Smith College Alumnae Reading Suggestions

From Susan Novick ’81, Certified Archivist

book cover The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell The Great War and Modern Memory by Paul Fussell
I first read this book, an intellectual and social history of World War I seen through the eyes of British literary figures, for a history class at Smith taught by Klemens von Klemperer in 1980. It was the first “war” book I read, and it reinforced the fact that history is more than just dates and battles. I met Fussell in the 1990’s and he signed my copy, which I now can’t find in my library!
book cover The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann
I have read this book during transitions in my life. I bought the book in Northampton the day after I graduated from Smith and read it the summer before graduate school. Four years later, I read it again as I traveled through Europe. At over 700 pages of small type, this book is not for the faint-hearted, nor is it for book groups whose members recoil at its length. And what a great last sentence, rooted in the beginnings of World War I: “Out of this universal feast of death, out of this extremity of fever, kindling the rain-washed evening sky to a fiery glow, may it be that Love one day shall mount?”