Book Recommendations from Tania, What Would a Nerd Wear.
When winter comes knocking at the door, there’s no place I’d rather be than inside a good book. On snowy afternoons this winter, I’m going to get cozy on the couch with wool socks, peppermint tea, and these books:
Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Not for the squeamish, Nabokov’s most famous novel is the story of the despicable-yet-compellingly-sympathetic Humbert Humbert, who falls in love with a schoolgirl. Lolita is a favorite of banned book lists, but is less widely read than many of its fellow deviants. It’s hilarious and dark, and Nabokov is masterful with language. If you haven’t read it, you must.
Julian Barnes’s Sense of an Ending. By sheer force of habit, I feel compelled to read Barnes’s new novel, which won the Man Booker Prize in October. As a graduate student, I get so involved in my own research that I have trouble keeping up with new releases. However, I try to read at least a few of the novels on the short list for the Man Booker Prize, which chooses among the best novels published each year in the UK, Ireland, and the commonwealth. Many winners rank among my favorite novels, so I look forward to diving into a new one each winter.
The dog-eared favorite:
Anne Fadiman’s essay collection Ex Libris. My family likes to joke that we are single-handedly keeping food on the Fadiman family table, because we’ve bought this collection of essays for any friend who’s had a birthday in the past ten years. It’s a hilarious and touching collection of essays about reading and the love of books. My favorite essay is called “Marrying Libraries” which is about the author finally merging libraries with her husband—an act of commitment they treat as even more binding than marriage or children.
David Sedaris’s Holidays on Ice. Sedaris’s collection of essays centered around his time working as a holiday elf at Macy’s is uproariously funny and perfect for dramatic readings around the fire. The stories are laugh-so-hard-you-cry funny, whether you are a Grinch (like me) or a holiday-fiend (like my mother).