Wednesday, February 8, 2017

If You're Going to Read Just One (Part II)

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I'm back with more book picks today.  People seemed to like the format of the last one, so I thought I'd continue that into a part 2.  If you have any additions to any of these categories, or have any ideas for the next set of categories, let me know in the comments!  On to the list.

If you're going to read just one ...

... Off a high school reading list that doesn't suck, make it The Handmaid's Tale

Truth be told, I'm pretty far removed from high school at this point so I don't even know what's on the reading lists these days.  And I think I lucked out with some pretty good options when I was in high school.  Though Brit Lit I could have skipped entirely, thank you very much.  Fuck the Canterbury Tales.  But based off the ones I do remember reading back then, The Handmaid's Tale was the winner, absolutely.  It's a dystopian world in which women have no rights and most women are made into handmaids.  I'll just leave it at that, I make no parallels to our current circumstances.  They're making it some sort of Hulu series so read the book before watching that, obviously.  It also made me enjoy Margaret Atwood as an author, so check out her other stuff too, like Cat's Eye.

Other contenders: The Poisonwood Bible, A Prayer For Owen Meany, Things Fall Apart, Ender's Game (Also, I looked this up: skip like everything on it.)

... Biography, make it Notorious RBG

If you've read it, you love it.  Am I right?  It's not a full, 'true' biography but it tells her life story so I think it counts.  It's the same dry wit of the tumblr account it's based on and you do get a ton of information about the Justice.  Even if you don't agree with her politics, you can't deny that she isn't one hell of a woman and that her fight for women's rights is epic.  It's written from a feminist point of view but it does include the actual text of her opinions and dissents from a ton of cases.  While it doesn't go as deep as some other biographies on the market, it's also not as dry as those are.  If anything, it'll make you want to read more books about her!

Other contenders: Steve Jobs, The Wright Brothers, Unbroken, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

... Written from the point of view of an animal, make it The White Bone

I have a thing for books written from the point of view of the animal.  I've always been an animal lover, but in particular I took a class in college on this.  Thanks, Iowa.  No really, it was a class on animal literature!  They weren't all written from the animal's POV, but a lot of them were.  The White Bone continues to stick out to me over the years.  It's told from the view of a herd of African elephants and it's going to make you want to save every last one of them from poachers.  So if I can get you to read a book that's going to make you care about the other animals on this planet, I'm sure going to try and hope that you start with this one.  Let's be honest here, fellow English majors - we did not read every single thing assigned to us, and we certainly didn't read everything closely.  This book I've read more than once.

Other contenders: Bad Elephant Far Stream, Black Beauty (both will make you cry), Animal Farm, The Dalai Lama's Cat

...That will make you sleep with the lights on, make it The Shining

I hate to recommend something that's such a classic, but I feel like so many people have only seen the movie.  The book is scarier, it's a horror must read!  I don't even think I need to say anything else about it, you already know.  Just pick it up and read it, you won't be sorry.  Not before bedtime though.  Even if you know the story.

Other contenders: Pet Sematary, House of Leaves, Come Closer

... Written by a celebrity, make it Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology

This is sort of a tougher category, because I think you're going to enjoy whatever book is written by the celebrity you personally like.  For example on my 'other contenders' list below, I have the one by Holly Madison.  Will you like it if you hate the Girls Next Door and Holly in general?  Probably not.  So try just searching your favorite celebrity, they all have books out now!  But this one by Leah Remini will please even people who aren't first fans of her.  It's fascinating.  And scary.  I enjoy the way it's written because she doesn't play the victim card - you see her as a warrior.  If you didn't like her before, you will.

Other contenders: Stories I Only Tell My Friends (almost made #1), Down the Rabbit Hole, Melissa Explains it All, The Magnolia Story (I already put that on a Three on Thursday, which is why it didn't get the top spot)

What would be on your list for each of the categories?  Any same favorites?

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