Stacey Gibson’s Best Reads of 2016

December 29, 2016

stacey gibsonMy name is Stacey Gibson. I’m a parent, educator, and Evanston resident who enjoys a well-crafted story and the sun.

1) John Crow’s Devil by Marlon James (2005)

James peppers the pages with anvil heavy Jamaican patois, mystical practices of redemption, and sweeping battles where good and evil masquerade with and as the other. Continue reading “Stacey Gibson’s Best Reads of 2016”

Chris Skoglund’s Best Reads of 2016

December 19, 2016

Skoglund photo
Photo by Katie Barthelemy

My name is Chris Skoglund, and I am the librarian at Willard Elementary School in Evanston, where I have worked for almost thirteen years. I am an avid reader of books for both children and adults (which made picking only five books really difficult), so I consider myself to have the best job in the world!

1) Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead (2016)

An extraordinary mix of historical fiction and science fiction, this novel drew me in and would not let me go. Full of elegant imagery and characters that will linger in your mind long after the story is finished, each element worked seamlessly together.

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Marcus Campbell’s Best Reads of 2016

December 15, 2016

Marcus CampbellMy name is Marcus Campbell. I am the Assistant Superintendent and Principal at Evanston Township High School. I have been at ETHS for 15 years and started my career there teaching English. I love to read and enjoy the food scene.

1) The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Dubois (1903)

I always read something each year from the list of canonical black texts. I find these readings informative in that many of these texts written long ago are still applicable today.


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John Manos’s Best Reads of 2016

December 7, 2016

John Manos My name is John Manos, and I’ve lived in Evanston since 1976. My mother grew up here (her father was an architect named Joseph Bristle who designed many homes and other buildings in the northwest part of town), and I had relatives who spent their lives here. I’m a self-employed writer and editor. My novel Dialogues of a Crime was included by Kirkus Reviews among their “best books of 2013.” I’ve written other books, a couple of movies that never made it to the theaters, and the documentary The History of the Horse for Luminair Films in Chicago. I am also a professional guitar player and a gardener.



1) The North Water by Ian MacGuire (2016)

This is a very dark book but a tremendous exploration of the true nature of evil. I agreed with the author’s definition – a willingness to follow every impulse that satisfies personal desires, regardless of the consequences for others. The writing is exceptionally good, and the structure is as complex and thoughtfully layered as such great novels as Disgrace by Coetzee.

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