A few members of the Black Rock & Sage staff have some great book recommendations for the month of March. Check them out below!
Jeff Howard, Editor-in-Chief:
Although I prefer the range of topics and voices presented in the Best American Essays 2015 anthology, the 2014 collection was also a great read. Many of the essays are amazing examples of how to deal constructively and meaningfully with sensitive themes and topics, including suicide, racial prejudice, and sexual abuse. One of my favorite essays from this collection, “Thanksgiving in Mongolia” by Ariel Levy, who was the guest editor of the 2015 BAE anthology, details Levy’s experience covering a story in Mongolia during her first pregnancy. The piece is a gripping account that I think compares in terms of its central theme and careful style to Jill Christman’s brief essay “The Sloth” (which was published in Brevity, not in BAE). Reading those pieces together, along with Cheryl Strayed’s essay “Love of My Life” (published in The Sun Magazine) has demonstrated to me in beautiful detail 1) how good these writers are, but perhaps more importantly 2) how essays on the same topic (grief and loss) can be so different in their final realization. All wonderful and tragic reads.
Anelise Farris, Poetry Editor:
Everyone needs some light, fun reading on occasion, right? I certainly do, and my pick for this month is The X-files Origins comic book, written by Jody Houser and Matthew Dow Smith, with art by Chris Fenoglio and Corin Howell. The comic book traces two different story lines, as Mulder and Scully are young teenagers who live on opposite coasts. Even so, each of their narratives, though different, manage to weave together in such a way that it seems inevitable that Mulder and Scully would turn out to be such a fantastic supernatural-tracking duo. If you are a fan of The X-files this comic is a must, and the easter eggs throughout the series are delightful. Likewise, The X-Files Origins is the perfect comic to begin with if you are totally unfamiliar with the series and are looking for somewhere to start, especially for younger readers.
Susan Goslee, Faculty Advisor:
Bestiary: Poems by Donika Kelly. Amazing!