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Breaking the monotony with reading

During these hard times where we are made to stay home all day, it goes without saying that life can get a bit boring. It can get very tiring staring at a computer for school all day. However, there is a way to break the monotony: reading. Unfortunately, all the libraries in Sonoma County are closed, so this makes getting a book quite hard. Luckily, the Sonoma County Library’s website offers a huge archive of ebooks and audiobooks, so even though real books are hard to come by, there at least will be something online. In addition, the audiobooks are great for those who want to just listen to something or don’t like reading in general. So now all there is to do is to find something to read. Here is a short list with at least one book and/or genre that will get you started:

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Fantasy

The books follow Frodo, accompanied by various companions such as his friend and servant Sam and the wizard Gandalf  on his quest to destroy a powerful ring, which will bring the enemy to his knees if he succeeds.

This was a no-brainer when deciding what would go on this list. Even though most people love the movies, I found that not many have read the books. Most likely they haven’t because of its intimidating length: each book is over 300 pages. This series is notorious for its sometimes exhausting detail, but it’s rewarding if you do get through it. Also, if you enjoyed the movies, you’ll enjoy the books more. 

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Sci-Fi/Comedy

The book follows Aurther Dent, an Englishman who is rescued by Ford Prefect, an alien, seconds before Earth is destroyed by Vogons, who are bureaucratic aliens that are building an intergalactic overpass. Aurther is then swept on a journey through the very complicated galaxy.

This cult classic was actually originally a BBC comedy radio play written by Douglas Adams and was later adapted into a novel. In addition to being a radio play, the story has been adapted into a TV show and movie as well. The book is the first in a series of six, but The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is the most well-known and loved, and the book is perhaps the most well-known adaptation of the story. This book is funny, a light read, and a good one to listen to if you can’t get your hands on one to actually read.

The Rescue Artist by Edward Dolnick

Non-fiction

Charley Hill, a half-American, half-English undercover cop assists the Norwegian police in recovering one of Edvard Munch’s most beloved pieces in an exciting narrative that brings the reader to the more darker, thug-filled part of the art world.

This true story of the chase that ensued when Edvard Munch’s famous painting The Scream was stolen while the city was distracted by the 1994 Winter Olympics in Oslo is not one to miss. This exciting and suspenseful book will not only introduce you to a story of crime, but educate you on art, and specifically, the art of stealing art. For non-fiction, it is pretty easy to read and plays out the actual events as a story, so it is a fun read as well.

Master and Commander by Parick O’Brian

Historical Fiction

The book chronicles Captain Jack Aubrey as he commands his first ship in the Royal Navy. Aubrey is accompanied by his friend Dr. Stephen Maturin, a naturalist and physician, who shares Aubrey’s run-ins with the Spanish and other adventures during the Napoleonic era.

This novel is one history and adventure lovers alike will enjoy. It is the first of a series of 20 books, which have made Patrick O’Brian known and loved as one of the best nautical novelists. The book has more advanced dialogue because of its older vocabulary, meaning it is a bit harder to get through, but most certainly worth it when you do.

Maus by Art Spiegelman

Graphic Novel/Non-Fiction
This Pulitzer-Prize-winning graphic novel has been called a modern classic, and it certainly is. It shows the atrocities that Jews experienced at the hands of the Nazis through a completely different lens. Art Spiegelman’s clever metaphor of portraying the Jews as mice and Nazis as cats makes this true story even more powerful. Published in two separate volumes, the best way to read it is to find a complete version or read one after the other. The subject matter is dark and sad at times, but the actual reading is not hard and is very insightful. The novel follows two true narratives: Art Spiegelman’s rocky relationship with his father and his father’s story of survival in Auschwitz.

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