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W. Frank Steely Library

2023-24 Common Read: Educated

If you liked Educated, consider reading these books available at Steely Library. 

The Glass Castle (Jeannette Walls)

Reviews: 1 2 3 

With a family as estranged from outside society as the Westovers, Jeannette Walls and her siblings lived as nomads among Southwest desert towns in the US. Raised by brilliant but alcoholic Rex and artistic but immature Rosemary, her family’s dysfunction escalated as the children strived for normality and stability. Years later, when the family has grown up and away from each other, they find a homecoming in their shared pasts and strength. 

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood (Trevor Noah)

Reviews: 1 2 3 

Like Westover’s, Noah’s path to the top societies of America was not linear nor easy. Growing up in apartheid South Africa, his existence — being born to a white Swiss father and black Xhosa mother — was a crime. But through his ingenuity and heart, wading through a dangerous world, Noah managed to create enough opportunities to become the host of The Daily Show and a celebrated comedian. 

Hillbilly Elegy (J.D. Vance)

Reviews: 1 2 3 

Spending his childhood as part of the white, working class in the Rust Belt before heading to Yale Law School, Vance’s story rings similar to Westover’s in her shift from rural Idaho to Oxford and Harvard. But his family found it difficult to adjust to the upward mobility permitted by his degree. Vance’s newly gained prestige and money felt foreign to them, and they were unable to fully step out of the cycle of trauma and poverty. 

Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt) 

Reviews: 1 2 3 

With a father as charismatic and God-fearing as Westover’s, McCourt had a mother who sought humor in the face of their pains and who shaped his upbringing just as much. His impoverished Irish childhood was not fun but worthwhile, as it taught him what the world truly held. 


Other books we recommend that are not available at Steely are North of Normal (Cea Sunrise Person), The Unwinding of the Miracle (Julie                                    Yip-Williams), and The Sound of Gravel (Ruth Wariner).

North Of Normal - Cea Sunrise Person - Hardcover

The Unwinding of the Miracle | Utah State Library Division

The Sound of Gravel by Ruth Wariner | Goodreads