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.
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.
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.
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.
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.