The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

The Student News Site of High School for Mathematics, Science and Engineering

The Echo

Original Art by Emily Dow
Pirates and Piracy
May 15, 2024
Times Square traffic jam in New York City by joiseyshowaa on flickr
Congestion Pricing
April 10, 2024
Jackie and her brother, Daniel.
Smiling for Survivors
April 10, 2024

Teacher Book Recommendations

The Echo asked members of our school staff to recommend some summer reads!

Our one and only music teacher Ms. Brown recommended a myriad of books for your potential summer library. She started with Falling Up: How to Take Risks, Aim Higher and Never Stop Learning by Leslie Odom Jr,  and Atomic Habits by James Clear, fitting books if you’d like to use these summer months to thrust yourself into self-betterment. If you’d like to bring it back, bring it back, bring it back, (clap clap clap) to her beloved subject of music, she also recommended some music-related literature: such as Jeff Tweedy’s How to Write One Song and Sara Bareilles’ Sounds Like Me: My Life So Far In Song. 


Our beloved quasi-pop quiz giving chemistry teacher Mr. Swenson also gave us quite the reading selection. He began his recommendation list with the psychological-fiction novel Satin Island by Tom McCarthy, which follows a man who struggles to compile a thorough history on humankind and find the meaning of life. He then moved to The Man Who Loved Dogs by Leonardo Padura (if you’re interested in reading historical fiction about the death of Trotsky with some scenes set on a Cuban beach this summer, this book is for you!). He also added Consider the Lobster and A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again (both collections of essays by David Foster Wallace). 


The wearer of all hats: HSMSE dean, history teacher, and baseball coach Mr. Zara recommended Broken April by Ismail Kadare (perfect if you’d like to read about fate, revenge killing, and Albanian plateaus), the adventure-fiction novel Men of Iron by Howard Pyle, the romance novel The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith, historical fiction novel Four Treasure of the Sky by Jenny Tinghui Zhang, and Dalva by Jim Harrison. 


English teacher and basketball coach Mr. Choi (known for his out-of-box teachings of Kafka) recommended A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan, The New York Trilogy by Paul Auster, which is a mystery novel that explores the quest for personal autonomy, and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami (perfect if you’re looking for something dreamlike and a little confusing). 


Mr. Liu, our cheeriest math teacher, endorsed Dan Brown’s The Lost Symbol – a great read if you’re looking for a book with action, thriller, and adventure.


Ms. Walker, our multi-talented English teacher, who encourages all students to put down their phones and pick up a book, recommends all of David Sedaris’s books. In particular, Me Talk Pretty One Day which is a humorous collection of essays about the trials and tribulations of everyday life. Ms. Walker also recommends ALL of her “boyfriend” George Saunders’ books, starting with Tenth of December, a stunning short story collection about imagination, memory and loss. 


And last but most certainly not least, our resident Echo advisor and mother of the C5 library, Ms. Hesseltine put forward the critically acclaimed New York Times bestseller A Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shteyngart, a romance set in a near-future dystopian New York with themes of materialism and the overuse of social media.


As the school semester draws to a close, consider delving into a book or two from this list so that when we come back in the fall, you can chat it up with Mr. Liu about The Lost Symbol, Ms. Walker about Me Talk Pretty One Day, or Mr. Swenson about Satin Island. So wherever this summer takes you, consider letting one of these books accompany you! 


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