Professor Miller Recommends Fall Books


Olivia Garrett

As the fall season begins, everyone knows there is nothing better than curling up with a good book. While this is very enjoyable, it can be hard to find the right book choice. To help with this, Lisa Miller, Tompkins teacher and former college professor, has recommended how to choose fall books for every type for reader.

“I do not have a book specifically as much as a method for approaching reading. If a student truly wants to read, I recommend going into a bookstore and visiting the different sections. Pull a book off the shelf and scan a page or two. Move onto the next section and do the same. When something catches your interest give it a try,” said Miller.

Miller believes students choose the best books when they find them for themselves. It is important to choose a novel that peaks the reader’s unique interest. Bookstores, both in real life and online, offer endless possibilities. As the cozy fall season approaches, Miller highlights her favorite authors for her students to consider.

“I really enjoy the style and content of Flannery O’Connor, William Faulkner, C.S. Lewis, Virginia Woolf, John Updike and Toni Morrison. The list could go on forever. I read a text not simply for the quality of its writing, but for the commentary that it offers. Literature should make us think, literature should make us want to be students of history and it should move us to pick up our pens and want to write,” said Miller.

Miller thinks students should not only read, but also write about their books. Miller enjoys books that not only tell stories but offer a new perspective or opinion.

“Octavia Butler’s Kindred will always be one of those books that I simply loved. I finished it in one day, and my world was put on hold while I was reading it. I also loved the story of William and Ellen Craft titled Running a Thousand Miles to Freedom, a compelling retelling of their escape from slavery. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis which is a religious satire written as an epistolary novel is another one of my favorites. It is a dense, poignant commentary on human nature,” said Miller.

Miller chooses more dense books for the fall. As sunny weather fades, she urges readers to pick up books with heavier subject matter. Students can check out these titles or others by her recommended authors. Physical books are not the only way to digest Miller’s suggested literature. E-books and online literature reviews can also be interesting to readers.

“As we move more and more away from a traditional reading experience and more towards reading texts online via social media. We need to develop the skills to think critically about all the texts we read, to be cultural critics of the world around us and of the texts we encounter,” said Miller.