Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Do you ever get tired of reading traditional novels or non-fiction? Sometimes it seems like you just get into the story when some minor disaster steals you away from your book. Or maybe you’re the type of person that only has 5-10 minute spurts to devote to reading. Perhaps you enjoy a quick bathroom read (gasp!) or are just plain sick and tired of reading ‘regular’ books. In between non-fiction (which I really do love) and fiction (ok, I love that too…), I had the pleasure of reading two books that were a little bit quirky, entertaining and different.

First, Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony

I can’t take credit for finding this young adult novel, one of my classmates brought it to my attention this spring, but it was worth the time I spent “reading” it. The story follows Glory and Frank’s high school love story with a few twists. Glory is a piano prodigy and is taken to Europe to perform concerts and slowly begins developing mental health issues which become clear as she starts playing chopsticks at her concerts instead of her traditional classical pieces. The catch is that the story is primarily told through pictures. There are pictures of Glory and Frank together, pictures of gifts they send each other, pictures of moments and the occasional picture of their IM conversations, and all of it comes together to tell their story. It opens a lot up to interpretation and really makes you question what is happening to the two of them. It’s likely that you’ll fly through their story but want to go through again and search for hidden bits and pieces you may have missed the first time.

The second “different” book that I thoroughly enjoyed was The Lover’s Dictionary by David Levithan. I must admit that I have enjoyed quite a few books by David Levithan, so I figured this book was a safe bet (check out Will Grayson, Will Grayson and Boy Meets Boy if you enjoy YA fiction!). It also kept showing up on my Goodreads recommendations and the cover jumped out at me (yes, I’m a book cover judger). The entire story of a couple is told through dictionary entries. Each word in the dictionary is described through a moment, thought or conversation between the couple and the story plays out definition by definition. One of the most intriguing things about this story is that it does not only describe the happy pieces of this couple’s relationship—it brings the angry parts of the relationship in too, but it describes the exhilaration of new love so well that the negative pieces are not overwhelming. This, like Chopsticks, could be a very short read if one were to sit down and spend time on it, but it is also a fabulous book if you don’t have the time to devote to reading, and it’s likely that you’ll spend your non-reading time pondering what has and will happen to them.

What is the best non-traditional book you've read? Any recommendations? 

Click to learn more about Chopsticks and David Levithan 

And just in case you're a book cover judger too...

The Lover's Dictionary