Ten Books You are able to Read in One Commute
A lot of people hate the commute of theirs, but for me a long commute is a sacred time to read. Simply out of college, I lived in Dublin, Ireland and I will have a long bus, nearly an hour, to a job washing dishes in a Northside pub. The time alone with books was highlight of the time of mine there. It did not matter that my boss was bad and the job paid virtually nothing, because there have been 2 glorious hours on each side of it wherever I might possibly escape into another world.
Moreover, the new novel of mine, Empire of Light, is a thin 112 pages and could be easily knocked out on the way back and forth from the office. The teenage protagonist of Empire of Light, Alvis Maloney travels westwards after an adolescent prank leads to a death. Booklist praised the book of mine as “[a] fever dream of another novel… Benzos aplenty are snorted, and hard truths are revealed in modern cowboy storyteller Maloney’s coming-of-age fable.”
Whether you have got a short commute or even much one, the following are some suggestions of books which are great that you are able to knock out in a single visit to the office and back. I think poetry and non fiction get overlooked in people’s commuter reading habits so I have attempted to include some you won’t think of. Ranging from novellas to memoirs, the following is a personal and subjective totally list of several of weird, crazy, and books which are wonderful that I have enjoyed while on public transportation.
I Remember by Joe Brainard My favorite memoir where every sentence begins with the phrase “I remember.” The repetition oscillates the reader between wildly specific memories and completely universal ones. Brainard died young of AIDS and his book creates a self portrait which is private and worldly, unlike any other person.
Ballad of the Sad Cafe by Carson McCullers
A quite short novel set in Depression era Georgia about a complicated female who accepts a stranger into the life of her. I came to Carson’s work late in life and her work stunned me. Her sentences are deceptively complex & her stories hold in them the secret griefs of outcasts and misfits. The story is simple: a hunchback comes to town and things will never be the same.
Between the World and Me by Ta Nehisi Cotes Between the World and Me is Ta Nehisi Coates’s own exploration of America’s fraught racial history, written as a letter to the adolescent son of his. Along with the essential ideas of its, Between the World as well as Me is a provoking experiment in style. Part memoir, part political science tract, part lyric essay, this particular book brims with movement and energy. I suggest listening to him read this as an audiobook.
The World Does not End by Charles Simic
A surreal and strange book of prose poems. I was recommended this book by a buddy and it’s become one that I cannot keep on the shelf of mine since I just keep giving it out. Simic’s darkly comic poems are mysterious and spare. Even though it is brief, you will end up lingering over an image for hours. The opening line is 1 of the favorites of mine of any book: “My mother was a braid of black smoke.”
Spy of the very first Person by Sam Shepard Sam Shepard’s final novel about a male spying on a dying neighbor. I could’ve put any number of Sam Shepard’s plays or perhaps books on this list but Spy of the very first Person, the last book of his, hit me hard when I read through it last year. It is broken up into chapters that are short, some are extended memories. Shepard wrote it while dying of ALS. You are able to really feel the sadness in each page.
Novels in 3 Lines by Felix Feneon
I like the NYRB reissue of this unconventional work of nonfiction. Originally written anonymously as items in a french newspaper in 1906, these “novels” cover everything from murder to the routine. At times comical and horrific, the economic system of outrageousness and style of the subject matter make for a strong read that is bigger compared to the sum of its parts.
Ray by Barry Hannah The novel follows Ray, a pilot and doctor, who falling in between himself and the visions of his. But the actual pleasure will be the prose. Hannah is a master of the sentence. Taking the reader to hallucinogenic and vivid places and in the time it takes the majority of novels just to begin.
In Watermelon Sugar by Richard Brautigan Richard Brautigan’s tiny surreal masterpiece set in a post apocalyptic hippie commune. The choice of mine for best Brautigan. I love the creativity of his and just how unafraid of it he’s. He never wavers in the goofiness of his that never fails to end up in sadness. The novel follows the citizens of a place called iDEATH, which appears to be a joke about the times of ours in 1968.
Why Did I Ever by Mary Robison Why Did I Ever reads like a modern day epistolary novel. A masterpiece of compression. The novel happens in quick bursts of prose like broken off from some unseen whole. The thrice divorced protagonist, Money Breton is having a tough time keeping it together. Money has to be worried about the I.R.S pounding on the home of her and her 2 kids (the daughter of her a recovering drug addict, the son of her, the victim of a heinous crime, living under police protection) while attempting to not be fired from a job as a Hollywood script doctor that she hates. Sharp and fragmented, the easily digestible paragraphs all make for a commute.
Vanishing Point by David Markson This’s one of Markson’s last 4 books that all take on the topic of death. In this meta novel, an elderly writer, the anonymous “Author,” sets out to turn shoeboxes full of notecards into a novel. Written on notecards, Markson focus the bizarre facts of biographical death rather compared to plot and character. You are able to dip in and dip from the book very easily but when read constantly, a photograph of the Author emerges that’s thrilling as it’s devastatingly sad. I have consistently called it page turning experimental fiction.