With summer coming to an end, it seems appropriate to post this list I wrote up for a friend: my recommendations for books to read on vacation.
- To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, by Joshua Ferris. Irreverent and funny. A dentist gets his identity stolen and has a run-in with an invented religious.
- The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Fantasy. An adventure story, lovely writing, better than the movies. “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit … .”
- The Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. Modern Charles Dickens-like tale about an orphan and a stolen painting. Fascinating sub-themes of alcoholism and addiction.
- Cloud Atlas, by David Mitchell. Nested short stories: historical, romantic, detective, farce and futuristic. The subtle but overarching theme is humanity’s own predation on its members. David Mitchell is a big favorite of mine.