Dr. Toni Wall Jaudon
Over break, I read Cal Newport’s Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World. While the book has its shortcomings, it offers some smart observations about how to guard one’s focus and attention from our addictive devices. I also binge-listened to Rachel Maddow’s podcast series Bagman, about the impeachment of Richard Nixon’s vice president, Spiro Agnew. It’s a great story full of bribery, shady dealing, and heroes who do the right thing in the public interest—highly recommended.
Dr. Jay Barth
In addition to finishing up watching The Leftovers, I watched A Very English Scandal, the Australian sitcom Please Like Me, and The Assassination of Gianni Versace.
Dr. Lilian Contreras-Silva
I re-read two books of short stories, Cuentos de amor de locura y demuerte (Tales of Love, Madness and Death) by Horacio Quiroga and Mujeres de ojos grandes (Women with Big Eyes) by Angeles Mastretta. I prepared for a class, so I read some of those options. I read poetry by Delmira Agustini, first for class and then because I couldn’t stop (I did get lost in some Neruda as well). I listened to all of the music I could find by the singer LP (Laura Pergolizzi) because I’ve just learned about her.
Dr. Kim Maslin
My latest obsession is Scott & Bailey, a British crime drama featuring two female detectives from different generations. It deals with a variety of gender in the workplace issues, feminism, and sexual harassment. Black Earth Rising is also an amazingly complex portrait of the Rwandan genocide, subsequent international efforts to seek justice, and Rwandan politics post-genocide.
Dr. Barry McVinney
I finished two long novels that I had been reading before the break
1. Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
2. Secondhand Souls by Christopher Moore
I listened to The Beautiful Day, a Christmas album by Kurt Elling, the top male jazz vocalist. I started watching the amazing Amazon series The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.
Dr. Dionne Jackson
I finished a suspense novel, Love You More, by Lisa Gardner, and received Becoming by Michelle Obama as a Christmas gift. I love mystery novels, and Gardner’s novel kept me wanting to read more. Reading Becoming has caused me to be even more inspired by First Lady Michelle Obama’s life.
Dr. Andrea Duina
I read two books over the break. They are both by a Japanese author named Haruki Murakami; he’s one of my favorite authors. One is a big novel called Killing Commendatore. The other is 5-7 short stories, and it’s called Men Without Women. His stories tend to have some confusion, a lack of clarity whether something is really happening or if it’s a dream. There’s something about the way he writes that I enjoy reading; it’s not very complicated. The way he writes is poetic to me.