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Summer 2009
Special Edition Vol. 1 of 5

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Readers of The Bridge Online offer their own reading recommendations for your enrichment

When we invited readers to enter to win some alumni favorite titles, over 60 entries were received from alumni, current students, parents, friends of the College, and others! Some of them have their own recommendations to offer.

Bound Feet and Western Dress by Pang-Mei Natasha Chang

" I recommend Bound Feet and Western Dress because it is a true account of how a first-generation Chinese American woman discovers the life story of a great aunt —how she was born into a wealthy family, married a famous modern poet, suffered through China's first Western-style divorce, refused to have her feet bound, ran the Shangai Women's Savings Bank, and 'continually defied the expectations of her class and culture'and in the process learns more about herself and her family. It's replete with Chinese history, customs, and traditions, affording constant opportunity for analysis of the family's dynamics."

Raeann Hamon ’83

East Berlin, Pa.

My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok

"This past fall, my Senior Art Seminar class had the opportunity to read My Name is Asher Lev, the story of a Hasidic Jewish boy who is also a talented young artist. Guided by the text, we discussed what it means to be an artist and explored the broader concepts of identity and faith...It’s great for jump-starting an exploration of identity and faith."

Cindy Agoncillo ’09

Newtown, Pa.

Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt

"Reading Angela's Ashes made the town of Limerick, Ireland fascinating to me. The story of a childhood of poverty and neglect by an alcoholic father told with such keen humor led me to quickly read its sequel and regret the author's recent death."

Aaron Heisey Thrush ’05

Philadelphia, Pa.

My Sister's Keeper  by Jodi Picoult

"My Sister's Keeper is a book about love and sacrifice. It presents the reader with moral and ethical dilemmas that have no simple or right answers, but rather challenges you to make your own judgments based on your beliefs. It reminds me that 'life's not always fair, but God is sovereign.'"

Stephanie Rajchel ’08

Harmony, Pa.


"Picoult masterfully portrays controversy without obvious bias."

Quinn Dyrli ’93

Rehoboth, Mass. 

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery

"Bunnicula series were the last ones my mother read to me. I remember my mother laughing so hard that tears were forming while she read them. For me, the books started my journey into reading as I figured she left parts out from laughing. By the end of the series I was reading on my own."

Melissa Watts ’00

Hopewell, Va.

Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers,

"Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers is a fiction book based on the book of Hosea. Angel, the main character, survives a terrible childhood only to become a prostitute.
Michael Hosea chooses to pull her away from this unbearable life and become her husband. It's an excellent story of God's unconditional love for all of us."

Randy Blessing ’80

York, Pa.

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See

"Lisa See provides an immersion into 1930's Shanghai and then the immigration to L.A.'s Chinatown when May and Pearl's father sells them into marriage to pay off his gambling debts. Shanghai Girls is a well crafted story about immigration, culture and the impenetrable bonds of sisterhood."

Stacey Hicklin ’99

Carlisle, Pa.

A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

"There are currently 300,000 children around the world who have exchanged the innocence of childhood for AK-47s and the life of a child soldier. Ishmael Beah's A Long Way Gone provides a truly heart-wrenching first-person account of the hells of war from a child's eyes and his long journey to reclaiming his humanity."

Brittany Brendsel ’08

Kyle, S.D.

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi "

"This autobiographical graphic novel offers something new with each reading."

Khara House ’08

Harrisburg, Pa.

Run by Ann Patchett

"The characters in this novel have stayed with me long after the final page."

Karen Slaymaker ’84

Lexington, Ky.

Travelling Mercies by Anne Lamott. 

Every time it teaches me something new about God and myself

Mandy Hoffman ’07

Grove City, Pa.

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

"because  every person has a different perspective in life and faith"

Faith Watts ’07

Newark, N.J

Yada Yada Prayer Group by Neta Johnson

"A diverse group of women builds a community through prayer."

Jessica Haenn ’11

Bridgeton, N.J.


One Tuesday Morning by Karen Kingsbury. 

"It is a fictional story based upon the happenings of 9/11."

Kimberly Unangst ’85

Pearland, Tex.

Streams of Living Water by Richard Foster.

"Celebrates the contributions of six Christian faith perspectives"

Randy Ness ’77

Dillsburg, Pa.

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl

"An outstanding and engrossing coming of age story"

Lynn S. Cockett ’89

Huntingdon, Pa.



Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

Jenny Peterson ’11

Mechanicsburg, Pa.


These resources are recommended by readers and do not represent materials endorsed by Messiah College.

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