One of life’s great pleasures is rocking away in a hammock with nothing to do except take in the sights and sounds around you. After a few hours of doing this, however, you might become a little antsy. Unless your name is Buddha, endless silence can take it’s toll on the mind. While we would not want you to end a good hammock session early to seek out distraction, perhaps the best complement to a good session in a hammock is a good book.
Yet sometimes a book can be too good. Well I suppose there is no such thing as too good, but what I mean is that although lazing around is exciting… most of us do have other places to be. And if the book is too good you won’t want to leave your relaxing abode.
To help find the best of both worlds, we have begun a list of books that will keep you gripped from end to end, but luckily not long enough to get fired or sent to the doghouse. Please let us know in the comments ones that should be on the list, as it’s impossible that I’ve read every good short book out there. You’ve probably read one or two of these before, but it doesn’t hurt to read them again!
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald (216 pages) – This is the basis for all things grand, before the stock market crash sent everything to hell. The delightful escapades of Jay Gatsby spawned the “Gatsby Party” – the college tradition where everyone dresses up in prohibition-era garb that always starts fancy and eventually ends in debauchery. The story between Gatsby and Daisy is the main focus of the story, not the parties – but it’s a classic that will keep you interested throughout.
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway (93 pages) - This is one of those stories where you begin to form a relationship with the character. It’s about overcoming personal challenges and life’s ups and downs… who can’t relate to that? It’s one of my favorite Hemmingway novels, and at 93 pages, it’s a breeze to finish in one lounging.
Lord of the Flies – William Golding (182 Pages) – One of those books you definitely want to read while on a small island somewhere in the south pacific. It’s a caricature of human nature as a group of boys, marooned on a remote island, begin to form their own society. It gets a bit weird, but as the novel postulates: isn’t that human nature?
Animal Farm -George Orwell (112 pages) - One of those novels that is still as relevant today as it was when it was written. Originally a satire of Stalinist Russia, the book has seen many iterations of itself in real life in history. Basically a group of Animals take over their farm, and once they do, begin to form another heirarchy with its own problems. You probably read this in school, but I bet you haven’t read it recently. If you do, check it out now under our current societal structure.
The Dead – James Joyce (92 pages) – This is one of those stories where the story itself isn’t the greatest appeal, but rather the storytelling. The way that the whole story unfolds over a new-years eve in Dublin keeps you gripped, with a great surprise at the end for good measure.
Please let us know more books that we have missed so that we can compile the ultimate one-session hammock reading list!