The Jakarta Post
Vacations are almost synonymous with travel. While some people actually pack their bags and book a ticket to a faraway land, some others prefer to stay in and wander through the pages of a book. (Shutterstock/Dasha Petrenko)
Vacations are almost synonymous with travel. While some people actually pack their bags and book a ticket to a faraway land, some others prefer to stay in and wander through the pages of a book.
Here are some books worthy of your leisure time during a vacation:
1. ‘Black Leopard, Red Wolf’
Author: Marlon James
Marlon James is a household name after winning the 2015 Man Booker Prize for the explosive and gripping A Brief History of Seven Killings. Black Leopard, Red Wolf is the first of a planned trilogy, inspired by African history and mythology.
Often dubbed as the "African Game of Thrones", the story takes place against the backdrop of two warring states, the South Kingdom and the North Kingdom. The novel centers on the Tracker, who is known as a hunter and now on a mission to track down a boy who disappeared in the North Kingdom.
2. ‘The Other Americans’
Author: Laila Lalami
Laila Lalami's The Other Americans: A Novel is entirely not a whodunit, even though the novel opens with the hit-and-run of a Moroccan immigrant that sets everything in motion in a quiet, small Californian town.
Family secrets are unearthed against the barren beauty of the Mojave Desert and Joshua Tree National Park, along with the hypocrisies and unrest that lurk within everyone's minds and hearts. While solving the mystery of the murder, The Other Americans goes deeper into revealing who people actually are.
3. ‘The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams and International Realities’
Author: John J. Mearsheimer
Published in late 2018, the book might not be a really new one but still deserves a mention on this list. International relations thinker and realist scholar John J. Mearsheimer dissects the logic of liberalism -- one of the two dominant theories in international relations, a rival to realism. Taking nationalism into account, Mearsheimer elaborates on the failure of liberal foreign policy, which has guided the United States since the end of the Cold War. Mearsheimer merges the realms of domestic and international politics together, reminding readers that, as the saying goes, "Foreign policy begins at home."
4. ‘On Drinking’
Author: Charles Bukowski
Anyone who has ever read Bukowski knows that he was a drinker, claiming himself to be a "life-long alcoholic" and "dirty old man", with alcohol showing here and there and exerting great influence on his works. On Drinking is a collection of Bukowski's works, including poems, letters and prose fragments, curated by Bukowski expert Abel Debritto.
If you have never tasted Bukowski before and wondered if the book is for you, read this poem titled "Drinking": “for me/it was or/is/a manner of/dying/with boots on/and gun/smoking and a/symphony music background.” Cheers!
5. ‘Fire & Blood’
Author: George R. R. Martin
When vacation comes, chances are you are still mourning for the end of Game of Thrones. Despite the sorry fact that GRRM still has not finished the Winds of Winter, you can still rejoice and delve into the realm's history by reading Fire & Blood.
The book focuses on the tales of the Targaryen family and, of course, the dragons. The stories include Aegon's conquest of the Seven Kingdoms in Westeros to the civil war known as the Dance of the Dragons. Many of the stories have been published in other forms before, and some critics actually described the book as "boring" and "dry". But when, as the Starks like to say, the winter that is the end of the show does come, any fan would be happy to indulge in Game of Thrones-related materials.
6. ‘Good Omens’
Author: Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
Published in 1990, Good Omens is by no means a new book. However, with a TV series slated to be released on May 31, the book acquires a new breath of fresh air.
The book tells a story of Antichrist, who is supposed to bring about the apocalypse. However, angel Aziraphale and demon Crowley conspire to stop the end of times for their love of the human world. A joint work by two giants in the genre, Good Omens is as good as fantasy gets. (kes)