Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Suggestions for Summer Reading

We're in the dog days of summer - long, hot sunny hours available to get a Vitamin D high and check of few books off your "to read" list. Allow me to add some more enjoyable summer reading to your list:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

If you think you know this story because you've seen the Disney version, Tim Burton's interpretation, and the made for TV movie with Martin short, you don't know this story at all. Pick up a copy (pick up The Annotated Alice if you can find it) and indulge in Carrollian riddles and word play. The whole book is so smart and, thankfully, really nothing like the film interpretations.

* * * * * out of 5 stars

Bank by David Bledin

You think your job is bad?! Meet Mumbles, a first-year analyst at a soul-sucking investment bank. His 70+ hour work weeks, masochistic higher-ups, pittance of a social life, dependence on caffeine, and colorful coworkers will start to put your boring desk job in perspective.

* * * * out of 5 stars

The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling by Henry Fielding

This very involved comic tale written in 1745 is still a relevant and biting satire. The reader navigates the tale (split into 18 small books) with the help of different cheeky narrators who offer sometimes laugh-out-loud commentary on class, marriage for love, marriage for money, economics, careers, greed, jealously, and the search for wisdom in 18th century England.

* * * * 1/2 out of 5 stars

The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Disturbing and dark, Collins' post-apocalyptic trilogy is a must-read. Follow Katniss as she competes for her life so the Capitol can prove their power.

*I have posted two reviews on this blog thus far about the first and second books in the trilogy. Although they are all classified as young adult fiction, they contain a significant amount of adult material but still read like YAF.

* * * * 1/2 out of 5 stars

Naked by David Sedaris

Sedaris' splits his memoir up into 15 different sections, some absolutely hilarious and others more sobering, like "Ashes," which recounts his mother's battle with cancer. Funny or not, this novel is a colorful and wonderful read.

* * * * out of 5 stars

Napoleon's Privates: 2,500 Years of History Unzipped by Tony Perrottet

Join history's most debauchedly delightful cast of characters. Enhance your mind with such timelines as "Notorious Roman Sleaze," learn what it was like at Caligula's orgies, discover whether or not champange glasses are modeled after Marie Antoinette's boobies, learn whether Hitler has one ball or two, and conclude the age old question: just what in the hell did happen to Napoleon's penis. This is a zany and hilarious history that sometimes makes you forget you're actually learning.

* * * * * out of 5 stars

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

An exploration of race, love, and the idea of home are the centerpiece of this chick-lit-esque novel. Set in the south, this page-turning drama introduces realistically, sympathetic characters to whom you grow attached. In terms of storytelling, drama, and social ideas presented in an understandable and readable way, it is second only to Harper Lee's classic To Kill a Mockingbird.

* * * * 1/2 out of 5 stars

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