Titan Blog

Wilbraham & Monson Academy's community of students and faculty is rich in diversity, innovation, and original thoughts and ideas. And what better place to share this with the world than our "Titan Blog."

Expect to hear from everyone from our Head of School Brian P. Easler to one of our brightest young Titans, a boarding student from Serbia. Stay tuned to read about what makes our Advisor program so special and why rugby is woven into the values of the Academy. We intend to share some of what makes this place so special in our "Titan Blog."

The possibilities - and topics - are endless.

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The Titan Book Review!
As shared by WMA Students and Faculty

As independent schools welcomed back students and faculty from summer vacation, our Titans at Wilbraham & Monson Academy reminisce on summer adventures - whether they involved travel, working, volunteering, spending time with family and friends, honing athletic skills or finding time to pursue a passion or interest.

Research has shown the positive impact summer work and summer reading have on students as they begin a new school year, not to mention reading for college and SAT preparation. With tightly-packed schedules and afternoon commitments, it’s easy to lose sight of reading for fun (or for school!), but summer can be a great time to catch up, so we asked students and faculty about the books that left an impact on them. Here’s what they had to say:

Gorana Puzovic ’19, Serbia
“The Saint, The Surfer, and the CEO” by Robin Sharma

The book talks about the main character, Jack Valentine, who had a car accident. He wakes up in the hospital and he tries to realize what is happening to him. He was unhappy, broke and he broke up with his girlfriend pretty recently. In the hospital, he is going to meet his dad, for which he didn't know that he was alive because his father left him when he was young. His father is going to leave him a letter and three plane tickets with the following stops: Rome, Italy, Hawaii and New York City. In the letter, his father told him that these people are going to answer him on the three questions, which are whether he has lived wisely, served greatly or loved well.

Sean Valentine, Director of Stewardship & Donor Relations
“Young Men and Fire” by Norman Maclean

Maclean does an outstanding job of creating a moving - and terrifying - portrait of smokejumpers, wildfires and the details of the tragedy that occurred when these collided in an isolated Montana gulch in 1949. It is an excellent read, especially in light of the western wildfires that made recent headlines.

Ayslin Dziedzic ’25
“Primates” and “Chasing Redbird” by Sharon Creech

I really enjoyed "Chasing Redbird." I liked how when she had challenges at the end of the book, everyone was there for her and she got through the challenges. I love how relates to me. I know this year, there will be a lot of challenges. But I know that if I have the WMA family, I will get through my challenges!!!

Meaghan Cavanaugh, Middle School Faculty
“White Houses” by Amy Bloom

"White Houses" tells the perhaps true, but fictional story, of a love affair between Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok. Following Hickok (“Hick’s”) life from childhood to the White House, I was drawn to her raw emotion, complexity of both love and politics, and the devotion and drive celebrated in these real life historical, female figures.

Iason “Jason” Mihalopolous ’22
“Life of Pi” by Yann Martel

"Life of Pi" is a very interesting and deep book. After reading it, it leaves you thinking - which is something only the best authors do.

Charles Warden, Ph.D., CEGS Faculty
“Sapiens A Brief History of Mankind” by Yuval Noah Harari
“War on Peace” by Ronan Farrow

“Sapiens A Brief History of Mankind” by Yuval Noah Harari

Gave a new way to look at human evolution. Provides the argument for mankind's special difference and what makes mankind special.

“War on Peace” by Ronan Farrow

Shows the shift of America's seat of diplomacy to the Department of Defense and from the State Department. Disturbing explanation for America's decline in world influence.

Bill Wells, Director of Student Promotion
“The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit” by Michael Finkel

This was a true story about a 20-year-old who lived in the woods of Maine for 27 years by himself. He graduated two years ahead of me from the same high school and lived in a neighboring town. We had to have crossed paths at some point. The book includes places and names of people I know, which made the story even more fascinating to me.

Tim Harrington ’73, Chair, English Department
“The Complete Stories of Ernest Hemingway”

A friend had given me a new copy of "The Complete Stories of Ernest Hemingway," which - despite the title - contains all but six or seven of the short stories he wrote during his life. I read almost all again, including my favorites:

"The Short Happy Life of Frances Macomber"
"Snows of Kilimanjaro”
"A Clean Well-Lighted Place"
and the Nick Adams stories in which he wrote about the summers he spent in rural Michigan.

“A Month in the Country” by J.L. Carr

I also re-savored one of my all-time favorite novels. This is a small gem of a book about an emotionally shattered veteran of the Great War, who spends a summer in a small village in the rural north of England (Yorkshire to be exact) uncovering and restoring a medieval mural on the wall of the village church. In the process, he uncovers several truths about the village, humanity, love and the people he meets, and he finds and restores himself.

“Ebony Tower” by John Fowles

I found an old hard cover edition in the stacks of Raven Used Bookstore in Northampton. I had loved Fowles' novels "The Magus" and "Daniel Martin" when I was in my 20s.

"Ebony Tower" includes a novella of the same name and a number of short stories in which Fowles explored the narrative form as it relates to the Western literary tradition spawned in the tales of medieval writers like Chretien de Troyes and Marie de France (one of the stories in the book is Fowles' translation of her story Eliduc). This is great literary nerd stuff but the novella itself is a great read about an artist/critic who steps out of his normal life to travel to rural France (Brittany). He interviews one of the last surviving artists who predated modernism and abstract art and who rejects it all, including everything the artist/critic had done in his life and almost everything he believes in. It's a love story too.

Gokul Sivakumar ’19
“The Glass Castle” by Jeannette Walls

I really enjoyed “The Glass Castle,” which I read for my AP Language and Composition class. I thought Jeanette Wall's story of her perseverance and motivation to escape her poor life was inspiring because it shows that despite all the hardships someone can face, they can still find a way to face them if they have the proper determination.