot help but see the appeal of escapism.  

Award Winners

We continue to add award-winning books, and since the last posting, we have added A Cottage Full of Secrets, by Jane Lovering; The Earl’s Mysterious Lady, by Louise Allen; I Let You Fall, by Sara Downing; Take a Chance on Greece, by Emily Kerr; and The Three Lives of Alix St. Pierre, by Natasha Lester. These four books all received Romance Novelists’ Association awards.  In addition, the first volume of The Human Target, by Tom King, won an Eisner; The Black Period, by Hafizah Augustus Geter, won a Lammy; and Even Though I Knew the End, by C.L. Polk, won a Nebula Award. More forthcoming as a half-dozen graphic novels are in the works.

Dayton Literary Peace Prize

Roesch Library is a repository for all Dayton Literary Peace Prize winners, runners-up and finalists. Often, library faculty and staff serve as first readers for books submitted for the prize. This is a hugely enjoyable task, although no book I have reviewed has ever made the final groups. I don’t take it personally, as I get to read some pretty interesting books. I highly recommend We Don’t Know Ourselves: A Personal History of Modern Ireland, by Fintan O’Toole. On Oct. 10, the 2023 winners were announced.

In the fiction category, Geraldine Brooks’s Horse was the winner, and The Light Pirate, by Lily Brooks-Dalton, was the runner-up. The finalists were Anthem, by Noah Hawley; The Immortal King Rao, by Vauhini Vara; Mecca, by Susan Straight; and Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta, by James Hannaham. Two science fiction titles!

The nonfiction category features His Name is George Floyd: One Man’s Life and the Struggle for Racial Justice, by Robert Samuels and Toluse Olorunnipa, as the winner and American Midnight: The Great War, a Violent Peace, and Democracy’s Forgotten Crisis, by Adam Hochschild, as runner-up. The finalists were Asian American Histories of the United States, by Catherine Ceniza Choy; Ma & Me: A Memoir, by Putsata Reang; The Treeline: The Last Forest and the Future of Life on Earth, by Ben Rawlence; and Zarifa: A Woman’s Battle in a Man’s World, by Zarifa Ghafari.

Borrow, Read, Return, Repeat

UD faculty, staff and students can borrow any of these books using their UD ID. Alumni living in Ohio can receive a free annual borrowing card. If you’re not local, look some of these titles up in your library’s catalog.


— Scott N. West is a collections specialist in the University Libraries.

Previous Post

Achievement Unlocked

Three endowment-funded student scholarships awarded by the University Libraries recognize outstanding writers, education majors and international students.
Read More
Next Post

Library Leader Receives Mentoring Award

University Libraries associate dean Ione Damasco is the recipient of the statewide academic library association's mentoring award.
Read More