Books are everywhere at Prairie. We ask campus tastemakers what's on their shelves.

By Rachel Shuster | all school, Faculty

Books are everywhere at Prairie. On desks, in lockers, piled atop the shelves in the SRC. Reading happens out loud, in group discussions, tucked away in corners of classrooms. It is not rare to find faculty or students exchanging their favorite tattered-cover paperbacks, or taking their earbuds out at the last second before walking in each morning, trying to catch just a few more seconds of their latest audiobook.

In fact, reading runs so rampant on campus that McKenzie Weaver, Director of the SRC, took it upon herself to make books part of the daily conversation. She created small “bookplate” dry-erase signs for faculty to post outside their classrooms and offices, to broadcast whatever “I’m Currently Reading…”

Every once in awhile, we’ll get our nose out of the books to ask campus tastemakers what’s on their TBR pile. First up: Prairie theatre’s fearless leader, Mrs. Dena Roncone.

I’m currently reading, “The Bonfire of the Vanities,” by Tom Wolfe.

It was written and is set in the ’80s, focusing on a lot of big issues of the time: Wall Street, race relations, the AIDS crisis. They use words we would never use now! How I found it was I was looking at a list of movies that were based on books that got the point wrong — this one became a quirky movie with Tom Hanks and Melanie Griffith. I had been reading a lot of books by female authors, and I felt like I needed to switch it up!

I listen to audiobooks when I jog. I do like to read, but I have two little kids right now so audiobooks have been good recently!

I like historical fiction. I try to throw in plays every once in awhile. I have to read so many plays, because I have to pick them for studying in class and performing in student one-acts. I’m really into theatre history, so I’ll try to read plays I haven’t read from different time periods. They have these audiobooks of plays — they record L.A. Theatreworks performances that you can listen to!

It can be hard to read plays, because they’re meant to be heard. So they work well as audiobooks. The English and history classes do read a lot of plays. We don’t read a ton of scripts for my classes — but I would love to teach a high school theatre literature class!