Oh, how I love books. Needless to say I tend to buy a lot of them and can hardly catch up reading them… Well you can never have enough books right? And is there any better time to read than in summer when you can go outside and just sit down by the pool, at the beach, under a tree, in a wheat field or anywhere else and just enjoy reading and sitting in the sun? My summer reading list includes two books this year: The Lonely Planet Hawaii and Jack Kerouac’s On the Road – which I have been meaning to read for years but never even bought yet – shame on me! Well, I have ordered myself a copy by now and I am determined to have finished both books by the end of summer. For those of you who are still looking for some literary inspiration: Here are my top four holiday reads – there are five books in the German version, but unfortunately, Fyksens Tankstelle by Lars Mytting hasn’t yet been translated into English.
Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake
Oryx and Crake is a journey into the future and its immediate past – that might well be our immediate future. It is a journey that is both checkless and, in a horrible way, seems to be originating in the reality of our present. In this future world, Snowman, whose real name once was Jimmy, takes one last journey into his past to search for the roots and an explanation of his hopeless situation. Who is there to blame? What roles did his friends Oryx, the beautiful Asian woman, and Crake, the mad but highly skilled scientist, play in this game? Was he ignorant of the signs in the wake of the catastrophe? Did he blindly run into this? Was he the one who could have stopped everything if only he had understood? Oryx and Crake is a disturbingly real dystopia that examines the way of the world in a devastated, contaminated future world and follows up the question if, ultimately, the world would be better off without humankind. Margaret Atwood describes a post-apocalyptic scenario that unfurls like a thriller and that, theoretically, isn’t as far-away as it seems.
Cormac McCarthy: No Country For Old Men
No Country For Old Men ranks somewhere between reality and merciless exaggeration, between a splatter movie and a thriller, between brutality and wit and between the Wild West and the rules of the Mob. A failed drug deal makes Llewelyn Moss a rich, but also a hunted man whose breathtaking chase through Texas ends in a hospital in Mexico. A psychopathic killer is hot on his heels, always one step closer to Moss than the aging sheriff Bell who doesn’t manage to protect the victim. Another killer steps in the game to kill the first one. What is going to happen to Moss’ wife anyway? The psychopath tosses a coin: to let live and not to let live… Sheriff Bell is helplessly left behind: Maybe they were right, and this is No Country For Old Men indeed. At least one thing is for sure: This book is not for the weak of heart and nerves.
Jon Krakauer: Into The Wild
Most of you probably know Into The Wild as a movie rather than as the book that film was based on. It is a documentary written by the journalist Jon Krakauer who was sent into the wilderness of Alaska in the early nineties to examine the mysterious death of a young man whose corpse hunters had found in an old, discarded bus in the middle of nowhere. The story was first printed in Outside Magazine in 1993 and published as a book in 1996 in a longer version. It tells the true story of Christopher Johnson McCandless who leaves behind the confinements of society in his search for freedom, adventure and real experiences. Without anything of material value and without contact to his family or friends, he travels the United States as a vagabond under his pseudonym Alexander Supertramp until his adventurous journey, precisely traced by Jon Krakauer, reaches its climax in Alaska.
Jonas Jonasson: The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden
A black African woman without noteworthy education but with above average intellect and extraordinary language and calculating skills helps South Africa to develop nuclear weapons and exasperates the Israeli secret service more than once. A young Swedish man named Holger 2, who, other than his twin brother Holger 1, doesn’t officially exist tries to lead a normal life. A nuclear missile that doesn’t officially exist either accidentally arrives in Sweden. This is where the main characters of this hilarious novel meet and get partners in crime over the question of how to, dammit, get rid of a nuclear weapon without calling criminals into action or endangering world peace. The Girl Who Saved The King Of Sweden is a convenient, comical and ironic summer read that examines four decades of world affairs and the power of coincidences on the go.
Photo by Daise Ribeiro.