The Magazine lists a selection of general interest books, films, and albums by alumni. For additional alumni releases, browse the Magazine’s Goodreads bookshelf.
The Collapsing Empire
John Scalzi, AB’91
In John Scalzi’s latest science fiction novel, humans have discovered “The Flow,” a way to travel faster than light through certain points in space-time, and used it to colonize other solar systems. Now The Flow is moving, threatening to cut off some of these outposts from the rest of humanity. The crisis brings together a scientist, a starship captain, and the empress in a race against time to salvage the interstellar pathways and the empire.
Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal
Eugene Soltes, MBA’09, PhD’09
What makes successful executives risk everything and engage in fraud, insider trading, or other corporate crimes? To find out, Harvard Business School’s Eugene Soltes interviewed almost 50 high-profile white-collar criminals, including Bernie Madoff and former Enron executives. Soltes found their misconduct wasn’t based solely in greed, or committed after careful calculation; the executives saw gray areas where the law saw black and white, and relied on corporate-molded intuition to judge what was right.
Huck Out West
Robert Coover, AM’65
Huck Out West picks up where Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn left off, following Huck and Tom Sawyer as they ride for the Pony Express and scout for both sides during the Civil War. When Tom decides to go back East, Huck is left to fend for himself—until he teams up with a young Indian for a new set of misadventures. Channeling Twain’s humor and penchant for social commentary, postmodernist Robert Coover uses an iconic American character to chronicle the growing pains of an adolescent, and of a country.
Reverend Addie Wyatt: Faith and the Fight for Labor, Gender, and Racial Equality
Marcia Walker-McWilliams, AM’07, PhD’12
Addie Wyatt was a clergywoman, union leader, and outspoken civil rights and feminist activist who worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and Eleanor Roosevelt, and who was honored as one of Time magazine’s Women of the Year in 1975. In a new biography, historian Marcia Walker-McWilliams examines how Wyatt’s faith fueled her intersectional quests for social justice.
The Zero and the One
Ryan Ruby, AM’07
At Oxford University, shy, working-class Owen Whiting meets Zach Foedern, a wealthy, charismatic New Yorker who befriends Owen and leads him on a series of escalating adventures. From pubs to red light districts and beyond, the two young men challenge each other to push boundaries and live faster until Zach proposes the ultimate dare—a suicide pact. A gothic bildungsroman, Ryan Ruby’s first novel investigates the seductive power of the unknown.
The Perils of “Privilege”: Why Injustice Can’t Be Solved by Accusing Others of Advantage
Phoebe Maltz Bovy, AB’05
White privilege, male privilege, straight privilege. A term once reserved for the moneyed elite can now be used for anyone born with a cultural advantage relative to another group. But does pointing out privilege do anything to help those who have been marginalized? In The Perils of Privilege Phoebe Maltz Bovy explores how the definition of “privilege” has expanded in our current discussions of social justice, and how the word often shuts down conversation—and progress.
The Heart of Henry Quantum
Pepper Harding (né Michael Lavigne, AM’75)
Pepper Harding’s debut novel follows Henry Quantum, a socially awkward 40-something man, as he spends a day in San Francisco looking for a Christmas gift for his wife. While wandering the city he bumps into an old girlfriend, Daisy, whom Henry knows may have been the love of his life. Told from the alternating viewpoints of Henry, Daisy, and Henry’s wife, The Heart of Henry Quantum shows how the events of a single day can alter relationships and entire lives.