With a longer commute these days (I went from a 10 minute walk to a 35 minute, subway & bus trek; arguably not the worst commute in the world) I’ve found myself desperate to have a book to read in the mornings and afternoons. I get so absorbed in whatever I’m reading I have ever since I was a wee little thing. The other morning on the bus, I had my nose buried so deep I almost missed my stop! However, I’ve been lacking the time or energy to go to Barnes & Noble to buy a huge stack of new books, because I get so overwhelmed by the selection and I have no idea where to even start (I’m one of those horrible people that totally judges books by their covers).
Knowing I’d need something more substantial to read every day than my facebook newsfeed on my phone (don’t hate), I scanned my massive (IKEA!) bookshelf for hidden treasures I hadn’t read yet. I came up with these three:
Dry, by Augusten Burroughs
I bought this years and years ago with my dad on a whim. I must’ve been in early high school, and I don’t think I fully understood the premise of the book (more than likely I didn’t even read the back cover). Soon after bringing it home, I discovered it was the author’s account of his battle with hardcore alcoholism. I must’ve wrinkled my nose with displeasure, and relegated it to the bottom of my bookshelf. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t read fluffy, beach-reads all the time, but at 16 “heavy” for me meant re-reading Catcher in the Rye for the 10th time. I’m glad I held onto this book though, because it was a really incredible read. Parts of it made me really uncomfortable because it was so painfully raw and honest, and it’s one of those books where you wish it wasn’t all true. It reads like fiction and is thoroughly engrossing. I finished it in a week only reading on the bus each day.
Loving Edith, by Mary Tannen
Apparently this book is harder to find than the lost city of Atlantis (dammit, way to ruin my analogy!). I picked this up in a used book shop so long ago I don’t even remember when it was, but the book shop is long gone if that is any indication. Again, one of those books that was decidely out of my age range when I picked it up, but my dad wasn’t going to ever say no to buying me a book (0r, well, anything, to be honest), so it came home with me and sat on my bookshelf for over 10 years, moving from apartment to apartment to apartment, making the cut every time I donated a box full of books to Goodwill or the library’s used book store. And just like “Dry,” I’m really glad I kept this one. It’s quirky, it’s touching, it was easy to read. The characters were all relatable and it was a sweet story. Plus, it’s rare! You can’t even search for it at Barnes and Noble.
No One Belongs Here More Than You, by Miranda July
Look, I’m going to be honest with you and admit that I bought this because it was bright yellow. I’ve been in my “yellow phase” for a while, and have accumulated a collection of things in varying shades and degrees of utility: a Pantone coffee mug for the design nerd in me, a cable knit scarf, an American Apparel hoodie, an umbrella, galoshes, a vase, a lamp, a lampshade, a tray, a clock, tights, two shirts, a cardigan, a clutch, and probably a dozen other yellow things. I love me some yellow. Having heard good things about Miranda July’s writing, I picked this little number up. It’s just okay. At certain parts it just tried too hard. But it’s yellow, and for that, it is wonderful (clearly, The New Yorker book review isn’t going to be pounding down my door anytime soon).
I’m running dangerously low on decent reading material! Any suggestions, kiddos? Come on, help a book-nerd out. Bonus points if it’s yellow.