Em 2012, li cerca de vinte livros. Verdade seja dita, foi um dos anos mais prolíferos na minha carreira de jovem leitor. Apesar de ser uma marca distante daquelas que são almejadas por académicos, investigadores ou leitores com tempo livre, foi um grande motivo de orgulho para mim. No entanto, tenho plena noção de que não conseguiria atingir estes números se não tivesse de fazer cerca de uma hora de transportes públicos para Lisboa e outra para longe de Lisboa.
Com uma premissa inspiradas nas leituras de transportes públicos, a conta de Instagram @subwaybookreview conta-nos o que estão a ler os nova iorquinos que vão de metro, todas as manhãs, para os seus empregos. Com uma fórmula simples, uma fotografia a preto-e-branco e uma breve crítica do livro que estão a ler, é a melhor forma de recebermos nos nossos telemóveis o que está a ser lido, neste preciso momento, no outro lado do Atlântico.
Os livros vão da Maya Angelou ao Junot Diaz, passando por manuais sobre tatuagens, pérolas académicas e Joan Didion. Podemos encontrar novidades fresquíssimos do mundo da literatura, como pérolas do passado que os seus leitores nos incentivam a corrermos a comprar. É uma forma inovadora de sabermos o que ainda nos falta ler (uma dica: tudo).
A melhor parte do projecto é mesmo o quanto todas as críticas são pessoais e o quanto se tornam contagiantes. As emoções que sentimos por um livros são sempre longas e bem sabidas e, tantas vezes, estamos dispostos a partilhá-las. O projecto de Uli Beutter Cohen torna-se ainda mais especial por isso, porque nos traz livros reais, com sentimentos reais de quem os lê. Há muitas histórias por conta neste Instagram.
Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace. Jared: "I would say this is a gargantuan novel that I will give up my whole summer for. Why? It was recommended by a really good friend and I like David Foster Wallace's writing. It's equal parts philosophical and hilarious. The story is about a guy named Hal who is being recruited by a tennis school and comes from an interesting family. I don't know more yet, but am looking forward to dive into these 981 pages. I hope to make Chris Dodds proud. He recommended the book. Can we put that in the review?" @jaredknecht #DavidFosterWallace #InfiniteJest #novel #satire #summerreading #ChrisDodds #bookreview #newyork #brooklyn #subwaybookreview
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Elise: "The author is a profound feminist. She gives talks, she's a published author, a scholar and she was sampled on Beyoncé's last album on the track 'Flawless' talking about feminism. This particular book is based on a TEDx talk she gave about the realities of sexual politics. We're raising boys and girls differently when they should really be raised the same. We should be true to ourselves. Feminism becomes less of a daunting topic in her words. It's like you're listening to a wise woman in your family. When I first learned about feminism it seemed like an ideology that was made by and for white, intellectual women. I feel connected to her work because of the nuances she touches on that regard the Black American and the African experience in America. Ultimately it's not about negating or discrediting any woman – it's about celebrating all women. Reading her work finally made me feel like I was included in the conversation." @currentlyelise #Chimamanda #Adichie #feminist #beyonce #tedtalks #sexualpolitics #equality #celebratewomen #unity #weshouldallbefeminists #bookreview #brooklyn #newyork #subwaybookreview @chimamanda.adichie @beyonce @tedxevents I spy @greenlightbklyn
Even Cowgirls Get The Blues by Tom Robbins. Frances: "The story is about a woman, Sissy Hankshaw, who is born with extra large thumbs. She takes it as a sign that she should become a hitchhiker. This is easily the third time that I'm picking up this book. It reminds me to be adventurous and free. I also like the different imagery that's described in the story. It's an escape from my surroundings. I'm from California so I'm used to being in nature. Robbins' prose is beautiful. It hits you right in the heart. I guess I'm drawn to the book because it's about a person I'd like to be. Someone who lives on her own terms." @peachespit #EvenCowgirlsGetTheBlues #TomRobbins #novel #SissyHankshaw #freedom #adventure #prose #california #bookreview #newyork #brooklyn #subwaybookreview
New York Burning by Jill Lepore. Kamau: "I've read this book at least four times and also have the audio book. I sound like such a book slut saying that. Jill Lepore is a great writer. She gives the reader great details: how cold it was, what animals were around, what the smells were. The story is set in 1741 and about one of the greatest American judicial murders. It happened just one generation after the Salem witch trials. This is the lesser known case about the killing of 30 black and 4 white people. 13 were burned at the stake and 17 hung in what is now the Financial District in New York City. They called it 'the bonfire of Negroes'. It was horrible and there was a lot of attention around it before the case was pretty much completely buried. The Bill of Rights was signed right around the same time, which is not officially connected to this case but a very curious coincidence. When you study this story, you get incredible insights and ask yourself if our national foundation was affected by it. Someone who likes history, mysteries or legal studies would love this book. I keep reading it because there are so many layers to it. You can find me on blackgotham.com – I give walking tours on the impact of the African diaspora on New York City." @kamauware #blackgotham #newyork #nyc #subway #book #subwaybookreview #bookreview #reading #bookloversunite #author #jilllepore #gotham #newyorkburning #history #america #readinglist #smartreads #readingisawesome #bookclub #booksworthreading #whattoread #readersadvisory #fall #vsco
Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver. Kianoosh: "'Animal Dreams' takes place in the Arizona desert, which is where Kingsolver is from. It's very evocative. She's great with landscapes and blends in a Native American theme, which I like. The story is about two sisters who have to come back home because their father is ill, but only one of them comes to see him. The other one stays in Nicaragua, but I don't know why yet. I also know that their hometown is threatened by an environmental catastrophe, but don't know the details yet. The idea of going back home to visit a sick parent is something I relate to. Seeing your parents struggling as an adult is difficult. My father has been ill and I've been going back and forth to see him. It's something you have face up to when you get to a certain age – that your parents aren't going to be around forever." @kian00shh #barbarakingsolver #animaldreams #fiction #novel #arizona #nativeamerican #family #alzheimers #bookreview #newyork #manhattan #subwaybookreview
Where's Waldo? The Totally Essential Travel Collection. Addison: "Papa got this book for us today. In the book you just find things. Like Waldo. You find him because he has stripes on. This is Anais's book. Percy Jackson is my favorite book." Anais: "I want to find the sandcastle. Where is it?" #whereswaldo #sandcastle #percyjackson #subwayreading #thecutest #sisters #newyork #subwaybookreview
A Storm Of Swords by George R. R. Martin. Seo: "The book has its ups and downs as with any good story. There has to be a quiet part that accompanies the excitement and tumultuous parts. This book got me quite enthralled. The only small downside is that there are dozens of tertiary characters that are mentioned for a sentence and only appear again in the next book a hundred pages in. It gets confusing but if you stick with it there's great depth in the books. I can't say any more without giving spoilers. Martin has written a great series and deserves the praise he had gotten." #georgerrmartin #gameofthrones #got #astormofswords #fantasy #novel #subwaybookreview #book #love #newyork #subway #bookloversunite
Words Without Music by Philip Glass. Anna: "This is Philip Glass' memoir. He's an amazing contemporary composer. I love his music and wanted to know his personal story and the anecdotes that led him to produce this body of work. His music is incredibly innovative." #philipglass #wordswithoutmusic #memoir #music #composer #contemporary #avantgarde #iconoclast #symphonies #autobiography #bookreview #newyork #subwaybookreview