The NEHS Book Nook

Reading recommendations for the bibliophile in all of us

Storm of the Century by Stephen King

Like many of Steven King’s novels, this is not one for the faint of heart. Storm of the Century is a horror novel written by Steven King. King originally wrote Storm of the Century as a screenplay for a television miniseries of the title. The novel is set in the fictional town of Little Tall Island, Maine during one of the most catastrophic blizzards the town had ever seen.

During the storm, a man with supernatural powers visits the town. The people of the town face multiple tragedies before they are faced with an ultimatum. King does an excellent job blending the supernatural with raw human emotion. He makes you ask, “Would you give up your most precious possession for the good of the whole?”

As an author, King has always captivated me. His ability to capture and execute the psychological horror genre on film and on paper has made him an icon. This novel will literally send chills down your spine. King does an amazing job of making his reader question his or her own morale.

As the people of the town are faced with a choice, you are also faced with a dilemma. Would you sacrifice your emotions for the good of another or would you remain stubborn in your way

– Reviewed by Iyian Page, class of 2020

Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything In Between  by Lauren Graham

Talking As Fast As I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls and Everything In Between  by Lauren Graham

Talking As Fast As I Can is an autobiography by Lauren Graham that chronicles her life from her childhood, to her career as an actress, to what it was like returning to her beloved role as Lorelai Gilmore. Like the title promises, the book gives an insight into the events of her life and everything in between, and it truly feels as if you’re talking to an old friend.

The book is a New York Times bestseller, and I enjoyed every minute of reading it. It was funny, witty, lovable, and very entertaining, and if you are an avid Gilmore Girls fan like me, it’s honestly a must. Also, if you are a fan of the show, the autobiography is full of stories about what it was like to film the show, what it was like to work with the talented and colorful cast, and which moments and scenes were the most fun to shoot.

It also contains multiple diary entries that Lauren wrote when she recently returned to the show in the Netflix reboot, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. The entries include pictures and commentary on the days she spent back on set, reconnecting with fellow cast members, and the celebrity guests who made appearances in the new series. It feels as if you’re experiencing the new show right there with her, and I loved it. 

— Reviewed by Vivian Palmer, class of 2019

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah is an amazing historical fiction novel about Nazi-occupied France. It follows the lives of two sisters, whose parents are dead. One sister, Vianne Rossignol Mauriac, is more traditional and stricter than her sister, but still helps the French Resistance Movement and helps Jewish children escape persecution. The other sister, Isabelle Rossignol, more directly helps the French Resistance Movement in a wide variety of ways. Isabelle starts by handing out anti-Nazi propaganda in the streets of a quaint French village but quickly helps out in larger way. Its point of view is that of an old woman recounting the events of her life, most specifically the war, but we do not find out which sister is the narrator is until the very end of the book.  

This book is simultaneously heart-wrenching and heart-warming, and I still do not think that I have gotten over it, even though I read it over the summer. It deals with love, family, work, and so much more, all set during World War II. This book would be great for anyone who has any interest in Vichy France or just wants a fantastically interesting read. (Just a warning: this novel is not a light read.)  

I think that the best part about this book is that it is based on the true events of Andrée De Jongh, a heroic and courageous Belgium, who at a very young age helped the Belgium Resistance during World War II. Isabelle Rossignol’s life strays from Andrée de Jongh’s near the end of the book, but it is still a very close relation. 

— Reviewed by Tessa Paul, class of 2020

500 Things You Should Know About History by Belinda Gallagher 

History is a lovely subject that inspires everyone. Every person has a unique time period which he or she loves to learn about. For me, that time period is the BC era of Ancient Egypt. During this era, many pharaohs reigned as gods on earth. They were worshipped by their people. The outlandish treatment of the pharaohs has always interested me. From birth to burial, pharaohs were served in unique ways. This book explains some of the traditions of the magical time period, specifically the mummification process.  

This book first recounts the stories of the first mummies ever discovered, beginning with the people of South America. The book then discusses the “Ice Men” of Europe. The Ice Men are those who were mummified in ice and snow nearly 5,300 years ago. Then, part of the grand finale: the mummies of Egypt!  

The story of how mummification began as a natural process and ended as a respected tradition in Egypt is incredibly interesting. Egyptians began to make artificial mummies in 3,400 BC. Before their artificial creation, people were naturally mummified when they were buried in desert sand. The book then discusses the creation of the very first Egyptian mummy, the general mummification process, and the later threat of grave robbers.  

I have cherished this book since childhood. I learned many interesting facts that I am still able to recall. Most of these facts are unforgettable, like how a deceased pharaoh’s brain exited through the nostril before his body was dried, wrapped in linen, decorated with valuable items, and placed in a gold sarcophagus.  

Reviewed by Ali Chauvin, class of 2019

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 

Over the summer and back in middle school, I read The Outsiders. While this is an old book, the legacy of it lives on. The plot of this novel is the main character Ponyboy getting into big trouble with the law which in turn causes his journey of self-realization to end. Honestly, if this book does not move readers to tears, they are not fully reading this book.

The underlying themes include friendship, family, and loyalty. Lately, these themes have been an important topic in my life; therefore, I have leaned towards a book involving them. The book follows a group of young boys orphaned by a traumatic event and they rely on each other. No matter the trouble one member got into, the group helped each other out.

They call themselves the Greasers because they have slick long hair styles with grease and do not follow rules set for anyone. On the West side of town, the group is called the Socs, and they are arch rivals of the Greasers. Throughout the war between the two gangs, the book follows the struggle of the boys within one side.

The book is exciting, fun, and a page-turner. It makes you feel good inside reading about people who rely on each other no matter what.  

— Reviewed by Brigette Jonau, class of 2019