We all need a little bit of entertainment when making the daily trek to our place of employment. If you’re a public transit enthusiast (or slave), here are a few books that will keep you from calling in sick every day.
Let’s be honest, here: Not all of us are social butterflies. So when you’re forced to take public transit, your social ineptitude collides in bitter conflict with the inevitable, unavoidable human interaction or unnecessary touching often mandatory on communal transportation vehicles.
How to save yourself from this ravaging pit of sociability? Easy — read a book. It’s your licence to never, ever make eye contact with the creep caressing a mannequin’s head across from you, and your excuse for bumping into this guy and spilling that lady’s coffee.
Of course, reading in public can be somewhat daunting, so you need books that aren’t particularly straining on the old noodle. This is our roundup of five great subway reads, although admittedly these can be read on other forms of transportation as well.
Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel
First of all, this book is Canadian, so it’s automatically a winner. It’s an allegorical story representing the Holocaust, told through two taxidermy animals: Beatrice, a donkey, and Virgil, a monkey. It’s an incredibly rich novel but reads like a smooth jazz record. Martel is a natural word artist; this book flows seamlessly. You can take this puppy on the bus and be completely swept away from that obnoxious teenager in the aisle to a world of literary art.
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Yes, this is a young adult novel, but don’t judge us! You can read it for the hype, or you can read it because it’s easy and full of content. We’re sure you’re familiar with the plot: The nation of Panem (divided into districts) is ruled by the evil Capitol, which organizes the annual Hunger Games to keep its subordinates in a state of constant terror. Then 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen frolics into the picture, and everything changes. The book is hefty, written simple, interesting and, most important, super cool. In terms of subway reads, this baby is a keeper.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
This one is not for the child in you, despite its being written by Rowling. In rough terms, the story begins in the town of Pagford, when Parish Councillor Barry Fairbrother dies, leaving a vacant seat in the local council. Political war and intrigues break loose upon this tiny town. The novel deals with politics, drugs, prostitution and class struggles. Subject matter is not for the lazy, but it’s whimsically written and gives your brain something to process. Plus, this is Rowling’s first work of adult fiction. Give this one a go!
Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
This is not just some back-alley biography that fell out of a grungy disco-era van. This book was requested and authorized by Steve Jobs himself. Mr. Isaacson chronicled Jobs’ life through two years of interviewing the entrepreneur, his family, friends and colleagues, as well as through old footage and previous research. This book is for the intellectual within you; if you can’t find him or her, you ain’t looking hard enough. Interesting book on a very interesting man, it will surely keep your attention.
An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
If you’re the artsy type or just love Steve Martin, this little guy is for you. The novel follows Lacey Yeager, an ambitious young woman on the prowl to climb the social ladder of New York City’s art scene. You get to follow her through the ups and downs of success-chasing. The book is easy to follow, well written and an enjoyable read. It’s pretty much the Gossip Girl of the art world. If that’s your cup of tea, pick it up.
There is actually an ocean of fantastic books to be read whilst in transit; this is just the tip of the iceberg. Let us know what you thought, or submit some suggestions yourself. Opininate!