Christopher's Summer Picks
I love the Canterbury Tales. A series of stories told by travelers on their pilgrimage to Canterbury, the Canterbury tales captures the essence of the Middle Ages. From cometary on corrupt religious institutions, to stories whose climax is just a fart joke, The Canterbury Tales has it all. While even the translated climax can take some effort to get through, this timeless collection is a must read for anyone looking to really understand one of the most interesting periods of European history. Or enjoys some funny flatulence. Whatever floats your boat.
The Power of Quiet was one on the four journals I used over quarantine and I have to say its one of the best journals I’ve owned. Containing daily exercises that focus on both developing and challenging everyone’s inner introvert, The Power of Quiet has allowed me to discover more about how I work, why I think the way I do, and helped me fall in love with a part of myself I’ve always seen as somewhat troublesome. If you’re looking to find a bit more inner peace in this age of what seems to be weekly conflicts, this book may just help you on your journey to tomorrow’s you.
Assigned as mandatory reading for one of my high school classes, I never actually planned on reading Lexus and the Olive Tree. But having now referenced this book countless times throughout my college classes, I can’t recommend this enough. Freedman uses the power of metaphor to breakdown globalization to the most basic level, providing insight into not only how our world works, but also how it came to be. If you’re looking to better understand the modern era and today’s international conflicts, this book provides all the groundwork knowledge, while keeping it digestible and surprisingly entertaining.
I haven’t read anything like El Dorado Freddy’s before. This poetry collection provides so much; a commentary on fast food and consumer culture, a snapshot into life in the American Midwest, a story about a soon-to-be father, and enough hilarious lines to keep you laughing the entire way through. This is my current frontrunner for my favorite book of the year and I’d recommend it even to people who don’t have a passion for poetry. This makes a great coffee table book, and often turns into one you just can’t put down.
Waking up with no memory and surrounded by a seemingly impossible and horrifying labyrinth, Thomas is forced to work together with the other trapped within if they want to find a way to survive, let alone escape. The never-ending secrets of the maze are always keeping you on edge, while Dashner’s writing always keeps things moving. This great combination makes The Maze Runner a solid pick for anyone looking to get back into reading YA, or in general.
A masterful deconstruction of the superhero, Watchmen pulls no punches. Set in a gritty world where the lines between hero and villain are blurred, the story focuses around the costumed detective Rorschach and his hunt for the murderer of a government-sponsored superhero. Critiquing government policy of the 1980’s and packed with symbolism, Watchman is a powerful graphic novel. For mature audiences only.
Land of the Lustrous is what I’d call the Steven Universe of manga. Focusing around a race of race of humanoid gemstones fighting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, Land of the Lustrous stands out to me among other Manga I have read for its breathtaking visuals (look inside). The series mainly focuses around the motif of maturity and greatly rewards reading that continue reading the later volumes. While the plot is slow in this first volume, I would recommend this book for the art alone.
Mob is the blandest, most gullible kid to ever exist. Or he would be if not for his amazing psychic powers that seems to always be more trouble than they’re worth. While Mob Psycho 100 is another action manga by the creator of One-Punch Man, I found I was never reading for the fights; the unique and highly emotional characters were way more interesting. This is the only action series ever to make me cry – and I think that speaks for itself.