I spend more time reading book reviews than actual books because I have no time to read so-so novels. But the result? I find fantastic reads. Here are some books I’ve read and loved recently:
Book #1: An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
“If Cubism was speaking from the intellect, and Abstract Expressionism was speaking from the psyche, then Pop was speaking from the unbrain, and just to drive home the point, its leader Warhol closely resembled a zombie.”
Plot: The narrative follows Lacie, an ambitious, cunning young woman working her way up the ranks of the art world.
Why You Should Read It: I don’t care if you hate art history like I once did, this clever little book makes art interesting through a subtle mystery, sharp dialog, and vivid characters. There’s a handful of anecdotes thrown in about Andy Warhol and other painters, and they nearly outshine the plot itself. I’m re-reading this gem because I can’t get over how talented Steve Martin is. (Actor, writer, musician– at one point does one officially win at life?)
Book #2: Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
“Sometimes I think it would be weird if there were a skyscraper that moved up and down while its elevator stayed in place. So if you wanted to go to the ninety-fifth floor, you’d just press the 95 button and the ninety-fifth floor would come to you. Also, that could be extremely useful, because if you’re on the ninety-fifth floor, and a plane hits below you, the building could take you to the ground, and everyone could be safe, even if you left your birdseed shirt at home that day.”
Plot: This book is about a boy who tries and solve the treasure hunt his dead father left for him.
Why You Should Read It: First of all, the concept is perfect, albeit different than what I gravitate toward. It’s one of those simultaneously tear jerking yet humorous books that’s told from the little boy’s point of view. It’s heartbreaking to see how he is affected by his father’s death through quotes like the one above, and how he doesn’t realize how deeply the tragedy has affected him. As writers, we’re in the emotion business, which is why books like these are gold.