This week in Summer Reading

Book cover for The Swimmers

The Swimmers
Julie Otsuka

The Swimmers by Julie Otsuka rewrites the rules of novel-writing – if such rules exist. Hilarious at times, as the narrator assumes the first-person plural “we” from the POV of a diverse group of lap swimmers at a community pool, and poignantly heartbreaking later, as the voice shifts to the second-person “you” in the form of one of the swimmers’ daughters, a Japanese American novelist. Masterfully crafted, this novel delivers – in a slim 176 pages.

College Writing Programs


Book cover for Twenty Five Chickens

Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride
Evangeline Canonizado Buell

In Twenty-Five Chickens and a Pig for a Bride: Growing Up in a Filipino Immigrant Family, Buell recounts her experiences as one of the few Filipino families growing up in West Oakland during the 1930s and ’40s, detailing her and her family’s triumphant struggles over racial and gender discrimination in the Bay Area. This wonderfully written and engaging memoir gives us a firsthand window into Buell’s family life, starting in the early 1920s when her parents immigrated to the United States, into her adult life, two marriages, and numerous achievements, which include helping to co-found the East Bay Chapter of the Filipino American National Historical Society. In addition to the engaging narrative, Buell welcomes us into her story through a series of family photographs.

Buell was recently interviewed on East Bay Yesterday, a great accompaniment to the book, and the Bancroft Library has an oral history with her, which is part of the Rosie the Riveter World War II American Homefront Oral History Project.

UCB IGS Library Director