Tar Heels Together Summer Reading List | Tar Heels Together

Tar Heels Together Summer Reading List

 Tar Heels Together Summer Reading List

Calling all Carolina bookworms! Summer is in full effect and what better way to spend a summer day at home (or any vacation downtime)  than to check out the great books on our Summer Reading List. Thanks to University Libraries we will  provide 3 weekly book recommendations suggested by current Library staff,  all of which were written by fellow UNC Alumni.  

Stay up-to-date with what’s new from the Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on Twitter here.

See you next week, Tar Heels!

For Those Channeling Their Inner #GirlBoss

Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power 

Brooke Baldwin

“Huddle highlights stories of women across the country working together to rewrite the landscape of politics, education, and society. These inspirational women's stories helped me realize the value in the huddles that I am learning on more and more and motivated me to take more risks to make changes in my life and community.”
Suchi Mohanty
Head, R. B. House Undergraduate Library

About the Book

CNN news anchor Brooke Baldwin explores the phenomenon of “huddling,” when women lean on one another—in politics, Hollywood, activism, the arts, sports, and everyday friendships—to provide each other support, empowerment, inspiration, and the strength to solve problems or enact meaningful change. Whether they are facing adversity (like workplace inequity or a global pandemic) or organizing to make the world a better place, women are a highly potent resource for one another.

Through a mix of journalism and personal narrative, Baldwin takes readers beyond the big headline-making huddles from recent years (such as the Women’s March, #MeToo, Times Up, and the record number of women running for public office) and embeds herself in groups of women of all ages, races, religions and socio-economic backgrounds who are banding together in America.

About the Author

Brooke Baldwin  is an American journalist, television host and author who had been at CNN from 2008 until 2021. Baldwin hosted CNN Newsroom with Brooke Baldwin, which aired from 3pm to 4pm ET on weekdays. Baldwin graduated with bachelor’s degrees in Spanish from UNC-CH and in journalism from the university’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media in 2001. Throughout her career she has made major strides for women in broadcasting and media. Baldwin published her first book, Huddle: How Women Unlock Their Collective Power in April 2021.  

For Those Who Like Magical Realism

If I Had Two Wings

 Randall Kenan 

“Randall Kenan was a great scholar—especially on James Baldwin, a gifted writer, and a warm presence. The publication of this book coincided with his too- early death at 57 in August 2020. These short stories are a great introduction to his wonderful talent at telling tales set in his onetime homes of eastern North Carolina and New York City.”
John Blythe
Assistant Curator and Collection Development Librarian, North Carolina Collection

About the Book

In Kenan’s fictional territory of Tims Creek, North Carolina, an old man rages in his nursing home, a parson beats up an adulterer, a rich man is haunted by a hog, and an elderly woman turns unwitting miracle worker. A retired plumber travels to Manhattan, where Billy Idol sweeps him into his entourage. An architect who lost his famous lover to AIDS reconnects with a high-school fling. Howard Hughes seeks out the woman who once cooked him butter beans.

Shot through with humor and seasoned by inventiveness and maturity, Kenan riffs on appetites of all kinds, on the eerie persistence of history, and on unstoppable lovers and unexpected salvations. If I Had Two Wings is a rich chorus of voices and visions, dreams and prophecies, marked by physicality and spirit. Kenan’s prose is nothing short of wondrous.

About the Author

Randall Kenan (1963–2020) was the former chancellor of the Fellowship of Southern Writers and a professor of English and comparative literature at the University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill. Kenan attended UNC-CH, beginning in the fall of 1981 and he graduated in 1985 with degrees in English and Creative Writing.

The settings of many of Kenan’s novels are centered around his home area of North Carolina. The focus of much of Kenan’s work centers around what it means to be black and gay in the southern United States. Some of Kenan’s most notable works include the collection of short stories Let the Dead Bury Their Dead, named a New York Times Notable Book in 1992, A Visitation of Spirits, and The Fire This Time. Kenan was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Whiting Award, and the John Dos Passos Prize

For Fantasy Fiction Fans


Tracy Deonn

“Arthurian legend, rootwork, slavery, and campus history all come together at UNC Chapel Hill in this engaging fantasy, the first in a series.”
María Estorino,
Associate University Librarian for Special Collections

About the Book

Filled with mystery and an intriguingly rich magic system, Tracy Deonn’s YA contemporary fantasy Legendborn offers the dark allure of City of Bones with a modern-day twist on a classic legend and a lot of Southern Black Girl Magic.

After her mother dies in an accident, sixteen-year-old Bree Matthews wants nothing to do with her family memories or childhood home. A residential program for bright high schoolers at UNC–Chapel Hill seems like the perfect escape—until Bree witnesses a magical attack her very first night on campus.

About the Author

Tracy Deonn is the New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King-John Steptoe Award winning author of Legendborn, and a second-generation fangirl. She grew up in central North Carolina, where she devoured fantasy books and Southern food in equal measure. After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication and performance studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Tracy worked in live theater, video game production, and K–12 education. When she’s not writing, Tracy speaks on panels at science fiction and fantasy conventions, reads fanfic, arranges puppy playdates, and keeps an eye out for ginger-flavored everything.

Tracy is a champion for diversity and representation in science-fiction and fantasy literature and media. And when Tracy’s mother told her that the women in their family were Black Bene Gesserits, she believed her.

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