Wednesday, July 13, 2011

More Words Wednesday

Everybody has their thing. Some people are into Gossip Girl, some folks are into cool gadgets, some folks are into women with big afros... but me? I'm a bibliophile. Which simply means, I love books.

From The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo to The Alchemist to Freakonomics, I just can't get enough. I probably wear glasses today because of all the nights I spent with a flashlight under my duvet as a child, finishing the latest Babysitter's Club or Goosebumps addition. But here's the thing; the only thing I like even more than enjoying a good book is helping others to discover books that they like. I don't mean this is in a Laura Bush Campaign for Literacy type way, I just mean that I am of the belief that everyone has the potential to enjoy reading, provided they find something that really intrigues them.

I have a great track record for suggesting books to folks, but as Lavar Burton would say, don't take my word for it. Ask my friends (like her, her, and especially him).
How is all this relevant to you? Because I've decided that every Wednesday is "More Words Wednesday." So every Wednesday I'm going to recommend two books for you to check out, typically one non-fiction and one fiction. (One cool way to remember the difference Fiction - Fake, Non Fiction - Not Fake.) Get excited!!! Hopefully the choices each Wednesday will inspire people who typically don't read to do so and provide options for regular readers' next choice!

Maynard & Jennica by Rudolph Delson. Several times as I read this book, I made that sound you make when you're either crying really hard or laughing really hard. You know... that dry heave silent gasp followed by loud, raucous laughter. It reads kind of like a romantic comedy, except not cheesy and this book is fair game for guys and girls (I mean, hello; it was written by a dude!). It tells the story of how two people meet, but instead of telling the story in the traditional chronological way, it tells the story through the perspective of various folks (my favorite is the would-be vandals on a subway train they both happen to be on.) As I was reading it, I literally felt like I was watching it in a movie theater. Of course, that also made me a little sad, because I was reading it alone and I envisioned myself in the theater alone as other couples laughed around me. But that's neither here nor there. Read the book!

Malcolm X: The Reinvention of a Life by Manning Marable. Most people are at least passively familiar with Malcolm's X Autobiography as told to Alex Haley. Time Magazine listed it in their Top 10 Most influential biographies of the century. Also, it seems that it was the primary source in the Spike Lee film on X. However, Marable's book takes Malcolm's story a step further. This hefty book provides any history buff or just curious observer of American politics and religion with a more comprehensive look at Malcolm's life. Through his autobiography, much of Malcolm's experiences and life are presented in one dimensional fashion. Marable's book however gives you more of an idea on why X was who he was and dares to show you the human side of X. I can't say too much more without this becoming a spoiler, but I have to say... if you're looking for a challenge, an opportunity to learn, and an informative but fascinating story, this is your best bet. A friend of mine and I are currently reading this story and we now make references to it almost daily. It's just that compelling!

If any of you choose to read the books above, please let me know your thoughts in the comments below (but no spoilers please!)

Here's to more learning, more laughter, and more words this Wednesday.