Heidi Johnson is an Assistant Professor and the First Year/Information Literacy Librarian. She also volunteers as the College's Archivist. She is this year's winner of the Max H. Lavine Award for Teaching Excellence.
Her favorite or most influential books:
Special Topics in Calamity Physics
Publication Date: 2007
Never have I read book with references from such disparate sources. The plot is a compelling coming of age story, but read it to be amazed with how the author connects everything from tool handbooks to philosophy!
The Poisonwood Bible
Publication Date: 1998
Whenever I witness a baptism, I am reminded of this book and how good intentions can be so easily misconstrued. The missionaries think dipping a baby into the river saves the soul while the locals know the crocodiles lurk there - who is barbaric now?
The Devil in the White City
Publication Date: 2004
I love a good non-fiction book and this one connects a serial killer and a fairy tale city created in Chicago for the 1893 World's Fair - great combination!
Publication Date: 2009
I also love a great mystery and this one has it all - mansions, mysterious old letters, unsuspecting plot twists, and a pasty librarian - I dare you to read it on windy fall nights as I did!
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead
Publication Date: 1967
I have always found plays freeing to read because the story is distilled down to just conversation with action, description, and setting consigned to the sidelines. This one is my favorite with the famous tennis game of questions.
Publication Date: 2011
I have studied WWII from many angles, but the most poignant is a 1986 graphic novel telling this author's family history with the holocaust through animals. This recent compilation gives the back story and creation.
Harry Potter Complete Set
Publication Date: 1997-2007
I just read the series for the first time this past spring with my 9 year old son having waited all these years to experience it with my children. I must admit that now I understand what all the fuss was about, and I credit Harry with helping my son become an avid reader.
What are you reading now?
The Violinist's Thumb by Sam Kean published in 2012 explains how our genetic code can uncover and explain everything from diseases to changes in our physique to why people are addicted to cats.
Desert Island Pick
My research interest is all things Flannery O'Connor, the Southern Catholic writer who died at my age in 1964. I would bring along her collected works, which include not only her well-known short stories, but also her two novellas, letters, and essays. Her letters are the best as they catch a writer writing when they least expect it, and they always make me laugh.