Books We Love

Books We Love

Books We’re Bananas For

In no particular order, here are ETSU Online staff picks of most loved books.

Song of Fire And IceA Song of Ice and Fire (series), George R.R. Martin

The basis for the hit television series “Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire utilizes a medieval time frame, based on the real life War of the Roses, and a gradual introduction into a vast mythology along with an endless supply of well-rounded characters to create a rich series. You know, it’s pretty much what you might come to expect from a guy with two middle initials.

A Song of Ice and Fire could be described as one long book, and each new installment feels as though it is only an equal and opposite reaction to the previous one. The series remains fresh, shifting the point of view of the story between the various characters, and the author is bold enough to allow favorites to die (quite often, really) in order to push the story further. The brilliance of the story is that it teaches you early on not to hold onto any character as your favorite, which builds a sense of suspense as you try to figure out what will become of them all.

~Brandon Pennington, Online Admissions Counselor


Johnathan Livingston SeagullJonathan Livingston Seagull, Richard Bach

Publisher’s Description: This is a story for people who follow their hearts and make their own rules…people who get special pleasure out of doing something well, even if only for themselves…people who know there’s more to this living than meets the eye: they’ll be right there with Jonathan, flying higher and faster than ever they dreamed.

~Darlene Constantine, Executive Aide for Online Programs


Dairy, Chich PalahniukDiary, Chuck Palahnuik

Publisher’s Description: Misty Wilmot has had it. Once a promising young artist, she’s now stuck on an island ruined by tourism, drinking too much and working as a waitress in a hotel. Her husband, a contractor, is in a coma after a suicide attempt, but that doesn’t stop his clients from threatening Misty with lawsuits over a series of vile messages they’ve found on the walls of houses he remodeled.

Suddenly, though, Misty finds her artistic talent returning as she begins a period of compulsive painting. Inspired but confused by this burst of creativity, she soon finds herself a pawn in a larger conspiracy that threatens to cost hundreds of lives. What unfolds is a dark, hilarious story from America’s most inventive nihilist, and Palahniuk’s most impressive work to date.

~Katie Westbrooks, Graphic Designer


Narcissus and GoldmundNarcissus and Goldmund, Herman Hesse

“Hesse was a great writer in precisely the modern sense: complex, subtle, allusive; alive to the importance of play, to the desperate yet frolicsome game of writing….Narcissus and Goldmund is his very best….What makes this short book so limitlessly vast is the body-and-soul-shaking debate that runs through it, which it has the honesty and courage not to resolve: between the flesh and spirit, art and scientific or religious speculation, action and contemplation, between the wayfaring and the sedentary in us.” —The New York Times Book Review

~Heather Laurendeau, Director of Marketing for Online Programs


As A Man ThinkethAs a Man Thinketh, James Allen

It has been said that James Allen is the most quoted man you’ve never heard of. In 1902, Allen published As a Man Thinketh, universally acknowledged as a classic book on self-examination. The precept conveyed in Proverbs 23:7 ( As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he ) inspired the book’s title. It also captures the essence of Allen’s philosophy. Through his eloquent and succinct prose, Allen conveys his thesis that it is up to the individual to form his own character and create his own happiness. – 

~Darlene Constantine, Executive Aide for Online Programs


The Reason I JumpThe Reason I Jump, Naoki Higashida

“One of the most remarkable books I’ve ever read. It’s truly moving, eye-opening, incredibly vivid.”

Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

~Katie Westbrooks, Graphic Designer


Ender's GameEnder’s Game, Orson Scott Card

Publishers Description: Ender’s skills make him a leader in school and respected in the Battle Room, where children play at mock battles in zero gravity. Yet growing up in an artificial community of young soldiers Ender suffers greatly from isolation, rivalry from his peers, pressure from the adult teachers, and an unsettling fear of the alien invaders. His psychological battles include loneliness, fear that he is becoming like the cruel brother he remembers, and fanning the flames of devotion to his beloved sister.

Ender’s Game was the winner of the Nebula Award for best Novel in 1985 and the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 1986.

It has also become suggested reading for many military organizations, including the United States Marine Corps.

~Heather Laurendeau, Director of Marketing for Online Programs

We could go on like this all day, but we’ll stop here and start the search for our next favorite book. We’re always up for reading suggestions! What’s your favorite book?

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