Archive for the ‘ Non-Fiction ’ Category

7 Books Every Man in His 20s Should Read…Maybe

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A few months ago I posted a list of books I thought every woman in her 20s should read.  Today, my wonder twin Robi is guess posting with his list of books every man in his 20s should read.  Thanks Robi!

 

7 Books Every Man in His 20s Should Read...Maybe at Quintessentially Bookish

A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving

This book meant a lot to me when I first read it in high school, and it meant more to me when I read it in my 20s.  It’s a book about friendship and fate that covers a wide range of time and emotions.  It’s a “coming of age” story that has an ever changing “age” that it encompasses.  It especially appeals to me as a story of two friends, one who knows exactly his fate and his place in the world , and one who is always trying to figure it out, and how each approach has its own merits and its own pitfalls.

 

 

7 Books Every Man in His 20s Should Read...Maybe at Quintessentially BookishBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

This is one of my all-time favorite books.  I can remember when I first read it as a kid.  And I can remember the joy of receiving a signed copy for a Christmas present this year (yeah, I’m stuntin’ on it).  The main character can easily be any of us when we were a kid, and just as easily be anyone as an adult.  It’s a story about being angry and lost at times, and still finding joy and happiness, and about being a kid while also being forced to grow up.  Further, it’s the story that I credit with helping me realize that boys and girls can be best friends.  My absolute best friend is a girl (the only one who could actually get me to write a blog post…), and is someone I can be imaginative and playful with canada goose down vest http://www.watercycles.ca/goose-jackets.php Canada Goose chateau parka replica price, and also someone who can understand when I need to vent or be moody.  From making friends to dealing with hardships, this book is one that taught me so much, and I will always come back to read again and again.

 

7 Books Every Man in His 20s Should Read...Maybe at Quintessentially BookishHarry Potter Series by J. K Rowling

This book series has everything.  It’s a book where the reader can grow with the characters, understand their motivations, their secrets, their abilities, and the reader learns life lessons along with the characters.  And I think, because of these things, the reader can take a lot from it.  Plus, whether we are younger or older, it’s easy to equate with the emotions of the characters.  It covers all themes: friendship, hard work, sacrifice, teamwork. Read one each year in the summer, and realize that whatever is coming up in the next year, by facing it and relying on both yourself and others, it can be tackled and accomplished.

 

 

7 Books Every Man in His 20s Should Read...Maybe at Quintessentially BookishGunn’s Golden Rules: Life’s Little Lessons for Making it Work by Tim Gunn

I don’t feel like you have a to a fan of Project Runway, or the fashion world in general, to enjoy this book and learn something from it.  Even if one has no desire to get first hand stories from behind the scenes of some of the biggest names in fashion (side note:  see my final entry in this post, though, as to why it should still be considered), Gunn’s “golden rules” are important for any person to follow.  It’s part autobiography, part insider look into the fashion industry, and a whole lot of self-help.  His guidelines toward etiquette and how one should conduct and dress oneself are inspiring, and should make readers want to be better for themselves and for others. (seriously, though, people need to quit wearing pajamas in public.  Comfort is overrated.)

 

7 Books Every Man in His 20s Should Read...Maybe at Quintessentially BookishEither/Or: A Fragment of Life by Søren Kierkegaard (Specifically “Crop Rotation”) 

“Boredom is the root of all evil…”

Of all of the books I read in college, this one stuck with me the most.  I feel that boredom is becoming increasingly rampant.  When you are in your 20s, starting out on your own, starting to work full-time, etc., boredom kicks in at all moments , and it will only get worse.  And this boredom leads to filling it with useless activities (Facebook, bored eating, TV watching), which leads to despair over ourselves and our situations.  Kierkegaard’s ideas won’t solve boredom, but it will help you face it, realize it, and hopefully move on it from it (utilizing a “rotation” method that goes more towards being productive and creative, not through ways that are wasteful or useless).

 

 

7 Books Every Man in His 20s Should Read...Maybe at Quintessentially Bookish
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson

This is not just a comic, it’s a life philosophy.  Calvin’s (and, by extension, Hobbes’) ideas on everything ranging from parental politics to school to life are deep and far-reaching.  This is especially true when you realize that Calvin could make more out of a cardboard box and a stuffed tiger than most of us can make out of a house full of electronics, TV shows reaching the trillions (by this point, I imagine that’s the case), and the constant presence of the world at our fingertips (whether that be useful or a crutch).  This, more than anything, is a calling to utilization imagination and try to find the fun in life.  (Also, Calvinball, using the same things to create a constantly changing and challenging game to combat boredom is a great example of the rotation method (see above).

 

Something out of your comfort zone

This is not so much a specific book as much as it is a challenge.  Now is the time to read something out of your “comfort zone.”  There is no reason to be pigeonholed to reading only certain things.  But if you don’t start now, that time may not come.  Read Young Adult series.  Read books that are the opposite of your beliefs.  Read a horror book, a romantic book, a book aimed at kids, a book that you think would be “too smart” for you.  Hell, read Twilight.  It doesn’t have to be the best to pique your interest and expand your mind.  And this is the perfect time to start, before you get stuck in a rut of thinking only a certain type of story is appealing to you.

