Book Lists

Explore selected books and aspects of the Libraries' collections that celebrate and educate specific events and topics, such as diversity, environment and the freedom to read.

Earth Day

On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.

Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. By the end of that year, the first Earth Day had led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Earth Day has reached into its current status as the largest secular observance in the world, celebrated by more than a billion people every year, and a day of action that changes human behavior and provokes policy changes.

Featured Earth Day Books Available Through CMU Libraries

The Great American Read

​Find books that are in the CMU Libraries' collection that are included in the Great American Read reading list.

Learn more about The Great American Read .

View the complete 100 title book list.

Featured Great American Read Books Available Through CMU Libraries

Summer Reading List for CMU Alumni


This book presents a simple story that ultimately takes you on a journey that explores and urges you to reflect on your life’s path. It is an amazing story of curiosity and wonder with a focus on what brings you joy and happiness. If you pay attention, you may realize the things that matter might have been with you all along.

- Recommended by Kari Chrenka

You’ve seen the headlines and soundbites, McGreal speaks with those affected by this tragedy to expose how Big Pharma intentionally hooked Americans on their drugs with the help of corrupt medicine providers and public institutions.  A great read to understand one of the most important public health epidemics and criminal activities of our time.

 - Recommended by Sandra Standish

Elizabeth Holmes. Theranos. John Carreyrou, the Wall Street Journal journalist who broke this fascinating, true story presents the details of how Holmes conned some of the most important investors, the FDA, and others with technology that never worked. Her company was valuated in the billions before her scheme crumbled.  While Holmes is currently awaiting trial, an HBO documentary is scheduled to be released this month. I highly recommend this read.

- Recommended by Sandra Standish


This beautiful story allows the reader to reflect on the people who have had the largest impact on their life and why relationships and friendships truly matter to people.  

- Recommended by Kari Chrenka

Good Omens is a funny, lighthearted take on the Apocalypse. Giving away much more would take away too much of the fun in my opinion.  

- Recommended by Josh Mcarthur

Lord’s book provides the inside scoop on the claymation studio that’s home to beloved characters Wallace & Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and Chicken Run, the highest-grossing stop-animated film of all time.

- Recommended by Megan Farrell

This story develops around the reactions of Miri Ammerman and her friends and family to three plane crashes in their in hometown of Elizabeth, New Jersey. This fictional account is based on three actual plane crashes that took place between December 15, 1951 and February 11, 1952.

- Recommended by Judy O’Dell

The first book in the Expanse Series, Leviathan Wakes is set in a future where humans have colonized the solar system. James Holden and the crew of the ice hauler, The Canterbury, along with Detective Miller, a detective for a private security contractor in the Belt, find themselves thrust into the center of a system-wide conflict in which they strive to save humanity.         

- Recommended by Josh Mcarthur

If you’ve only seen the movie, you have seen nothing of O’Brian’s genius. An excellent novel of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, O’Brian’s writing is elegant, historically accurate, has a wonderful sense of humor, and he creates memorable and charming characters.

- Recommended by Matthew Ismail

In 1842, just a few years after the invention of photography, de Prangey set out on a three year journey (with a hundred pounds of equipment) to document the architecture of the ancient Mediterranean. His resulting body of work includes the earliest surviving photographs of Greece, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and Jerusalem.

- Recommended by Megan Farrell

This story is a page turner! Brown’s 5th book in the Robert Langdon mystery series considers the future of humankind, religion, and artificial intelligence. 

- Recommended by Kathy Irwin

Introverts prefer listening to speaking, working alone to working in groups, and solitary introspection to group brain-storming sessions. If you’re an introvert, does your working environment allow you to work to your strengths?

- Recommended by Matthew Ismail

If you like science writing, this is a very readable book for the layperson about the mysteries of heredity and genetics both past and present.

- Recommended by Melissa James

This first book in the Reckoners trilogy is set in a post-apocalyptic Chicago where people with superhuman powers are not heroes. I had so much fun reading this book. I kept thinking, “This should be a movie!”

