Thursday, August 11, 2016

Four Reasons to Read Dear Committee Members


Just before our recent train trip upstate from NYC, I was perusing my overdrive wish list... specifically, books the library listed as available now. Occasionally, I like to choose one on a whim. Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher was such a choice, and it turned out to be a winner.

Here are four reasons why:

  1. Academic setting.  A big plus for me, possibly dating back to my childhood obsession with The Secret Language. This novel is set at Payne University, a small liberal arts college in the midwest.
  2. Epistolary format.  Even more appealing than usual thanks to the blurb description, putting the "pissed" back into "epistolary". Our letter writer here is Jason Fitger, a professor of creative writing and literature. 
  3. Humor.  The novel is very funny... in a passive-aggressive kind of way.
  4. It's short.  Under 200 pages, which turns out to be the perfect length for this type of humor. 

If you decide to give Dear Committee Members a try, I guarantee it will change the way you think about Letters of Recommendation.

My rating:

27 comments:

  1. 200 pages of humor is what I could use for my next read. I I'll have to put that on my overdrive list too. That wish list is super handy!

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    1. Tina - I make it habit to check overdrive for new books every week. Even if I don't request them right away, it's good to have a current list :)

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  2. I want to read this one...and just need to find the time! I didn't realize it was under 200 pages.

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    1. Sarah - Yes, it's super short... and so, so funny!

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  3. Agreed on all counts! I'm a sucker for academic settings to begin with, but the humor and style in this one were added bonuses.

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    1. Shannon - It's pretty unusual to find all four of those items in a single book. This one definitely checked a lot of bases for me!

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  4. Well, I love a good epistolary and a short read might help my numbers for the year. Academia and humor are always a plus, so I'm sold! :)

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    1. Les - It may not be my favorite book of the year, but there is a lot to love here!

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  5. Oh man, that sounds like a book I'd love!

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    1. Kathy - It' so short... give it a try!

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  6. Reason no. 5: because JoAnn recommends it. :) (PS I'm listening to The Children Act (narrated by Lindsey Duncan) for reason no. 5. )

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    1. Audrey - LOL! Hope you're enjoying The Children Act as much as I did.

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  7. This isn't a book I would really go for usually but all 4 of your points sound like so much fun! I like passive aggressive funny and the fact that this is a shorter book appeals to me. For me with epistolary short works better.

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    1. Katherine - Not all people get (or appreciate) passive-aggressive humor, but I sure do. Hope you like this if you decide to give it a try!

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  8. This is going on my list. Love all the reasons you gave for reading it so I think I would enjoy it!

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    1. Iliana - Those are all big plusses for me, and I'm sure I'm not alone in most of those categories ;-)

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  9. I loved this book. It made me laugh out loud--literally--something I rarely do while reading.

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    1. Amy - I'm pretty sure it was your review that made me add this to my wish list in the first pace. Thanks!

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  10. I like the epistolary format. This sounds like a lot of fun. Glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. Pat - I've always loved the epistolary format. Maybe because of Harriet the Spy's journals? ;-)

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  11. Sounds like fun! I'm a fan of academic settings for novels too.

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    1. JaneGS - Academic settings are irresistible... this was great fun!

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  12. All those four reasons are more than enough for me to pick the book! I love academic settings and epistolary format so I'm going to check if my library has this book.

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    1. Athira - This book was such a surprise... hope you like it, too!

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  13. I read this book and loved it too. Having worked for so many years in an academic setting (and being asked to write my share of letters of recommendation), I can relate. I found the humor to be very genuine.

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    1. Catherine - This book was so much fun! I'm sure you enjoyed it even more for having worked in that environment. Will be curious to see what she writes next.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment. These conversations are my favorite part of blogging. Please check back, I almost always respond to comments!

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