Sometime in the middle of last year, I made a resolution to read more. This is the only resolution I've kept to date, so I think it's definitely time to start documenting. Thus, Banksy's Book Report was born.
Banksy's Book Report is where I'll give no-BS book reviews of what's been on my nightstand lately - complete with bonus food and beverage pairings! Please feel free to tell me I'm wrong/crazy/dumb/genius, as well as throw your book recommendations my way.
The deal: This laid-off writer from NYC named Nick moves back to his Missouri hometown with his wife, Amy. She goes missing. Psychological thriller ensues. You've probably seen the movie.
Is it worth it?: Yes. Undoubtedly. Even if you already know the twist, read it. The villainy is A+.
Pairs well with: Scotch. Neat. Maybe some crepes.
The deal: An epic saga of an intersex man's heritage, from his grandparents' emigration from Greece to his own upbringing in rustbelt Detroit. Pulitzer Prize Winner.
Is it worth it?: The story is rich and beautifully written, but damn is it long. You could choke down at least two Harry Potter books (if that's your thing) in the time it takes to get through this guy. I found myself skimming more than I'd like to admit. Proceed with caution.
Pairs well with: Ouzo, olives, a lot of free time.
The deal: Lord of the Rings prequel. Bilbo Baggins goes on a quest through Middle-earth to reclaim a dragon's treasures.
Is it worth it?: Yes. This is the perfect gateway into Tolkien, as it's essentially the LOTR saga's version of a children's book. It's also a surprisingly breezy story to get through considering how it was somehow stretched into 7.9 hours of film material.
Pairs well with: Honey cake, second breakfast, a growler of brown ale.
The deal: Follows the story of two wartime friends - an Englishman and an Indian immigrant - and their eventual families in London. The plot is winding, spanning decades, and told from multiple perspectives.
Is it worth it?: Eh. If you 100%-no-questions-asked love reading, definitely. Otherwise, the beginning and middle can drag a bit.
Pairs well with: English breakfast with extra mushrooms, an eye for themes and motifs.
The deal: A 14-year old girl goes on a grand adventure to avenge her father's death. She's the sassiest narrator I've read in a long time.
Is it worth it?: If you even remotely like Westerns, hell yes. Bonus: it's short.
Pairs well with: Corn dodgers, Old Grand-Dad straight from the bottle.