Good news! The Weekly Creative is returning next monday (June 13th) with an earth shattering episode about REJECTION. Now is the time to catch up! Now to the books… If you haven’t seen them already, here are my books for January, February, March, April and May. And here are my Top Books of 2014. For June, I read three fantastic books. As always, let me know what you’re reading!
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
This 1962 edition of Joseph Heller’s satirical WWII classic, Catch 22, is another great find from Central Book Exchange in Salt Lake. The book tells about Yosarian, a US Air Force bombardier stationed out of the fictional island of Pianosa and his experiences basically trying to avoid battle. Each chapter takes on a perspective of a different character–and there are a lot of characters in this book. The humor feels a little bit Monty Python-ish to me, which I found hilarious, most of the time. A small heads up, the book offers not so much a tangible storyline as is does a series of snapshots into Yosarian’s and his comrades’ experiences during the war. If you pick up this book, I highly recommend reading up on the context of its release before diving in. Heller had served in WWII as a bomber and spent nearly 8 years writing the book. This book was released during the Vietnam War, becoming a lighthearted go-to for anti-war young adults and college students. From the book’s Wikipedia page: “It was joked around that every student who went off to college at the time took along a copy of Catch-22.” If you have an appreciation of classics, find Monty Python humor funny, and want a lighthearted take on war, I would strongly recommend this book. Fun fact: The term “Catch-22” did in fact originate from this book.
Pines by Blake Crouch
Intrigued by advertisements for the new Fox series directed by M. Night Shyamalan, Wayward Pines, I picked up (digitally, not physically, of course) the kindle version of Pines by Blake Crouch–the first of the Wayward Pines trilogy–of which the TV show is based. Unfortunately for me, I started reading Pines days after the TV show began airing, so my curiosity swayed me to abandon reading the second and third parts of the trilogy and jump right into the show. If you have a thing for creepy, small towns and/or innocent, young adult themes that quickly turn into doomsday, existential themes, this is the book for you. Since Wayward Pines (TV show) covers the entire trilogy in 10 episodes, my only having read the first book left me in unfamiliar territory by the second episode. Therefore, if you are wondering how well the TV series represents the books, I’m not the best person to ask. Whether you read or watch, Wayward Pines will keep you at the edge of your seat.
Complications by Atul Gawande
I don’t have a lot of experience with thrift store books, since most thrift stores in Utah are owned by the Mormon church (Deseret Industries) and are generally packed full with old Mormon-y books, so I was pleasantly surprised when I casually stopped into our local Savers Thrift Store (not church owned) and found some amazing nonfiction reads at no more than $3 a piece, including Complications. Atul Gawande has become one of my favorite nonfiction writers in recent years with The Checklist Manifesto and more recently Being Mortal (which is currently in its 38th week on the New York Times Bestsellers list). In Complications, Gawande, a surgeon and public health researcher (based at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston–my birth hospital!), quite boldly reflects upon his time as a medical resident and his exposure to the infallibility of doctors and general uncertainty of medicine. His stories range from failed emergency tracheotomies to lap band installations to hernia fixing factories to gun shot wounds, all thrown in to the middle of the sometimes chaotic, unorganized, paternalistic, imperfect world of medicine. I commend Gawande for his transparency. If I wasn’t horrified of hospitals and surgery before, I sure am now.
What I’m reading this month: Hot, Flat, and Crowded by Thomas Friedman