Books To Add To Your Holiday Wish-List

The holidays are coming up– this is the perfect opportunity to expand your book collection and treat yourself to some new reads. Whether you are looking for an emotionally gripping book, captivating poetry, or a purely self-indulgent read, this list has the perfect story for you.

Fiction and Non-fiction Essays

The following recommendations are a collection of essays or feature elements of essay writing in their composition.

The Brilliance of “Taxi Driver” (1976) | Peter Lujan (’23)

Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver is a film that changed my life. When people talk about the magic of cinema it is almost impossible to define. I think that you know it when you see it though. That could not be more the case than with Taxi Driver. This film has tremendously guided my personal work, as I plan on writing and directing feature films for the rest of my life.

What We’re Reading: Rachel Ingalls’ Mrs. Caliban

 

When I first read Rachel Ingalls’ Mrs. Caliban this semester in Professor Butcher’s Narratives 2: Longer Forms, I was perplexed as to how the story could have any literary significance. At face value, this is the story of a lonely housewife, Dorothy, in an unhappy marriage who falls in love with a monstrous frog-like man–a clear allusion to the aquatic creature Caliban from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Classical Composers of TikTok

As I sat, partaking in another session of mindless scrolling, I happened across a stereotypical 60 second “day in the life” vlog with one slight distinction. Instead of the trendy pop music one would expect to find dominating the app, this particular TikTok featured a clip of a strikingly beautiful orchestral composition, “Easy Lovers” by the late Italian film composer Piero Piccioni. 

Halloween Book Reccomendations

The leaves have changed color, and Halloween quickly approaches, which means that now is the perfect time to bring out some spooky literature. Whether you love horror novels, or just need a quick tale to put you in the Halloween time spooky-season mood, this list has a story for you. 

Classics

If you love the classics but haven’t yet read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, you should consider adding it to this year’s Halloween reading list.

What We’re Into: “M. Butterfly” by David Henry Hwang

The play is a retelling of Giacomo Puccini‚Äôs Madame Butterfly in which a French ambassador, Rene Gallimard, falls in love with opera star Song Liling. They meet after Gallimard sees Liling portray the title role in Puccini’s opera and, inspired by his womanizing friend, Gallimard begins to test the limits of Liling’s confidence and pride believing that she, a Chinese woman, will eventually bend to his domineering Western position.

What We’re Into: “Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist” by Sunil Yapa

I read this novel on the back porch of my childhood home in a sleepy suburb of the Pacific Northwest over the summer, and was struck by the nearby history that I had never learned. Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist is based on and takes place during the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle; its take on the historical facts of the event is painted by Yapa‚Äôs poignant, lyrical phrasing.…

What We’re Into: “Baltimore Lives”

Earlier this semester, I saw at the Ross Art Museum the exhibit “Baltimore Lives,” by photographer, Baltimore native, and Ohio Wesleyan alumni John Clark Mayden. The exhibition consists of a collection of photographs taken between 1970 and 2012 across African-American neighborhoods in Baltimore, Maryland portraying the every-day-lives of their residents in their routinely habitats.…

What We’re Into: “Storytime,” Seth Rogen’s new podcast

Personally, I’m a die-hard Seth Rogen fan—I love everything he makes from Superbad to pottery, so when I first heard he was coming out with a podcast, I knew I was going to listen to it no matter what. I probably would have loved it even if it was a “typical comedian-hosted chat show,” which the podcast’s description adamantly refuses it is.…

What We’re Into (on Halloween): It, by Stephen King

Recommended by Miranda Alvord 23′

A horror classic for a reason, Stephen King’s It follows a group of seven children who live in the small town of Derry, Maine, as they’re tormented by “It”, a malignant entity that changes forms according to each victim’s fears. The novel thrives in the genre partly because of the masterful world-building, crafted by King in a way that truly makes the reader believe in (and feel connected to) the town of Derry and its habitants.…