The Passenger: How a Travel Writer Learned to Love Cruises & Other Lies from a Sinking Ship by Chaney Kwak ’02 (Godine)
In March of 2019, Kwak, a veteran travel writer, found himself on assignment aboard the Viking Sky, a cruise ship off the coast of Norway. When the ship sailed into a storm with 80-mile-per-hour winds and 60-foot waves, losing power and all four engines, Kwak was trapped, along with more than 1,300 passengers and crew, as the 749-foot ship rolled and bucked and nearly capsized before being towed to safety. Kwak uses the 27-hour ordeal as a frame, but the narrative is threaded through with reporting, bits of memoir, and self-deprecating humor. A worthy adventure.
William Still: The Underground Railroad and the Angel at Philadelphia by William C. Kashatus ’84 AM (University of Notre Dame Press)
William Still, who died in 1902, led a remarkable life. In the years before the Civil War, Still, a free Black abolitionist, helped nearly a thousand runaway slaves make their way from Maryland’s Eastern Shore north through Philadelphia on the Underground Railroad. From his house on South Street, he set up transportation, recorded the fugitives’ stories, and raised funds to help with their journeys. Still was also an author and archivist who built a detailed database with the names and ages of more than 800 escaped slaves, a trove that he hoped would one day help knit separated families back together. This rich and moving biography should help lift Still’s story to a wider audience.
Workparent: The Complete Guide to Succeeding on the Job, Staying True to Yourself, and Raising Happy Kids by Daisy Dowling ’96 (Harvard Business Review Press)
This upbeat, encyclopedic guide is full of clear, supportive tactics for how to merge the whirling, often conflicting universes of parenthood and work with less guilt and a bit more peace. Populated with bullet points, charts, and helpful quotes from a wide range of parents, Dowling has advice for every age. There’s also help for thinking about resources like time, money, and your support network, and what “success” actually means. While every family will no doubt encounter swerves along the way, this book can give you a good sense of what might lie ahead, for wherever you might happen to be on the ride.