National Book Week: Don’s Suggestions


With this cold winter weather, are you looking for a new book to curl up with? In honor of National Book Week, our very own 3D/CGI artist and resident bookworm Don has a few suggestions for you!  Why not try out one of these six books from three of Don’s favorite authors for a literary escape from the snow and the shovels.

by Emily St. John Mandel
Set in the post-apocalyptic midwest, Station Eleven tells the tale ofa group of actors and artists traversing through the Great Lakes region. Opening with a chilling list of all the must-haves of today that no longer exist, such as internet and electricity, this novel jumps through time to explore a dismal future not through the lens of a zombie slayer or Hunger Games champion, but rather those who are struggling to hold onto the history and art of the world that came before.

by Emily St. John Mandel
Set in an alternative version of our recent past where the most recent economic recession turned into a second Great Depression, this mystery novel follows Gavin Sasaki, a New York journalist who goes back to his hometown in Florida with his tale between his legs after being fired in disgrace. But once home, his sister finds a young girl who looks very similar to Gavin and shares a last name with his high school sweetheart, Anna. However, his ex is nowhere to be found. The ex-journalist must investigate what happened to his apparent daughter’s mother and all of the time in between.

by Haruki Murakami
Following the converging narratives of Aomame, a dyslexic young woman who is beginning to notice a parallel world, and Tengo, a ghostwriter who becomes entranced in a peculiar project, 1Q84 covers just about every genre, which is good if you can’t decide what to read next.  “A love story, a mystery, a fantasy, a novel of self-discovery, a dystopia to rival George Orwell’s…” according to Goodreads. At a whopping 925 pages, Murakami’s 1Q84 may seem like quite the undertaking, but keep in mind that when originally published in Japan, it was written as a trilogy. So maybe think of the american version as a collection of three books rather than one massive epic.

by Haruki Murakami
If you’re looking for a mystery with a splash surreal fantasy, The Wind-Up Bird Chonicle might be for you. While on the search for his wife’s missing cat Toru soon looses his wife and must look for her too in an underground world beneath Tokyo. It’s another chunky book, but like 1Q84, don’t let that scare you; it too was originally published as a trilogy in Japan before being translated to English.

by Thomas Pynchon
While Don admits, “I’ve started a number of Pynchon novels and have given up in frustration,” Mason & Dixon is one he would recommend pushing through. This historical fiction intertwined with fantasy and fabrication twists the tales of surveyors Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon with the story of Rev. Wicks Cherrycoke as he attempts to win over his extended family for a guest spot in their home on a cold December night.

by Thomas Pynchon
Don’s most recent read, also by Thomas Pynchon is the inspiration for the new theatrical release by the same name. Doc Sportello’s ex-girlfriend pops up out of nowhere and explains that she needs help kidnapping her new love, a billionaire land developer. Taking place in the drug-riddled late sixties, Pynchon takes advantage of the warped mindset of his inebriated characters to introduce a lively and unlikely cast of characters from a murderous loan shark to an undercover tenor saxophonist.