New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

New York University's independent student newspaper, established in 1973.

Washington Square News

Books beyond Bobst: A vampire novel, a literary-themed rom-com and more

Books beyond Bobst is a monthly book-rec column highlighting what NYU students are reading now, outside of their classes. If you’re in need of a new read, look no further.
Mikaylah Du
(Illustrations by Mikaylah Du)

“Thirst for Salt” by Madelaine Lucas

— Alexa Donovan, Deputy Arts Editor

“It’s in the water where she first sees him,” reads the blurb of “Thirst for Salt” by Madelaine Lucas. I was immediately pulled into Lucas’ debut novel after reading this line, yearning to feel the moment when saltwater seeps into sun-kissed skin — equal parts stinging and refreshing. Set in a desolate coastal town in Australia, the book follows a nameless woman as she revisits a relationship from her past. The city goer relives her old life with Jude, a man nearly two decades older than her, who she met and fell in love with as a young woman while on vacation.

Lucas’ prose is harrowingly beautiful as she tells the story of a woman hopelessly in love with a fleeting older man. As readers ride the ups and downs of their relationships like incoming waves, it is impossible not to feel as if we are the narrator, reeling from somebody who cannot give us their all. As winter begins to creep in and summer slips away, their relationship grows colder with the weather.

“Thirst for Salt” immediately took a top place on my Goodreads “favorites” shelf upon my finish, as it explores complex topics with beautiful storytelling and heartbreaking honesty. As I said in my less-professional review on the site: this book is a “scrumptious read.”

“Fevre Dream” by George R.R. Martin

— Joe Paladino, Contributing Writer

From “Game of Thrones” author George R.R. Martin comes a lesser-known vampire novel, “Fevre Dream.” Telling the story of Abner Marsh’s failing career as a captain on the Mississippi River, Martin weaves a tale of terror and friendship. As Marsh’s life on the river appears to be coming to an undistinguished and depressing end, he is approached by the obscenely wealthy and equally mysterious Joshua York. Together, they become captains of the “Fevre Dream,” the pinnacle of steamboats.

On his journey, the abrasive Marsh discovers vampires that have a rich history and culture spanning millennia. The complexity Martin brings to the fictional beings, lovable characters and his signature prose in this 1982 novel make for a story that never loses readers’ minds or hearts.

“Just Kids” by Patti Smith

— Maisie McDermid, Contributing Writer

In her memoir “Just Kids,” Patti Smith asks, “Who can know the heart of the youth but youth itself?” while exploring life, death and the in-between. A young Smith meets photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in Brooklyn, and their journey is one of companionship, desperation, devotion and love. As the duo’s love story progresses, readers witness how they acted as each other’s artistic muses and found themselves in a shared world. The book maps out their ever-changing relationship, including Smith grappling with Mapplethorpe’s battle with AIDS. The love the characters share is beautiful, just like their understanding of life and their art addictions.

Smith illustrates their world through stories from the Chelsea Hotel, talks over shared diner sandwiches, moments on bare apartment floors, and, of course, moments on the streets of New York City in the ’60s and ’70s. I had never cried from a book before finishing “Just Kids.” Smith is a singer, songwriter, poet and painter who knows no other way to live than fearlessly. She is forever young in these roughly 300 pages of artistry.

“Book Lovers” by Emily Henry

— Ariana Wahab, Editor-at-Large

“Book Lovers” is an equal parts charming and light-hearted rom-com set in a small town. Henry’s writing transports readers to Sunshine Falls, North Carolina, and completely immerses them in the town’s quirks and cast of characters. The story centers around Nora Stephens, an uptight New York literary agent whose life revolves around her work. Charlie, a man from Sunshine Falls, is an editor in New York. Throughout the book, the enemies turn into lovers through their banter and a shared love of reading.

After Nora’s sister, Libby, encourages her to take a break from the city, the siblings find themselves on vacation in Sunshine Falls. Incidentally, Charlie has returned home to Sunshine Falls from New York City at the same time, and finds himself continuously bumping into Nora around town. Nora’s and Charlie’s witty remarks and great chemistry with one another make this read all the more enjoyable as we see their relationship grow. Additionally, the sisters’ strengthening relationship throughout the story serves as a heartwarming second plotline, adding a lot more to this loveable rom-com. If you want a lighthearted romance packed with amazing chemistry, “Book Lovers” might just be for you.

Contact the Arts Desk at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Alexa Donovan
Alexa Donovan, Deputy Arts Editor
Alexa Donovan is a sophomore majoring in Journalism and Art History and minoring in Creative Writing. Her favorite drink is lemonade and her party trick is listing the U.S. presidents in chronological order. You can find her in Bobst Library most hours of the day, on instagram @alexadonovan/@lemonadequeen5678 and on Goodreads @alexafdonovan.
Ariana Wahab
Ariana Wahab, Editor-at-Large
Ariana Wahab is a junior studying Psychology with a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Studies. Her main personality traits are being from just outside the city (Westchester, New York) and functioning on no sleep. In her spare time, you can find her binge-watching TV shows (Gilmore Girls is her favorite), reading, dancing, making to-do lists and organizing anything and everything. If you want to say hi or give her any book or TV show recs, find her on Instagram @ariana.wahab or email her at [email protected].
Mikaylah Du
Mikaylah Du, Illustration Editor
Mikaylah Du is a first-year studying Media, Culture, and Communication. She's a fine art nerd and one of the few people that actually likes writing essays. Follow her art account on Instagram @mikaylahdoodles to see her post once in a blue moon.

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