What are people in the Roger Williams University community reading? The From the Nightstand team asks which books are on people’s nightstands—either being read, or waiting to be read.


Robin Beauchamp


Current reads: Right now, there are two books going. First is The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. It’s a novel set in the early-19th century South that deals with a morally sound young girl confronting her family’s support and use of slavery. The second, Orphan Train, is by Kristina Baker Kline—a tale about a poor Irish immigrant-turned-orphan trying to make it in 20th century America. It centers on the cruel act of sending orphans out west, where people “often adopted them to work, not to raise a family.”

Upcoming reads: Beauchamp is very eager to read two critically acclaimed books that have been turned into movies: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, which is set in Nazi Germany at the height of the Holocaust; and 12 Years a Slave by Solomon Northup, the legendary account of a man’s arduous path from freedom to slavery. “While I haven’t seen either movie or read the books, they are both a bit intimidating to me as I expect them to be disturbing due to the cruelties that the subjects have endured.  I need to be brave enough to start reading them.”


Memorable reads: “I enjoy a good crime drama/mystery.” And standing out are the Alex Cross series by James Patterson, as well as Vince Flynn’s Mitch Rapp books.  “I really like the characters. Alex Cross, a middle-aged African American man with a PhD in Psychology, is trying to raise his family and care for his elderly grandmother in what is now a difficult part of Washington DC.  He is doing this as a single dad (because his wife was murdered), while solving both D.C. and federal crimes. Mitch Rapp is more ‘Black Ops,’ but he too is a flawed character.  Rapp is a ‘one man’ show, doesn’t trust anyone, and yet he still solves the crimes.”

Essential reads: The Help by Kathryn Stockett is a book that “explores the way people treated each other, and allows you to see events in others’ eyes. Any book based on the history of how we treated our folks in the past is important to read.”


Robbin Beauchamp is Director of the Career Center. She has been at RWU since June 2002.


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