Since you might not have time for a Moby Dick right now, or ever, we took the liberty of curating a short list of short reads you can pick up and put down as you please. No textbooks here–this is recreational reading. Reading both exercises and relaxes the mind, and can offer a needed escape from the stress and grind of a long shift or week.
Of course, there’s a whole universe of books out there, but here are just a few staff picks:
Humor: The Portable Dorothy Parker
If you’re a lover of quips and don’t know of her, Dorothy Parker might be your go-to for a little snark and a smile. She was an author, poet and above all, humorist, who managed to flourish within what was, in her time, a true boys’ club of authors. Her wit rivaled that of Oscar Wilde and she wrote everything from iconic quotes to full novels. One of our favorites: “I’d rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.” (She said it, not us.)
You might already be familiar with this form of poem. Haikus are both meditative and digestible, originally a convention out of Japan but now written in many languages. Plus, even the word “Haiku” is soothing. Here’s one by Matsuo Bash:
From time to time
The clouds give rest
To the moon beholders
If you’re up for it, you might even write a few of your own from time to time. After all, it’s just seventeen syllables.
History & Science: Delancey Place
Delancey Place is a nonprofit website that you can visit (or subscribe to their daily email, or both) that puts out an excerpt every day. You never know what you’ll get–it could be a few paragraphs from an autobiography, or a scientifically based extrapolation on the lives of birds, or an historical obscurity you’d probably never stumble across on your own (a fascinating sample read to whet your palate: “The Importance of Forgetting”)
So when you get a break from reading charts and studies and whatever other “required reading” might come your way, find something amusing, entertaining, or enlightening.
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