Book recs from the Arts Desk


“The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick is a masterpiece of visual art. It is a brick of a book, but flip through the pages, and you will find that half of them are full-page illustrations: beautiful, detailed pencil drawings that become more powerful than the words that accompany them. This art carries the weight of the story in a way that readers over the age of eight aren’t used to – but the story therefore becomes all the more fresh and interesting because of this technique. The story, which revolves around a boy who lives in a Paris train station in the early 1900s, is just whimsical enough to keep the reader flying through the 500-some pages in one sitting.

“No Matter the Wreckage” by Sarah Kay: Many know Sarah Kay from her TED talk, “If I Should Have a Daughter…” Kay is a performance poet, and her spoken word poems are noted for their charm and poignancy. Despite her fame in the spoken-word world, this is her first published book. I will admit that reading her poems printed on a page, rather than hearing her speak them, is something to get used to. I immediately imagined how Kay would perform the words that I read. Still, this book contains dozens of her beautiful poems, permanently kept between its pages for me to pick up whenever I want to glance through the words.


“The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories” by Marina Keegan: As a recent graduate of Yale University, Marina Keegan, a gifted writer, had a positive outlook on her post-grad life. Despite her optimism, tragedy struck and she was killed in a car accident. Following her death, Keegan’s family and professors gathered her various essays and stories to produce this book. Even at the young age of twenty-two, Keegan was wise beyond her years and deserves the attention of any and all soon-to-be and recent graduates.

“The Sellout” by Paul Beatty: A recently released satirical novel that challenges the commonly held beliefs of a post-racial society. With personal experience in the matter, Beatty addresses the controversial topics of urban life, racial equality and segregation. With comical and satiric undertones, Beatty provides readers with honest reflections on an emotional and historical topic. This is a relevant, appropriate read that makes bold claims regarding the current state of society and interactions among ethnicities.

By KATHERINE KELLIHER Associate Arts Editor

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