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Year-End Staff Picks (Part III)

Take 40% off of our staff picks—and 25% off everything else on our site!

Staff Picks Post 3

 

To celebrate the end of the year we’ve picked out a few of our favorite titles to share with you. Browse all of our staff picks here and peruse through parts one and two of our staff recommendations for more on why we love these books. All of our recommended books, including those below, are now 40% off—and everything else on our site is 25% off through the first week of January!

 

1

The Miracle of Analogy »
or The History of Photography, Part 1

The Miracle of Analogy

RECOMMENDED BY:
Emily-Jane Cohen, Executive Editor

Silverman’s endorsement of photography’s powers of revelation and her championing of the photographic imagination is a poetic yet historically informed attempt to rethink our relationship to the world and to each other. This beautifully written book thus has an ethical dimension that makes it more than “just” a brand new theory or history of a medium, though it is very much that as well.

 

2

Hive Mind »
How Your Nation’s IQ Matters So Much More Than Your Own

Hive Mind

RECOMMENDED BY:
Margo Beth Fleming, Senior Editor

A must-read after the 2016 presidential election! Jones has been praised for his excellent writing and surprising research, which reveals how much a little number can tell us about our collective well-being. I love social science that surprises and affirms our own intimations. This book does just that.

 

 

 

 

 

3

A History of the Grandparents I Never Had »

A History of the Grandparents I Never HAd

RECOMMENDED BY:
Bruce Lundquist, Designer

I thought I couldn’t read any more about the Holocaust, but Jablonka’s book is a reminder that the Holocaust happened to individuals with stories and that it remains a very important part of our collective story. Matès and Idesa had ordinary yet remarkable lives that reflected the upheavals of pre-war Europe. It is chilling to imagine the horrors of their last months. A beautifully written and compelling book.

 

 

 

4

Crook County »
Racism and Injustice in America’s Largest Criminal Court

Crook County

RECOMMENDED BY:
Stephanie Adams, Marketing Manager

One of the most poignant, powerful books I’ve read this year is Crook County, by Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve. Bolstered by Nicole’s ten years of research, this book presents a devastating account of the systemic racism and attendant malfeasance that are rampant in the country’s largest criminal court. This book has already caused major waves with both readers and the media; it was even just nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work—Debut Author.

 

 

5

The South African Gandhi »
Stretcher-Bearer of Empire

The South African Gandhi

RECOMMENDED BY:
Kalie Caetano, Digital Media Specialist

In a clear-eyed and critical account, The South African Gandhi challenges the progressive legacy of the famed freedom fighter by looking closely at his work and writings as a young lawyer and social reformer in South Africa. Authors Ashwin Desai and Goolam Vahed disrupt a lot of conventional pieties about Gandhi, and also draw fascinating insights into how and why certain political figures take on mythical dimensions in our cultural memory. Author, intellectual, and activist Arundhati Roy calls it an “evocative” example of “fearless history writing”—and I couldn’t agree more.

    

6

Dead Pledges »
Debt, Crisis, and Twenty-First-Century Culture

Dead Pledges

RECOMMENDED BY:
Jessica Ling. Production Editor

Annie McClanahan’s Dead Pledges shows us just how deeply financial thinking has seeped into our cultural consciousness since 2008. McClanahan not only gives us a remarkably lucid primer on concepts in contemporary credit, crisis and finance, but she also shows us the unexpected sites where these concepts crop up, from Gary Shytengart’s fiction to Sam Raimi’s horror. Surprising and savvy, Dead Pledges is a must for readers like me, who grew up in a post-recession climate.

 

 

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