“What’s Up?” With OFA/OFD: What We’re Reading

Like all of you, the staff of the Offices of Faculty Affairs and Faculty Development are finding ways to cope with the unusual time we are living in. With that in mind, we’ve decided to share some of the ways we’re unwinding, in a new series called “What’s Up?” With OFA/OFD. Today, in the first post of this series, a few of us answered the question: “What are you reading?”

Maria Almanza, Director of External Faculty Awards and Recognition
I just finished Blake Crouch’s Dark Matter, a sci-fi thriller that begins with big questions: “What might have been? What if you took another path? Opened another door? Lived another life?” In Dark Matter these theoretical questions become reality as protagonist Jason Dessen finds himself abducted from his hum-drum life as a physics professor in Chicago and forced to find his way back through a multiverse of possible lives. The opportunity: see what might have been had you chosen another path, married another person, had or not had children. The problem: a pass through the multiverse means lots of ways to get it wrong. Reading Dark Matter in the time of COVID 19 feels a little apocalyptic as you encounter worlds plagued with disease. BUT in the end, Crouch’s novel is an engaging bit of escapism and a reminder that nothing is a foregone conclusion.

Katharine Stewart, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs
Just started The Farseer Trilogy by Robin Hobb. Also re-reading Wolf Hall and Bring up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel, in anticipation of the third book in that series coming out soon. (I just looked! The new book is out! I missed it! Going to order it right now!)

Diane Chapman, Executive Director, OFD
The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. I was able to see her when she came to NC State, but just started reading the book.

Courtney Thornton, Associate Vice Provost for Academic Personnel and Policy
Just the same things I skim daily – Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and The New York Times Morning Briefing.

Jennifer Stanigar, Program Evaluation Specialist
I’m listening to Malcolm Gladwell’s latest book, Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know. It has had mixed reviews, so I’m curious how I’ll feel after listening to it. Gladwell’s audio version has been described as an extended version of his “Revisionist History” podcast.

Jonathan Holloway, Program Coordinator
I just finished Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide To Clarity And Style by Benjamin Dreyer. Dreyer is the copy chief at Random House, and his book is a funny and informative look at the peculiarities of the English language, with a lot of interesting digressions about work of copy editing. Dreyer approaches copy editing not as a method of correcting a text, but rather as a way to help authors hone their personal style while maintaining consistency.

Are you reading anything fun or interesting? Let us know in the comments!