Your February 2024 Reads

Stories You May Like

Remembering Chuck Feeney ’56, Cornell’s ‘Third Founder’

Bestselling Children’s Author Weaves Tales of Wonder

Economist Works to Reduce Surging Rates of Gun Violence

This month's featured titles include a cookbook, a thriller, a self-help guide, and poetry drawn from the Salem witch trials

Did you know that Cornell has an online book club? Check it out!

For more titles by Big Red authors, peruse our previous round-ups.

Have you published a book you'd like to submit? Scroll down for details!

The cover of "Everyday Snack Tray"

Everyday Snack Tray

Frances Largeman-Roth ’96, BS ’97

Largeman-Roth is a registered dietician and author of such previous works as The CarbLovers Diet Cookbook and Eating in Color. Her latest offers (in the words of the subtitle) Easy Ideas and Recipes for Boards That Nourish for Moments Big and Small.

There are tips for snack trays to suit a wide variety of occasions—including playdates, tailgates, romantic get-togethers, and various holidays—as well as guidelines on how to make them more nutritionally sound.

The book boasts a blurb from healthy-eating proponent and award-winning cookbook author Ellie Krieger ’88, who enthuses: “Sure to infuse your family meals and gatherings with pure joy! This book is jam-packed with easy, affordable, and healthful ideas for snack trays that make everyday eating feel like a celebration.”


Hero

Thomas Perry ’69

The latest novel from the prolific, bestselling thriller author centers on a woman working for a private security firm that caters to the rich and famous. When she saves some clients from a robbery, killing two assailants in the process, she finds herself in the limelight.

That puts her in the crosshairs of an assassin—who accidentally kills her boss, leading to even more danger and exposing her to legal complications.

Kirkus praises the book as “a cat-and-mouse tale done to a turn by a veteran who doesn’t waste a word or a tear.”

The cover of "Hero"

In addition to his many novels, Perry penned the limited TV series “The Old Man,” starring Jeff Bridges, which ran on FX in 2022 and streams on Hulu.


The cover of "A/An"

A/An

Mandy Gutmann-Gonzalez, MFA ’14

Gutmann-Gonzalez, who teaches creative writing at Clark University, drew inspiration for this poetry chapbook from archival research on the Salem witch trials.

“As state-legislated violence, witch hunts were constitutive to the colonial order, reinforcing what was normal and what aberrant,” observes the publisher, End of the Line Press. “Rather than regarding the witch hunts as historical curiosity or speculating to fill the gaps, A/An considers the court examination as poetic form, a hybrid of legal language and lyric utterance.”

As the poet writes in an entry titled “Sarah Good’s Confession”:

“From prosperity I fell: twist of wounded falcon / become stone, petrified midair, silver wing / flits first & fits fist next—is tragedy to fall / or be born down? Neither, seems; tragedy / reserved for kings.”

Stories You May Like

Remembering Chuck Feeney ’56, Cornell’s ‘Third Founder’

Bestselling Children’s Author Weaves Tales of Wonder


Unshrinking

Kate Manne

An associate professor of philosophy on the Hill, Manne previously penned two books on misogyny: Entitled and Down Girl. Her latest volume, subtitled How to Face Fatphobia, was hailed by the Chicago Review of Books as a “breathtaking work of meticulous research, philosophical rigor, and personal anecdote.”

In it, Manne explores the deeply engrained societal prejudice against being overweight, and the many ways in which it’s damaging—while weaving in her own lifelong struggle to conform to conventional standards of thinness.

The cover of "Unshrinking"

“The straitjacket of fatphobia is a source of pressure and discomfort for most, if not all, of us,” she writes.

“But it makes life even harder when our bodies do not fit within certain rigid confines, which some bodies—including mine—will always strain against and spill over. And much like a straitjacket, fatphobia serves as a powerful social marker: it signals that some bodies should be ignored, disregarded, and mistreated. It marks fat bodies as undeserving of care—and of education, employment, and other basic forms of freedom and opportunity.”


The cover of "Reason to Be Happy"

Reason to Be Happy

Kaushik Basu

In this self-help book, Basu—an economist and the Carl Marks Professor of International Studies on the Hill—argues that the key to contentment lies in logical thinking.

Specifically, he advocates applying game theory (defined as “the art of deductive reasoning in social situations”) to everyday life.

Along the way, he ponders such issues as whether non-rational behavior can sometimes be rational; why it can seem like our friends have more friends than we do; how to book the best available plane seats amid ever-changing options; and more.

“The book, taken in a few pages at a time, should do for the mind what jogging does for the body,” he writes in the intro.

“We go jogging not because it generates output or income, but to enhance our physical well-being so that we can be more effective when we do everything else. Likewise, logic and game theory can help train our minds, so that when there’s something we need, we can get it more effectively.”


Ugly White People

Stephanie Li, MFA ’04, PhD ’05

In this scholarly book accessible to general readers, Li explores the work of such authors as Dave Eggers and J.D. Vance, “as they grapple with whiteness as its own construct rather than a wrongly assumed norm,” according to the publisher, University of Minnesota Press.

Li is on the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis, where she holds an endowed professorship in English.

Her previous books include biographies of writers Toni Morrison, MA ’55, and Zora Neale Hurston.

The cover of "Ugly White People"

“Revealing white recognition of the ugly forms whiteness can take, Stephanie Li examines the tension between acknowledging whiteness as an identity built on domination and the failure to remedy inequalities that have proliferated from this founding injustice,” the publisher says, noting the book poses questions “about the nature and future of whiteness [that] are vital to understanding contemporary race relations in America.”

Published February 22, 2024


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