Mr. Bevins’ Bookshelf


Photo Credit: Andrea Salazar

Mr. Bevins proudly displaying one of his recommendations. (Photo Credit: Andrea Salazar)

Andrea Salazar and Kathleen Martinez

Whether you know or don’t know the insightful Mr. Bevins, he is one of Rosary’s treasured English teachers with an amazing collection of reading materials. We were able to unpack some of his favorite literary pieces and suggestions. So for any avid readers, this one is for you.

“Yellow Wallpaper” – Short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman

This suggestion is a progressive story for any female readers out there. Mr. Bevins said, “It discusses the effects of women being mistreated. In the novel, the wallpaper comes alive and talks to the main character.” He further described the novel saying it has gothic elements and is a modern take on a Jane “Eyre” novel.

“In the Lake of the Woods” – Novel by Tim O’Brien

For any history buffs out there, this book would be perfect for you. Mr. Bevins said, “In college, I became really interested in war literature and historical fiction. I was especially interested in anything about the Vietnam war. The works of Tim O’Brien like ‘The Things They Carried’ or ‘In the Lake of the Woods’ are some of my favorites. ” Ms. Barclay read this book based on Mr. Bevins’ recommendation, and she said she was “delightfully disturbed,” adding, “it’s subtle and creepy. Not at all what I was expecting, but it’s a book you really think about long after you pick it up.”

“The Night Watchman” – Novel by Louise Erdrich

Mr. Bevins discussed “The Night Watchman” saying it is written by a Native American author who is Chippewa and sets all of her stories within the confines of the Chippewa tribe. He said, “Each story addresses the repercussions of engagement with western culture, the treatment of Native Americans, and how they exist in society. It gives a voice to Native Americans and is something that more Americans should understand.” Mr. Bevins also described how he admires Erdrich’s ability to properly describe a place, location, and people in her books.

“Mexican Gothic” – Novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

This story is described by Mr. Bevins as a modern take on “Yellow Wallpaper” meets “Jane Eyre.” He talked about the text explaining how it has “elements of classic stories in modern writing. The story is also described as a thriller, progressive, and psychological. He said, “It is a progressive story with a strong female character. ‘Mexican Gothic’ pushes that to the extreme, You can read it as a really modern take of female integrity.”

“The Mere Wife” – Book by Maria Dahvana Headley

This book is an interesting twist on “Beowulf.” It opens with a woman fighting in what people can assume is the war in Afghanistan or the Middle East. Then she is captured by opposing forces, but right before she dies, she passes out. Mr. Bevins said, “She wakes up in the forest and is pregnant with Grendel. It’s like Beowulf set in modern soccer mom suburbia with SUVs and Starbucks. It explores being an outsider, plays on gender norms, and devolves into a wild roller coaster ride of what’s really happening and what’s going on.”

“Letters to a Young Poet” – Book by Rainer Maria Rilke

Mr. Bevins said, “When I am in need of some inspiration, I will pick up ‘Letters to a Young Poet’ by Rilke. I picked this up again a few years ago, and I love Rilke’s take on art, writing, and inspiration.” So if there are any young artists out there or you enjoy a good piece of poetry, try picking this up on your next book run.

“The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogies – Novels by J. R. R. Tolkien

Mr. Bevins gives readers a suggestion for some easy and fun reading. He said, “When I want to escape and fuel up on nostalgia, I read “The Hobbit” and “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. This was the first series I really enjoyed when I was younger, and I go back just about every year to read one of them.”

Overall, Mr. Bevins gives some great suggestions for anyone who needs it. If you want more, feel free to ask him or any of your other English teachers for their great book suggestions.