Bark’s books: Educated, Little Women, Song of Achilles

Claire Silva, Mia Ginsburg, and Ava Carlson

Published in 2018, “Educated” offers a unique perspective into the childhood of a young survivalist in rural Idaho.

Educated: You are looking for an unconventional coming-of-age story

By Claire Silva
Looking to diversify your reading list? “Educated,” a memoir by Tara Westover, is the perfect introduction to the creative nonfiction genre. “Educated” allows the reader to follow Westover as she navigates the complexities of a survivalist household and the implications of religious upbringings. Westover doesn’t step foot in a classroom until she’s nearly 18, as her Mormon father forbids Westover and her six siblings from accessing an education, in addition to medicine, identification papers and modern society. “Educated,” tells the story of the pursuit of knowledge and how the lack of education only encourages the desire for understanding. Even though many don’t share Westover’s extent of religious trauma, there’s something for everyone to relate to in “Educated.” From love-hate familial relationships to battling pretentious peers, connecting with Westover’s experiences is inescapable. For those who are searching for a book to widen their perspective and teach them about an often untold story, “Educated” is the perfect option.


Little Women: You are having a very cold winter and want a cozy read

Meg, Jo, Amy and Beth huddle around a window in a still photo from the 2019 adaptation of Little Women. (Photo courtesy of Sony Pictures)

By Ava Carlson

Looking for something warm and reassuring to get you through the chilly months? Read “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. Published in 1868, this book’s themes, characters and humor ring true over a century and a half later. Alcott tells the tale of four sisters (Meg, Amy, Jo and Beth March), and their friends and family growing up during the Civil War era in Massachusetts. From Jo’s quest for creative independence and artistic fulfillment to Meg’s struggles trying to fit into wealthy society, or Beth’s pursuit towards self confidence to Amy’s work to overcome her vanity, the book features stories for anyone to connect to. Alcott wasn’t afraid to dig into difficult emotions in her work as well, covering the sadness of losing a family member, and the pains of unrequited love. Come Valentine’s Day, “Little Women” has a storyline for you, whether you’re single, happily taken, fighting off suitors or just want to celebrate your friends and family. The mishaps and situations the sisters endure through the years remain relatable and funny, and ultimately bittersweet when you finish the book to find the Marches grown up into wise, self-possessed women. If by the time you turn the last page you still want more of the March family, check out one of the many film or television adaptations including Greta Gerwig’s 2019 version of the classic story!

Song of Achilles: You are single and want to cry about it

By Mia Ginsburg

(Photo Courtesy of

Did you like “Percy Jackson” but reading it didn’t damage your tear ducts as much as you wanted to? Read “Song of Achilles” by Madeline Miller! It is a modern retelling of the Iliad, from the perspective of Achilles and his pa

rtner, friend and eventual boyfriend, Patroclus. The original tale was written over 2,000 years ago, so if you are upset about spoilers, take a look in the mirror. The two men are extremely close until the war against Troy tears them apart in more ways than one. Although the book is rooted in Greek mythology, do not fear, you won’t get a freshman-year “Odyssey” flashback. The “Song of Achilles” is focused on love and legacy, more on a personal level than a philosophical one. It dives deeper into what it really means to be a hero and the fatal consequences of becoming one. The book discusses the point of life in a new and unique way, forcing readers to decide what really is more important in life; love for a few decades, or fame for eons. The answer might appear clear, but “Song of Achilles” teaches that everything is more complex than it looks. We all (should) think Achilles’ weakness is his heel, but after reading this book, you will know it is actually Patroclus.