Aw, what? Books? Yeah, books are in this year. Care to lose yourself in good stories while the sun browns your smooth skin?
Let’s face it, I’m with JACK, JACK does what he wants, and so do I. I love to read, so I do it. Do you? If yes, I’ve got a few personal recommendations, and a couple of links to other recommendations.
I’m mostly a fiction guy, so I’ll recommend a couple of recent short story collections and a novel that have stuck with me:
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami (2006)
This book contains some serious bang for your buck. Twenty-four short stories from a writing master whose style is hilarious, trippy and disturbing all at once. What happens when you eat too much crab? How do you cope when you wake up with a “poor aunt” stuck to your back? Man-eating house cats run rampant, people disappear into thin air, and lots of spaghetti gets made in this collection. Laugh, cry, get freaked out. 96.5 JACK FM acts as a wonderful musical accompaniment.
A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (2010)
This brilliant novel spans decades, entire lives of interwoven characters centered around a punk rock executive named Benny and his faithful but kleptomaniac assistant, Sasha. This book is full of mystery, music, and lions attacking bassists. It also won this year’s Pulitzer Prize.
Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr (2010)
I must admit, I’m playing favorites with this selection. It’s a short story collection that spans the globe and asks the question, are we made up entirely of our life experiences, our memories? Okay, so it’s a bit heady, but the writing is smooth and descriptive, and the first story is a chilling page turner about a senile woman whose memories have been recorded onto cartridges and one of them contains an extremely valuable secret. People try to steal her memories. It’s intense, dude.
Does fiction not do it for you? An NPR mailing list just sent me a link to an awesome list of new non-fiction books about the human brain! Oh, what it’s like to have an organ that is aware of itself. Only humans will ever know what that’s like. Or will we?
All right, well stop reading this and start focusing on those books, and listen to JACK FM!