Book Review: The World’s Strongest Librarian by Josh Hanagarne

You’ll notice the format is a bit different than usual. As this is a memoir, some of my review categories don’t really apply.

The World's Strongest Librarian at Quintessentially Bookish

Release Date: May 2nd 2013
Publisher: Gotham
Pages: 291

Lightness of Dust

From the book jacket:

Josh Hanagarne couldn’t be invisible if he tried. Although he wouldn’t officially be diagnosed with Tourette Syndrome until his freshman year of high school, Josh was six years old and onstage in a school Thanksgiving play when he first began exhibiting symptoms. By the time he was twenty, the young Mormon had reached his towering adult height of 6’7” when—while serving on a mission for the Church of Latter Day Saints—his Tourette’s tics escalated to nightmarish levels.

Determined to conquer his affliction, Josh underwent everything from quack remedies to lethargy-inducing drug regimes to Botox injections that paralyzed his vocal cords and left him voiceless for three years. Undeterred, Josh persevered to marry and earn a degree in Library Science. At last, an eccentric, autistic strongman—and former Air Force Tech Sergeant and guard at an Iraqi prison—taught Josh how to “throttle” his tics into submission through strength-training.

Today, Josh is a librarian in the main branch of Salt Lake City’s public library and founder of a popular blog about books and weight lifting—and the proud father of four-year-old Max, who has already started to show his own symptoms of Tourette’s.

Overall Thoughts:

I’m not usually a big reader of memoirs, but I really enjoyed this one.   I can’t resist a book that largely features a love of reading and, of course, librarianship.  Hanagarne is open about both the good and the bad in his life and he writes about both in such a way that it’s impossible not to like him.  I especially loved when he was writing about his childhood reading and visits to the library.  Everything felt so familiar; parts of it were like reading about myself as a kid.  His stories and thoughts about working in the library were a great mixture of hilarious, sad, and powerful.  If anything, I would have liked more of those.  However, as the strength training is what helped him with his Tourette’s, it is a large part of the book.  It was also a part that I was surprised to find so interesting.

Writing Style:

Hanagarne’s writing benefits from his love of reading.  His book reads quickly, much like fiction, due to the great pacing, plotting, and characterization.  Though his writing isn’t overly flowery or stylistic, he words things in a very appealing way.  I found myself marking favorite lines over and over again.  It was really hard to choose one.

Extras:

Each chapter starts with a classification listing for the subjects mentioned in the chapter.  It’s a nice touch.

Favorite Line:

But while we may never find specific, actionable solutions, a good library’s existence is a potential step forward for a community. If hate and fear have ignorance at their core, maybe the library can curb their effects, if only by offering ideas and neutrality. It’s a safe place to explore, to meet with other minds, to touch other centuries, religions, races, and learn what you really think about the world…To see the value of a library, ignore adults. Find an inquisitive child who doesn’t have an iPhone yet, take them to the library, and tell them they can learn anything they want there.

Read This If You Like:

Memoirs.  Or, read it if you don’t.  It’s a great starter memoir for those who don’t read or like them.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a review. I did not receive any compensation for this review. All opinions here are my own.

Find Josh Hanagarne online: Goodreads // Amazon // Website

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly post hosted by Breaking the Spine where bloggers can highlight upcoming books they’re excited to read. My choice for this week is:

 

Forty-one False Starts: Essays on Artists and Writers by Janet Malcolm

Light

Janet Malcolm’s In the Freud Archives and The Journalist and the Murderer, as well as her biographies of Sylvia Plath and Gertrude Stein, are canonical in the realm of nonfiction. As is the title essay of this collection, with its forty-one “false starts,” or serial attempts to capture the essence of the painter David Salle, which become a dazzling portrait of an artist. “She is among the most intellectually provocative of authors,” writes David Lehman in The Boston Globe, “able to turn epiphanies of perception into explosions of insight.”
Forty-one False Starts brings together for the first time essays published over the course of several decades (many from The New Yorker and The New York Review of Books) that reflect Malcolm’s preoccupation with artists and their work. Her subjects are painters, photographers, writers, and critics. She explores the “dominating passion” of Bloomsbury to create things visual and literary, the “passionate collaborations” behind Edward Weston’s nudes, and the psyche of the German photographer Thomas Struth. She delves beneath the “onyx surface” of Edith Wharton’s fiction, appreciates the black comedy of the Gossip Girl novels, and confronts the false starts of her own autobiography. As Ian Frazier writes in the introduction, “Over and over Malcolm has demonstrated that an article in a magazine—something we see every day—can rise to the highest level of literature.”

Expected publication: May 7th 2013 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Why I’m Waiting

Janet Malcolm has written some truly beautiful  pieces about artists and writers.  She’s covered some fascinating people, across genres and mediums.  This collection sounds like an really neat portrait of her and those about whom she’s written.