Arts & Culture


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Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, and Assorted Hijinks
Dick Cavett ’58

Henry Holt, $26

“‘How does it feel to be Dick Cavett?’ What a dumb question, I thought. This guy can’t be very bright.” The “guy” who’d asked was Steve Jobs. “Turned out he was reasonably bright,” writes Cavett, who describes with flair and humor this and other interviews from more than two dozen years as a nationally known talk-show host. In these splendid little essays, Cavett remembers Laurence Olivier, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Lewis, and many other characters, famous and less so.


Bad Feminist: Essays
Roxane Gay ’96

HarperPerennial, $15.99

Gay declares herself a mass of contradictions: a feminist who loves pink, sometimes dances to music that’s degrading to women, and occasionally “plays dumb with repairmen because it’s just easier.” She used to think she wasn’t a feminist—she’d fallen for the caricature of the “angry, sex-hating, man-hating victim lady person”—but she knows better now. Gay’s moving collection, full of humor, serious memoir, and cultural criticism, traces a self-portrait of a wholehearted black feminist, “bad” or not.


Writing Architecture: A Practical Guide to Clear Communication about the Built Environment
Carter Wiseman ’68, Lecturer, School of Architecture

Trinity University Press, $18.95

Wiseman, a past writer and editor at the Associated Press and Newsweek and past editor of this magazine, served for 16 years as New York magazine’s architecture critic and now teaches at Yale’s School of Architecture. He draws on this experience, and on selections of exemplary architectural writing, for this valuable guidebook for anyone seeking to put “architecture’s highest aspirations for built form into written words.”


Mory’s: A Brief History
Jay Gitlin ’71, ’74MusM, ’02PhD, and Basie Bales Gitlin ’10

Mory’s Preservation, Inc., $20; available at

The Gitlins, father and son, give a loving history of the “humble restaurant and saloon where memories are made and kept.” The concise account starts with the origin of Yale’s link to Mory’s: the day when a group of undergraduates from the Class of 1863 stopped at an “obscure taproom” on the way back from crew practice. The book brings the story up to the present, including the club’s recent financial woes, remodeling, and comeback.


41: A Portrait of My Father
George W. Bush ’68

Crown Publishers, $28

To celebrate his 90th birthday, the 41st US president, George Herbert Walker Bush ’48—“the most badass 90-year-old I know,” says friend Arnold Schwarzenegger—made a parachute jump. “Daring and courageous, always seeking new adventures and new challenges… humble and quick to share credit”: these qualities exemplify “41,” writes his son, “43.” The younger Bush provides a well-told “love story—a personal portrait of the extraordinary man who I am blessed to call my dad.”


Roman Architecture: A Visual Guide
Professor Diana E. E. Kleiner

Yale University Press, $13.99

This e-book, a guide to the buildings of ancient Rome, takes readers across the Empire on a tour. Its images—more than 250—cover the imperial structures of the provinces as well as the more famous edifices in the capital, and they come with extensive descriptions by one of Yale’s most popular lecturers. The book complements Kleiner’s Yale course on Roman architecture, offered at no charge through Open Yale Courses (

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