I’m the kind of person who’ve always loved books and reading (read: nerd). And even though I’m not a good writer or a technical book reviewer, I’ve always appreciated the written arts. I often wonder how some people have no inkling or drive to read. It feels so abnormal.
I’ve always admired writers that are able to masterfully put their thoughts into a blank sheet of paper and take us to other, unexplored places and experiences.
However, for someone who loves books and reading, I’m also notoriously lazy. Since I get bored easily, which I should really get checked (ADD?), I tend to read my books halfway and move on to a different activity like internet, DVDs, and sometimes even other books.
Since September is the International Literacy month, I’m going to make a stand against procrastination and go through some books that I’ve been meaning to buy (and read, of course), and I’m not going to make another book purchase unless I finish each and every one on this damn list.
May God have mercy on my soul.
Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman by Haruki Murakami
I have a knack for short stories, and no one writes better short stories than Haruki Murakami. This compilation features stories written between 1981 and 2005. Murakami won several awards for this, one for the Kiriyama Prize which Mr. Murakami declined to accept. What a rock star.
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie Wars by Max Brooks
If you know me, you’d probably know how much I adore zombies. To others, that may seem weird, but I love everything about them: the gore, their simplicity, and the numerous ways to dispose of them. But beyond the surface, I love zombies because of the effect that they have on people and how these people react to them, and this book by Max Brooks promises to show that side of the story very well.
Through a series of interviews, the book describes the history of the fictional “World War Z”, from how the infection started and how humanity coped up with their situation all over the world. And in the end, the reader should realize that like any other good zombie story, it’s not really about the zombies, but how people react and deal with them.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell is set in 19th-century England and tells a story about two rival magicians, friendship, and the line between madness and reason.
The Coma by Alex Garland
Another book that I’ve been eyeing for a long time, The Coma tells the story of a man who was forced to defend a young girl from the harassment of a group of thugs trying to steal her purse. He got beat up and was sent to the hospital. When he gets home, he discovers that he doesn’t remember certain things in his life and experiences unexplained gaps in time. He soon realizes that he’s still in a coma and needs to find out how he can wake himself up.
Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein
The book with the longest title that I know of, and probably the most expensive in this list, Heidegger and a Hippo Walk Through Those Pearly Gates: Using Philosophy (and Jokes!) to Explore Life, Death, the Afterlife, and Everything in Between (or H&H for short), simplifies the subject of philosophy and and tries to answer ”questions that have confounded humans through the ages.”
The book attempts to explain the meaning of life and death while drawing upon the wisdom of philosophers, humor, cartoons, and contemporary media.
Other notable books on my list are Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar: Understanding Philosophy Through Jokes also by Thomas Cathcart and Daniel Klein which kind of talks about the same thing as H&H; Good Omens by one of my favorite authors Neil Gaiman, which tells us of the story of an angel and a demon working together to postpone the Apocalypse; Eating the Dinosaur by Chuck Klosterman (which a good friend Pat introduced me to), a collection of essays that tackles on pop culture topics; and Room by Emma Donoghue, which is a multi-awarded book that tells us the story of a boy and his mother being held captive in a small room through the five-year-old boy’s unique perspective.
Several books that I’d love to read are part of a trilogy like A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin (Game of Thrones!) and The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins. Both of which would definitely cost me money.
These books are not in any way inferior to the ones listed above, it’s just that it’s just going to take a lot of time to discuss why I like them. Anyway, I haven’t read any of them enough to let me make an informed assessment of their contents. The thing is, these books (and reading) is awesome so make sure to equalize TV’s dumbing effects by reading some books.
Also, I firmly believe in what John Waters said.