Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Power of a Good Book

So I'm up late, dodging the sleepiness and avoiding the stack of homework at my feet. I realized that I spend a decent majority of my time reading. These days, it's the dull and monotonous routine of school books. But occasionally, when I can crack open a book that doesn't revolve around classes, I'm ecstatic. So, in my sleepy state (though unwilling to climb up into bed) I thought I would compile a short list of books that I've enjoyed reading because they offer a great way of escaping reality (aka the boring crap you HAVE to do).

Oh and these books are just numbered, no particular order of favoritism.

#1: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane (soon to be a major motion picture *girly gasp*)

The time period of the 50's is vividly portrayed in what one would consider a cop drama. Though tv is working this angle tirelessly, the previous time period gives the book a kick. The added psycho facility factor leaves you feeling a little bit twingy as you finish each chapter. Like twist endings? Pick this up, you won't be disappointed. My thrill at finding out Scorsese was directing this fantastic piece of literature into cinematic wonder was palpitating. I feel an Oscar coming on...

#2: The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien

Yeah ok, I'm a nerd. I've read the Hobbit at least as many times as fingers on my two hands and I own the LOTR books as well, but if you want to escape into a fantasy, this book is perfect. Even if you're not a nerd and don't really quite dig fantasy, everyone should read this book before they die. Tolkien is artist with words and if you can tolerate watching the LOTR movies, read this book.

#3: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Guys, here's a lesson for you: if you read this and can manage a conversation with a female about this book, you have an extremely high chance of getting lucky. This is seen as the quintessential romance by females everywhere. The story of boy meets girl, boy is rude to girl, girl doesn't like boy, and the entangling dramatic love story that unfolds captures women by the heart. So boys, if you want to capture us too, pick this up and give it a read. And don't Spark Notes it, we'll be able to tell.

#4: The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig

History? Check. Espionage? Check. Romance? Check. Need I say more? This outstanding series throws the reader into the Napoleonic Wars and into both a game of espionage and a game of love. It's what I like to call a classy romance novel. This is not the trashy stuff, it will have you breathing heavily while maintaining elegant prose. Advice for couples: read aloud to each other and you'll set yourselves up for a great ending. Singles? You'll enjoy it, and probably end up having a thing for caped crusaders.

#5: The Sirens of Titan by Kurt Vonnegut (currently reading, when I have time)

Vonnegut is awesome. If you're the kind of person that likes dark satire and extensive vocabulary, plus don't mind space and time bending, Vonnegut will knock your socks off. One of my favorite aspects of Vonnegut is the way he intertwines characters, places, etc. throughout his works. He was a master of the pen and I can say with certainty, if I was ever acquainted with a genie who said I could pick five people alive or dead to have dinner with, Kurt Vonnegut would make that list.

So, in reality, I could easily keep going. I love books. You can escape to whatever time period you want and even if it only lasts a while, you did something enjoyable and worked on expanding your mind. But, I'm tired and my bed is calling me. I leave with this parting note: read when you can, it will relieve the tension from all that work reading, and if you don't read, you should start. Because if I have to face you down for a job, my vocab will probably kick your ass.

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