At it’s best, summertime is chock full of lazy afternoons in hammocks or at the beach, and seemingly endless hours during which we are all able to lose ourselves while devouring the various books on our “must read” list.
But what about those of us who have been too busy even to amass such a list? What do we do when we find that week of vacation stretching out in front of us while our bedside table lies empty? We take a trip to our local secondhand bookstore, of course, and get them to tell us what to read.
So, here at Krrb, we did just that, heading to our favorite local, Book Thug Nation, to find out what those guys have on their book list for the next few months. They came up with three suggestions that are as quirky and intelligent as the store itself.
The Reading List
Another Country, by James Baldwin, has most certainly earned a place among the great novels of American literature. The plot follows the downfall of a jazz drummer, Rufus Scott, and his friends’ attempts to understand his eventual demise. Baldwin is one of our most provocative writers and touches upon all sorts of taboo issues (the novel was finished in 1962) like race relations, sexual orientation, and gender roles to name a few. But the plot has as many twists and turns as a soap opera and there is all sorts of partying and philandering to keep a person’s eyes glued to the page.
The Jew of New York, by Ben Katchor, takes place in the early 19th century, when New York City was first coming into it’s own as a metropolis and Jewish immigrants were just beginning to define their place within the fabric of the city. The story centers around an anti-Semitic play being written by a sinister Professor and the nefarious personages that surround the production. Not your typical comic book, sure, but a graphic novel nonetheless and as such, the perfect volume to keep you company at the airport while you wait for your delayed flight to the Grand Canyon to finally take off.
For some of us, it ain’t good unless it’s really depressing. Enter Frost, by Thomas Bernhard. A young medical student is sent by his mentor to watch over said mentor’s crazy brother, a painter who is slowly descending into complete insanity. Originally written in German in the early 1960’s (man, are those German writers good at bumming people out!) this book is sure to make you feel like the luckiest person alive in comparison to the novel’s bleak characters.
Do you have any books in your pile that you’re planning to actually read this summer? Or have you heard of anything that you think will know our socks off? Do tell, ’cause we’re dying to know.