• Carolin Kassella

Current Top Picks – N° 7

Since September was a very special, exciting and also exhausting month for me, I am starting off this blog post with a personal note. At the end of August I moved to Milan, Italy to join a PhD program, for which courses have already begun. Thus, for the first half of the month (and still ongoing) I have been settling in the city and trying to become familiar with my new occupation, which entailed meeting lots of new people, getting acquainted with various surroundings and diving back into university life. Very fitting to this new chapter I stepped into, I'll begin with a recommendation from one of Italy's most read and established newspapers. Happy reading!

Corriere della Sera; 08/30/19: "Confused (and happy): a snapshot of how Italians feel today" (by Gaia van der Esch)

I stumbled upon this wonderful article through social media and was immediately taken with it – the topic is highly of interest to me, since I have also been traveling around Italy a bit this year, just moved to this country and therefore am concerned with exactly the questions that Gaia van der Esch, currently a Master of Public Administration student at Harvard University, has asked many Italians during her extensive road trip through all parts of the country. She asks daring, important questions, touching on subjects such as identity, national pride, political sentiments as well as personal doubts and fears, and she summarizes her observations along with the various respondents' answers in a compelling, empathetic way. It was a delightful and interesting read, and I feel like I understand parts of what many Italians seem to be concerned with nowadays a whole lot better.


The New York Times (Corner Office); 09/12/19: "Jane Goodall Keeps Going, With a Lot of Hope (and a Bit of Whiskey)" (by David Gelles)

In this piece, an interview by the renowned NYT journalist David Gelles with Jane Goodall, he asks some probing questions. I found it especially moving since Jane Goodall to me is such an inspirational figure, having been a very outspoken scientist and activist for the past decades.


The New Yorker; 09/23/19: "Four Years in Startups" (by Anna Wiener)

In her article, contributing writer Anna Wiener tells about her time working in the Silicon Valley start-up world from 2012 to 2016, which she also wrote a memoir on that is forthcoming at the beginning of next year. She gives a lot of insight into the system and day-to-day lifestyle (especially of the many founders) in one of the most popular and polarizing industries of the Western economies at the moment.


The New Yorker; 09/29/19: Interview – "The Fallen Worlds of Philip Pullman" (by Alexandra Schwartz)

– "Books, books, books, everywhere."

This is an interview with British author Philip Pullman, who I already mentioned in another article of mine, food for thought pt. I. If you are interested in learning about the life and newest works of a passionate storyteller and want to read an amusing, refreshingly honest exchange between him and Ms. Schwartz over the phone, this one's for you. I loved reading about his perspectives on various literary topics and current issues.


Deutschsprachige Empfehlung:

Deutschlandfunk Kultur / Politisches Feuilleton; 19.09.2019: "Schamgefühl als Moralkeule" (Gastbeitrag von Christian Schüle)

Eine subtil provokante Gegenrede des Philosophen Christian Schüle, mit der er sich hauptsächlich an die Aktivist*innen und radikalen, selbsternannten Weltverbesserer unserer Zeit wendet. In meinen Augen werden Stimmen und Denkanstöße wie diese immer notwendiger aufgrund zunehmend polarisierender und emotionalisierter Debatten entlang des gesamten Spektrums aktueller gesellschaftsrelevanter Fragen.

Airport field | September 2019 | © Carolin Kassella