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.)
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 …
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 …
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 …
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 …
Experts from WSU share their opinions on what constitute the landmark works across literary genres.» More ...