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 Benjamin Clark, a graduate research assistant at the IAHI and PhD student in the IUPUI American Studies Program.

  1. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon: This is a fun read by one of my favorite novelists. Of all Chabon’s books that I love, Kavalier & Clay seems to be the one I re-read the most. I wasn’t into comic books as a kid, but this story made me wish that I had been.
  2. High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby: This novel is great read if you love to geek out to music, if you enjoy making top 5 lists, and if you’re interested in what it was like to be a thirtysomething in ’90s London.
  3. Seymour: An Introduction, by JD Salinger: I know Salinger was a complicated person with lots of baggage. But he sure had a way with words. This novella is a bitingly funny and deeply heartfelt story about brotherhood and how weird families are. It’s one I find myself re-reading every few years.
  4. White Noise, by Don DeLillo: A great postmodern satire about family life and academia, this book manages to be both dark and funny while showing the ridiculousness of everyday life.
  5. Stamped from the Beginning, by Ibram X. Kendi: Dr. Kendi does a masterful job tracing the idea of racism in America through time. Anyone interested in advancing the conversation around racism and anti-racism should be familiar with Kendi’s works. Another great book to read along with Stamped is Kendi’s How to Be an Antiracist.

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

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