Staff Recommendations: National Reading Month

WSN Staff

“The Opposite of Loneliness”

“The Opposite of Loneliness” is a book that does not aspire to be larger than it is. It does not drip with the multisyllabic words or bitter metaphors that one would expect of a young college graduate. In her simple but genuine prose, Marina Keegan, who died five days after graduating from Yale University, was hopeful. Published posthumously by Keegan’s family following the 22-year-old’s death in a car accident, this book is a collection of fiction and nonfiction short stories by Keegan, the titular story being her graduation speech. In this collection, Keegan paints a candid image of human nature that is both delicately sad and boldly humanist — she introduces a perspective that is refreshingly clear and effervescent. It is beyond tragic that the world lost such an introspective voice at such a young age, but through “The Opposite of Loneliness” perhaps we can all learn how to think more broadly. Wrote Keegan in her last article for Yale Daily News: “We don’t have a word for the opposite of loneliness, but if we did, I could say that’s what I want in life.” – Audrey Deng, Entertainment Editor

“Why Does the World Exist?”

There’s no better time for a crisis about the meaning of life than right after midterms, and Jim Holt’s “Why Does the World Exist?” can help you through that. Described as an existential detective story, the book looks at its titular question through the lenses of philosophy, theology and science. Interviewing experts and authors about their perspectives on life and metaphysics might sound boring, but the book is far from a dry discourse. If the middle of the semester has you questioning the purpose for living in an entirely random universe, this book can help stave away the thoughts of bleak eternity — at least for a little while. – Thomas Devlin, Managing Editor

“The King of Torts”

John Grishman, an author who is consistently recognized for his legal-thriller novels, landed on the New York Times Bestseller List with his novel “The King of Torts.” Protagonist Clay Carter is a severely underpaid lawyer at the Office of the Public Defender. Carter constantly hopes for a better job, potentially at an actual law firm. After given the task of defending yet another Washington, D.C. murder trial, which he does not look forward to, the lawyer soon discovers that the case involving Tequila Watson is not the typical murder trial in which he has grown used to litigating during his time employed by the OPD.  Alexa Spieler, Arts Editor

“Love in the Time of Cholera”

The ultimate romantic escape, “Love in the Time of Cholera” is a classic love story from the undisputed king of Latin American magical realism that tells the tale of Fermina Daza and Florentino Ariza — two lovers separated by time and circumstance — and how they never forgot about each other. Written in Márquez’s rich prose, the novel takes on a life of its own, guiding the reader through a Caribbean port city and the lives of two souls entwined forever by their letters, their burning desire and a kind of certainty that people only really feel once in a lifetime. This passionate, romantic tale and its stunningly fleshed out characters will keep you on edge and feeling the strains of love long after you put it down. – E.R. Pulgar, Music Editor

A version of this article appeared in the Wednesday, March 11 print edition.