By Chloe Stradinger
“One smart reader is worth a thousand boneheads,” is a grand and true proclamation made by the great American writer H.L. Mencken. It’s printed on the bookmark tucked into every book I buy from my favorite hometown bookstore, which happens to be called Rainy Day Books. I’ve always loved the name of the store. It describes the quintessential reading conditions: tucked under a cozy blanket in a comfy chair while rain patters the window.
But alas, we live in a (mostly) sunny Florida climate and are in the midst of a beautiful spring. A close second to reading on a rainy day is reading under the sun. A good book can be best enjoyed while cocooned in a hammock, lounging on the shores of Lake Wauburg or just under a shady tree on campus. So get reading before exams hit and you only have time for textbooks. Below are a few of my recommendations:
The Gabriel Allon series, Daniel Silva
In this 17-book series, Israeli spy/art restorer Gabriel Allon goes on thrilling adventures to stop world corruption. It’s not your typical quick spy-novel read; each book explores art, religious conflicts and political unrest.
Sweetbitter, Stephanie Danler
A thought-provoking story about being young in New York, this novel eloquently explores the beauty, grime and grind of living in one of the world’s greatest cities. Tess, a back waiter at a prestigious NYC restaurant, grows into herself as she meets new mentors and explores new flavors.
The Improbability of Love, Hannah Rothschild
When Annie McDee stumbles upon a lost famous masterpiece, she embarks on a quest to find the rightful owner. This picture is worth more than a thousand words; the painting acts as a narrator in a few chapters, allowing readers a glimpse of the power, love and violence the piece of art has witnessed over the eras.
Nutshell, Ian McEwan
Have you ever read a story from the perspective of a fetus? Sounds like a turn-off, but this tale is a page-turner. Written in McEwan’s brilliant style, an unborn child tells the tale of his mother’s wild indiscretions.
The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware
Pay heed: Do not read this book if you’re going on a cruise anytime soon. This mystery surrounds the event of a possible murder on a fancy yacht. With a plot similar to The Girl on the Train, everyone is questioning if young journalist Lo Blacklock really witnessed a murder. She must try to figure out what’s going on while keeping herself out of danger.