by: Amelia Duncan
It’s that time of year again. The birds are singing, it’s almost consistently warm outside, and by the end of the week your brains will be completely final fried and the last thing you probably want to do is crack open yet another book. And while summer is the time of year to kick back and relax, don’t let that gray matter turn to mush. Here are some of my favorite ways to relax and keep the brain active and limber:
First, is Tina Fey’s “Bossypants,” the story of how a nerdy little girl from the suburbs of Philadelphia grew up to become a household name in comedy. In this memoir, Fey writes about her family and her work in television. She writes about how her career in comedy went from writing improv for Chicago’s “The Second City,” to “SNL,” to creating her own TV show, “30 Rock.” “Bossypants” is funny, clever, and everything you would expect from one of America’s funniest ladies.
If fantasy and mystery with a dash of creepy is more your style, check out “Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman. “Neverwhere” is the story of Richard Mayhew, a young man who moves to London for a job but soon finds himself caught up in world of mystery and danger that lies in the shadowy underground of London.
Jonathan Safran Foer is the author of two of my all-time favorite books: “Everything is Illuminated,” and “Extremely Loud and Incredible Close.” I recommend both books because Foer has a very unique, very beautiful style of writing. Both books are comprised of several different stories being told at once. In his first novel “Everything is Illuminated,” Foer tells the story of his Jewish grandfather during World War II, and Jonathan’s journey to the Ukraine to visit his grandfather’s village, and the woman who helped him escape to the United States. Foer’s second novel, “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close” is the story of Oskar Schell and his journey to find the lock to a key he found stuffed in closet, after losing his father in the attack on the Twin Towers. His only clue is the surname “Black” scrawled in his father’s handwriting on the envelope in which the key was found.
Lastly, if you’re looking for something with a little more action, try “Invisible Monsters” by Chuck Palahniuk, who is known for his novel-turned-cult-favorite, “Fight Club.” “Invisible Monsters” is the story of a fashion model who has it all until a freeway accident leaves her disfigured and mute. Then along comes the Queen Supreme: Brandy Alexander. Together the two set out for reinvention, mischief and mayhem.