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Books

Spring 2021

WSM staff picks for the pandemic

WSM staff picks

Here’s what the staff of Washington State Magazine has been reading, watching, and listening to since the start of the COVID-19 crisis.

 

Larry Clark (’94 Comm.)
Editor

Books

The Last Black Unicorn by Tiffany Haddish (Gallery Books, 2017) – Haddish’s comedy shines through some rough times in this memoir. I was laughing out loud during several parts.

The Sheep Look Up by John Brunner (Harper, 1972) – A classic of science fiction and environmental destruction

Ivory Apples by Lisa Goldstein (Tachyon Publications, 2019) – I enjoy a good novel about fiction becoming reality, and obsession. Goldstein’s words are gripping and, at … » More …

Butch Cougar in front of a pile of books
Spring 2021

What to read: Books by alumni, faculty, and staff

Here’s a round-up of reading recommendations featuring titles by WSU alumni, faculty, and staff—including one to watch for later this spring.

Anything and everything by Buddy Levy. The celebrated author of seven books, Levy specializes in historical narrative, particularly epic adventures and survival stories—perfect for the pandemic, which makes us all armchair travelers. Levy’s taught writing at WSU for more than 30 years, and his own writing—meticulously researched, masterfully organized—simply sings. His riveting narratives make readers feel like they are right there with protagonists, experiencing everything they’re going through.

Buddy Levy: Historical investigator” from the Summer 2011 issue

Labyrinth … » More …

Butch Cougar in front of a pile of books
Spring 2021

Recommended reading

The persisting pandemic just might be the perfect time for relishing the power of books.

To transport us through time and space. To offer us insight and entertainment. To help us remember and make us forget. To lessen our stress and sense of loss and isolation. To give us courage and hope. To connect us and inspire us.

Books are both refuge and door, providing shelter from the storm as well as ways to escape to different worlds and discover new things. Many of us have turned to them for respite while we’re all largely sequestered in our homes.

Here, Washington State University faculty and … » More …

Book cover with mushroom
Fall 2020

Shroomin’ – A mushroom reading list

Mushrooms, like the very forests in which they are found, are sources of both danger and wonder.

And not all embrace them.

For many, mushrooms—used in sacred rituals and as sustenance since ancient times—contain an aura of mystery. They’re often associated—especially in literature, poetry, and fairytales—with malevolence, supernatural powers, darkness, death, and decay. Mushrooms were fairy food, the way witches caused trouble for gardens and crops, and ingredients in poisons and potions, enchantments and aphrodisiacs.

Famous scribes—from Percy Shelly, Lord Alfred Tennyson, and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to D.H. Lawrence, H.G. Wells, and Ray Bradbury—all wrote about menacing mushrooms. Emily Dickinson insulted them: Had Nature … » More …

Fall 2010

Tree Top: Creating a fruit revolution

Book review

In the September 10, 1951, issue of Life magazine is a picture of a bulldozer mounding apples in the Yakima dump. Seven acres of apples worth $6 million dollars rotted as pigs rooted through them, the result of failing foreign markets and high tariffs. At the time, if Washington’s apples didn’t sell, orchardists paid $5 a ton to have their culls hauled off to rot.

Culls are rejected from the fresh fruit market due primarily to shape, size, or color, but they are perfectly sound for such traditional uses as juice. The photograph aptly illustrated the need for a processing company like Tree … » More …