I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling pretty swamped this month. Somehow, being an adult – or what passes for one – means I’m way busier than I thought I would be. As it turns out, adults are just as busy as college and grad students! I wish someone had warned me before I graduated.
When things get squirrelly, I usually don’t want to be overburdened by emotionally heavy books or movies. I like to turn to something lighter, something that will keep my interest but won’t bring me down. And when even the fluffiest of romances are too much for my over-taxed outlook – because there’s always the part where Our Hero and Our Heroine miscommunicate and almost break each other’s heart – I like to turn to nonfiction.
Nonfiction? Yes – but what I like to call Nonfiction Lite. It’s fun, it’s quirky, and it probably doesn’t have a whole lot to do with what you might traditionally think of as “educational value.” It just goes to show that there really is a book out there for anyone and any situation – just like any good librarian worth their salt will tell you.
Perhaps the best example of purely quirky fun is Have a Little Pun: An Illustrated Play on Words, by Frida Clements. Combining beautifully intricate illustrations of various flora and fauna with truly awe inspiring (or groan-inducing) puns, this book had me feeling more relaxed the minute I opened it. Got a problem with puns? Dill with it.
One of my favorites from the recent boom in cat comedy books (yes, that’s a trend) is You Need More Sleep: Advice From Cats by Francesco Marciuliano. Featuring glorious photos of cats doling out expert advice (“never let anyone dress you” is a classic example), this book is guaranteed to lift you out of the dumps and brighten up your day.
Find Momo Coast to Coast: A Photography Book by Andrew Knapp is an absolutely gorgeous work of photographic art featuring my all-time favorite animal: the border collie! Momo, of Instagram and Find Momo (2014) fame, frolics across the country – and it’s incredibly soothing to search the photos for his adorable face. This is a fascinating combination of coffee table book and game that would make a great gift.
In mood for more delightful dogs – and other assorted animals? Check out Unlikely Heroes: 37 Stories of Courage and Heart from the Animal Kingdom by Jennifer Holland. This features truly uplifting tales of animals overcoming obstacles and going above and beyond for their beloved owners. And don’t worry – because it’s divided into stories, you don’t have to read the whole thing in one sitting. If you’re looking for casual and quick, this book is the way to go.
For the list lover, check out Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience by Shaun Usher. Perfect for occasional browsing, peruse this extensive collection of delightfully odd lists from historical personages. It also features relevant photographs and illustrations, and is a seriously great way to spend a quiet afternoon.
— Savannah Kitchens, currently reading Moving Target by Christina Diaz Gonzalez