Bunny by Mona Awad ’14 MFA (Viking)
In this dark and hilarious genre-morphing novel, Samantha Heather Mackey is one of five women in the first all-female cohort to enter Warren University’s always experimental MFA program. The other four make up a cult-like clique who call each other “Bunny.” Samantha, who has always felt like an outsider, eventually finds herself drawn into the Bunnies’s orbit with surreal, mind-bending consequences. The novel slips from satire to fairy tale to a kind of magical realism to horror and back again with ease. Expect dazzling prose, echoes of familiar Providence haunts, exploding rabbits, and a few swinging axes.
Bring Your Brain To Work: Using Cognitive Science to Get a Job, Do It Well, and Advance Your Career by Art Markman ’88 (Harvard Business Review Press)
The idea here is that knowing how your brain actually works can help you navigate the workplace—from getting a job to understanding when it might be time for a career change. Markman, a psychology and marketing professor at the University of Texas Austin, argues that at work we don’t have just one brain, but three—your cognitive brain, your social brain, and your motivational brain. The trick is realizing how all three interact on the job. You’ll find lots of helpful takeaways as well as career advice with a cognitive science spin.
Correspondents by Tim Murphy ’91 (Grove Press)
Murphy’s second novel, after Christodora, is an immigrant family saga with a global sweep. Rita Khoury, who grew up north of Boston with a Lebanese father and an Irish mother, learns Arabic, goes to Harvard, and becomes a newspaper correspondent, landing first in Beirut and then in Baghdad on the heels of the 2003 American invasion. As the story unfolds, we follow Rita’s relationships with various boyfriends and journalists and eventually her friendship with Nabil al-Jumaili, a young Iraqi interpreter. Murphy is particularly adept at describing life in Baghdad following the war and showing how family dynamics are always buffeted by history.
The Shaping of Us by Lily Bernheimer ’06 (Trinity University Press)
Energopolitics by Dominic Boyer ’92 (Duke)
The Drama of Celebrity by Sharon Marcus ’86 (Princeton)
Indebted: How Families Make College Work at Any Cost by Caitlin Zoom ’95 (Princeton)
Red Oblivion by Leslie Shimotakahara ’07 PhD (Dundurn Press)
In the Wake of the Willows by Frederick G. Thurber ’83 (Cricket Works Press)