Fifteen years into the twenty-first century and BBC Culture is trying to get the lay of the (literary) land. They asked several dozen book critics to name the best English-language novels published since the turn of the century. The brief and wondrous The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz was ranked first by the critics, meaning that all is right with the world. Diaz is a magician with language, story and character and this choice by the critics cements the fact that book people>movie people. Hear that Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences? We don’t need your sprawling epics, formulaic biopics or chest-thumping war tales. We just want stories about genuine-seeming people, told beautifully.
Usually Red Brick Reads will focus on promising debuts and new releases from our favorite writers but sometimes you need to treat yo’self and that is why we’re talking about Junot Diaz and Drown, his 1996 collection of short stories. Just for today, let’s talk about comfort books.
Listen. Everyone and their uncle Fred is going to provide you with a list of books you should read this summer. The evil book publishing industry (jk, I love you guys) has conspired to convince you that you have nothing but free time in the summer so they put out lists on lists on lists of stuff you should be reading. Books to take to the beach! Books to take on your Parisian vacation! Books to read in the park on a sunny Saturday! Books to take on the subway but then not actually read because it’s too crowded and you can’t reach into your bag without touching the butt of the guy in front of you!
This summer, your friends at Red Brick Reads are buying into the lie of extra reading time and we’re getting on the reading list train with the best reading list out there. What make our reading list so great? We’ve seasoned our list with a spice that makes every dish better. The musical stylings of Mr. Kanye West. At the beach? A Parisian cafe? A sun-soaked park bench? We have the book for you, and the Kanye album to pipe into your ears as you read it.