Top 3 books recommended by B.J. Novak
Dave Eggers released two books this year, and The Circle received more attention than this one. But I loved this all-dialogue novel, and always find myself recommending it. It's a philosophically searching novel with the pace and energy of an addictive beach read.
From Dave Eggers, best-selling author of The Circle, a tightly controlled, emotionally searching novel. Your Fathers, Where Are They? And the Prophets, Do They Live Forever? is the formally daring, brilliantly executed story of one man struggling to make sense of his country, seeking answers the only way he knows how. In a barracks on an abandoned military base, miles from the nearest road, Thomas watches as the man he has brought wakes up. Kev, a NASA astronaut, doesn't recognize his captor, though Thomas remembers him. Kev cries for help. He pulls at his chain. But the ocean is close by, and nobody can hear him over the waves and wind. Thomas apologizes. He didn't want to have to resort to this. But they really needed to have a conversation, and Kev didn't answer his messages. And now, if Kev can just stop yelling, Thomas has a few questions.
The latest - and maybe the best - collection from one of my favorite comedy writers, Simon Rich. Several of these stories have been published in the New Yorker, and have become those rare comedy pieces that everyone I know is always talking about and forwarding around.
Twenty years ago, Barney the Dinosaur told the nation's children they were special. We're still paying the price. From "one of the funniest writers in America"* comes a collection of stories culled from the front lines of the millennial culture wars. Rife with failing rock bands, student loans, and participation trophies, Spoiled Brats is about a generation of narcissists-and the well-meaning boomers who made them that way. A hardworking immigrant is preserved for a century in pickle brine. A helicopter mom strives to educate her demon son. And a family of hamsters struggles to survive in a private-school homeroom. Surreal, shrewd, and surprisingly warm, these stories are as resonant as they are hilarious. *Jimmy So, Daily Beast
I love lists. This beautiful coffee table book compiles a diverse and fascinating collection of the real lists made by major and minor figures across history. A wonderful and worthwhile book to get lost in.
Funny, tragic, brilliantly incisive, historic, lyrical, romantic and studiedly offensive, this stupendous compendium of letters ancient and modern is my book of the year. You will never tire of it - Stephen Fry In 2009, while researching a copywriting assignment for a stationery company, Shaun Usher noticed that the internet was full of facsimiles of letters. He started to collect the ones that appealed to him and the more he looked, the more interesting and memorable material he found. Soon, he was sitting on a rich trove of letters, telegrams, and memos that he felt were worth sharing. To do that he started a blog: www.lettersofnote.com, which quickly became the internet's most popular online museum of correspondence. Shaun's inspired selection and quirky juxtapositions turned the site into a virtual anthology, one that demanded a more permanent form. The result is Letters of Note, a collection of 150 of the best letters Shaun has found, each reproduced with a short introduction and transcript and bound into a book. Inside, the famous and infamous, the significant and the insignificant, the noble and the ignoble rub shoulders with one another. From the Queen's personal recipe for drop scones sent to President Eisenhower to the first recorded use of the expression OMG in a letter to Winston Churchill, from distraught fans of Elvis Presley begging the army not to cut his hair to a Kamikaze pilot writing to his two young children on the night before his mission, Letters of Note is a beautifully orchestrated sequence of fragments that captures the humour, seriousness, sadness and brilliance that make up our lives.