A good way to maintain your interpersonal relationships with your friends is through a book club, or sharing books. Not only does it give you the chance to share your favorite stories, but it gives you something to talk about and can act as the foundation to deeper discussion, thus enhancing and furthering your relationship. Joining Goodreads is a good way to exchange titles, but here are a few I came across.
1. Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo, by Werner Herzog
Director Werner Herzog writes movingly about his motives for making the famously grueling 1982 movie, in which the hero pulls a real steamship over a real mountain to a remote Peruvian village. In this book, we are privy to Herzog's darkest thoughts, his often disquieting waking dreams, his fascination with the natural world, and his complicated, deeply conflicted feelings for the jungle around its people. Herzog captures all of this in lyrical, feverish prose that offers an intimate portrait of an artist whose life's work explores the place where determination shades into madness.
2. Asterios Polyp, by David Mazzucchelli
It's about a pompous architect who changes his world view. "David Mazzucchelli's boldly ambitious, boundary-pushing graphic novel is remarkable for the way it synthesizes word and image to craft a new kind of storytelling." This is a fast, fun read, but it's also a work that has been carefully wrought to take optimum advantage of comics' hybrid nature — it's a tale that could only be told on the knife-edge where text and art come seamlessly together.
3. The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis
Too few people know about Davis, whose stories are "spare" but never "slight." To read them "is to turn her crystalline prose over in your mind and allow its flashes of mordant wit to glitter and dazzle." Davis remains one of those writers not enough people know about. Here's hoping this collection — a quiet, witty, thoroughly absorbing read — may finally change that.
4. The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy and the History of Comic Book Heroines, by Mike Madrid
This fun and thoughtful exploration of the topic by Mike Madrid is "long overdue." Even as it delivers its clear-eyed critique of the way mainstream superhero comics have alternately eroticized or deified female characters, The Supergirls gleefully celebrates the medium itself, in all its goofy, glorious excess.
5. Everything Matters! by Ron Currie Jr.
A "beautiful, sad and haunting" novel by Ron Currie Jr. about a genius who learns when the world is going to end and tries to save it. It is a hugely imaginative novel loaded with narrative tricks and set pieces that let the author proudly show off his clever clockwork, but Currie keeps things thoroughly grounded in the messy, mysterious business of human interaction. A beautiful, sad, and haunting book.
Have other books you like to share with friends? Please leave a comment and let us know!