- Recommended by Lisa Wilczak

Still Life is the first book in a fantastic police-procedural series set south of Montreal and just north of the U.S. border. Penny has created complex characters and her stories are layered with love, betrayal, brutal facts, shocking twists, and warm community. You will fall in love with the residents and business owners of Three Pines.

- Recommended by Kathy Irwin

As the 2019 Detroit Tigers struggle through a fruitless summer, you can relive one of the franchise’s greatest seasons – 1968, in which the Tigers won the World Series behind Denny McLain’s 30-plus pitching victories. Pappu’s book includes a lot of Tiger talk, plus ample general context about baseball’s place in the socially tumultuous American society of the times.

- Recommended by Ed Bradley

Veterans Day

  • History of Veterans Day
  • CMU's Veterans Resource Center Page
  • A Veteran's Day Message from CMU President Bob Davies
  • Browse Book Titles Included in the CMU Libraries' Collection
  • List of Selected Titles from the CMU Libraries' Collection

World War I – known at the time as "The Great War" - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France.  However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.  For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars."

In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation's history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls and it is a celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

Excerpt from: Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs. (2015, July 20). History of Veterans Day. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

- Adapt and Overcome: Essays on the Student Veteran Experience

- Bodies in Blue: Disability in the Civil War North
- Breaking Ranks: Iraq Veterans Speak Out against the War
- The civilian lives of U.S. veterans: issues and identities
- Combat trauma: a personal look at long-term consequences
- Dartmouth Veterans: Vietnam Perspectives
- Digging for Victory: Horticultural Therapy with Veterans for Post-Traumatic Growth
- Disabled Veterans in History
- Fields of Combat: Understanding PTSD among Veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan
- Greatest Generation Comes Home: The Veteran in American Society
- Guys Like Me: Five Wars, Five Veterans for Peace
- Healing journeys: study abroad with Vietnam veterans : vol. 2 of A Vietnam trilogy
- Healing Stress in Military Families: Eight Steps to Wellness
- The Hello Girls: America's first women soldiers 
- In the Shadow of the Greatest Generation: The Americans Who Fought the Korean War
- Long Journeys Home: American Veterans of World War II, Korea, and Vietnam
- No one ever asked me: the World War II memoirs of an Omaha Indian soldier
- North American Indians in the Great War
- Red, White, and True: Stories from Veterans and Families, World War II to Present
- Support for service members and veterans: programs addressing the effects of combat and transition to civilian life
- Tattooed on My Soul: Texas Veterans Remember World War II 
- Through Veterans' Eyes: The Iraq and Afghanistan Experience
- Torchbearers of Democracy African American Soldiers in the World War I Era
- Touched by the dragon: experiences of Vietnam veterans from Newport County, Rhode Island
- Treating young veterans: promoting resilience through practice and advocacy
- Veteran Teacher Resilience: Why Do They Stay?
- Veterans in Higher Education: When Johnny and Jane Come Marching to Campus
- Veterans' Policies, Veterans' Politics: New Perspectives on Veterans in the Modern United States
- Veterans Readjusting to Civilian Life: Overview of Issues, Challenges, and Transition Assistance
- A Vietnam trilogy: veterans and post traumatic stress, 1968, 1989, 2000 
- Why Veterans Run: Military Service in American Presidential Elections, 1789-2016
- Women at War

Featured Veterans Day Books Available Through CMU Libraries

A Veteran's Day Message from CMU President Bob Davies.

Women's History

During the month of March, the United States government and establishments commemorate and encourage the study, observance and celebration of the vital role of women in American history. Women’s History Month had its origins as a national celebration in 1981 when Congress passed Pub. L. 97-28 which authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.”  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress passed Pub. L. 100-9 which designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Between 1988 and 1994, Congress passed additional resolutions requesting and authorizing the President to proclaim March of each year as Women’s History Month.

Featured Womens's History Books Available Through CMU Libraries