You were prepped and ready pre-New Year’s Eve 2017. Your HPB Gift Cards were locked and loaded and you had a slightly uninterested, yet supportive group of friends waiting in the wings to hold you accountable. The resolution? Read more in 2018. The result? HA!
We get it. Work got in the way, sports happened, your cousin’s wedding, tricks and treats, Thanksgiving eats and before you could crack the cover on your first New York Times Bestseller, it was December. No worries, you’ve still got plenty of time…not War And Peace time, mind you. But you can do this, and we can help.
Books are kind of our thing, so we’ve curated a list for slackers, not unlike yourself, who’ve found themselves worse for wear with that whole bibliophile resolution thing. Read on (see what we did there?) to check out our top 5 picks to help you make it to the end of the year without becoming a repeat resolution maker.
1.What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky: Stories – Lesley Nneka Arimah
Author Lesley Nneka Arimah tasks readers with tapping into the root of their familial dysfunction in her debut collection of short stories. The majority of the pieces are set in post-apocalyptic times, often causing the characters to grapple with the very foundation of their being as their behavior plays out in desperate circumstances. As each story unfolds, Arimah touches on the taboo topics woven into the fabric of both Nigerian and American households. Against a weary, yet at times fanciful backdrop, she brings much-needed attention to the ways we deal with class, gender and death.
2. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story – George Orwell/Ralph Steadman
Orwell’s iconic novella, set in 1940s England, was written in satirical response to the events surrounding the Russian Revolution of 1917. Initially met with harsh criticism (even from Orwell’s literary peers), its political commentary is turned on its head with animals as the tale’s main characters. After declaring humans as enemies, the inhabitants of Manor Farm change the name to “Animal Farm” and begin a governance that involves seven essential commandments, the most important of which being “All animals are equal.” As the plot develops, a subgroup of swine connives their way into leadership roles and readers become privy to divisive actions that eventually contribute to the demise of the farm’s success.
3. A Guide To Being Born: Stories – Ramona Ausubel
The boundaries of life and death are nowhere to be found in Ramona Ausubel’s collection of extraordinary tales. The characters in A Guide to Being Born exhibit emotions tied to inevitable events in such a magical sense that readers have no choice but to reevaluate how they process their own emotions. Whether it’s a young woman questioning if she’s encountered a man who is deceased or alive, or the reimagining of a world where humans sprout extra limbs as an indication of falling in love, each story evokes more enchanting curiosity about our relation to the ebbs and flows of life than the last.
4. No One Belongs Here More Than You – Miranda July
Miranda July’s fiction debut invites readers to explore the uncomfortable spaces often found in life’s awkward encounters. A young woman tries her best to bring a bit of vibrancy to the lives of her geriatric neighbors by teaching them to swim…on the floor of her living room. Two young lovers discover themselves as they survive less-than-perfect living conditions after running away together. Each account provokes discomfort in various lighthearted, relatable and even quite unsettling ways. In an era where awkward has become the new cool, No One Belongs Here More Than You reminds us that, at times, there is just as much beauty in life’s inconveniences as there is anxiety.
5. The Invisible Man – H.G. Wells
A mysterious visitor takes an English village by storm in Wells’ classic tale of a science experiment gone horribly awry. Griffin is a scientist whose latest optic research has allowed him to modify his body’s biological makeup so that it no longer absorbs or reflects light, a venture which results in his transformation into the titular character. As the story progresses, readers bear witness to Griffin’s downward spiral as he struggles to maintain his new identity among curious, and outright fearful, acquaintances who would much prefer to destroy what they cannot comprehend.
There you have it; a few quick classics and contemporaries to keep you from having to lie about yet another resolution. Hit the books and let us know how it turns out! …and in the event that you fail once more, no worries. You can always begin again with the rest of us here at HPB. Enter our 2019 Resolve to Read giveaway for your chance to win a $100 HPB Gift Card! That’s a cool Ben Franklin towards your resolution. Good luck and happy reading!