What I’m Reading No. 1

Hi friends! Here are some books that I’ve been reading the past few weeks of my gap year (and that I think you should read too).

I had only read an essay or two of David Sedaris’ until I picked up Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. Sedaris conveys his earnest, dry sense of humor and singular voice with ease in every essay. I found myself laughing a lot, particularly as he recounts ending a book tour at Costco, picking up litter in the English countryside, the trip to a taxidermist, and his transcendent colonoscopy experience.

Thank you to the moon and back for sending me some lovely comics, Boom Studios! Adventure Time was rad, but I found Giant Days relatable and relevant. Giant Days follows three roommates, each impeccably fleshed out into very believable and distinct characters, who have just started their first year at university.giant-days

Mary Oliver’s crisp, well-written Poetry Handbook is a quick but crucial read for both writers and readers of poetry. I loved the chapter on sound, where she presents us with a Frost poem. I don’t know how to explain it, but this book, and the chapter on sound in particular, opened my ears and my imagination to reading and understanding poems at a much deeper level, and in a more emotionally-intellectually cohesive way.a-poetry-handbook-oliver

I seriously love poet/farmer Wendell Berry’s poetry. It is accessible and engaging. It can be loud and argumentative, but it can be emotive and pastoral too. This Day is a collection of poems that Berry wrote on Sundays at his farm. I always leave this book with lingering questions and lines of poetry that refuse to leave my head.this-day-wendell-berry

The Best American Essays of the Century really does contain some of the best. I most recently read James Baldwin’s essay Notes of a Native Son, where Baldwin seeks to reconcile his feelings for his dead father with whom he did not have a positive relationship. I love the way that Baldwin attempts to make sense of his father-son narrative by exploring both his and his father’s places in society.best-american-essays-oates

and finally… Neal Shusterman’s National Book Award-winner Challenger Deep now sits high up on my list of favorite YA titles (next to The Book Thief). Shusterman deftly utilizes a unique plot structure that helps the reader empathize with and understand protagonist Caden’s relationship to his mental illness. Definitely an important read.challenger-deep-shusterman