Books you can’t put down
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I am a huge lover of physical books, and I will not leave for a trip (or for my commute!) without one. Don’t get me wrong — I completely agree that having a Kindle or a tablet saves you space and gives you more options.
But I’ve noticed that reading on a screen does not make me want to read! After downloading a bunch of ebooks to save space in my NYC apartment, I barely read five books. I switched back to physical books at the beginning of last year and read 46 books that year! That’s a huge difference.
I get the dilemma of bringing a crappy book with you on vacation, so I’ve compiled seven great reads that I personally loved so much (and aren’t huge). I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. If you want to stalk my Goodreads account, feel free! I have been slacking this year though, sadly…
Karma: What It Is, What It Isn’t, Why It Matters
A lot of times people will self-reflect on vacation. This is the perfect book to help you do that. It explains what karma is in a contemporary way. You’ll learn that there are different types of karma with different types of rules and teachings. What I loved about this book was that it wasn’t deeply religious and judgmental. At the root of it all, it explains what being a truly kind person is. It’s a great reality check when you’re feeling some type of way about others.
Kafka on the Shore
Kafka on the Shore is my absolute favorite Murakami book and is up there on the list of my favorite books. Murakami’s stories are so dreamlike that you can’t tell what’s real or not. Lines are constantly being blurred, which makes him such an incredible surrealist author. This book has a few hard to swallow shocking moments where you’re just asking yourself, “WTF did I just read?” but you’ll want to keep reading. Don’t be turned off by the plot summary; remember, it’s fiction!
Life of Pi
I’m sure many of you have also read Life of Pi, but it continues to be such a fantastic story where your imagination can really run wild. To me, that’s the hallmark of a great book. And that’s why books are always so much better than movies. Your imagination is limitless compared to what you see on screen and Life of Pi is no exception. What better way to enjoy your vacation than by letting your imagination get the better of you?
Memoirs of a Geisha: A Novel
I’m not sure how many times I’ve read Memoirs of a Geisha, but I do remember my first time reading it. It was before high school and my family and I were coming back from our trip to Thailand. We had a layover in Tokyo and I remember being so bored and antsy. I picked up this book, read the summary, and was hooked. The story is so unique and captivating that it really makes you feel like you’re in someone else’s shoes. It’s a life I couldn’t imagine without reading this book.
Music For Chameleons
If you have a shorter attention span, bring Truman Capote’s Music For Chameleons on your next trip. It’s a book of some of the most fantastic short stories. While Capote is more widely known for Breakfast at Tiffany’s and In Cold Blood, he truly excels at writing short stories. What makes Capote’s stories so real and intriguing are that they’re derived from real people and events. And he puts himself in each of the stories. Watch out for the story Handcarved Coffins. It’s a creepy one.
Americanah is a book you won’t put down. I constantly have the urge to tell people on the subway that are reading it how much I loved it and how much it has changed the way I think. If you’re openminded into the struggles of those that might not have had all the luxuries or opportunities as you, then this is the book you need to read. It’s a story about how someone uses extreme hard work and determination to get to the level where she believes is the right path for her. I could not put this book down when I read it. Yes, my emotions were played with, but it was so well worth it. And the best part is that the last page will stick out in your mind afterwards.
The Book of Disquiet
The Book of Disquiet is seriously one of the coolest books I have ever read. Reading it is an adventure. Why? Because there’s more than one way to read it! The traditional way is it to read it all the way through. Once you’re done, read it the suggested way, which will make you jump back and forth between pages. Different editions will even have a different order. This book is really up to the reader’s interpretations. I’m sure you’re wondering why. The Book of Disquiet was published after Pessoa’s death. His book is a compilation of his unpublished writings that were found locked in a trunk
What are your favorite books to travel with? Let me know in the comments!