What have our OKWU English Professors been reading in 2020?

  • Dr. Dalene Fisher, Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Assistant Provost, and Assistant Professor of English: 

“I haven’t been able to read as much fiction this year as I would like, but this past month, I re-read Maria: or, The Wrongs of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft. It’s an unfinished novel written in 1792 about a woman who was put in an insane asylum for trying to leave her husband after he had multiple affairs & attempted to “sell” her to his best friend. Not exactly a light read. I’m now re-reading Ruth (1849) by Elizabeth Gaskell. I’ve also just started a book recommended by Dr. Ensor called Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World by Cal Newport. Next on the list is Digital Minimalism: Choosing a focused life in a Noisy World by the same author. Also, this summer, I read Be the Bridge: Pursuing God’s Heart for Racial Reconciliation by Latasha Morrison. It was a challenging and important read for me. It’s time for us to take a hard and honest look at the American church and the sin of racism.” 

  • Dr. Eric Gray, Associate Professor of English: 

“I’ve read several good books this year.  My favorite is The Last of the Doughboys: The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten World War.  The writer realized that the last living veterans of World War I would soon be deceased, so he set out to interview them before they passed.  Their stories are amazing.  This is especially good in audiobook format.  

Another I recommend is 90 Minutes in Heaven, by Don Piper.  This is the story of a minister who dies in a car accident, apparently experiences ninety minutes in Heaven, and is resuscitated.  Sometimes books like this seem exaggerated, but this one rings true.  His story of recovery is inspiring. 

Finally, I’ve recently read and recommend The Count of Monte Cristo, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time, and The Last Lion, a biography of Winston Churchill.  But if I had to recommend just one book, it would be Laura Hillebrand’s Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.  The writing is amazing—I was so involved with the story, I barely realized that I was reading.”