Selections setting off for open spaces

Read. Watch. Listen. introduces you to the personal side of our faculty, staff and alumni. Participants are asked to answer three simple questions about their reading, viewing and listening habits – what one book or newspaper/magazine article is grabbing your attention; what one movie or television show has caught your eye; and what album/song, podcast or radio show are you lending an ear to.

Benjamin Rubin is a professor in the Department of Biology.

Today, he takes a turn on Read. Watch. Listen.

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My favorite is anything by Annie Proulx. Strong storylines with a dramatic balance of dark themes and humorous moments. If you haven’t read her work, you could start with short stories, a trilogy called Wyoming Stories. The first volume is Close Range which contains her most famous, Brokeback Mountain. However, I am going to recommend a novel, Accordion Crimes, that traces the travels of an accordion brought to Louisiana by an Italian immigrant in the 19th Century and the lives of the flawed characters who come to own it over the next 100 plus years.


I love sailing and have always been partly fascinated and partly scared of taking a sailboat across one of the world’s major oceans. No, I have never tried it. (Yet). The lure and foreboding of the sea are captured in a British documentary Deep Water, about Donald Crowhurst, a family man and regular Joe who tried to sail the world alone and was not adequately prepared. He ended up in a battle for his identity, his sanity, and his life.


Gangstagrass! Bluegrass meets hip hop and the results are shockingly better than anyone has a right to imagine.

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If you have a suggestion for someone you would like to see in Read. Watch. Listen., or would like to participate yourself, drop a line to