Arts & Culture


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Eat Joy: Stories and Comfort Food from 31 Celebrated Writers
Natalie Eve Garrett ’99, editor
Black Balloon/Catapult, $22

“Looking back on some of the more challenging times in my life,” writes Garrett in the introduction to this genuinely comforting collection of essays and recipes, “I remember not only the emotions involved, but also the taste.” The writers she tapped, including novelists Lev Grossman ’97MPhil and Claire Messud ’87, share their memories of how food helped them deal with life. Garrett serves us their stories in four courses: growing pains, loss, healing, and homecoming.


The Education of Brett Kavanaugh: An Investigation
Robin Pogrebin ’87 and Kate Kelly
Portfolio/Penguin Random House, $29

The 2018 congressional hearings that ultimately led to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh ’87, ’90JD, as a Supreme Court justice were troubling to many. New York Times reporters Pogrebin and Kelly continue the inquiry into charges of sexual impropriety at prep school and Yale that were leveled at Kavanaugh. Taking a cue from an unlikely source—Kavanaugh’s mother, Martha, a state prosecutor—the writers attempt to use common sense to determine “What rings true? What rings false?”


The Floating Feldmans: A Novel
Elyssa Friedland ’03
Berkley/Penguin Random House, $16

Annette Feldman was about to turn 70, and what she wanted more than anything else was to have her family together, something that hadn’t happened in years. So she booked a Caribbean cruise for the clan on the Ocean Queen. In this rollicking, charming novel, Annette gets what she bargained for, and, of course, much more—as long-suppressed family secrets are revealed. “Nothing is as straightforward as it seems,” says one of the bunch.


Why Young Men: The Dangerous Allure of Violent Movements and What We Can Do About It
Jamil Jivani ’13JD
All Points Books/St. Martin’s Press, $28.99

This book is about an uncommon journey “from a supposedly illiterate high school student who considered a life of crime to Yale Law School and award-winning lawyer.” Jivani, a worldwide social activist who grew up in the Toronto area, mines his own background and the insights of various experts to uncover the “remarkable similarities” between young men who embrace terrorism and those who fall under the spell of the more run-of-the-mill varieties of self-destructive behavior, especially violence. Most critically, Jivani highlights “the techniques and strategies” that can help steer “marginalized” males towards a more productive life path.


The Expectations
Alexander Tilney ’01
Little, Brown and Company, $27

When Ben Weeks, a teen squash phenom, arrives at St. James, the ultra-exclusive school in the deep woods of God’s Pocket, New Hampshire, he expects to follow a well-trod path to success that has been a family birthright ever since a distant ancestor became a member of the founding class in 1856. But in this delicious coming-of-age novel, nothing, not even expectations of continued privilege, goes according to plan. “It’s a time of no escape,” says Ben’s weary and wise coach, who counsels the young man not to “miss the chance to find out what’s on your inside.”


Powerhouse: The Life and Work of Judith Chafee
Christopher Domin and Kathryn McGuire
Princeton Architectural Press, $50

One postmodern critique of modern architecture was that modernism was global, monolithic, and thus oblivious to local context. But there were always modernists who sought environmentally sensitive solutions specific to their region. Judith Chafee ’60BArch (1932–1998) was one of them. After practicing in New England for a decade, she returned to her native Arizona and created a series of beautifully spare houses built with the desert in mind. With essays, drawings, and generous photos, this book brings overdue attention to her work.

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