In these strange times, when we might just find a bit more time to read, we’re continuing to compile our favourite #goodreads. Our wonderful Marketing Manager Laura Rogliano takes us through the books that have moved her, inspired her and kept her enthralled through her life.
WHAT’S BY YOUR BED RIGHT NOW?
“Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. + the mystery pile
I was reading “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. As the title suggests, it’s the author account of human history narrated in a cross-disciplinary framework which combines fields such as biology and anthropology with linguistic and history, but a lot less complicated than I make it sound.
I was finding intriguing and highly entertaining, maybe a little sensationalistic as most people say. But I had to put it down this week, there’s something about it that doesn’t feel right in the current situation.
There’s also a pile of books that my parents gave me at Christmas (it’s a tradition), I never know what they are about because I don’t choose them and they don’t seem to follow any logic… it’s risky. Basically: I’m open to suggestions…
BOOK YOU SHOULDN’T MISS IN YOUR LIFETIME?
Once it was “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” by Dave Eggers
Another “Infinite Jest” by David Foster Wallace
and then “Blindly” by Magris
Something that makes you feel like: it’s 5a.m. you have been reading for 8h straight and you are not aware of it.
The book that connects with you on a given day it’s the ones you shouldn’t miss.
Obvious, but so many people don’t read because they never found a book which speaks to them that day, they only focus on what they “should read”. I say: just drop it and try something else, you are missing out on what you should actually read.
One of these was “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius” by Dave Eggers, a part-fictional memoir of the author experiences after the death of his parents, not edgy at all, probably in someone’s should read list.
I was a student, my roommate was reading it and “this is crazy, I mean: 109 pages of instructions?!”. I picked it from her shelf and read it in one go. Page one to page 485, you literally need to with this one. Eggers’s writing felt like me at 20.
Would I still like it today? Not sure, but I like it then and it got me to start and eventually endure “Infinte Jest” until I loved it. For contest: over 1,000 pages, lots of tennis, I had never seen a tennis field, didn’t even know how big it was and I still thought the book was genial. This – following paths I can’t recall – lead me to “Blindly” by Magris… and here I rest my case.
Also, these are 3 books you should read if you like a turbulent style of prose and enjoy doorstoppers.
WHAT’S YOUR JUICY HOLIDAY READ?
“Blankets” by Craig Thompson
I developed a soft spot for graphic novels, but it’s demanding, it takes a different kind of focus and space, not something to read on the bus. Good for when you have some extra time. Blankets by Craig Thompson is a great one for the skeptics and a favourite re-read.
KEY BOOK THAT’S INFLUENCED HOW YOU SEE THE WORLD?
“Narcissus and Goldmund” by Herman Hesse.
It was a suggested summer read when I was 15 (spoiler: my lit teacher was a rebel and a legend). I started it immediately because of its reputation but dropped it after a couple of pages. By the end of the holiday, I didn’t have anything left to read, I was bored and gave it another go. I ended up reading it at least half a dozen times before I turned 20.
Amazing writing, though it starts with one of the most unbearable opening ever. It’s a parable about the clash between a life of spirit and a life of flesh (read: concrete VS abstract) written by a man in the 1930s, about 2 men in medieval times and yet it summarised perfectly my conflicts as a young woman in early 2000s. It shifted my perception over many topics but lastingly over the idea of contrast, genders, the relevance of time in general, individuality versus humanity, mostly self-acceptance and kindness.
AND THE BOOK YOU’VE READ MORE THAN ONCE?
“Treasure Island”, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea “, “Little Women” and “Around the World in Eighty Days“
I’m a serial re-reader. I read fast, so when I like something I will most likely read it again right away.
A lot of the XIX century so-called children’s literature books, are fundamentally my safety blankets when I look for comfort. I can’t tell how many times I read “Treasure Island”, “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea “, “Little Women” and “Around the World in Eighty Days“, they have been constants since I was a child, it’s more about the feeling of reading the book than about the story. I would recommend it to anyone in this period.