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What I’m Reading: In the Woods, Tana French

By Liam Farrell '04

I’ve increasingly spent time with aspirational genre fiction, the spy novel or murder mystery that is far better than its neighboring peers on nearby bookshelves but will never be confused with Faulkner. And if you throw a story about Ireland into the mix, well, I’ll be ready to plop down some money for the trip. That’s how I came recently to reading In the Woods by Tana French.

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Electing the President 2016: The Democrats' Dilemma

By Robert Schmuhl ’70

When they went to bed on election night, most Americans — even in GOP quarters — thought the outcome of 2016 was a foregone conclusion. But by the time the presidential and other electoral results became known, it was the Democrats who were left wondering what their party’s fortunes might be.

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Under Pressure: Off with the Necklace of Tears

By Natalie Ambrosio '17

In this fifth in a series of student-written pieces on the stresses and anxieties of college student life, a senior recalls a pair of life-changing lessons she learned midway through her sophomore year. “And I began to say no to the culture threatening to envelop me."

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What I’m Reading: The Last Kingdom, Bernard Cornwell

By Christina Payne '16

I don’t usually like historical fiction, but Bernard Cornwell’s books caught my attention when I was roaming the bookstore. The Last Kingdom is the first in a continuing series, an epic saga set in England around the 9th century B.C. Danish raiders from the north set out to conquer the island, killing all who stand in their path. It is a dangerous time for the Christian Britons, who see the invading pagan Danes as a threat to both their lives and their faith.

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The Organ Builders: Joe Green, carpenter

By John Nagy ’00M.A.

Joe Green is a boat builder by trade. It’s inherently nomadic work that has taken him far away from home, building everything from historic fishing-boat replicas to rowing shells to the 42-foot motorsailers of the rich and famous — but there was always something missing. So now he builds organs for a living.

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Soundings: True to Oneself

By Kerry Temple ’74

Several years ago I wanted to make more of Thanksgiving than turkey and football games. I decided to thank somebody who had impacted my life and express that gratitude by telling the story at this website. My memories of Mr. Burke point me in several directions.

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Under Pressure: A Notre Dame Wednesday

By Bridget Galassini '16

In this fourth in a series of student-written pieces on the stresses and anxieties of college student life, the writer briefly ponders one lesson during a brisk and fragmented day: “Our entire beings are dictated by verbs and actions and are ever-changing. I’m not Bridget. I’m Bridget-ing.”

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Electing the President 2016: Saddle up the Tiger

By Robert Schmuhl ’70

At age 70, the president-elect faces a new reality that couldn’t be more different from his decades as a developer or even his nearly 18 months as a political candidate. Showing up at the Oval Office each morning to “just see what develops,” in a phrase taken from his 1987 bestseller, The Art of the Deal, probably won’t suffice as a strategy for serving as president of the United States.

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Under Pressure: Great Expectations

By Claire Kramer '18

In this third essay in a series of student-written pieces on the stresses and anxieties of college student life, the writer reflects on the weight of a Notre Dame education. “Of all the things that a Notre Dame graduate could — and should — do,” she wonders, “how could I just want to go back home?”

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What I’m Reading: The Motel Life, Willy Vlautin

By Ken Bradford '76

If you’re not familiar with Willy Vlautin, you may hear more about him soon because the planned 2017 movie based on his 2010 novel, Lean on Pete, is expected to be a major hit. His four books — The Motel Life, The Free, Northline and Lean on Pete — all explore what I would call the permanent underclass. His characters are devoted to getting themselves out of immediate jams and away from pain.

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