Faculty Bookshelf

Ensworth Faculty & Staff
What did the Ensworth faculty read this winter?

Emily Parrelli

Middle School English


Educated is a memoir by Tara Westover, a woman who was raised by survivalist parents and who had never stepped foot in a classroom before earning a place at BYU. As she discovers the world beyond her family's mountain, she comes to grapple with her past, including abuse at the hands of a violent brother. Her journey takes her to Cambridge and Harvard as she struggles to find her way back home.”

Jim Mann

Middle School Math & Science


“A quick and illuminating trip through some of the universe’s most fascinating secrets. Neil deGrasse Tyson finds a way to package highly complex material in a way that is accessible and mind-blowing for everyone. A wonderful read for those who seek knowledge of things both unimaginably big and unbelievably small.”

Adam Sherland

Lower School Science


“Parker's book provides excellent lessons and insights on how to make your next gathering both purposeful and powerful. While reading this book, I couldn't help but start reimagining every event or meeting I had organized and thinking about how I could have made it even better. The ideas in this book can be applied to events both big and small, including your next dinner party, board meeting, book club, or social event. An eye-opening and entertaining read that is full of practical and applicable tips to make your next gathering one your guests won't forget.”

Trey House

Middle School Latin


“Brian Phillips, recently of the (dearly missed) website Grantland, is a storyteller and reporter with few equals. Phillips is fascinated by the extremes and minutia of our civilization; he takes the reader on deep explorations of people and culture across the world. Whether in Japan, India, Alaska, or his native Oklahoma, the centerpieces of each adventure are the people Phillips encounters and the way they navigate their lives. Impossible Owls is truly one of the most fun and interesting books I have read in a long time.”

Courtney Bahr

High School Library


“I have been enjoying Educated: A Memoir, which was recommended to me by a student. It is the memoir of a Mormon, survivalist family living in rural Idaho. The writer, Tara Westover, has to educate herself and ultimately attended Brigham Young University, Cambridge, and Harvard. I was interested in the book because this student really wanted me to read it, and as it turns out, it is a great addition to our high school library collection.”

Christine Doza

High School Math


“This novel tells the story of two young women who meet in art school, immediately develop a friendship, and go on to be creative partners and best friends. They make animated films ‘for the thinking person,’ using their personal and past experiences as material (both grew up rough in the South). When they win a prestigious award and embark on a serious new project, the limits of their friendship are tested I loved the exploration of deep friendship and creative partnership between women in this book, which is filled with smart, determined and ambitious women of all sorts.”

Mary Catherine Bradshaw

High School History & English


“My sixth-grade nephew told me that I would like the book that he had recently read, so I borrowed the book from him. Restart is a work of fiction about a boy who fell off of his roof in the summer and got amnesia. He remembers how to talk, walk, read and play football, but he can't play football because of his injury, and he does not remember who he was before the fall. As the novel unfolds, he has to figure out who he once was and who he will be and why some people are afraid of him. My sixth-grade nephew is correct...it is a fun read.”

Jean Bruce

High School Library


“A beautiful work of fiction set in the marshes of North Carolina. The story begins in the 1950s and follows a girl named Kyra, who is abandoned by her family and left to raise herself on the coast of rural North Carolina. The novel weaves in a mystery that provides a surprising twist at the very end. The New York Times Book Review wrote: ‘A painfully beautiful first novel that is at once a murder mystery, a coming of age narrative and celebration of nature.’ The book will leave you wanting more.”

Rob Herring

High School Spanish


Bad Blood details the rise and fall of Theranos, the blood testing startup founded by Stanford dropout Elizabeth Holmes. In exposing the biggest corporate sham since Enron, Carreyrou's book reads like a thriller. Just when you think it can't get any crazier, it does. Holmes's actions to maintain the fraud are frightening, as is the list of notable DC power brokers that were in her corner. The courage of the whistleblowers and Carreyrou highlight the importance of investigative journalism that, in this case, undoubtedly saved lives.”

Doug Magee

High School Administration


“Recently I read these two books in concert. Both authors explore the ways in which creativity is a discipline much more than an innate characteristic. Following decades of successful creative endeavors, Byrne and Questlove reflect on the collaborative relationships and daily practices are the source of their inspiration. From dingy New York basement clubs to the creative work of international sushi chefs, both books provide ways to cultivate creative moments in our daily lives.”

Andy Kelley

High School Chinese


“I grew up with this band, going with them on a journey from rude punks/novelty rappers to killer jazz instrumentalists and advocates for Tibet and Tibetan Buddhism. This history goes down as easily (and almost as quickly) as a punk rock jam or a hip hop banger. What I loved about it, beyond the nostalgia, was the clear, wide-eyed creativity and DIY spirit of the band that comes through as what really made them so special. It was an inspiring read for thinking about how growing and changing creatively can actually expand the soul, vitality, and joy of youth. Fun stuff!”

Brad Knopp

High School English


“Years ago, a friend gifted with me with Stiff, Roach’s 2003 exploration into the scientific uses of human cadavers. In spite of that book’s gruesome subject matter, I couldn’t help but admire Roach’s deft balance of wit, scientific learning, and stylistic flair. She does not disappoint with Grunt, either. What military science has looked into will make you proud, intrigued, or thoroughly disgusted, depending on your worldview. Trigger Alert: if even the idea of such things as prosthetics, diarrhea, or chickens hurled at airplane canopies at over 400 m.p.h. upsets you, this is not the book for you.”
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