Happy National Readathon Day! The National Book Foundation has organized the holiday to promote a love of reading and to make sure that the book worm doesn’t become an endangered species. You can find out how to support the foundation’s efforts here, but the most important thing is to set aside some time to read! And in case you happen to be in between books, here are a few recommendations. Each of them can be read in a single day, so there’s no excuse not to celebrate.
Severina by Rodrigo Rey Rosa tells the story of a dangerous and alluring book thief and a mesmerized bookseller. It’s an unsettling page-turner about obsessive love and enigmatic seduction by one of Guatemala’s most prominent literary figures.
Crush collects the confessional, gay, savage, and highly charged poetry of Richard Siken. The volume is part of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, and any of the past winners’ books could make for an exciting day of reading.
The Allure of the Archives by Arlette Farge communicates the multi-faceted experience of archival research while sharing remarkable details about life in pre-Revolutionary France. It’s a historiographical classic that will change the way you think about books, writing, and the past.
The Ten Commandments explores the meanings and value of the Decalogue for audiences ranging from biblical times to the present. Michael Coogan gives a nuanced history of how the laws came to be ordered and acknowledged as the iconic ten we know today.
In The Computer and the Brain, John von Neumann explores the analogies between computing machines and the living human brain. It’s a classic reflection on technology and intelligence that couldn’t be more relevant to our increasingly digital world.
In Why Nudge? Cass. R. Sunstein puts forth a fresh argument about the legitimate scope of government, bearing on smoking, distracted driving, food safety, and other highly volatile public issues. Read up on the ways paternalism can make lives better and longer without infringing on personal freedoms.
What Art Is brings to light the properties of art that constitute universal meaning. Arthur C. Danto combines aesthetics, philosophy, and memoir into a compact book that will resonate with anyone with an appreciation for creative work.
Long Day’s Journey Into Night is a classic of American drama, and it’s always worth revisiting Eugene O’Neill‘s autobiographical masterpiece. This volume also includes critical materials to help you rediscover the full richness of the text.