by Truitt Collyns
Spring is on its way. That means it’s the perfect time to get away from it all: the piercing sunlight, the coma-inducing allergens, the suspiciously friendly neighbors jogging their animal. Below we’ve got a great list of books, new and old, to get you through the next several weekends.
So what makes a great springtime read? It’s hard to say. Some help us forget nature exists at all; others provide a rich portrait of its awfulness. So lay back, hunker down beneath your heating blanket, turn on the fan, take a few Vitamin D supplements and enjoy.
John Steinbeck The Grapes of Wrath
A classic. At 575 pages, this book should take the average reader a good chunk of the afternoon and evening to finish. Steinbeck’s intimate portrait of a family devastated by the Dust Bowl won’t fill your head with any foolish ideas about the majesty of nature.
William Gibson Neuromancer
Another classic. Not only is it both the foundational text and zenith of the genre that came to be known as cyberpunk, it’s great to imagine a future where the synthetic overtakes the organic. Although there’s a few parts where it rains, you’ll mostly be envisioning computer chips, server rooms and other sterile environments.
Margaret Atwood The Year of the Flood
The sequel to Oryx and Crake. In all honesty, probably the weakest entry on this list, but still superior to many activities, such as checking to see if you left anything in your car and answering the door when you don’t know who it is. Recommended if you like: dystopian fiction, speculative fiction, second installments even if you missed the first, books from seven years ago, or even books written by a woman.
Mohsin Hamid Exit West: A Novel
Mohsin Hamid’s latest book is beautifully written, both timely and timeless. This amazing story of young lovers forced to flee their homes in search of a new one is worth risking it and treking to your local bookstore to purchase.
Anna Claybourne 100 Most Destructive Natural Disasters Ever
While Ms. Claybourne may not be the next Wordsworth, the plethora of essential information she’s able to fit into this digestible package is a commendable task. From the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami to the 1900 Galveston hurricane, this one covers all your favorites, while finding room for a few deep cuts as well.