according to my computer’s dictionary, ‘belletristic’ describes a work of literature that is considered art… or you can use my contextual definition.
that’s how you do it.
wait, but the point was books. by this time the majority of you are on spring break, or making plans for spring break, or are constantly dreaming of sitting by the pool, reading a book, and only worrying about when it is time to turn over… like me.
now, to me there is nothing worse than staking the perfect spot in the sun (or on the couch during a rainstorm – obviously the perfect time to curl up with a good read) and beginning a new book just to realize that its not actually your cup of tea. so, to save you all from that fate, i’m going to recommend a few page turners for those lazy days of spring break.
blink: the power of thinking without thinking – malcolm gladwell.
i first picked this book up just after graduation, when i didn’t have to read anything, but i could read anything. i had heard good things about the author and the first chapter begins with an art historical anecdote: the getty spent approximately seven hundred and forty-two billion dollars (or whatever) on a kouros (a greek statue) that they had inspected by a great deal of archaeological and art historical experts and believed to be authentic. and then a handful of people walked in and spotted that it was a fake right away.
but i got distracted and never ended up finishing it. so i recently checked it out from the library and was determined to finish it this time. the basic goal of the book is to explore what information we derive from our initial perception and how accurate that information might be. although that may seem a bit psychological and lofty, the fascinating stories that gladwell uses to demonstrate the concepts make for a quick and enjoyable read.
there is a chapter on shopping AND one on military strategy.
its the best.
anything – john green.
ok, so he’s a young adult writer. and his books are about teenagers. and all their feelings. but his books are just so heartwarming, and every word that he writes seems to echo with an experience you’ve had or a feeling you’ve felt in the pit of your stomach but have never been able to find the appropriate way to describe them. reading his books is like rediscovering (or discovering, depending on your age?) your childhood/adolescent/current(?) experiences, but understanding them to a greater degree. the few books that he’s published are tremendously popular, and the sap in me can’t get enough.
catch-22 – joseph heller.
i first loved this book in high school, but i would never anticipate how much i would enjoy a book that was assigned, and about war. but everyone in the book is insane. and i quite enjoy that. its world war 2 and yossarian is a bombardier on the verge of completing his requirements and being sent home.
‘There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one’s own safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Orr was crazy and could be grounded. All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn’t, but if he was sane, he had to fly them. If he flew them, he was crazy and didn’t have to; but if he didn’t want to, he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.’
so, after living through a terribly close call yossarian decides ‘to live forever or die trying,’ and this book follows the pitfalls that he encounters during his attempt. every word in every situation is absurd, but the absurdities are actually quite enlightening… but most of all hilarious.
the magic room – jeffrey zaslow.
so i haven’t read this yet – but its waiting for me on my nightstand and i anticipate that my best laying out hours will be spent reading this one. so its say yes to the dress, and you don’t have to hear the phrase ‘jacking up’ and you don’t have to see monty’s crazed and face lifted expression. (and please… a real southern gentleman would go by montgomery.)
is it blatantly obvious to everyone else that the original say yes is the best? because duh.
ok, i’m allowed one super girly outburst.
love is a mix tape – rob sheffield.
this book, y’all. i originally found it through creeping my friend kathryn, who was studying english literature at school with me at the time and obviously has excellent taste in books, on facebook.
‘that’s so creepy.’
whatever. she was so right.
anyway, its the real story of how rob sheffield became obsessed with music and how he fell in love with with ‘a lion hearted take-charge southern gal.’ its about how they coped with their lives together and how he coped with losing her.
‘The times you lived through, the people you shared those times with – nothing brings it all to life like an old mix tape. It does a better job of storing up memories than actual brain tissue can do. Every mix tape tells a story. Put them together, and they add up to the story of a life.’
p.s. all titles are hyperlinked to the barnes and noble site… you know, just in case.
now, what are your favorite vacation reads?
and don’t say harry potter.
[images: blink, john green, catch – 22, magic room, mix tape.]