Books That Inspire 2012

The Witch of Blackbird Pond
Elizabeth George Speare

Timothy Egan's The Worst Hard Time takes one of the ubiquitous stories of American history, the Dust Bowl, and makes it both special and personal again. He narrates the travails that man and environment inflicted upon one another. His descriptions of people and place were powerful enough that after reading the first section I decided to walk Cimarron County – Oklahoma's western-most county and a central player in his story – to see them both. Over several trips I walked across and around the county while completing this book. I came to appreciate both the land and people Egan described.

Sanna Pederson
Mavis C. Pitman Professor of Music