During quarantine, the IAHI staff have been keeping busy both in and out of the “office” by doing some much needed reading. We’ve compiled a list of our personal favorite books to read that keep us entertained and sane.

Today’s list is brought to you by IUPUI Arts and Humanities Director, Dr. Jason Kelly. Dr. Kelly is also a History Professor in the school of liberal arts and is the creator of IAHI’s Covid-19 Oral History Project.

Yōko Tawada, The Emissary
A short novel set in a post-disaster Japan that has closed itself off from the world. While the elderly continue to age, the children die young–wise beyond their years. It’s a story of regret and memory and mistakes and hope.

Ruha Benjamin, Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the The New Jim Code
A thorough analysis of how our technologies embody and reproduce systemic racism. This is essential reading.

Kim Gordon, Girl in a Band
Kim Gordon. Sonic Youth. Do I need to say more?

Rachel Carson, Under the Sea-Wind
Most people know Rachel Carson for her book Silent Spring. Under the Sea-Wind is her first book, and it is top notch nature writing. It will pick you up and out of your chair and deposit you among the dunes, the sea grass, and the sandpipers.

Tom Reiss, The Black Count: Glory, Revolution, Betrayal, and the Real Count of Monte Cristo
Thomas-Alexandre Dumas was the father of Alexandre Dumas. Born into slavery in Saint Domingue (later Haiti), he joined the French revolutionary armies and eventually became a Général d’armée. If you like a quick-paced historical biographies, this one is for you.

We hope you enjoyed this list! Stay tuned for more staff book picks!

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