Holiday Books Gift Guide: 12 Gripping Reads by Graduate Center Faculty About Living a Good Life, Dressing in Your Dreams, and Arguing with Zombies

Recent books by Wayne Koestenbaum, Katina Rogers, David Reynolds, Tanisha Ford, William Helmreich, Melissa Checker, Margaret Chin, Massimo Pigliucci, Richard Alba, Ismael García-Colón, Sanford Schram, and Paul Krugman.

We’ve been warned about the long, dark winter and the need to stay away from relatives and friends this holiday season. But if you’d like to send a gift, books might be the perfect choice, offering escape to other worlds and in-depth looks at little-known parts of our own — usually at minimal shipping costs.
We also encourage gifting yourself. And, if possible, consider ordering or picking up one of these compelling reads at your local independent bookstore, which will be happy to hear from you:

Wayne Koestenbaum
1. Figure It Out is the latest from Professor Wayne Koestenbaum (English), who got a rave review from The New York Times for this collection of “cerebral, smutty essays,” which include “assignments” you might find oddly inspiring during this time of lockdown.

Katina Rogers
2. Putting the Humanities PhD to Work: Thriving in and beyond the Classroom, by Katina Rogers, co-director of the Futures Initiative at The Graduate Center, offers unexpected and boundary-shattering ways your degree can open doors.

David S. Reynolds
3.  Abe: Abraham Lincoln in His Timesby Distinguished Professor and award-winning biographer David S. Reynolds (English), provides revelations that earned this book enormous praise from publications like O: The Oprah Magazine and The Wall St. Journal.

Tanisha C. Ford
4. Dressed in Dreams: A Black Girl's Love Letter to the Power of Fashion, by Professor Tanisha C. Ford (History), is being developed by Gabrielle Union and Freida Pinto into a Sony Pictures TV series that will explore a fictionalized version of Ford’s life.

William Helmreich
5. The Queens Nobody Knows: An Urban Walking Guide by Distinguished Professor William Helmreich, who is deeply missed by his students and colleagues, is a final tribute to the city he called “the greatest outdoor museum in the world.”

Melissa Checker
6. The Sustainability Myth: Environmental Gentrification and the Politics of Justice, by Professor Melissa Checker (GC/Queens; Anthropology, Psychology; Urban Studies), shows the surprising costs of high-end green development in New York City.

Margaret M. Chin
7. Stuck: Why Asian Americans Don’t Reach the Top of the Corporate Ladder, by Professor Margaret M. Chin (GC/Hunter, Sociology), tells the story of second-generation Asian Americans college graduates who are facing the “bamboo ceiling.”

The Graduate Center, CUNY · Margaret Chin on The Thought Project - Episode 90

Massimo Pigliucci
8. How to Live a Good Life, by the Stoic, triple-Ph.D. holding Professor Massimo Pigliucci (GC/City College of New York, Philosophy), will guide you to choosing your own personal philosophy just in time for the new year.

Richard Alba
9. The Great Demographic Illusion: Majority, Minority, and the Expanding American Mainstream, by Distinguished Professor Richard Alba (Sociology), illuminates how immigration and identity both reinvigorate American society and challenge it.

Ismael García-Colón
10. Colonial Migrants at the Heart of Empire: Puerto Rican Workers on U.S. Farms, by Professor Ismael García-Colón (GC/College of Staten Island, Anthropology), tells how a farm labor program led more than 400,000 Puerto Ricans to move stateside.

Sanford Schram
11. Hard White, co-authored by Professor Sanford Schram (Hunter/GC, Political Science), takes an intellectual look at white nationalism’s move from the fringes to the center of American politics.

Paul Krugman
12. Arguing with Zombies: Economics, Politics, and the Fight for a Better Future, by Distinguished Professor Paul Krugman (Economics), will give you an entertaining and insightful break from arguing about politics in your own head.

Submitted on: DEC 3, 2020

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