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Book recommendations for 2023

Reading time: 4 minutes

We put together some of our favorite reads from 2022 for you. Fiction and non-fiction, our choices will allow you to travel across space and time without ever leaving your home. Happy 2023 from Tra i Leoni!

Les Choses by Georges Perec and Le perfezioni by Vincenzo Latronico 

 Among the books that impressed me the most this year, I would certainly mention Les choses by George Perec, which recounts the life of a young couple living in Paris in the 60s through the description of the objects they buy and that decorate their tiny apartment. It is a tale so modern in its description of how consumerism, by filling our homes with an abundance of things, gives us the illusion of filling the voids in our life, too, that it was recently rewritten by Italian writer Vincenzo Latronico, who recounts in the same way, in Le perfezioni, the life of an Italian couple living in Berlin in the 2010s. Its truthful illustration of the insecurities and precariousness which actually hide behind the perfect images of our beloved belongings we continuously post made it another astonishing read of this year of mine, which you should definitely not miss, too. 

Anna Crepaldi 

No Longer Human by Osamu Dazai

The poignant testament caught between the past and the present of Yozo, a restless and tormented soul, who also happened to be a brilliant writer and cartoonist. 
As time passes, Yozo becomes more and more alienated from society and feels that his life is beleaguered by an eternal emptiness, from which there is no escape. 
A timeless story of alienation and loneliness that has both Rosseau’s paranoia and Camus’s absurdism in it. 
“Now I have neither happiness nor unhappiness. Everything passes.” 

Jemmy Suwannaluck 

Mother by Maxim Gorky  

In his 1906 novel, Russian author Maxim Gorky tells the story of an uneducated mother living in an industrial town in tsarist Russia. After her abusive husband dies, she is left to take care of her son Pavel, a young man that is fascinated by Soviet revolutionary ideas. He often brings home his friends to talk about the struggles of the working class and plan ways to spread their views to other workers. Throughout the books, readers get to see how “Mother” goes from being completely ignorant and unaware of her son’s aims, to protecting him and even contributing to his cause. What I enjoyed about this book is not only the touching way it portrays the life of industrial workers in early 20th century Imperial Russia, but also the way in which it shows the limitless nature of motherly love. Additionally, I found it very interesting to read this novel more than 100 years after it got published, since it gave me a different perspective on events such as the Russian Revolution than I was normally used to. 

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Dragoș-Ioan Ile 

How to Stand Up to a Dictator by Maria Ressa 

Maria Ressa is a Filipino American journalist, the co-founder of the online news site Rappler, and the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. She is currently facing several criminal charges in the Philippines after having reported on President Duterte’s abuses of the law and his exploitation of social media to spread disinformation within the country. Ressa’s autobiography, How to Stand Up to a Dictator, carries a double-sided message of both hope and caution. It is first of all the inspiring story of a journalist’s continuous pursuit and undying belief in the importance of relaying the factual truth. However, her memoir also stands as a cautionary tale by recalling how social media’s algorithms are aiding and abetting the shift towards authoritarian governments, in the Philippines and around the world. When democracies do not die overnight, but gradually by thousands of small cuts, Ressa believes “silence is complicity” in a democracy’s downfall, it is by constantly holding power to account that such ruin is to be avoided.  

Elisa Latora

The Power of the Dog by Don Winslow 

The narrative that surrounds drug trafficking both in popular culture and in political discourse is often insufficient to grasp how pervasive the phenomenon is in all spheres of society. We all know that the War on Drugs announced by US President Richard Nixon in 1971 has failed to effectively hamper both trafficking and consumption. However, we may not realize the true ramifications of such failure. The Power of the Dog is a novel, but dismissing its content as mere fiction would be dangerous: before writing it, Don Winslow spent six years conducting research both in Mexico and in the US to web a story that truly reflects the many levels at which the corruption associated with drugs operates. The novel goes through the last 40 years of drug trade between Mexico and the US, and it follows obsessive DEA agent Art Keller’s quest to hamper drug trafficking and take down Adàn Barrera, the narcos king based on true figure El Chapo Guzman. In between, Winslow manages to construct compelling characters, from jaded teenager turned into prostitute Nora Hayden to incorruptible priest Juan Padara, characters whose lives are turned upside down by the drug trade. While reading The Power of the Dog, you will laugh, you will cry, you will fall in love and you will feel heart-broken, all in a span of a few hundred pages. 

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Bojan Zeric 

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Articles written by the various members of our team.

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BEMACC student. When I’m not reading a book or visiting some exhibitions, I like to investigate the topics of power and representation, photography, art and media developments.

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I am a second year BESS student. Having lived both in Italy and the UK, I enjoy exploring how multiculturalism affects our personal identities. I would like to employ writing as a way to decipher culture, and socio-economic issues.

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Law student. Easily fascinated by faces & places and their own unique stories. A very passionate person who still believes in love, emotions & destiny. Keen on Contemporary Arts and cultural phenomena that shape our everyday life.

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Editorial Director

Raised in Rome by Bosnian parents, I try to use writing as a tool to decipher the world around me and all its complexities by taking different perspectives into consideration. In Bocconi, I am studying Politics and Policy Analysis

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I am a 19-year-old born and raised in Romania, currently studying Economic and Social Sciences. My fields of interest include economic and public policy, human rights, and obviously journalism. In my free time, I love playing piano, learning languages, and finding places that serve good coffee wherever I go.

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