Unassigned Reading, Vol. 5

Are you finding time, even here and there, to tackle a little pleasure reading? If so, great job! If not, we implore you to consider picking up a book, thumbing through a magazine or even scanning the internet (though reading Twitter feeds doesn’t count). Here are a few new suggestions to help get you inspired:

Indecision (Benjamin Kunkel) - At the age of twenty-eight, Dwight Wilmerding is having a premature mid-life crisis. Stuck in a deeply unsatisfying job with a pharmaceutical giant, Dwight is paralyzed by his inability to make a decision. When his roommate, a med student, offers him an experimental drug aimed at curing indecision, he jumps at the chance. Soon after, he’s fired from his job and departs for an exotic rendezvous in Ecuador. Deep in the jungle, he wrestles with life’s deep questions and wonders if the medicine is really working.

The Luminaries (Eleanor Catton) - It’s 1866 and Walter Moody has come to capitalize on New Zealand’s booming gold rush. Upon his arrival, he stumbles across a secret meeting wherein twelve men are discussing a series of unexplained events - a prostitute has tried to end her own life, a wealthy man is missing and a drunkard appears to be in possession of a cache of gold. Winner of the Man Booker prize, this bestselling novel is a gripping ghost story and undeniable page turner!

HowStuffWorks - A highly popular, award-winning website, HowStuffWorks contains a myriad of articles about, well, how stuff actually works. The site tackles virtually every topic, from cell phones to stem cells. Indeed, no subject is too big or too small. It’s a great place to get your learning on, even if you only have time to read an article or two.

And Here’s the Kicker (Mike Sacks) - Are you an aspiring humor writer? Would you describe yourself as a massive comedy fan? Do you simply love to laugh? If you’ve answered “Yes!” to any of these questions, then this is likely the book for you. In And Here’s the Kicker, writer Mike Sacks conducts conversations with humor writers about their craft. It’s truly a must read for any comedy consumer!

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? (Maria Semple) - Bernadette Fox is many things - a revolutionary architect, a disgrace to her fellow private-school mothers, her daughter’s best friend. On the eve of a family trip to Antarctica, with her agoraphobia raging, Bernadette disappears. Tracing a variety of correspondence, her daughter Bee races to find her. Semple’s novel is highly engrossing and incredibly touching.

The Frog King (Adam Davies) - Despite his fancy Ivy League education, Harry Driscoll is toiling away as an editorial assistant and struggling to make ends meet. Of course, it doesn’t help matters that he frequently shows up to work intoxicated. The only thing he really cares about is his girlfriend, even if he can’t get himself to actually say, “I love you.” Unfortunately, his selfish and self-destructive actions quickly send his life into a tumult. Will Harry be able to pull himself out of the ever-expanding hole he’s dug?

The Morning News - The Morning News is a delightful website that aggregates a number of fascinating pieces from a range of sources/sites. On any given day, you might find an article about the Syrian revolution, the hottest new iPhone app or the breathtaking work of some hip photographer. The site, which updates twice a day, even publishes original works of fiction. Certainly, it’s guaranteed to have something for all readers, no matter how traditional or eccentric their taste!

Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel (David Rakoff) - The last book published by the always witty and poignant Rakoff, Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish intricately weaves the stories of a handful of characters from early twentieth century to present day America. The individuals profiled are linked to each other by acts of generosity and cruelty. Oh, and the entire novel is written in verse! Pretty interesting, eh?

Happy Reading!


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One Response to “Unassigned Reading, Vol. 5”

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