Inspired by the blog at Mugar Library, here are a few books you might consider for reading for pleasure, diversion, inspiration–whether you’re heading for warmer climes or hanging out in Boston while the snow (hopefully) melts.
Recently described by Jan Morris as “that strange and touching masterpiece,” John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany is a novel about a lifelong friendship between two New Englanders, Irving’s narrator and the unforgettably odd title character. Like his other work, this book explores big themes: friendship and faith, tragedy and redemption and destiny. It is a compelling read, and it may be Irving’s best.
Millions of readers know Cheryl Strayed through her gritty and best-selling memoir Wild, and the movie based on her story. If you’re looking for your next (or your first) dose of Strayed, you might find her Dear Sugar advice columns–drawn from those published at The Rumpus–even better. To find out, pick up a copy of Tiny Beautiful Things.
Exploring spiritual and psychological themes in accessible language, David Whyte’s work can move readers who don’t often reach for a book of poems. Some of his poems (such as Everything Is Waiting For You) have become known through his workshops or YouTube readings. He has also published several volumes of verse. The House of Belonging is a good place to start.
And for fans of history that entertains as it illuminates, On Dupont Circle might be a good choice. James Srodes’ latest book is a gossipy history that spans the first half of the 20th Century. It weaves together stories of a group of women and men who knew each other through Washington social circles early in the century and became major figures in shaping the world we know. Among them are Presidents Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt and such supporting players as Walter Lippmann and Felix Frankfurter, the Dulles family (brothers Allen and John Foster, and sister Eleanor), Willam C. Bullitt and Sumner Welles. If you’ve ever wondered, Whose idea was the United Nations?, this may be the book for you.
If you’ve been waiting for the opportunity to read for pleasure, one of these may appeal to you. Or just pick up whatever book does, during these days of Spring break, and read.