Saturday, April 23, 2016

Recently Read: In Other Words & Ready Player One

First things first, my apologies for the hiatus! My last term of college just began, and it takes some time to get into the swing of things. I am going to try my best to post on a more regular basis from here-on-out!

Okay, onto the good stuff. In the past month I finished two very excellent, very different books: In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri and Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I would absolutely recommend both books for people who are manic readers like myself. Read on if you'd like to see my thoughts on either book- there won't be any spoilers, I give my word (story-spoilers are the worst kind of people).

In Other Words

Jhumpa Lahiri's first book in Italian is more like a piece of written artwork. In Other Words is a beautiful exploration of what the written word can express and how words can make one feel. The book is laid out in a way where the Italian version its English translation are juxtaposed on each pair of pages. Not only does it look gorgeous this way, but it forces you to read in a new way. For a speed-reader, this layout actually made me slow-down, and it was a special reading experience. My favorite moment in this book occurs near the middle in the form of a short story about a sweater. Believe me, the meaning of this book transcends the literal words. It is a book about self-discovery, pining, love, struggle, and comfort. While it is a heavier read emotionally, I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone who loves writing, reading, art, or any form of language. 

Ready Player One

Let's do a complete 180 and talk about how much fun Ernest Cline's Ready Player One was to devour. Set in a post-apocalyptic world where everyone escapes the brutalities of life through virtual-reality, the main-character sets off on a kind of scavenger hunt filled with 80's pop culture and video game references. The concept and writing is extremely clever, and even for someone who did not catch every reference, I at no moment felt lost in the story. This book is simultaneously exciting, funny, and dark. If you appreciate goofy nerd jokes or anything John Hughes, read this book- you won't regret it.

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