Ah, the Spanish verb ¨to read¨ is a joke in my family…Mostly because during the six weeks my brother, Reid, spent working at our neighborhood El Pollo Loco, he was brandished with ¨leer¨ as a nickname. Anyway, thanks to my Kindle, I´ve been able to read a good amount here without having to search high and low for books in English. I´m a pretty picky reader (my mom would know based on the 90 minutes I spent couped up in our hotel room in San Sebastian, unable to make a decision on what to read next). Here´s what I´ve been reading lately:
– Super Sad True Love Story: A Novel by Gary Shteyngart
While I often try to stay away from fiction, this book appealed to me because of it´s creative, Orwellian take on the end of modern society. Set in New York City decades in the future, the author weaves an intricate tale about how the American economy is worse off than it is now (in his novel, the USD is pegged to the yuan). While depressing in parts, it gets points for ingenuity.
–El Mago de Oz by L. Frank Baum
Starting from about age 18 months, I had a deep obsession with the Wizard of Oz. I wore gingham dresses to school, took my lunch in a basket, and woke up screaming for my mom to ¨do my braids¨ every day. Explains a lot, right? I read the Spanish translation of the classic – it was a good choice because I could fill in words I didn´t know from context (i.e. ¨paja¨ means ¨straw). I also noted some distinct differences from the movie version, besides that of Dorothy having silver slippers.
– Decoded by Jay-Z
I´ve always appreciated rap music, and Jay-Z has been at the forefront of the game for as long as I can remember. His autobiographical work shares his thoughts, reflections, and personal history through an explication of a variety of his song lyrics. While there are definitely deeper songs than his 2000 single ¨Big Pimpin,¨ it remains my favorite years later.
– Making Our Democracy Work by Stephen Breyer
I read Toobin´s ¨The Nine¨ last year at an embarrassingly fast rate and was looking for something similar, so I´m currently plowing through Breyer´s examination and brief history of the Supreme Court. While it´s not super entertaining, it is clearly written and I can never quite seem to get enough Dred Scott, Brown v. Board, or Bush v. Gore.
What should I read next?