Dean's List

Fr. Neenan adds five titles to his annual list of
recommended reading

Each fall, Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties William B. Neenan, SJ, issues his annual "Dean's List of Recommended Reading" to the University community. Several substitutions are made annually to the list of 27 books, and Fr. Neenan has detailed the additions below. The 1997-98 Dean's List includes five new titles: two novels; two autobiographical works; and a travelogue that is much more than that. These five, with 22 holdover titles, constitute the traditional twenty-seven on the list.

Marilynne Robinson's Housekeeping is anything but a tidy account of domesticity. Rather, one is carried into a world that for me was, ironically, both nostalgic and surreal.

Ron Hansen's Atticus begins as a somewhat standard father-son saga but as the narrative moves from Colorado to Mexico the novel subtly edges deeper and deeper down one canyon of surprise after another.

The much acclaimed autobiographical Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt is also an intergenerational narrative, both powerful and painful. The mood, usually as overcast as an Irish sky in March is rendered bearable by an occasional ironic nod at the whole painful mess he calls life.

Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculties William B. Neenan, SJ. (Photo by Gary Gilbert)

In a season in which the passing of celebrities has captured the imagination of millions, The Gift of Peace , a faith-filled account of how Cardinal Joseph Bernardin faced the ultimate mystery of the human condition, should be pursued prayerfully in quiet reflective moments.

And if you seek a literate, insightful account of the recent history of the world's most populous country, I recommend Simon Winchester's River at the Center of the World for a guided journey up the Yangtze River from Shanghai through Nanjing, by the controversial Three Gorges dam project, and on into the Tibetan highlands and the uncertain sources of the world's second longest river.

Two novels by Boston College faculty, Elizabeth Graver's Unravelling and Suzanne Matson's Hunger Moon, were published too late for this year's competition but reliable sources indicate they currently are on the short list for the l998-99 competition.

The following is Fr. Neenan's complete Dean's List of Recommended Reading for the 1997-98 year. All are available in the Boston College Libraries and the Bookstore.

James Agee, A Death in the Family
Kingsley Amis, Lucky Jim
Arthur Ashe, Days of Grace
George Bernanos, Diary of a Country Priest
Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, The Gift of Peace
Robert Bolt, A Man For All Seasons
Albert Camus, The Fall
Ralph Ellison, The Invisible Man
Shusaku Endo, Deep River
Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
Graham Greene, The Power and the Glory
Ron Hansen, Atticus
Etty Hillesum, An Interrupted Life
James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Guiseppe Lampedusa, The Leopard
Frank McCourt, Angela's Ashes
David McCullough, Truman
Gloria Naylor, Women of Brewster Place
Thomas O'Connor, The Boston Irish
John O'Malley, SJ, The First Jesuits
Jaroslav Pelikan, Jesus Through the Centuries
Ann Petry, The Street
Marilynne Robinson, Housekeeping
Wallace Stegner, Collected Short Stories
Sigrid Undset, Kristin Lavransdatter
Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men
Simon Winchester, River at the Center of the World

Return to Oct. 2 menu

Return to Chronicle home page