Staff picks: Books, Jan. 25-Feb. 1
Art by Maizy Goerlitz.
Edited by David Flanagan
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are the individual staff member’s own, and do not reflect the perspectives of the Collegian staff as a whole, nor the view of the Collegian as an institution.
The Pick: Vagabonding by Rolf Potts.
Submitted by Benjamin Burton, Photo Editor.
Staff comment: It makes you look at, plan and experience travel in a completely different way. Plus it’ll get you pumped to plan and start saving for some post Pandemic trips!
The Pick: Children of Time by Adrian Tchaikovsky
Submitted by Noah Dantes, Editor-in-Chief.
Staff comment: The most interesting take on evolution and sentience I’ve encountered in fiction. Set thousands of years in the future after the collapse of humanity’s space age, a small group of human survivors ventures across the galaxy in search of a new home. What they find: a terraformed world housing an ancient experiment gone wrong (or maybe right). Sentient spiders, a result of an old human science experiment, crawl across the surface, and they feel alien - both in thought and mannerism. While any other author would turn this story into one of horror, Tchaikovsky’s tale is one of life: both the spiders and the humans are easily sympathized with, and the reader gets to see the universe through both perspectives. Spanning generations, follow the humans and spiders struggling for the same planet as the story builds towards a deeply surprising and masterful conclusion. What does the last of humanity do, desperately in need of a home with nowhere else to go? And more importantly, what do the spiders do, suddenly faced with the kin of their creators from millennia ago? Who gets to live?
The Pick: A Little Life
Submitted by Jesse Buck, Lifestyles Editor.
TW: suicide, self harm, trauma, abuse, sexual assault
Staff comment: I don’t recommend this book to anyone who is struggling with their mental health. I cried through most of it. That being said, it is the most beautiful and wrenching portrayal of friendship and humanity that I have ever read. It follows four college classmates as they go through life, and explores the shifting relationship dynamics people have with the ones they love, providing a deep look into chosen family and the nature of suffering. It’s absolutely tragic all the way through, beautifully written, consistently engaging and one of my favorite books of all time.