Whether it’s in the bathtub, at the bus stop or on a weekend afternoon, you’ll (hopefully!) find yourself with a spare moment to read a few pages of a good book. So what should you be reading? Here are my recommendations for this month.
You think you learned it all in sex ed, but, as it turns out, there are still a lot of things that science is still figuring out about how sex works. The hilarious and informative journalist Mary Roach sets out on a journey to find answers to the questions you might not even realize you had. Is a clitoris just a tiny penis? What’s it like working as a pig inseminator? Do Kegels help create stronger orgasms? And could it be that buying a sex toy is good for your health? Always cheerful and humorous and never crass or offensive, Roach takes the reader from the lab to the jungle to the dildo factory in an effort to understand what exactly makes humans tick.
Love triangles are practically passe these days, but protagonist Toru Watanabe finds himself caught loving two interesting, well-written and vastly different young women in this bittersweet story. One is the fragile Naoko, who had dated Toru’s best friend until he killed himself at the age of 17–and who is now left stranded and depressed. The other is the feisty and independent Midori, who is as straightforward and fun-loving as Naoko is mysterious and delicate. Toru must confront his feelings about both of them, as well as his growing apathy towards society and college, and figure out what he really wants. If you’re looking for a cheerful story, look elsewhere, but if you want great and attention-holding writing, you’re in the right place.
Crosley’s work reads like it was written for Buster and Ellie-the bumbling adventures of a twenty-something trying to figure it all out. It goes straight past the cheesiness of growing up and learning life lessons and gets right to the funny stuff instead.
Living with an unusual name (including having her name mistaken for “Slow”), the dangers of eating too much spinach, getting locked out of a new apartment twice in one day, memories of getting the coveted role of Mary in a church play, and rediscovering just how horrifying “Twin Peaks” really was…these are all just another day in Crosley’s hectic life. The best essay just might be the one in which Crosley gets a volunteer job at the natural history museum’s butterfly exhibit, and spends her time in terror of the giant Atlas moth, but they’re all hilarious.
George has a problem–he cannot bring himself to interact with his newborn son. Though he knows he’s upsetting his wife and not bonding with his child, he’s in terror of something happening if he gets too close. In despair, he turns to a therapist, who urges him to journal about his childhood experience with psychological issues. George begins recounting his childhood, and the bizarre events that happened in the months after his father died. Something demonic appeared to be at work in the death of his father, and now those same forces are coming after George and his mother–or is it all in George’s head? This ferocious, unnerving mystery will make you distrust everything around you.
Of course you can’t go wrong with the classics:
What are you reading? Tell us on Twitter @BusterEllie