What I’ve read lately (and highly recommend):
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck: I may never have read this had I not moved to Oklahoma. These Okies are a prideful bunch and Steinbeck is never far from their thoughts, it seems. I’m just sorry it took me so long to finally start reading it.
Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin: This book was purchased at a Half Price Books for less than four bucks. One of the best book buys I’ve ever made. Also, why is this not required reading for high school students? Or college students, for that matter?
In the Heart of the Sea: The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex by Nathaniel Philbrick: My paperback copy had been sitting on the bookshelf for a few years and I only decided to read it because Black Like Me was weighing heavy on my mind and I needed more tragedy…I guess? This actually works in my favor because I have yet to read Moby Dick and Melville’s tale was based on the Essex disaster. Happy accident. The timing of my book choices, not the Essex getting rammed by an angry whale.
All three of these books seem to have led me to Pym by Mat Johnson, another happy accident. I’ll be honest with you: I only chose Pym because I saw it listed as a “current read” by a blogger I read just so I can catch a glimpse of the wonderful foods and cakes she’s always cooking up and posting photographs of. Plus I liked the cover (yes, I do judge books by their covers). But Pym combines the lessons of all those other books mentioned above (friendship and hope, racism and slavery, woefully unprepared seafaring crews) in just this one tale. I can’t even begin to explain it to you.
Pym is just that weird and just that wonderful.