7 Jul

Chris’ Picks

1. The Out­siders :

The Out­siders holds a pret­ty big place in my heart when it comes to books. Read at the age of 12, I was angsty and pissed off. I loved to read, but hat­ed being told what to read by my school (most­ly because they had ter­ri­ble taste). That was until I was assigned The Out­siders. Filled with char­ac­ters striv­ing for a pur­pose in their life, play­ing with the cards they were dealt, and mak­ing the best of bad sit­u­a­tions, I con­nect­ed to the­se char­ac­ters on a deep­er lev­el than I thought I could at 12. My co-work­ers can’t get me to shut up about this book and I rec­om­mend it to any­one who loves books, hates books, old or young, I’ve nev­er met a human yet who hasn’t loved this book.


2. The Dhar­ma Bums:

Most peo­ple are famil­iar with Jack Kerouac’s work, On The Road. Most peo­ple are not as famil­iar with his work, The Dhar­ma Bums. It’s a fan­tas­tic coun­ter bal­ance to Kerouac’s oth­er works show­ing anoth­er side of the beat gen­er­a­tion. The book deals much more with spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, and com­muning with nature than the fast and fiery lifestyles in On the Road. I’ve always rec­om­mend­ed this work to any­one who’s nev­er read Ker­ouac as I find it a more acces­si­ble read than On the Road. Plus it’ll make you want to do noth­ing except go camp­ing. Bonus!


3. Night Shift:

Night Shift is a col­lec­tion of some of King’s most ter­ri­fy­ing, heart-thump­ing, and spine tin­gling tales packed into one, light easy read (well, may­be not for the faint of heart). Seri­ous­ly, try pick­ing this one up and look­ing at a laun­dry press or a clos­et the same way again. Even read­ers who aren’t big on hor­ror can sink their teeth into this one. With nail-bit­ing sus­pense and  writ­ing like light­ning, you won’t be able to put it down.


4.  Good Omens:

I love Good Omens. Love it. It’s such a great sum­mer read. It’s like an 80’s Spiel­berg movie had a baby with, I don’t know, The Apoc­a­lypse. Yeah. Let that sink in, and when it does I’ll tell you some­thing else, the TWO authors of this book hap­pen to be Neil Gaiman and Ter­ry Pratch­ett. Mind blown yet? Why isn’t this book in your hand! With a host a lov­ably crazy char­ac­ters try­ing to pre­vent the end of days, this one is sure to put a smile on your face.


5. Fluke: Or, I Know Why the Winged Whale Sings: 

I’m a big fan of author, Christo­pher Moore, and I’m also a big fan of sug­gest­ing his work to every­one. No one writes fun­ny with a giant heart quite like Moore, and Fluke is no excep­tion. Filled to the brim with laugh out loud humor, and sprin­kled with lov­able char­ac­ters you’ll cheer for until the end, Fluke may not be Moore’s most famous work, but he cer­tain­ly gives him­self a run for his mon­ey.


6. Rant

From the warped mind of Chuck Palani­huk (author of Fight Club), comes Rant. This book is cool. That’s real­ly the best way to describe it. I couldn’t give you a good sum­ma­ry if I tried, so I’ll say this. Read this book. Then, when your mind melts out of your ears when you fin­ish it, read it again, and you’ll love it even more. Time trav­el­ing, poi­so­nous snakes, crash­ing cars, and mur­der are just the tip of the ice­berg for this wild ride. Buck­le up and hit the gas!


7. The Beach

This book, has over time, become one of my favorites. It’s not an ordi­nary read, but it is a seem­ing­ly impor­tant one. Deal­ing with youth and angst is noth­ing new to nov­els, but the way in which this book han­dles the gen­er­a­tion of youth raised on video games and Xanax is some­thing spe­cial. It also asks the ques­tion, what is par­adise and what will we do to attain and keep it? For a sum­mer read spiked with some bite, check out this read which I can only describe as Lord of the Flies meets Hunter S. Thomp­son. Hold on.


8. Zen & the Art of Motor­cy­cle Main­te­nance

Okay, so this is the one book this list I haven’t read. But, it’s there for that rea­son, because I plan on indulging myself with this read ASAP. I have friends who don’t read (yes, the­se peo­ple exist), I have friends who don’t even like the idea of read­ing, and I have friends who read every­thing under the sun. What they share in com­mon is a love for this par­tic­u­lar book. I don’t know what it is that draws peo­ple in and makes them give noth­ing but praise for this read, but I’m eager to find out. Join me.


9. Dark Places

Gone Girl. It’s a pret­ty good book. This one is bet­ter.


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So, what do you think?