After finally finishing the five book, month-long, and collective 5,000 page adventure that was the A Song of Ice and Fire series, I’ve been flailing to find my footing and chose the right novel to lose myself in again. I’ve compiled a list of five books I’d like to read this winter (or just this January depending on how fast I read them…) to motivate myself to get back on the reading bandwagon:
1. 11/22/63 by Stephen King
Stephen King’s new book is about a time traveler who is able to stop the assassination of JFK, and the whole new version of American history that unfolds because of this small ripple in time. The nifty cover design shows the real newspaper headline from the day after the assassination, and the back cover shows the alternative newspaper headline where JFK was saved. King’s book is destined to be wildly popular since he is already a household name and award winning author, but this ingenious book appeals to both his dedicated fans and newcomers (like me) who aren’t into his typical horror genre.
2. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Despite my mild obsession with post-apocalyptic and dystopian film and literature, I’ve somehow managed to never read Margaret Atwood’s novel The Handmaid’s Tale. From what I’ve heard the handmaid has reproduction techniques to rival Brave New World‘s engineered Alphas, 1984‘s abstinence clubs, and The Matrix‘s human fields.
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
With The Hunger Games feature film around the corner the excellent trailer floating around Youtube, I have a personal rule where I always have to read the book first before seeing the film its based on. Or at least when I own it and its sitting on my bookshelf.
4. The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
For my non-fiction fix, I’m planning to read The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins. His book The God Delusion is one of my favorites; Dawkins eloquently – and humorously – put into words every argument I’d ever even briefly wondered about monotheism. Dawkins is foremost a biologist, and while The Selfish Gene was published in 1976 it is still one of the clearest explanations of evolution to date.
5. Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace
Everyday, this book stares at me from my bookshelf, intimidating me while I get dressed in the morning. Infinite Jest is THE book of books, the hurdle English majors have to jump in order to truly declare themselves worthy of hipster coffee shop debates, the one earth shattering book by the last suicidal genius of the twentieth century. Over 1,000 pages long and heavy as a brick, Infinite Jest takes place in an addicts halfway house and a tennis camp and set in the future where the years have corporate sponsors (like “Year of the Whopper”). It usually takes most dedicated readers at least a month to read, a friend of mine told me it took her three years.
I recently read an article called A Reading Pathway to David Foster Wallace which explained diving right into Infinite Jest was too ambitious of a task, and you should start with something tamer like an essay. I could always start with A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, which is a non-fiction book he wrote about a time he went on a cruise by himself, but then it will just keep staring at me.