Written by: Sanjna Basa
There we sit. Slumped on the couch with one hand on the TV remote controller, staring at the screen as it prompts, “Are you still watching?” to which we hesitantly click the “Yes” button. We crave for a change of scenery but we’re intrigued by the virtual lives of Piper Chapman or Frank Underwood. How about reading? Here are 5 books to read this summer that are just intense and interesting as your favorite TV shows.
1. The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan: Dorrigo Evans, a former Australian war veteran and prisoner of war, reminisces about his love affair with his uncle’s life and how it impacted him in the war as well as after the war.
2. Room by Emma Donoghue: Recently adapted as a movie and nominated for multiple Academy Awards, Room tells the story of a young boy, Jack, and his mother trapped and held hostage in a room by the abductor, Old Nick. Jack, born in the shed and living for five years without any human contact except for his mother, lacks basic social skills and fails to comprehend the “real” world. It is a story of survival, bravery, and compassion with an underlying feminist tone.
3. When You Are Engulfed In Flames by David Sedaris: While this is an oldie, it’s nevertheless an entertaining book. Sedaris’s humor stands out in his this compilation of memories from the comical scene to learning to use a french press to trying not to squirm at a parasite in his mother-in-law’s leg.
4. Obasan by Joy Kogawa: Naomi Nakane recalls the time her family spent in an American internment camp, understanding the struggles of race, gender inequality, and inferiority. This is the story of a young girl analyzing the “land of the free” within a fence, while trying to overcome feminist criticism.
5. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg: This has essentially become sort of a bible for female empowerment. A truly inspiring and motivational novel, Lean In discusses the much overlooked female discrimination in the work place from first hand experiences.