TPN book recommendations


Stephen Caruso | Contributing Editor

The Power Broker — Robert Caro

Have you heard of the Triborough Bridge? Jones Beach? The Lincoln Center? All of these accomplishments were the work of Robert Moses — New York City’s former Parks Commissioner, Triborough Authority Chairman and urban planner. “The Power Broker” reveals the story of how Moses transformed New York City from a clustered mess of boroughs into a modern city of highways and parks  — and the underhanded tactics he used to accomplish this. Caro has a real gift for turning stats and accomplishments — like bridges, playgrounds and beaches — into a page-turning masterpiece of creative non-fiction. It’s the perfect lazy summer day reading for anyone interested in politics, cities or biography. Stephen Caruso, Layout Editor

I Am Spock — Leonard Nimoy

I got into the original series of “Star Trek” last summer, after watching the two recent reboot movies with a friend. I picked up Leonard Nimoy’s memoir “I Am Spock” a few months after finishing the original series. Like many trekkies before me, Spock is one of my favorite characters, closely tied with Captain Kirk. Though I don’t read biographies and memoirs very often, I enjoyed reading how Nimoy developed the character of Spock -— and how Spock took on a life of his own. I even liked reading about the work Nimoy did outside of “Star Trek.” It’s clear that Nimoy deeply loved and cared about the series, while also setting the record straight on his 1975 memoir “I Am Not Spock.” With the original series’ 50th anniversary this year, it’s the perfect time to read up on the iconic series and the man who brought Spock to life. Alexa Bakalarski, News Editor

Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison Piper Kerman

Reading is the new watching. June marks the time of year where Netflix releases its wildly popular series, “Orange is the New Black.” The series is based off of the book by Piper Kerman, who was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for her role in smuggling drug money. While some plot points of the Netflix series differ from the book, I was pleasantly surprised by how much truth the show presents. The characters are just as vivid, the writing is engaging and the same shock and dread you feel watching Piper enter and interact with prison life comes alive on the page. Kate Koenig, Visual Editor

The Lord of the Rings trilogy — J.R.R. Tolkien

For brisk reads with mythic depth, you can’t do much better for summer escapism than J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy. The movies may have immortalized the fantasy saga’s legacy — and been a staple of my upbringing — but the novels themselves offer exquisite insight into the distinct imagination Tolkien was able to communicate through a basic hero’s journey. The story of Frodo Baggins’ quest to destroy the One Ring is a through-and-through epic and an intricate adventure, and the details that Peter Jackson could only visually communicate and narratively abbreviate are vividly realized in Tolkien’s descriptions, songs and talent for pacing and suspense. This popular classic series is a well-aged, rich and timeless fantasy excursion — perfect for passing the long summer days. Ian Flanagan, Culture Editor

The Weirdness  — Jeremy P. Bushnell

To me, nothing screams “summer read” more than ridiculous comedy, gripping drama and existential life questions. So when I found “The Weirdness” by Jeremy P. Bushnell, I was pleasantly surprised to find all of this and more. “The Weirdness” follows sandwich maker/aspiring novelist/professional slacker Billy Ridgeway as he — quite literally — makes a deal with the devil. And then they share a bowl. What starts with a banana in a bar travels throughout New York City, through gritty dive bars and sleek hotels, to the most evil place one could ever imagine: Starbucks.  If you’re looking for a genre-bent thrill ride chock-full of zany humor, look no further than “The Weirdness.” Sierra Smith, Copy Chief

Batman: The Killing Joke — Alan Moore, illustrated by Brian Bolland

I’m not going to waste my time trying to convince you that comics can qualify as literature — Pitt has an entire class for that. If your fall schedule is already full, though, just pick up a copy of Alan Moore and Brian Bolland’s classic Batman story, “The Killing Joke.” Containing one of the most controversial moments in all of comics and easily the most detailed look inside the Joker’s fractured life and psyche, “The Killing Joke” is not light material. But it’s only about 70 pages, making it great for a short car trip or a few minutes on a lawn chair. Moore, the legendary writer of “Watchmen,” goes out of his way to make readers question their understanding of DC’s greatest villain, and Bolland’s gorgeous art is a true testament to the form. With a movie adaptation premiering in theaters next week and the Joker playing a key role in August’s “Suicide Squad” film, there’s no better time to pick up this quick, exhilarating read. Matt Moret, Editor In Chief